Re the Sept. 1 letter “Wynwood in peril from more than Zika”: Our purpose in Miami is to build a cultural infrastructure rich in fashion, art and entertainment. Miami is lacking industry diversity and has long relied on tourism. We have chosen Wynwood as the cultural hub of the city and have initiated several projects to enhance the cultural and business end of it, all in one neighborhood.
We chose west of Fifth Avenue, by the highway, as the business district and east of Fifth, as the cultural district. We do not want to tamper with the character of Wynwood. We think that building the business district on the west side will go hand in hand with the culture and uniqueness of Wynwood’s east side.
We’ve committed to contribute $10 million toward the improvement of the local neighborhood. At the Wynwood BID meeting, we proposed an allocation of the $10 million we believe will most benefit the neighborhood, and did not, as some have claimed, “shave” $7.5 million. We’re keeping our promise and still giving $10 million to improve the neighborhood. But within this neighborhood, there are two communities, Wynwood and Overtown.
Miami Commissioner Keon Hardemon reminded us that Overtown is an integral neighbor of Wynwood, and we must take care of our neighbors. Out of the $49 million in public benefits, we agreed that it would only be right if we contributed $7 million to Overtown and $2.5 million to Wynwood.
Our intention is to build a trade center, B2B, connecting the Far East, South America, and North America. We also plan to build a vibrant high-tech community within Wynwood. In order to achieve this, we need to have density and the ability to build high. Those who criticize what we’re building west of Fifth Avenue are underestimating the impact our project will have on their developments and the overall future of Miami.
president, The Mana Group