Monday, November 05, 2007

Miami's Park West and Soul Street U.S.A

Miami's Park West is back in the news. Overtown, Miami's historic black neighborhood, and other parts of this run down downtown business district have been grouped together by the City into a CRA called Park West. Designed to attract investors and developers via tax incentives and special use permitting, Park West's most prominent sign of its existence has been nightclubs. Low rent and 6am closing time's make it a no brainer for anyone wanting to open a club.

When we first heard about this years ago, we thought a sign at Biscayne Boulevard and N.E. 11th street marking the main entrance to Park West and the biggest nightclubs was in order. Besides featuring a revolving disco ball and a Jumbotron screen featuring ads from the clubs, it also came with its own graffiti-- "Party" was tagged partially over "Park." It was our personal contribution to a great City of Miami idea. It went over like most of our ideas: Nothing. No feed back. Nothing.

Now we hear that a Boca Raton company known as The Falcone Group has been quietly buying up much of Park West for several years. Art Falcone and Marc Roberts revealed in the Miami Herald that they now have more than 20 acres that will include "soaring office and hotel towers, condos, shops and plazas immediately west of Biscayne Boulevard."

Falcone and Roberts are true visionaries and deserve an
We hope they will also consider our other proposal for Park West which is "Soul Street U.S.A" since it includes much of what the dynamic duo is proposing-- except that it focuses on Overtown's African American heritage. Falcone and Roberts assembled lots abut the Miami Arena and another MVB idea: The Miami Megaplex which includes our proposal for a downtown Miami baseball stadium built over an existing MetroRail line and a proposed FEC commuter rail and BayLink monorail.

To see an architectural rendering of what Falcone and Roberts are proposing, please go to one of our favorite local blogs: BoB.

The Miami Herald is currently posting a slide show of the project here but, since they never lock links, there are no guarantees that this link will be functioning in the future.

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