by Bradley Knoefler
The City of Miami Community Redevelopment Agency's failure to reduce slum and blight is well documented and can be seen firsthand every day in the Park West and OMNI neighborhoods of Downtown Miami. Beginning with the 1982 Redevelopment Plan, which has never been implemented (see 2008 comparison with 1982 plan), to the wasting of millions discovered in the 2003 Audit, to a report to the Miami City Comission by the 2005 CRA Oversight Committee which again confirmed that the CRA had not fulfilled its mission of reducing slum and blight. Finally the 2009 Formal Request for Legal and Performance Audit of CRA's documented that the CRA continues with its old practices of spending money on anything but fighting slum and blight. The last straw was the refusal of the CRA to fund a neighborhood beautification project requesting a meager $25,000 grant (of a total project cost of $65,000) in order to beautify nearly 500,000 s/f of blight, prompting a frustrated e-mail to the CRA Board (Why do projects which create jobs and reduce slum and blight never get funded by the CRA?)
So what do you do if you have invested millions in the neighborhood and the slum and blight is putting your business and property at risk? - Redevelop the neighborhood yourself!