A Year in Review
A View from Flagler Street
By Terrell Fritz
Happy first anniversary to Downtown NEWS!
A year ago, in “A View from Flagler Street”, I mentioned a friend who suggested my love for the historic Flagler corridor in Downtown Miami seemed like an “abusive relationship”. To that, I responded, “Hey, I’m happy at least one day out of every week.”
. . . what a difference a year makes.
The most exciting news is that the Flagler Beautification streetscape project is back in motion. Lanzo Construction has just been engaged by the City of Miami for the “Pre-Construction Phase” of the project. The ultimate objective — a “festival street” — a colorful, curb-less, and textured public street with wide sidewalks for a “creative neighborhood” café district. The new and improved design and project plan will go to Miami City Commission for final approvals before the summer break in August.
What else happened since last year?
1. The Miami Film Festival decided to move its home base, “taking a lead from the cool kids and leaving South Beach for the hipper Downtown Miami area,” Miami Herald
2. A much-delayed State of Florida $500,000 preservation grant was approved to begin planning for façade restoration of the historic Olympia Theater.
3. Last December, “Miami Art Week in the Flagler District”, positioned Downtown Miami as the newest art destination with 10 days of programming in more than 20 venues during Basel/Art Week.
4. New businesses opened in and around the Flagler District, including:
- Mirabelle by George B, the French restaurant and bakery, featuring Georges Berger, a Meilleur Ouvrier de France chef, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, and coffee until 10/11pm at 114 SE 1st Street.
- Lost Boy Dry Goods, the new signature lunch, happy hour and evening destination at 157 E Flagler Street, taking advantage of the recently passed alcoholic beverage zoning.
- Mama Tried Miami, a sensational new neighborhood bar with a perfect jukebox and live music in groovy digs at 207 NE 1st Street.
- Silverspot Cinema Downtown Miami, offering films and events in 16 state-of-the-art auditoriums, with reclining seats, a full menu of food and drink options and a bar/restaurant area at 300 SE 3rd Street.
- Brightline/Virgin USA at MiamiCentral, providing a walking distance, quick passenger rail connection to Downtown Fort Lauderdale and Downtown West Palm Beach. 600 NW 1st Avenue
Flagler District BID
And working to support all of the above, the new Flagler Business Improvement District (Flagler District BID) was formed last June to champion “creative neighborhood” improvements throughout historic Downtown Miami. To find out everything that’s going on Downtown, follow the BID’s Facebook Page or Event Page at http://bit.ly/2C6HqAm
It’s one year later, and there’s a lot of work in front of us, but “Hey, now I’m happy at least three days out of every week!”
Terrell Fritz is a Downtown resident, historian and Executive Director of the Flagler District BID.
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