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Sweetwater celebrating first student dorm with University City District Festival


Special to the Miami Herald

Sweetwater will be celebrating the addition of its university district with a festival as the first student dorm is almost complete and another building is about to get started on construction.

The city will host its first annual University City District Festival from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, March 8. The free event will take place on Southwest 109th Avenue from Seventh to Fourth streets.

Sweetwater director of operations Robert Herrada said the festival is a celebration of the city’s newest addition.

“It’s going to set the stage for the university district,” he said in a phone interview.

The festival will include a farmers market, food trucks, live musicians, street artists and more. It will be for both residents and Florida International University students.

It has been planned for about a year.

The city's university district includes the area between 107th and 109th avenues and between Sixth and Seventh streets, with a small portion that will possibly go farther north up to Fourth Street.

FIU's Modesto Maidique Campus is between Southwest 107th Avenue and Florida's Turnpike, south of Eighth Street, just outside Sweetwater's city limits.

The 109 Tower, a 15-story private dorm located at Southwest Seventh Terrace and 109th Avenue, has about 180 residential units. The first-floor retail space is currently under construction and will be completed soon.

Another building will soon be built at 10899 SW Fourth Street.

“It’s a Renaissance festival,” Herrada said. “It’s going to characterize the rebirth of Sweetwater and factor in the residents.”

Although it is planned to be an annual festival, Herrada added that the city would like to see certain elements like the farmer’s market more often.

“These events are bringing quality of life, entertainment and fun to the city,” he said. “You don’t have to go to another city for a farmers market or see art somewhere else anymore, because it’s all coming to the city.”

For more information, call 305-221-0411.

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