Miami Moving Forward with Showy, $1.5 Billion Worldcenter Development
"The Miami City Commission unanimously voted in favor of zoning changes and a development agreement for the $1.5 billion Miami Worldcenter project," reports David Smiley. The vote will allow developers to submit their plans for the site to the west of downtown.
Worldcenter developers "needed the commission approvals Monday for a special zoning plan and new development agreement after sitting for nearly a decade on the land, located in a blighted neighborhood to the west of downtown. Worldcenter has been planned as a massive retail, hotel and residential complex stretching from 11th Street to Sixth Street, and from North Miami Avenue to Second Avenue.
Smiley also describes the public controversy that surrounded the development plans—on one side are residential and business interests who hope the project will be a catalyst for the area; on the other side are critics with concerns about the terms of the deal that "would allow the developer to privatize public streets for free, cluster bars into an intense nightlife district and erect gaudy billboards."
At the last moment, the development agreement for the project was adjusted "to clarify that any signage on site has to comply with Miami’s new zoning code, and to require that Worldcenter pay a fee should it build over or under any public street."