As we begin a new year, we are excited to move forward with the new South Dade/More to Explore marketing initiative that positions our south end of the county for new economic opportunities and growth.
In November, together with community business and civic leaders, we launched the South Dade/More to Explore campaign to put a new focus on the communities and neighborhoods that comprise South Dade. Those of us who live, work and play here know that the assets of South Dade are sometimes akin to a well kept secret.
Ask a South Floridian what lies below Miami’s urban core — away from the sandy beaches, towering high-rises and the international ambience of our downtown — and even life long residents often do not know. Are we talking about rural lands and tropical fruits; NASCAR and national parks; small, historic towns and Old Florida type attractions?
The answer is all of the above. And, it’s the message South Dade’s business and civic leaders are striving to send with a new economic development campaign, South Dade/More to Explore. Last month, a public-private consortium of South Dade boosters unveiled a new marketing campaign heralding the diverse communities that comprise the southern tier of Miami-Dade County, an area that has not always shared in the economic prosperity of locales to the north.
Dating back to the long and difficult recovery from Hurricane Andrew 25 years ago, South Dade has experienced a myriad economic challenges including the downsizing of the area’s military presence, a changing agricultural industry and, in 2008, the severe national recession that brought an onslaught of housing foreclosures and lost business to the area.
Today, South Dade is coming back strong! Its cities and towns are on the cusp of new and exciting economic activity that will provide new opportunities for the nearly one million residents here.
South Dade generally includes the areas south of SW 88th Street bounded by Biscayne Bay to the east and the Everglades to the west. There are five municipalities including Homestead, Pinecrest, Cutler Bay, Palmetto Bay and Florida City, along with large swaths of Unincorporated Miami-Dade.
Today, the region boasts a rich agricultural base in the Redland and abundant parkland that includes two national parks (Biscayne and Everglades). Tropical Florida comes alive in South Dade at Fruit and Spice Park, the popular Robert Is Here fruit stand and Schnebly’s Tropical Winery. A new performing arts center serves as a cultural hub, while Homestead’s recently renovated Seminole Theater exemplifies historic preservation in a city that greeted the arrival of Henry Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railway in 1904.
South Dade is home to attractions diverse as Zoo Miami and the historic Deering Estate to the much beloved Knauss Berry Farm and the Coral Castle. You can experience NASCAR racing, the Homestead Rodeo, great watersports and golf. Our shopping and dining options reflect the region’s diverse population and geography.
South Dade is an ideal locale for business interests with available land zoned for commercial development, affordably-priced housing, excellent healthcare facilities, good public/private schools and numerous institutions of higher learning. Transportation options include a dedicated busway linking communities to downtown Miami. The South Dade economy is primarily comprised of small businesses and there is a strong entrepreneurial spirit throughout the area.
As the county commissioners in South Dade’s Districts 8 and 9, we have forged strong relationships with countywide organizations including the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Beacon Council. The Economic Development Council of South Miami-Dade, headed by local entrepreneur Rene Infante, is taking a leadership role.
Today, South Dade is well positioned for new growth. We invite visitors and residents alike to rediscover why there is more to explore in South Dade