Rick Scott declares Wynwood is Zika-free, business owners relieved

Miami /
Sep.September 19, 2016 12:45 PM

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday announced Zika is no longer a threat to Wynwood, even though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has not officially lifted a health advisory warning pregnant women, those who want to get pregnant and their partners to avoid the trendy Miami neighborhood.

“This is really a great day for Wynwood,” Scott said during a press conference at the San Paul Gallery at Wynwood Walls. “Everybody should come back to enjoy themselves.”

Flanked by local politicians and business leaders, Scott said the health department has not identified a new, locally born case of Zika in the past 45 days, which is the point that the CDC is expected to cancel the travel ban in Wynwood and surrounding neighborhoods in a one-square-mile area north of downtown Miami. The announcement was made just days after state health officials expanded a second Zika zone in Miami Beach, extending to 63th Street.

Wynwood’s commercial property owners and their tenants have been anxiously waiting for the area to be removed as a Zika hot zone in the wake of a slowdown in foot traffic and business in the neighborhood since the first cases of the virus  which causes birth defects in unborn fetuses — were reported in late July. The neighborhood was the first community in the continental U.S. impacted by locally transmitted Zika.

Scott said his administration is actively offering assistance to local businesses that have been negatively affected by the Zika scare. “Our Department of Economic Opportunity has been in Wynwood offering businesses low interest loans,” Scott said. “We are going to keep doing everything we can.”

Following the press conference, Joseph Furst, chairman of the Wynwood Business Improvement District, told The Real Deal that property owners and local business owners are excited that the governor has declared the neighborhood Zika free. “It’s good to have Gov. Scott here preaching what we have been saying that [Wynwood] is safe and for people to come back,” Furst said.

Furst, who is also managing director for Goldman Properties, said Zika has been a constant topic of conversation for banks, investors, landlords and tenants. “Whether it is related to financing, or leasing or business development, it absolutely had an impact,” Furst said. “Over the last several weeks, things have been getting much better. People are recognizing that this is a problem not just exclusive to Wynwood.”

Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado said the Miami City Commission recently approved during first reading an upcoming budget grant of $248,000 for the Wynwood Business Improvement District that can only be offered to businesses that have cut back employees’ hours. He said the city is also working on offering interest free loans to local merchants.

“The aim is to avoid unemployment,” Regalado said. “As of today, more than 10 festivals and more than 15 local events have been cancelled because of Zika. Really, it is hurting.”


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Renderings of Wynwood Haus with TSG Managing Partner Camilo Lopez and Lineaire Group Partner Diego Bonet (Lineaire Group)
Bridge Investment joins Wynwood Haus multifamily development group
Bridge Investment joins Wynwood Haus multifamily development group
Rendering of the Dorsey with Alex Karakhanian, Jon Paul Perez and Tricera’s Scott Sherman and Ben Mandel (iStock)
Related scores $88M construction loan for Dorsey project in Wynwood
Related scores $88M construction loan for Dorsey project in Wynwood
Ben Bernstein and Ryan Shear with a rendering of the project at 2407 Northwest 2nd Avenue, Miami (RedSky, PMG, Google Maps)
PMG adds to assemblage of planned Society Wynwood project
PMG adds to assemblage of planned Society Wynwood project
Goldman Properties' Jessica Goldman Srebnick with 2501 Northwest 5th Avenue and the lot at 413 Northwest 25th Street, Miami (Getty, iStock)
Goldman Properties buys Wynwood property for discounted $5M
Goldman Properties buys Wynwood property for discounted $5M
Pharrell Williams and David Lerner with a photo of 2545 Northwest Third Avenue and a rendering of the Billionaire Boys Club exterior (Getty, Google Maps, Lerner Family Properties)
Pharrell’s Billionaire Boys Club to open store in Wynwood
Pharrell’s Billionaire Boys Club to open store in Wynwood
Angel Febres, partner, Homecookin’ Hospitality and Metro 1 Managing Director Andres Nava
Wynwood nightclub building hits the market
Wynwood nightclub building hits the market
Domio Wynwood, Gustavo Miculitzki, and Jon Paul Pérez (Credit: Alberto Tamargo/Getty Images)
Related lists Domio Wynwood apartment-hotel for sale with whisper price of $90M
Related lists Domio Wynwood apartment-hotel for sale with whisper price of $90M
From left: Benjamin Bernstein, Pan Shiyi, and Zhang Xin (Credit: Google Maps, Dickson Lee/South China Morning Post via Getty Images)
Lender closes on RedSky and JZ’s Wynwood assemblage
Lender closes on RedSky and JZ’s Wynwood assemblage
arrow_forward_ios

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

Loading...