I’m taking this opportunity to follow up on an issue that was brought to our attention by Grant Miller and Michael Miller, the publishers of Community Newspapers, back in November, 2013. At that time, they contacted me to make us aware of a growing community concern – the safety and cleanliness of the Metrorail stations; particularly, the overpasses which connect both sides of the road to the Metrorail station and platforms. Much work needed to be done in the areas of cleanliness and maintenance for all of the Overpasses (and stations that they are connected to) in regard to lighting, upkeep, maintenance, safety, and overall cleanliness.
I’m pleased to share that my office has been working closely with Miami-Dade Transit (MDT) Director, Ms. Ysela Llort, in order to properly address these ongoing concerns. One of the initial areas of focus was at the Douglas Road (37th Avenue) Metrorail Overpass station. Since that time, MDT has stepped up their cleaning schedule, and significant improvements have been made in the overall cleanliness and appearance of the overpass, on the grounds, as well as in the elevators on both sides. The lighting has been adjusted and improved, inside the elevators, and on the overpass bridge. Finally, the best news is that the overpass received a much-needed and long-overdue facelift – the outside was re-painted on the building / elevator portion of the structure, and the overpass bridge was given a fresh coat of paint, as well. Kudos to Director Llort and her staff for their prompt follow-through on this important initiative and issue which affects the entire community.
However, more work remains to be completed. At present, there is still graffiti on the inside of the elevator windows, as well as on both front elevator doors, and the stairwells on both sides need to be re-paved and re-painted in the next available scheduled maintenance cycle. Unfortunately, since the outside walls just received a beautiful face-lift within the last few weeks, there is now new graffiti on the walls facing the Frankie Rolle Center, and we have already notified Director Llort and the appropriate staffing individuals at MDT to look into addressing this situation further.
The good news, is, these positive steps for the community by MDT, can now be linked with the buzz word of the day: redevelopment. Our office is happy to announce that the adjoining facility, otherwise known as the Frankie Shannon Rolle Service Center, located at 3750 S. Dixie Highway, is about to be launched with a bid for purchase and development, by the private sector. The Metrorail Overpass at Douglas Road will likely be tied into, and included in an Request-for-Information (RFI) and any RFPs or bids that follow suit, by potential developers. Possible “highest and best purposes” for this site and facility can be mixed-use, to include residential, retail, social services, and/or affordable housing. We have initiated conversations with affordable housing developers, as well as other commercial realtors, to generate interest in such a project. Overall, this site is just over two(2) acres (91,838 square feet), which, connected to a Metrorail station, can positively impact all Miami-Dade County residents, not just those in adjoining Coconut Grove. The Frankie Shannon Rolle Service Center building currently sits at 25,488 square feet.
As a current update, my office has scheduled a meeting with Deputy Mayor Russell Benford, whose office oversees this property, on March 31, 2014, to discuss the next steps for this property and determine appropriate uses and functions for the site, going forward. More details and information to follow.