If all goes according to plan, North Miami residents can expect a newly developed and vibrant urban center, brimming with restaurants, housing and recreational areas for all to enjoy.
The city is looking to revitalize its nine-acre downtown area – the heart of which is found at the intersection of NE Seventh Avenue and NE 125th Street – through a public-private partnership, or P3, expected to result in the redevelopment of three key institutions.
The partnership, officially announced July 28 at a symposium held by the city, will be conducted through a phased-out approach. The first phase will bring about the construction of an entirely new four-story City Hall of approximately 110,000 square feet.
Next, the city is planning for an annex to the police station to add about 45,000 square feet to the existing department building, followed by an expansion of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) of approximately 25,000 square feet through a vertical addition to the cultural arts institution.
The partnership will also create a structured parking garage for both public and private use with more than 400 parking spaces in the heart of the downtown complex, as well as opportunities for workforce housing, spaces for public and commercial use, and a new hotel.
For now, much remains undecided as the city embarks on a search for a private developer to bring the first phase to fruition. That process will begin in the coming week as the city releases an initial request for proposals and is expected to conclude by the end of October, after which the developer will work with the P3 team and city government to form an official construction plan and timeline by spring of next year.
Also up in the air is a specific dollar amount representing the city’s budget for the whole project, but that detail and more will be settled once the team can meet with the selected contractors and developers who will ultimately bring the city’s vision to life.
“Because we are dealing with a private partner, we are allowing them to provide us with how they believe they can fulfill what we’re looking for,” said City Manager Theresa Therilus.
“We’re just going to make the best decision for our residents,” said Councilwoman Kassandra Timothe, who spearheaded the idea for a public-private partnership before it was unanimously approved as an ordinance in February.
Still, for councilmembers, one thing is for certain: North Miami needs a makeover.
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