Parking Officials To Seek Blessing Of Design District Neighbors For Garage
Written by Eric Kalis on December 28, 2006
By Eric Kalis
Miami Parking Authority officials plan to seek the endorsement of area residents soon for a 400-space parking garage in the Design District.
Art Noriega, executive director of the authority, said agency officials will meet with the Buena Vista Neighborhood Association by the end of the month to discuss plans for a garage at 3800 NE First Ave.
The authority must ease neighbors’ concerns about the potential traffic impact from construction of the 31,521-square-foot garage, he said.
In the minds of nearby residents, "any significant building will probably have an ancillary impact on them," Mr. Noriega said. He said the garage should "capture traffic, not create it, and will be a benefit to the Design District because it will keep more cars out of residential neighborhoods."
The parking authority will complete its preliminary budget for the garage after meeting with the neighborhood group, Mr. Noriega said. The authority’s board in June approved a $135,000 design proposal by parking consultant Timothy Haahs & Associates, which is conducting a financial feasibility study for the garage.
"The goal is to get to a point where the plans are accepted enough to get pricing on this," Mr. Noriega said.
Developer DACRA Development, hired to build the garage, has signed off on the Haahs design proposal, Mr. Noriega said.
Once the parking authority comes up with a cost estimate, it will complete its agreement with DACRA, Mr. Noriega said. The plan is for DACRA to hold a long-term lease for some of the garage spaces.
The garage is expected to include about 15,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, Mr. Noriega said. The parking authority will operate the property, he said.
The parking authority bought the land north of Interstate 195 in 2004 with plans to develop it. Although DACRA initiated discussions with the parking authority, the project is part of the agency’s "five to 10-year expansion process, which ties into the growth of the city," Mr. Noriega said. "We are in a development mode. We have built many surface lots in the last two years and added quite a bit of inventory, especially in neighborhoods we were not in before."
Parking authority officials are pursuing projects in other areas not dominated by business activity, Mr. Noriega said, such as Liberty City and Little Havana.