City Partners broke ground to mark the start of the Downtown Flagler Street Beautification Project
On Wednesday, May 19, City of Miami officials and Project Partners from the Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA), the Flagler District BID, and Miami-Dade County broke ground on the $20.5-million Downtown Flagler Street Beautification project. This is quite exciting, as it will create a renovated Flagler Street with more consideration for businesses and pedestrians.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez remarked at the ceremony, “Flagler Street was Miami’s original main street and the project we kicked off today will go a long way to once again making it a thriving thoroughfare that welcomes our residents and visitors and bolsters local businesses.”
If you have ever walked down Flagler Street, you know that it is not the most pedestrian-friendly right now. This project will widen sidewalks, enhance landscaping, improve the lighting, bring public art, and offer outdoor seating areas. Furthermore, the road will experience some changes with curb-less drains, patterned pavers, and limited street parking. This project will not only add to the experience of all visitors, but it will also be key for ensuring the safety and smooth flow of the city.
As the Miami Commission Chairman Ken Russell said, “This project is many years in the making and the wait will be worth it, as the revamped Flagler Street will be a catalyst for economic growth in the heart of our city for decades to come.”
With the growing popularity and boom in economic emergence, this redevelopment comes at a great timing. Downtown Miami is classified as a thriving live-and-work district with about 100,000 residents and a daytime population of over 250,000. In addition to that, Miami experiences over 6 million tourists annually according to Miami DDA data.
This project is also expected to attract new business to the region and open the streets to visitors that currently do not find it particularly attractive.
“We envision a mix of our current merchants with the opportunity to attract new businesses and development to make Flagler Street the commercial destination it has historically been for our city,” stated Terell Fritz, Executive Director of the Flagler District BID.
Construction has already begun but will be divided into sections to minimize any negative impact on visitors and businesses. The first section being worked on is at the easternmost end of Flagler Street, where it intersects with Biscayne Boulevard. From there, there will be five additional sections ending on Southwest 1st Avenue. It is estimated that each phase will take nine months to complete with minor overlaps, creating a total construction timeframe of 30 months.
We cannot wait to see how the new Flagler Street will look!