Monday June 18, 2007

The sordid tale of Biscayne Landing. This patch of land between FIU North and Oleta State Park was considered for a zoo, an “international center” with a revolving restaurant atop a tower, an amphitheater, a golf course, and airport . . . well, for most of the 70s it was actually a dump. It was an EPA Superfund site from 1982 to 1999. Now it’s a condo development, last seen promoting itself with ultra-cheesy billboards featuring scantily clad women and silly “too cool for downtown” taglines. Not unsurprisingly, 93 units have been sold, out of a planned 6,000. Also not unsurprisingly, the superfund business is not mentioned on the development’s FAQ. The saddest part is that the city of North Miami gambled with the developers on this, leasing them the land and paying $31 million to clean up the site, hoping for a tax windfall.

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  1. Verticus    Mon Jun 18, 10:36 AM #  

    What they also don’t tell potenial buyers is that they will be basically spending the rest of their condo dwelling lives slappin’ mosquitos because of the nearby mangrove preserve.

  2. Xavier    Mon Jun 18, 01:52 PM #  

    The mangrove preserve poses a problem. The only winner here is FIU, who from what I understand, sold the land to the developers. What a cash cow.

  3. latinbombshell    Tue Jun 19, 02:37 AM #  

    I’m still not over the sale of the only freakin ice skating rink in this neck of the woods to a car sales lot … it changed my freakin life and ended a sport I participated in. Whoever was the dumbass to make that decision can wonder if an ice skating rink was more attractive to people buying in Biscayne Landing or not.

  4. Blingtown    Tue Jun 19, 07:07 AM #  

    It really pisses me off that the Herald, (and everyone at CM apparently), has forgotten how important it is to encourage development on brownfield sites. These are the places that need to be encouraged to be developed in the face of dwindling land. Every environmental group in the country encourages development of these kind of sites adjacent to existing infrastructure.

  5. alesh    Tue Jun 19, 07:50 AM #  

    I wasn’t aware of that, Blingtown, but it sounds plausible, and would have been worth mentioning. However, my understanding is that “Superfund or hazardous waste sites, [do] not fall under the brownfield classification.” — in other words, this land was more severely contaminated then what is normally considered “brownfield.” Also, this post is really about the development’s awful timing. It may or may not have been a good idea to develop the site at the beginning of the condo boom. As it stands, these folks were the proverbial last suckers in.

    LBS~ is that the Audi dealership? The one with the Total Wine next to it? BTW, there’s an ice-skating rink on the beach. Check it out.

  6. Blingtown    Tue Jun 19, 09:47 AM #  

    As far as I know, there is no “official” brownfield designation outside of the epa. Wiki says a superfund doen’t count, but sites no source. I checked the EPA definition, but it is incomprehensible legalese.

    This place certainly fits the spirit of the brownfield rule.

    While the towers that are there suck, the stuff they are promoting now is going to be much more New Urbanny, a la Citiplace in W.P.Beach. It will be interesting to see how this fares compared to the towers and towers.

    BTW-Total Wine is amazing. The first time I went in there was exactly like my first trip to Toys r us. An employee had to ask me to stop giggling, running around and everything.

  7. johnstone    Wed Jul 11, 10:51 AM #  

    The wiki article on biscayne landing looks like it is repeatedly over-written by john p david, pr for the project, but it says biscayne landing is brownfield, and was only removed from superfund list due to political pressure and shady incomplete testing, and has never been cleaned.

  8. Large and in Charge    Sat Jul 14, 02:48 PM #  

    What sort of miss information is coming from this site. Who ever thinks 6000 units can be built in the blink of an eye is out of touch with reality. The only good thing about this
    site is that it does not get visited often.
    I think that they should contact Mayor Kevin
    Burn and get his opinion of this property.

  9. alesh    Sat Jul 14, 05:28 PM #  

    Who said anything about how fast 6000 units can be built?

    I think you’re imagining things. But thanks for the insight into my site stats. Feel free to call up the mayor and let us know what he thinks.

  10. Dave    Tue Jul 17, 04:16 AM #  

    Development of this site is the typical Miami boondoggle. Some slick developer talks a municipality into a sweetheart deal when they don’t have the money to develop the project properly. Frankly, I don’t care if the EPA encourages it or not, building a massive development on a toxic waste site is not a good idea. It would be better to develop it for commercial purposes with community needed services a priority.

  11. Blingtown    Tue Jul 17, 08:40 AM #  

    Building a massive development on a site where the only pollution issues are related to groundwater is, in fact, an excellent idea. The two new schools going up nearby and the off-site low-income housing that are part of the “sweetheart deal” are also exactly the “community needed services” of which you speak.

    Development needs to continue as long as Miami keeps growing. The only question is where it will be located. Do you want it near existing infrastructure, or in Florida City and the everglades?