Proposed: A 10-mile ‘linear park' underneath Miami's Metrorail
A Miami effort hopes to mimic the success of Manhattan's linear park.
In 2006, New York City began converting an abandoned 1.45-mile section of elevated railroad track on the west side of Manhattan into a linear park called the High Line. Today, the park gets more than 5 million visitors a year.
In Miami, a non-profit group is pushing the idea of a 10-mile linear park underneath the Metrorail elevated mass transit tracks from the Miami River south to Dadeland. Called the Miami Underline, the park would include bike and walking paths, landscaping and connections to other transit and parks. Miami-Dade Transit owns all the land under the proposed Underline, including a poorly lit, poorly landscaped space called M-Path.
The non-profit Friends of the Underline is leading the effort, which has gained the backing of the county's transit and parks departments, as well as Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who wrote in a Miami Herald guest column that it would "be the largest urban trail directly connected to transit in the country."
In 2014, University of Miami School of Architecture students created a concept design for the Underline, and UM School of Business students conducted an economic impact study on the potential for commercial development related to the park around two Metrorail stations.
Friends of the Underline hired James Corner Field Operations, the New York firm that co-designed the High Line, to draw up a master plan for the concept. The cities of Miami, South Miami and Coral Gables, plus the Knight Foundation, Miami Foundation, Health Foundation of South Florida and the Mitchell Wolfson Foundation are footing the $500,000 bill for the plan, which should be delivered in September.
Friends of the Underline will seek private and public funding to build and maintain the park.
CORAL GABLES — Benworth Capital Partners launched Fundrageous, a real estate crowdfunding platform. It hopes to raise $50 million.
DORAL — AMLI Residential paid $103.5 million to purchase the 352- unit Signature at Doral apartment complex.
HIALEAH — Gerard Keating, the largest landowner in the area around the Hialeah Market Tri- Rail station, proposed a community of homes and commercial buildings around the station, as well as the formation of a community redevelopment agency.
MARATHON — Palm Beach Gardens-based Eastwind Development received City Council permission to move forward with Tarpon Harbour, a 106-unit rental community with 62 workforce housing units, 44 market-rate units and a marina.
MIAMI — Venezuelan banking family the Benacerrafs have a deal to purchase Espirito Santo Bank for $10 million. Espirito Santo's Portugal-based parent company, Banco Espirito Santo, put the Miami-based bank up for sale after European regulators seized it last year. » Air conditioning and heating projects distributor Watsco initiated Watsco Ventures, an accelerator program for early-stage companies focused on HVAC systems, supply chain management, sales and marketing, environmentally friendly products and services. » Pharmaceutical firm Opko Health acquired Ireland-based EirGen Pharma, which manufactures high-potency drugs (such as those used for chemotherapy) that require special facilities. EirGen is profitable and has product applications with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, as well as European and Japanese agencies. » The Vagabond Group, which has restored several properties in the city's MiMo district, purchased the historic Miami River Inn hotel for $8.6 million.
The 58-unit inn was built in 1906. » A 200-room Vib hotel — a new boutique brand from Best Western — will anchor a 7.4-acre residential and retail development in the city's Edgewater neighborhood by developer Richard Meruelo. Also in Edgewater, New York-based Mack Real Estate Group paid $18.75 million to buy a 106,801-sq.-ft. building and parking lot from Miami- based Terra Group and developer Avra Jain of Vagabond Group. Maryland-based Federal Realty Investment Trust, Miami-based Grass River Property and Miami Beach-based Comras acquired the 198,000-sq.- ft. Coco-Walk entertainment and shopping center in the city's Coconut Grove neighborhood for $87.5 million. FRIT owns 80% of the center. Also in Coconut Grove, Spain-based Allegra Holding paid $42 million to purchase Bayview Executive Plaza and Continental Plaza, which total 137,535 square feet. » Simon Group joined Swire Properties and Whitman Family Development as developers of Brickell City Centre's retail components.
MIAMI BEACH — Miami-based Market Street Real Estate Partners paid $23 million to purchase Meridian Center, a 62,748-sq.-ft. office building just north of Lincoln Road in South Beach. » In North Miami Beach, 11th Floor Investments and Key International plan the Harbour — a 4½-acre development with 425 condo units, a marina and a water sports club.
MIAMI-DADE — Florida International University's School of International and Public Affairs received a $20-million gift from Ambassador Steven J. Green, his family and the Green Family Foundation. FIU renamed the school after Steven Green. » Miami City Self Storage plans to build six self-storage facilities around the county. » More than 400,000 county residents enrolled in health insurance through the Affordable Care Act during the recent signup period — more than any other county in the state and more than 43 states.
CareCloud, a medical practice management, billing and electronic health records company, has received another $15 million from investors. Developer Rilea Group has proposed building two 12-story rental apartment and retail towers between the Dadeland North Metrorail Station and Dadeland Mall.
NORTH MIAMI BEACH — The city has changed its zoning code to allow for greater density in certain areas and to require ground-floor retail and active street uses. The city is also offering incentives for developers. North Lauderdale-based Grand Island Square paid $21.5 million to purchase the two Grand Island Place apartment buildings, which have a total of 259 units.
SURFSIDE — Israel-based ASRR Capital and Istanbul-based Suzer Group have a deal to purchase a nearly one-acre, 41-unit oceanfront condominium for $40 million. They plan to redevelop the project into a high-end hotel and condos.
CareCloud hired Ken Comée as CEO, replacing founder Alberto Santalo, who becomes the company's chairman and chief strategy officer. Comée is a longtime board member and adviser to the company.
Ryder System promoted Melvin Kirk to chief information officer, replacing the retiring Keyvan Bohlooli.