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Herald - September 17, 2006
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M housing bond a go
South Miami's Community Redevelopment Agency received a boost from county
commissioners who approved a plan to improve a blighted neighborhood.
BY JASMINE KRIPALANI
County commissioners gave the
go-ahead Tuesday for a $2.73 million bond to help build a mixed-use
affordable-housing project in South Miami and extend the city's
Community Redevelopment Agency until 2020.
decision was applauded by many in the neighborhood the agency was
created to help.
''I think it was great. I'm
overjoyed. Economic development is coming to our community,'' said Rev.
Gregory V. Gay Sr., of the St. John AME Church.
and others said the area where the Madison Square project is planned,
at Southwest 64th Street and 59th Place, had been neglected for years.
Horace Feliu on Tuesday led a parade of residents and officials before
county commissioners touting plans for the development, which would
include 50 to 60 units selling from $150,000 to $200,000.
the city's Community Redevelopment Agency first needs to acquire
various properties and then find a developer interested in building the
project, which would also include a bank and a Laundromat.
the agency will need to prevent investors from purchasing the low-cost
property to sell for a profit.
James McCants, the
agency's outreach coordinator, said the contracts with developers would
require them to sell properties to people with the intention of keeping
them for at least 15 years.
The Madison Square
Project faced a setback at the May 8 city commission meeting when
officials voted down a $1.4 million loan to purchase needed land. The
idea lacked one vote.
But the county's approval of
the bond means the agency can obtain the loan from SunTrust Bank and
repay it with taxes from area businesses including the Shops at Sunset
Place, Don O'Donniley said.
Some had argued the city
would be responsible if the agency defaulted on its loan.
said that won't happen.
''It will essentially pay
for itself,'' O'Donniley said. ``All funds used are raised within taxes
from properties from Sunset Drive north to Miller Drive and that
includes the Shops at Sunset Place. The tax base has more than doubled,
and we have every reason to know it will grow and there will be more
revenues to [repay the loan].''
That bond, which
will mature in June 2020, will be paid quarterly beginning next year.
Herald Staff Writer Charles Rabin contributed to this report