Letters to the Editor

Liberty Square must hire locals

More than 300 small businesses — general contractors and sub-contractors — showed up to listen to a pre-bid conference to prepare them to participate in the $23 million opportunity for the first phase of the $300 million developmen called Liberty Square Rising.

Liberty Square Rising was awarded to Related Urban one year ago. Liberty Square was built in 1937, the first public housing development built in Miami Dade County. It currently has more than 709 units.

When completed Liberty Square Rising will be home to more than 1,455 units, which will consist of rental units, private homes, and community-based services.

This massive development will transform a community that has been home to many past and current residents, such as School Board Member Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall.

The process of awarding the contract brought much controversy. Those who opposed giving Related Urban the contract were concerend that black businesses would be left out of the opportunity to participate in this project.

Since then, there has been many meetings with the Miami-Dade Chamber, the NAACP, the Haitian American Chamber and several other organizations that serve as an oversight board. they are in place to address community concerns and ensure that black contractors and area residents are an integral part of building Liberty Square Rising.

They can be assured those of us who sit around the table with Related Urban will hold its feet to the fire during each phase of the buildout of this transformational development.

G. Eric Knowles, president & CEO, Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce, Miami