Proposed shopping center on Old Cutler under study

The Shoppes of Cutler Bay, a proposed shopping center that reportedly will feature a large Publix Supermarket as well as other stores, was the topic of discussion during a Mar. 6 meeting of the Concerned Citizens of Cutler Bay (CCCB), according to CCCB member and resident Steve Zarzecki.

“The meeting went very well,” Zarzecki said. “We had 60 to 65 people. The meeting was held at the Cutler Ridge United Methodist Church, which is right across the street from the potato field, which is going to be developed. Many of the people who came to the meeting were immediate neighbors, and there is a lot of concern from them, especially the ones on the east side of the development, which will be the back side of the new Publix.

“There were concerns expressed about the impact it would have on the neighborhood and on the traffic on Old Cutler Road, but mainly it was an opportunity for the attorney for the property owner to make a presentation of what it is that they want to do. I am very proud of our community for acting responsibly and being friendly when asking their questions,” he added.

Popularly known as the “potato field,” the area east of Old Cutler Road and south of 208th Street to 212th Street is the site of the planned project that was submitted to the Town of Cutler Bay’s Zoning Department on Jan. 18 of this year. Afull site plan was submitted, along with a requested zoning change.

The area presently is zoned FLU-Mixed Use, AU (Agricultural/Residential), GU (Interim District) and RU2 (Two-family Residential District). The request asks that the zoning be changed to BU-1A (Business District limited). The documents filed state: “The proposed project on the property is a retail and shopping facility anchored by a grocery store, as well as four other retail buildings that will house a variety of shops and stores for the residents of Cutler Bay, including proposed banking facilities and restaurants.” The area of the proposed “Shoppes of Cutler Bay” center is about 11 acres with adjacent property for future development, as further described in the submitted documents:

“The site plan depicts a shopping plaza with a single large grocery store, as well as four additional buildings on the property. Three of those buildings front on Old Cutler Road, in response to the town’s vision for the Old Cutler Road corridor, and in accordance with the Old Cutler Road Zoning Overlay District. The Old Cutler Road Overlay District provides for certain standards, uses and regulations for property along Old Cutler Road as a complement to other standards, uses and regulations in the underlying zoning district. The property is part of a larger tract of land, totaling approximately 35 acres, which remains undeveloped and is adjacent to Old Cutler Road. The development of the property will serve as the catalyst for the future development of the entire 35 acres by providing for a much needed modern mixed-use center that reflects the vision the town and its residents have desired and will comply with the requirements of the Old Cutler Road Zoning Overlay District.”

The owner of the property is GCF Investments Inc. (owner Ruben Garcia of Miami). The property was acquired in 1986, and there are arrangements to sell or lease it to PV-Cutler Bay, LLC (owned by Michael R. Conner and George Kidman of Safety Harbor, FL).

The project is under study and still pending public hearings and decisions by the town’s zoning department and council members.

For information on future meetings of Concerned Citizens of Cutler Bay, call Steve Zarzecki at 305-255-4351.

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