Legislators Try Lastminute Push For Brickell Name Extension
Written by Deserae del Campo on May 4, 2006
By Deserae del Campo
The Brickell Area Association is calling on its members to block a possible move by state legislators who may consider extending the name of Brickell Avenue north of the Miami River.
The extension of the Brickell Avenue name was tacked onto a House of Representatives transportation bill. But the House didn’t act on it, so it became a dead issue, said Gloria Konsler, executive administrator for the association who fears it might be revived.
She said in a Tuesday e-mail to Brickell Area Association board members that "there is a companion transportation bill in the Senate (to the House measure) that will go to the floor tomorrow. At this time, the Brickell name is not a part of Senate Bill 1766, but it is our belief that the issue will be tacked on at the very last minute, possibly even right on the floor tomorrow as the bill is debated."
"This is a heads-up to the association that there is a possibility that the Brickell Avenue extension could be attached to this transportation bill," said Barbara Beaudry, association board member.
"We want our members to alert our Miami-Dade senators and State Transportation Committee Chair Jim Sebesta and make sure all of them are aware that there is controversy over this issue," said Ms. Konsler.
The legislative session in Tallahassee is to end Friday.
Brickell interests have cited the value of their brand name, a financial and residential icon they say would be diluted by extending the name into downtown. They also cite historic accuracy of a century ago, when the Brickell family and its trading post was south of the river and Julia Tuttle, sparkplug for the founding of the city in 1896, held sway on the north bank.
"This issue is causing a division between the Brickell Area Association and groups with interests north of the Miami River," Ms. Beaudry said Tuesday. "It shouldn’t be this way. We need to be working together."
Miami commissioners were to vote last month on the bid to rename two downtown blocks of Southeast Second Avenue as Brickell Avenue, but City Attorney Jorge L. Fernandez pulled the item, stating the city could not rename the street because Brickell Avenue is a federal highway. The state has operating control of the highway.
Jack Lowell, vice chairman of Codina Reality Inc., which represents a developer with interest in extending the Brickell name, had said his team would take the issue to Tallahassee but he would not say how.