After months of suspense, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has shown how his administration will proceed with a planned redevelopment of the Liberty Square housing project into a mixed-income neighborhood.
On Friday, developers Atlantic Pacific Communities and Related Urban Development Group learned they will have two weeks to refine their July proposals and submit them for a second review. At that point, a county developer selection committee will rank their proposals.
The two developers have already been vetted once by the committee. In October, their proposals were ranked first and second out of six bidders. But instead of resulting in a recommendation to Gimenez and a vote by county commissioners, those committee results were sent to the county attorney’s office over concerns about one member’s scoring.
Since then, developers, administrators and politicians have remained under a standard procurement gag order. The silence created uncertainty and anxiety in Liberty City and fueled a lobbying war between attorneys for the two top-ranked developers as everyone waited for news on how Gimenez would move forward.
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That announcement came Friday, when selection committee chairwoman Indira Rajkumar-Futch notified the two developers that they have until Feb. 5 to submit a revised, best offer, or stick with their current proposals. The other four developers are out of the running.
In July, Atlantic Pacific Communities proposed a $287 million redevelopment that would create 1,549 affordable, low-income and market-rate units inside a variety of duplexes, row houses, garden-style apartments and town homes. They planned a 1,200-student K-12 charter school, a 34,000-square-foot community center, a town square, and 25,000 square feet of retail.
Related Urban proposed 1,034 residential units, including 216 at nearby Lincoln Gardens and 818 at Liberty Square, which would be rebranded as Unity Village. The project includes a museum operated by HistoryMiami, a renovated community center and a community health center operated by the Jessie Trice Community Health Foundation. Academica, the nation's largest for-profit charter school company, would run a K-2 charter school and a K-8 charter school on site.