Miami Officials See Groundwork Being Laid In Little Havana
By Yeleny Suarez
Miami officials see pending development in Little Havana as groundwork for long-term goals to improve the area’s business economy and residential appearance.
There are 26 active projects in Little Havana, said Kevin Walford of the city’s planning department. Three of them now exist or are under construction.
"The city’s goals are to improve the quality of life, the physical appearance of the neighborhoods and the city," said Jose Casanova of the planning department. "We want to create jobs and provide new housing opportunities including homeownership and more amenities."
Of the projects, only Neo Lofts, 10 SW S. River Dr., has been completed, records show, at a construction cost of $12 million.
Two residential condo projects are under construction – Brisas Del Mar in East Little Havana and River Run South in the western area.
Brisas is to include 160 condos at 556 W. Flagler St. at a cost of more than $9.1 million. River Run, 2415 NW 16th St., is to feature 174 condos at a cost of nearly $12 million.
The rest of the projects include 10 approved projects with estimated total construction costs of more than $307 million. Thirteen other projects are in application or preliminary phases.
Two projects have been canceled – Little Havana Condominiums, 1534 SW Third St., and Little Town, 1215 SW Seventh St. "Projects can be cancelled for any multitude of reasons and, if so, is done by the applicant, not the city. Projects that come for preliminary review once or twice and are never heard from again can be considered canceled," Mr. Walford said.
The applicant for Little Havana Condominiums has taken no action since April 1, 2003, he said. Little Town received Class II approval, good for a year, on Jan. 10, 2003. There has been no activity or request for extension, Mr. Walford said.
The City Commission approves all multiple-use special permits for projects consisting of 200 or more units. That includes four of the pending projects. The projects go through a series of reviews that can include design, historic preservation, urban development, zoning and planning before being voted on by city officials.
The City Commission plans a public meeting at 5 p.m. today (10/7) at Tower Theater in Little Havana to discuss all pending developments for the area as well as a possible promotional brochure.