Long-discussed streetscape improvements for Miracle Mile and Giralda Avenue in downtown Coral Gables were approved by city commissioners earlier this week.
Initiated by the Business Improvement District of Coral Gables, the $19 million phased project will include wider sidewalks, public art displays, open plazas and numerous cosmetic upgrades to the streets. Proponents want to create a more pedestrian-friendly downtown area that resembles Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road. Giralda Avenue, known in the city as “Restaurant Row,” will be closed to vehicular traffic at certain times.
The city is preparing a Request For Qualifications for a project designer. It plans to issue a General Obligation Bond to fund half of the improvement costs. Property owners within the Business Improvement District are being assessed the other half over a 20-year period, with pre-payment options available.
City officials are also reviewing subsidies and other financing sources to potentially reduce the district assessments. — Eric Kalis