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Miami Today News - November 2, 2006
Miami issues $12 million grant, permit for Overtown project
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By Deserae del Campo
developer Crosswinds last week got want it wanted from the Miami City
Commission \u2014 a major use special permit to build its Sawyer's Walk
in Overtown and a $12 million subsidy for infrastructure and parking.
exchange, the city stands to gain $4.8 million in tax-increment funds
annually from the massive mixed-use development starting in 2014, said
Mathew Schwartz, Crosswinds director of urban development. But the
money can be generated only if "the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County
decide to extend the lives of the redevelopment agencies for an
additional 20 years," Mr. Schwartz said.
Under an agreement with
the City of Miami and the developers, Mr. Schwartz said, "the
tax-increment funds generated by the project until 2013 will be
funneled back into Sawyer's Walk and used for infrastructure needs and
He projected the project will generate $12 million in tax-increment funds through 2013.
voted 4-1 last Thursday to grant Crosswinds the building permit for
Sawyer's Walk, a four-building residential project with 1,050 units and
75,000 square feet of retail and office space. The decision came after
several hours of arguments that included complaints from Overtown
residents who claimed Sawyer's Walk amounts to gentrification that will
display residents from their community.
promised to increase planned affordable units from 50 to 112 for
current Overtown residents. An additional 210 units will be sold below
market value, the developers said.
The $200 million-plus
Sawyer's Walk is to rise on land that the county could take back if
construction wasn't under way by August 2007. Crosswinds developers
hope to begin groundbreaking by early summer 2007.
The land is
also under litigation involving the Miami Arena owner Glenn Straub, who
is suing the city for not putting the land out to bid for development,
and Power U Center for Social Change, an Overtown group that claims the
land was promised to benefit local Overtown businesses, residents and
The lawsuits may slow construction for Sawyer's Walk, but Mr. Schwartz said they will not halt construction completely.
next step is to start the designs of the project and put the financing
together and get these two court litigations out of the way," he said
"It won't stop the project, but it could slow it down somewhat."
Overtown/Parkwest and Omni Redevelopment Agencies are counting on the
county to extend their lives to 2027. They expect to receive about $340
million in tax-increment funds that would be used to finance projects
within their borders.
The tax money is expected from residential and commercial development projects going up in both areas.
Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones announced the allocation of
$30 million in tax-increment funds from the Community Redevelopment
Agencies to build affordable and middle-income housing in Overtown and
"This is a huge commitment from the
Community Redevelopment Agency," she said. "There are families out
there just trying to survive."