This week’s question: Developer Moishe Mana's proposal for a massive development in Wynwood has split local property owners, who worry it will overwhelm the neighborhood with tall towers and traffic. Do you think it’s time for artsy Wynwood to move in a grander direction? Or should it be developed on a more human scale?
Growth is good. I grew up in Philadelphia in the 1980s, when we rarely saw a construction crane and people left the city in droves. I’ll never side with smaller or nonaction. Keep building; build higher, faster. Growth is good for everyone, and stagnation is a VERY hard cycle to break.
Brian Brackeen, CEO, Kairos
Wynwood’s unique vibe is attracting people from all income levels and cultural backgrounds. It’s a melting pot of artists, restaurant and retail owners and entrepreneurs. Those who arrived early on see themselves as pioneers and their interests should be protected. Carefully planned developments like the one Moishe Mana is proposing can help further position Wynwood as a destination and meet demand for more commercial and residential space.
Carol Brooks, president and co-founder, CREC (Continental Real Estate Companies)
I support urban development so long as it is executed in a responsible manner that takes into account existing residents, businesses and infrastructure. There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all development. Each district is unique in its own way and should be developed as such. Wynwood is a special neighborhood which should be developed in a low-rise scale with multi-use, loft-style buildings that preserve the district’s artistic, edgy character.
Robert Hill, general manager, InterContinental Miami
I definitely think any sort of development for Wynwood needs to be done on a more human scale. Overdevelopment, high rises and traffic will take away from the artsy charm that makes Wynwood so appealing.
Miriam Lopez, president/chief lending officer, Marquis Bank
In my opinion, finding balance is key. We should always take time to consider the history of each community that should be protected, while understanding that growth is inevitable and good. I see South Beach as an example of an area that was able to largely maintain its Art Deco essence, while new development emerged. We owe it to future generations to protect what little history we have . . . but the continued economic growth of Miami is essential.
Harve A. Mogul, president and CEO, United Way of Miami-Dade
Striking the right balance when it comes to a developing city is very difficult. It’s important to recognize the growth opportunities for Miami, but it is equally as important to ensure that the expansion is measured and planned appropriately. As a global company, DHL has witnessed the maturity of several international cities, and I think communication amongst key stakeholders and officials is key to creating a plan that benefits all residents.
Mike Parra, CEO for DHL Express Americas
Continue to develop on a more human scale as very few in Miami seem to ever think how infrastructure impacts traffic. Have you been to Doral lately? The continued push to build higher without increasing road capacity has led to greater congestion, more driver frustration, and employers to regret being in Doral.
Ania Rodriguez, CEO of Key Lime Interactive
I believe in the revitalization and development of Wynwood through well-orchestrated, planned projects, which are in line with the DNA of the neighborhood. For Wynwood, a unique and special community, that means a more human scale approach that respects the Wynwood Neighborhood Revitalization District zoning rules.
Rachel Sapoznik, CEO & president, Sapoznik Insurance
Wynwood and Midtown are the hottest areas in Miami and despite my personal feelings, I think the land in those neighborhoods offers the lowest hanging fruit for developers. Taller towers and larger properties mean more money. I love Wynwood and wish it would stay as it is, but I do think development is in its future. Hopefully, city leaders can find a way to balance maintaining the charm and authenticity of the area with growth and change as development inevitably moves in.
Ginny Simon, founder, CEO, ginnybakes