By Risa Polansky
Miami and developer Crosswinds' long-planned Overtown housing project is effectively kaput after county commissioners voted last week to reclaim the property for which it is slated.
Commissioners directed County Manager George Burgess to draft requests for proposals for all three parcels to create mixed-affordable and elderly rental and homeownership units, as well as commercial retail designed to spur economic development.
Crosswinds' Sawyer's Walk would have included 1,050 for-sale units, some designated affordable and others with the option to be sold as such.
Miami commissioners are suing the county for attempting to derail the project.
Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, whose district includes Overtown, has criticized Sawyer's Walk for what she deemed a lack of required affordable housing.
"I think it's time we take our property back," she said, and "do something with our own land."
The Crosswinds project has spent years embroiled in legal challenges that the city and developer say impeded its startup.
City CFO Larry Spring asked the county board to defer a decision on whether to take back the land, reminding commissioners that one parcel was newly designated for a different project: a mixed-use development that would bring Overtown its first full-scale grocery store.
Ms. Edmonson criticized the city for moving forward to develop that parcel after county commissioners vowed to take it back.
"This is another tactic here that is being utilized to tie our hands," she said.
Commissioners voted unanimously to move forward in drafting proposal requests for new developments.