Table of Contents

February Issue

Highlights

Cover Story

The Miami World Center

One of the largest private mixed-use developments in the United States. Raul Guerrero.

View from the Caoba Tower. Miami World Center.

The Miami Worldcenter engulfs ten blocks between NE 2nd and North Miami Avenues, and from 6th to 11th Streets. The 27-acre spread — a mini-city within downtown’s Park West neighborhood — includes the old Arena, where the Marriot Marquis will build a convention center.

It’s comparable to the Hudson Yards, the mammoth development in New York City, suggests Nitin Motwani, the development group’s managing principal. He adds that it may well transform the way we experience Miami: “This is a city that unfortunately is not known for its parks and public spaces but has the weather that we do. We hope that people will start to appreciate the outside in a way they didn’t have the opportunity to do before.” Read More.

Our Streets

Pedestrians Versus Motorists

Considering the number of commuters, and the growing number of people calling downtown home, fighting for the right to downtown streets was bound to get deadly. To tell a pedestrian, “Run for your life!” at certain intersections would not be hyperbole. “I almost got hit by a car,” is a common complaint aired to the Downtown Neighbors Alliance. Read More.

News in Brief

Increased Parking Rates

Noise Pollution

Accessing Your Building

The Neighborhood

Postcards from Downtown

Department of Serious Fun. Jessica Boudreaux.

Unlike the rest of us who rush in and out of a shop, David loves a good conversation with strangers, and because he’s recently retired, takes his time getting to know the myriad of people selling random wares in Downtown Miami. As an added bonus, many of them are also Jews from around the world. We have exchanged downtown contacts for everything from shoe and jewelry repair to gift wrapping, all at a bargain. It now feels like a little community. Read more.

Downtown Shopping

The Miami Worldcenter rendition.

A Business Perspective. Matilda Kalaveshi.

Inspired by the iconic Lincoln Road, this open-air shopping area and lifestyle center will feature cafes, restaurants, shopping boutiques, and even a public plaza. The retail space alone encompasses a whopping 300,000 sq. feet. Nitin Motwani, one of the managing principals of this project, noted that MWC will serve as the zeitgeist of downtown. It will be the place where friends meet up for a drink before a game, families go for strolls and get a bite to eat, girlfriends spend a day of shopping and residents enjoy the amenities available to them including a pet-friendly dog track. Mr. Motwani is confident that this mixed-use development will deliver not just entertainment, a superlative dining and retail experience, but will also offer a chance for people to feel a sense of belonging and community. Read More.

Spotlight

An Artist Through and Through

Gabriela is half Venezuelan, half Spanish, but a Downtown-Miamian at heart. She studied theater in one of Madrid’s most important schools: Laboratorio de Teatro William Layton. Once graduated, she emigrated to Miami out of love.

Too often we only credit performers for a show’s success, but it takes hard work to set the stage for stars to shine. Actually, observed British Actress Sara Suton, what you don’t see backstage is what controls the show. Gabriela, or Gaby, as her friends call her, is both, the star and a backstage force. Read More.

Brightline: A Photo Essay

Niels Johansen, photography.

When boarding the train, employees wave as if you were embarking on a circumnavigation of the globe. Soon becomes apparent that waving is contagious.

Contrary to other commuter trains, Brightline assigns a seat to each guest. Trains run hourly. Service is available between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. The fare for each segment is $10 in Smart Coach and $15 for Select. Miami-West Palm Beach is $15 and $25, respectively. Read More.

Commentary

Competitive Advantage

Chris Caines.

The ingredients of success — from our favorable geography and entrepreneurial spirit to our brilliant diversity and talented population — are here.

Ready or not, venture capital is impacting South Florida in a substantial way. With both investment and deal-flow tripling in Greater Miami from 2005 to 2017, the conversation should now shift to scalability (how do we grow workforce in our venture-backed businesses and create more well-paying jobs) as well as to the implications of venture-backed successes. Read More.

Editorial

About the Downtown Neighbors Alliance

Amal Solh Kabbani, DNA President.

An apt definition for the DNA is that of clearinghouse for the myriad issues thirty-thousand residents face in a fast-changing neighborhood. To name just some of these issues: street signage, lights not working in the parks where residents walk their dogs after work, street closures, criminals hiding behind the appearance of the bona fide homeless, unruly boats disrupting the night with noise, policing and creating media awareness. Accordingly, we have the protagonists — be they a new Police Commander or representatives from the Signature Bridge and Formula 1 — come and address these issues before our residents. Read More.

Affordable Housing

Raul Guerrero, Downtown NEWS Editor.

On December 13, the City of Miami Commission passed unanimously inclusionary litigation sponsored by District 2 Commissioner Ken Russell. It mandates developers in designated zones to allocate apartments for the local workforce, including teachers and police officers. To qualify, you must make between 60 and 120 percent of the Miami-Dade $45,000 income median.

And what waters the garden of the developers’ generosity? More density, meaning they would be able to build extra floors to offset the market-rate difference. As it stands now, 14% percent of the units in new developments will be for workforce/affordable housing. The model has successfully been tried in a voluntary manner, hence some developers are on board. Read More.

Letters to the Editor

Criminals Hide behind the Homeless. Jorge Sanchez.

Request for Commissioner Ken Russell. Michael Feuling.

Cultural Compass

Little Gems

Chocolate sculpture by Brielle Fratellone.

Performance, Engineering, Arts + Science Salon, Opera, a Jazz Master Class, Shakespeare for Children in the Park. Islara Souto.

Downtown’s cultural offerings are increasingly rich. Not only the PAMMs and Arsht Centers, which are second to none, but in this issue, while we cover the Frost Science Museum, the focus is on less-known productions, little gems crafted by individuals, community organizations, or our neighboring college. Downtown NEWS seeks to highlight those smaller events that none-the-less forge a local identity. Read More.

Eat like a Local

Soya & Pomodoro

Soya & Pomodoro, NE 120 1st, DowntownMiami, Fl 33132. Photo Courtesy of Soya & Pomodoro. soyaepomodoro.com

Aurea Veras.

The old Soya & Pomodoro motto remains fresh as the chef’s choice for the daily ingredients: simple food made with love. Once you enter the place, can’t help but wonder how you detoured from Ne 1st Street, the downtown Central Business District, to an Italian neighborhood — with clothes hanging above to dry and all?

Our table boasts mismatched chairs, and the table, who knows where it came from? But it adds authenticity. And a bass player submerged in a world all his own improvises old jazz. Read More.

Downtown NEWS: The Neighborhood Perspective

The Perfect Vehicle to Connect Sponsors to the exclusive downtown Market.

Contact Downtown NEWS

The Greater Downtown Miami is one of the country’s fastest-growing urban centers, accounting for nearly 100 thousand residents. The downtown proper — the Central Business District and the Arts and the Park West neighborhood — represents one-third of this exclusive niche market. Read More.

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