Residential development in Miami continues to grow
By Yeleny Suarez
The City of Miami's development continues to boom, with 254 projects in the pipeline - 21 more than in mid-January. That includes more than 72,500 residences, adding 5,864 units to the 66,648 in the works just three months ago.
Although the $18 billion projected construction is expected to help double the tax roll, city officials caution that too much of anything is not good.
"It's important to focus on winding down a bit and concentrate on the impact the growth in development will have on things like traffic and schools," said Commissioner Joe Sanchez, "look at all negative aspects of over-development. That is what the city's comprehensive plan like Miami 21 will do."
Miami 21, which is intended to become the city's new zoning ordinance based on smart growth principles, is to be unveiled at an 8:30 a.m. launch Saturday at Miami Dade College's downtown campus.
As he sees more and more development, Commissioner Thomas Regalado also thinks the city should discuss service expansion soon.
"As of now," he said, "we should be thinking of how to expand services like the fire department and police."
Of the 254 projects on the city's list, 39 have been completed at a cost of $2.2 billion and 40 are under construction at a cost of $4.1 billion.
Another 67 at $9.2 billion have been approved, 21 at $959 million are in application phases and 87 at $1.4 billion are in preliminary phases.
Downtown is the focal point of Miami's development frenzy, with 87 projects totaling 40,454 residences at an estimated construction cost of $12.9 billion.
The next most active areas in the city are Wynwood/Edgewater, with 8,940 planned housing units at $2.2 billion, and Coral Way, with 25 projects including 3,192 housing units at $300 million.
Twenty-three projects are planned for East Little Havana with 3,547 residences ($252 million); 15 for Allapattah with 3,738 units ($572 million); 13 for the upper east side with 1,292 units, ($319 million); 12 for northeastern Coconut Grove with 1,724 units ($669 million); 10 for Flagami, with 6,870 units ($455 million); seven for Overtown with 1,358 housing units ($129 million); four for West Flagler with 642 units ($35 million); three for Little Haiti with 322 units ($40 million); two for Model City with 271 units ($23 million) and one for southwestern Coconut Grove with 42 units ($42 million).
Tax roll projections for the city are due next month, Larry Spring, city budget and strategic planning chief, has said. From 2003 to 2004 the tax rolls grew $3 billion, and today they're at $22.5 billion. Added taxes could provide the basis for added services.
Commissioner Sanchez says Miami is experiencing a lot of growth and it is important to start putting in some controls.
"What worries me is we don't have the high-paying jobs in the city to accommodate the high-end growth," he said. "Development is good for the city, but we need to bring in more corporations to bring in high-paying jobs to balance it out."