Little Haiti has become the latest low-cost frontier for real estate speculators, and news that Archbishop Curley-Notre Dame High School is closing down its campus nearby has apparently not fallen on deaf ears.
The school recently announced it would close its doors by the end of this year, the Miami Herald reported, and suitors have already stepped forward to inquire about buying Curley’s 15-acre campus at 4949 Northeast Second Avenue.
It’s unclear who is in the running to buy out the sprawling campus, which is across the street from a recently proposed 22-acre, mixed-use development valued at more than $630 million. Rumors have been circulating that a $65 million purchase is being considered, according to the Herald, though school officials have denied that claim and are keeping a tight lid on information.
Curley, a Catholic school, was founded in 1953 and is known for being the first school in Miami-Dade County to include African-American students.
More recently, the school has suffered from a shrinking enrollment pool — only 229 students attended Curley this year. The Archdiocese of Miami, which operates Curley, announced the school will merge with Monsignor Edward Pace High School by end-year 2017.
As property values soar in nearby Wynwood, real estate investors are looking northwest for the next hot neighborhood. Little Haiti is now quickly feeling the forces of gentrification, as hip brands like Panther Coffee move in and commercial property purchases are struck behind the scenes.
Besides the most recent 22-acre proposal, which a group called SPV Realty put forward, Wynwood pioneer Tony Cho has unveiled plans for a $1 billion “innovation district” that would encompass 15 acres of the neighborhood. [Miami Herald] — Sean Stewart-Muniz