The Real Deal Miami

Miami commission votes for Worldcenter for third time

Critics argue deal didn't bring Overtown enough
February 13, 2015 10:30AM

Miami Worldcenter rendering and Nitin Motwani

Miami Worldcenter rendering and Nitin Motwani

Despite critics repeatedly pushing for better job commitments, city of Miami commissioners approved Miami Worldcenter’s amended development agreement on Thursday.

Critics argue the deal didn’t bring Overtown enough, the Miami Herald reported, and compared wages to Brickell City Centre’s workforce.

In September, commissioners approved zoning changes and a development agreement for the $1.06 billion development. In December, Southeast Overtown/Park West Redevelopment Agency agreed to an $88 million tax subsidy package, angering the same Overtown residents, labor officials and community activists who attended Thursday’s meeting.

“When people tell me Brickell City Centre is building in Brickell and they didn’t need a tax incentive, I laugh,” Commissioner Keon Hardemon, who negotiated the subsidy package, told Miami Herald. “If they were in a CRA … they would be before us asking for dollars.

“People don’t build in Overtown, not because the land isn’t there, [but] because it’s an untested market where people are dying in the street and no one feels safe in that community … This is bigger than 80-something, $90 million over 14 years,” Hardemon said, according to the Herald.

A second heating is set for Feb. 26. [Miami Herald] — Katherine Kallergis