City Has Trouble Finding Money For Downtown Metromover Station
By Susan Stabley
A City of Miami plan to add a Metromover station amid a proposed residential-entertainment hub downtown is facing funding problems.
But MDM Development Group said the transit project delays should not affect progress on the $600 million redevelopment of three blocks across from Dupont Plaza.
The city had hoped its estimated $25 million transit project would create a new commuter stop in the downtown core and also realign the rails and columns off Southeast Third Street and improve the roadway, said Clark Turner, city transportation planner. Miami-Dade County oversees Metromover, but the city has taken on this project as part of its downtown transportation plan and sought state funds from a program that has been discontinued.
Now, Mr. Turner said, "The only piece missing is getting the money to do it."
The city will still get $480,000 for engineering and environmental studies and $1.3 million for the design through the program, he said.
Any delays affect hopes the city or county may have of running the new rail through – and stopping at – the planned MDM complex. The group’s development of multiple towers could add up to 1,500 condos, 9,000 square feet of offices, 218,500 square feet of retail, 4,200 parking spaces and a movie theater.
Tim Weller, MDM’s vice president of development, said that his company isn’t expecting the city to be ready in time for the projected first quarter 2004 groundbreaking but that he isn’t concerned because his project "stands independent to the realignment."
"It really comes down to the timing of our project and how fast those things can be implemented," he said Tuesday. "And it’s a feasibility issue. ‘Is it really the right option for that area and the development going on?’ "