Brickell name battle dormant - for now
By Deserae del Campo
A last-minute bid to stretch the Brickell Avenue name north of the Miami River via shirttails on two state transportation bills failed last week. But the battle of Brickell is not over, according to a proponent of extending the name.
"This is not a short-term issue," said Jack Lowell, vice chairman of Codina Realty Inc., which represents a downtown developer and wants to extend the name. "I believe this will go on, with legislation taking it into next year."
The effort first was attached to a House transportation bill that failed last week. Brickell Area Association members, who oppose using the valued brand name downtown, were nervous opponents would take the same route with Senate Bill 1766, to which the name extension also was attached.
That bill passed in the Senate but not in the House, so it died when the annual legislative session ended Friday, said Barbara Beaudry, association board member.
"That gives us almost a year for the community to sit down and resolve this issue," she said. "People with interest in the Brickell name north of the river can choose a name that gives a whole new dimension for that area of the city, and we would work with them."
The battle began last month when a bid to extend the name downtown along Southeast Second Avenue reached the City Commission. But City Attorney Jorge L. Fernandez advised commissioners, who said they were torn in both directions, that only the state could act because it controls Brickell, a federal highway.
"It is unfortunate that such tactics were employed - that is, tacking on the amendment to House Bill 7077 and, at the last minute, adding it as a filed floor amendment to Senate Bill 1766," said Hal Martell, Brickell Area Association president. "Sadly, our current legislative process enables those kinds of thing to happen."