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Wynwood Seeks New Life For Its Economic Growth Engine

The Wynwood Business Improvement District (BID) is on the road to a 10-year renewal to continue building upon the neighborhood’s economic success as a globally recognized center for arts, innovation and culture.

On June 8, the Miami City Commission unanimously approved renewal of the BID’s special assessment district. As part of the resolution, the city allocated $1.7 million for the BID’s 2023-2024 budget to fuel projects like streetscape beautification, clean team initiatives, transportation and improved signage.

After receiving the commission’s authorization last week, the BID now will start to collect affidavits of support from business property owners to be included within the boundaries. Approval from more than 50% of affected property owners is needed to re-establish the BID.

The deadline to collect and file affidavits is Aug. 18. The commission is to meet Sept. 14 to accept results of the affidavit process, upon which 30 days’ notice will be issued for people to testify Oct. 26.

Pending approval by a majority of business owners within the area, the BID is set to officially be renewed for another 10 years on Nov. 6.

The Wynwood BID was established in 2013 to strengthen the neighborhood and solidify it as an international hub for creativity and culture with clean and safe streets. The BID now represents more than 400 property owners over 50 city blocks within the Wynwood Arts District. It works to enhance security and sanitation services, encourage artistic programming and advocate for the area’s betterment and future success.

“We have managed to converge art, fashion and technology to create a neighborhood that has enabled locals, owners, artists and community members to work together to reinvigorate the district from its former manufacturing decline,” said Manny Gonzalez, executive director of the BID, in a May 24 letter to stakeholders asking for their support.

The Wynwood BID has enabled the neighborhood to become one of the most successful and self-sufficient in Miami. Property owners and businesses have transformed Wynwood into a viable pedestrian-friendly café and art district, boosting the local economy.

Property values have increased exponentially as well as tourism, skyrocketing 2400% from only 600,000 annual visitors in 2013 to over 15 million in 2023.

As a result, Wynwood has become a top contributor of taxes to the city, county and school boards. In 2022, the area grossed $21,663,756 in total annual assessments compared to only $741,606 in 2013 before the BID was formed.

Some of the organization’s most notable accomplishments in its first decade include over 400 new businesses opened in the district, $3.5 million donated towards affordable housing totaling 120 units, more than 5,000 micro units built to assist with the youth and young adult housing crisis, the donation and installation of one-fifth of all of the City of Miami’s security cameras since 2018 and a clean team that operates 365 days a year to keep streets debris-free.

The district has also been at the forefront of working with city officials to incubate ideas into action. Such initiatives include the creation of the city’s first neighborhood revitalization district, co-living legislation and the Wynwood Streetscape Master Plan.

Looking forward 10 years, the district’s priorities include installation of a Wynwood/Mid Town commuter rail station, neighborhood and highway wayfinding signage, streamlining connectivity by re-opening local Overtown/Wynwood I-95 exits, streetscape master plan improvements and upgrades to Roberto Clemente Park.

The resolution approved June 8 also allocated $1,705,752 for the BID’s 2023-2024 operational budget. The monies will fund administrative staffing, which the BID wishes to increase to four office workers and one more clean team member. The clean team now has seven members, working about 200 hours a week across the district’s 47 blocks.

Expenditures also include office rent, supplies and utilities, security cameras, marketing and advertisement and streetscape enhancements.


Source:  Miami Today

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Wynwood Streetscape Plan Under City’s Microscope

The Wynwood Streetscape Master Plan project is currently under a call cost evaluation by the City of Miami.

The streetscape plan was initiated in 2018 by the Wynwood Business Improvement District, which has partnered with the City of Miami, Miami-Dade County and the neighborhood’s private-public property owners.

“This is a very ambitious project,” said Manny Gonzalez, the BID’s executive director. “What we’re doing is with the city’s property valuations, we want to come up with a total data number that could be shared or that could be evaluated by the organization and by the property owners to see if that would be a way that we could contribute into the project with other sources of funding.”

The streetscape plan’s main aspects are to strengthen a sense of place, neighborhood identity through new green space and artsy aesthetics and improve the public landscaping experience.

The project would also build the community’s resilience to the impacts of climate change by promoting green infrastructure to mitigate urban stormwater runoff and encourage actions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the pedestrian experience with appropriate street furniture and lighting.

The BID is requesting new projects that are being constructed to follow the master planning guidelines that are going to be applied, he said.

“We could already have some aspects of the master planning in place, which will save us money in the end,” Mr. Gonzalez added. “When the projects come up, they’re doing their designs according to the master planning that we’re waiting for.”

The other aspect of the streetscape is the Woonerf, which is going to be the centerpiece of the master planning project.

The first-ever Woonerf would share the street with bicycles, pedestrians and automobiles, and would be designed to slow traffic and safely share roads, create new crosswalks and widen sidewalks. The lively street concept is projected to be on 29th Street and Northwest First Avenue, and 29th Street and Northwest Third Avenue, running from 29th to 25th streets.

“Property owners have already agreed to put money into it because we understand that nothing happens without public-private partnerships,” Mr. Gonzalez said. “We want to make sure our property owners are seeing the way that they’re helping us out by doing this work.”


Source:  Miami Today

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