Brickell Advocates Gearing Up For Renewed Name Battle
Written by Deserae del Campo on June 1, 2006
By Deserae del Campo
The battle over Brickell may be over for this legislative session, but those fighting to keep the Brickell Avenue name south of the Miami River say they are building a strategy in time for next year.
"Our future strategy is in the planning stage and will be proprietary for obvious reasons," said Hal Martell, president of the Brickell Area Association.
After two transportation bills failed before the House and Senate this session, both with the Brickell extension attached via shirttails, members of the association are not giving up the fight.
"It is very important that the association continue to monitor this and have a strategy in place," said Barbara Beaudry, association board member. "As an organization, we must be very diligent on this issue because it is important to the City of Miami and the community."
The issue arose in April when developers with interests in downtown Miami wanted to extend the historic Brickell Avenue name north of the river along two blocks of Southeast Second Avenue.
Commissioner Johnny Winton asked to defer the item when it came before the City Commission, saying he needed time to think about the issue. But before commissioners would get the chance to decide, City Attorney Jorge L. Fernandez advised them that only the state could act.
The effort was attached to a House transportation bill, which failed, but the name extension also made its way onto Senate Bill 1766, which passed in the Senate but not in the House. Ultimately, both bills failed before the legislative session ended May 5.
"Based on the principles of protecting authentic Brickell history and the sizeable investments made by Brickell community stakeholders," said Mr. Martell, "we remain resolute in opposing the name extension."
Historic accuracy plays a role in the issue. The Brickell family lived south of the Miami River and rival Julia Tuttle, founder of Miami in 1896, lived north of the river.