South Miami needs a shot in the arm. Why not use the tools available in our City? How about relocating the Winn Dixie grocery store, and creating a Town Square on the site where Winn Dixie is currently located?
A true Town Square would be a genuine focal point for South Miami’s downtown. Arts & Craft shows, car shows, and holiday celebrations would finally have a home. Additionally, existing restaurants, and new ones to come, would have a park to overlook with their outdoor cafés. Children and bands would be able to play and perform. It would also mean one less development site in the future.
Transfer Development Rights (TDRs) allow municipalities to offer incentives to owners and developers to benefit the city. Why not offer the winning developer of the City Hall bid increased density if it includes a moderately priced grocery store in its mixed-use project? South Miami could offer local property owners increased density or building height on their property, if and only if, they were to buy the Winn Dixie site and turn it into a Town Square! Increased density would bring people downtown, and the Town Square would provide outdoor space for generations to come. Everyone wins.
Tom Byrne is a resident of South Miami and a frequent reader of the South Miami News.