Around Town with Michael Miller

Miami's Community Newspapers
Michael Miller, Publisher

City leaders finally approved the long-awaited Shops of Sunset redo that includes lots of things, including an “earth shattering” skyline of three very tall and really cool buildings. To be located on the corner of US1 and SW 57 Ave. According to current plans, we can expect to see a 17-story hotel with 180 rooms and two 14-story buildings offering more than 400 apartments.

A few other cool features include a 3,900 sq-ft ground floor community plaza where folks can gather for all sorts of reasons, including to rock and roll to some music or to hear local celebrities share their views – or even serve as a place for comedians to share their talent and put smiles on our faces.

The re-boot of the Shops will surely dramatically change downtown South Miami – for the better – a welcome addition to the City of Pleasant Living, for sure.

City Commission Stuff
By the way, all the commissioners voted in favor of approving The Shops, including a former opponent to the project, Commissioner Walter Harris. Not sure what caused him to do an about-face, but nevertheless he finally did something really good by nodding in the affirmative on this one.

And speaking of the South Miami election, that takes place in February 2020, it’s just around the corner – 10 short months. Who wants to be mayor of this fine city? As the current occupant of that top seat on the dais, Mayor Phil Stoddard, is just plain and simple finally termed out.

Let’s just take a peek at the current possible scenarios:
• Commissioner Josh Liebman, who has famously been serving the city for a while, is up for election and could run for the top slot. He would have a pretty good shot at winning it, but it doesn’t seem he wants the responsibility that comes with the title.
• Then of course, we’ve got Commissioner Bob, who is termed out but could likely win the mayorship without a problem. Bob, who has captured the imagination of South Miami, is a bit, umm, well, how should I say, umm, well… He follows his own path – and that’s all fine and dandy. Bob the ultimate sportsman could probably outdo and outsmart most suitors that might step up for that top prize at City Hall, but he’s keeping quiet as far as his future political aspirations.
• Then of course, Commissioners Harris and Gil could go for it, but at this point it seems unlikely.
• So now it’s down to a few already-declared players: Mark Lago, who ran last time around and came up just a hair short of winning, which frankly was pretty darn good;
• And then there’s my buddy Horace Feliu. Horace served the city as mayor and as a commissioner a couple of times, and says he’s ready to for a come back.

So as of today, that’s it, but wait, there’s more.. Where the heck are all the women that want to run for office in South Miami? Come on ladies, it’s time to break up that damn fraternity over at city hall. Go on over to a commission meeting and just imagine what it will be like sitting up there participating in the process. This is your time, so go for it.

Neighborhood Tunes
Meanwhile, until we get our own great venue for live outdoor music, as planned at the Shops at Sunset, we can always rely on our good neighbors over in the Grove, at The Barnacle Historic State Park. Make a night of it, by packing a well provisioned picnic basket, comfy low lawn chairs, and a beach blanket – and head over this Saturday night, May 11 to see Solar Dogs.

The Solar Dogs are truly a beloved homegrown South Florida band. Their repertoire of Americana and original compositions blends the diverse influences of each band member into what WLRN’s Michael Stock called the “definitive South Florida sound.”

Gates open at 6 p.m., nd the Moonlight Concert starts at 7. And all at a low price of $10 for adults $8 for Barnacle Society members; $3 for kids 6 to 9.; and free for little tikes under 6. The Barnacle Historic State Park. 3485 Main Highway. Coconut Grove, FL 33133. For info, call 305-442-6866 or visit

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  1. Creating a new concrete canyon on the corner of US-1 and SW 57 Ave? Traffic in that area is already a nightmare M-F, and making a huge development out of Sunset Place is likely to make that nightmare worse. Is the current owner in need of relief from the SM building restrictions? If so, I haven’t heard about it yet. Yes, development seems inevitable,but I also don’t want SM to become another Coral Gables, or worse, Manhattan South, with high rise development juxtaposed with single-family residential properties.

  2. I am one who is happy that change is coming to South Miami. For those who wish to turn back the clock the fact is that ain’t going to happen. 1967 is gone. It is either change or die. So good for the commission. I look forward to it.


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