Tri-Rail inches forward after Miami City Commission vote

Miami /
Jul.July 24, 2015 12:00 PM

Miami’s City Commission late Thursday approved two measures that will authorize funding to link Tri-Rail commuter trains between Miami International Airport and the new privately financed rail hub in downtown Miami.

Commissioners voted to approve more than $8 million in city funds for the project and recommended that an additional $17.5 million be allocated to the project from funds paid to the Overtown Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). That funding proposal is expected to finalized next Monday by the CRA.

Tri-Rail still needs to obtain an additional $20 million in funding from the state to complete the $69 million project, which seeks to bring Tri-Rail commuter rail service to a downtown Miami station. All Aboard Florida, which plans rail service between Miami and Orlando, is building the station that will anchor a huge commercial complex.

Tri-Rail is a subsidiary of the publicly funded South Florida Regional Transportation Authority. The organization has received commitments from other local governments and authorities for funding, including $13.9 million from Miami-Dade County officials.

But Thursday’s funding proposals nearly became de-railed after city officials balked at providing an additional $750,000 to cover debt service on the $17 million funding proposal expected to be finalized by the Overtown CRA. City attorneys objected to the proposal, as did District 5 commissioner Keon Hardemon, who represents Overtown residents. A compromise proposal that would have had Tri-Rail use its own funds to cover the debt service and get reimbursed by the CRA for that amount in construction costs failed.

Tri-Rail Executive Director Jack Stephens told The Real Deal that he will find the money to bridge the funding gap. “We still have to get $750,000 to get across the line,” he adds. “This is a small matter. We have to find it somewhere, so what I did was commit to somehow find it.”

Stephens has said that once the project is finished, 26 trains could travel daily between Palm Beach and a downtown Miami Central Station. In 2002, Miami-Dade voters approved a half-cent sales tax to fund transportation projects through the Citizens Independent Transportation Trust. Commuter rail supporters say without a downtown Tri-Rail station, traffic congestion will only get worse in Miami, which has seen its downtown population double to more than 80,000 residents and it tax base grow to $13 billion in recent years.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and an aerial of the Government Center redevelopment (Getty, Google Maps)
Miami-Dade seeks partners for Government Center redevelopment
Miami-Dade seeks partners for Government Center redevelopment
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Commissioner Joe Carollo (Getty)
Controversial Virginia Key homeless camp plan put on hold
Controversial Virginia Key homeless camp plan put on hold
Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian and Gencom Founder and Principal Karim Alibhai with a rendering of the proposed three-tower development at 400 Southeast Second Avenue (James L. Knight Center) (LinkedIn, Gencom, Arquitectonica)
Hyatt, Gencom score Miami commission approval for James L. Knight Center referendum
Hyatt, Gencom score Miami commission approval for James L. Knight Center referendum
Lions Group's Albert Shirian, Fortis Design + Build's Andrew Lenahan and David Polinsky with renderings of the M Tower apartment project (LinkedIn, Fortis Design + Build, Nichols Architects)
Lions, Fortis Design propose 57-story apartment tower in downtown Miami
Lions, Fortis Design propose 57-story apartment tower in downtown Miami
Marc Anthony with One Thousand Museum (Getty, Refin)
Marc Anthony among buyers at Zaha Hadid-designed One Thousand Museum
Marc Anthony among buyers at Zaha Hadid-designed One Thousand Museum
Property Markets Group’s Ryan Shear, Kevin Maloney, Dan Kaplan and Greybrook’s Peter Politis with rendering of The Elser Hotel & Residences (Property Markets Group, Greybrook, Levy PR, iStock)
Here’s what happens to renters after developer converts Miami apartment tower to condos
Here’s what happens to renters after developer converts Miami apartment tower to condos
Plaza 100 building and the Brickell Arch office tower (JLL, Brickell Arch, iStock)
Lease roundup: Ritz Carlton’s yacht service leases in Fort Lauderdale, Hermès at 150 Alhambra
Lease roundup: Ritz Carlton’s yacht service leases in Fort Lauderdale, Hermès at 150 Alhambra
The Comras Company's Michael Comras with 6901 Biscayne Boulevard (Getty, The Comras Company, iStock)
Up in smoke? Comras loses bid to open medical marijuana dispensary
Up in smoke? Comras loses bid to open medical marijuana dispensary
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...