Investors seek an amendment to Miami21 that would change East Little Havana from a T4 zone to T5, allowing taller buildings with businesses on the ground floor and a substantial increase in density. Preservationists believe that the proposed change threatens Little Havana’s unique cultural identity and the interests of lower-income residents, who could be forced to leave the neighborhood if rents increased. Developers argue that the change is needed to provide an incentive to improve buildings in the area. A final vote by Miami commissioners is still pending. See the links below for more information.
Little Havana – related posts on uel.org
El Nuevo Herald 6/23/15
La Pequeña Habana, quizás el vecindario con más historia en Miami, está bajo amenaza. Tanto, de acuerdo con el fideicomiso, que la colocó en su lista anual de los 11 Lugares Histórico Más Amenazados.
El Fideicomiso Nacional, la principal organización de preservación del país, dijo que la dimensión y el carácter histórico del vecindario están en peligro por dos factores principales, un controversial aumento de zonificación del Este de la Pequeña Habana bajo consideración por la ciudad de Miami, así como la falta de protección legal para la amplia y diversa colección arquitectónica de casas, apartamentos y edificios comerciales de comienzos del Siglo XX.
Miami Herald 6/23/15
The National Trust, the country’s principal preservation organization, says the neighborhood’s historic scale and character are imperiled by two main factors: a controversial upzoning of East Little Havana under consideration by the city of Miami, and a lack of legal protection for the broader area’s extensive and architecturally diverse collection of early to mid-20th Century homes and apartment and commercial buildings.
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Little Havana is mixed use, walkable, series of neighborhoods that has long been home to generations of Cuban Americans. It is composed of residential blocks intersected by commercial streets, creating a self-sustaining community where goods and services are located within walking distance of area residents. Little Havana contains unique local variations of iconic American architectural typologies, such as the bungalow, the walk-up apartment, and the courtyard apartment.
There are two main threats to the Little Havana neighborhood: upzoning; and the lack of protections for scattered, historic building types. Owing to Little Havana’s ideal location—close to Downtown Miami and the Brickell Financial District—upzoning represents a critical threat to the historic scale and character of Little Havana, while the lack of protections for its scattered historic buildings leaves many important buildings in Little Havana unprotected.
The Real Deal 6/10/15
As rising property prices and a shrinking supply of land drive developers west, Miami’s Little Havana has attracted renewed attention from those looking to duplicate the success of neighborhoods like Brickell.
Miami Herald 4/17/15
In communities like North Beach, South Beach and Little Havana, the word “revitalization” is the new euphemism for development that, more often than not, is an opportunity for developers to seek up-zoning changes that will tax these areas with more traffic and density.
But people are fed up — and fighting back.
Miami Herald 3/22/15
Little Havana deserves visionary zoning that preserves its historic buildings, embraces new modes of transportation and provides affordable, low-scale, dense housing that enhances the character of the neighborhood. Miami city leaders must steer Little Havana’s rebirth by enacting new zoning that preserves the neighborhood’s scale and prevents the parking podium and tower, block-wide development that would destroy its character.
Miami Herald 3/9/15
Ahead of a vote to increase the density and height of what’s allowed in the culturally rich but struggling community, the timing of the Hope Center purchase — and the presence of some other notable landowners who might benefit from the change — is fueling allegations that the city is easing zoning restrictions in order to appease connected developers and property owners.
A zoning proposal meant to spur redevelopment in Little Havana would benefit some well-heeled, well-connected men.
Miami New Times 2/16/15
Little Havana, the spiritual home of the Cuban diaspora that populated the area in droves following the 1959 revolution, is still mostly a blue-collar immigrant neighborhood. But proposed zoning changes for taller condos and more commercial development have activists worried those residents could be pushed out. Developers and city officials backing the changes argue they would revitalize an economically depressed neighborhood, but critics are pushing back.
Miami Herald 2/3/15
Amid fears that gentrification is coming to East Little Havana, Miami’s planning department will consider protecting part of the immigrant community by turning it into a historic district.
The city’s Historic and Environmental Preservation Board voted Tuesday to have city staff prepare a final historic designation report for the Riverview Historic District, a collection of 94 bungalows, Art Deco buildings and Mission-style homes built between 1920 and 1960. The properties are located between Southwest Third and Southwest Fifth streets, and Southwest Ninth and Southwest 10th avenues in an area the city is considering up-zoning to encourage new development.
Miami Herald 1/27/15
Convinced that this historic neighborhood is worth saving? Miami commissioners aren’t. Last week, three of them gave tentative approval to a proposal to revitalize East Little Havana, in essence changing zoning laws to allow five-story buildings and 65 units per acre, with “limited” commercial shops on the ground floor, not part of the Miami 21 plan.
A final vote, expected soon, could change the zoning of a 32-block stretch north of Calle Ocho where about 12,000 residents live in older, low-rise apartments and homes, renting for about $500 a month.
Daily Business Review 1/21/15
Within days, two city commissioners representing some of Miami’s poorest neighborhoods have been publicly challenged on a lack of affordable housing. In both cases, activists targeted commission actions portrayed as benefiting developers while promoting the displacement of their constituents.
Miami Herald 1/21/15
A proposal to revitalize East Little Havana by ushering in new development is stoking fears of gentrification among activists and residents of a community that in many ways has served as Miami’s Ellis Island.
El Nuevo Herald 1/19/15
Aquellos que se oponen a la propuesta sostienen que nuevas edificaciones causarían un aumento en las rentas del barrio de gente de clase trabajadora, en su mayoría inquilinos, que eventualmente tendrían que irse a otro lado.
“La gente de este vecindario simplemente no puede pagar más, muchas veces ni un mínimo aumento. Y mucho menos pagar por tiendas y negocios”, opinó Marta Zayas, una maestra de primaria que vive en el área oeste de La Pequeña Habana. “Si la gente se va, se iría con ellos la autenticidad del barrio”.
Miami Herald 1/18/15
While tourists from all over the world eagerly come to Little Havana in appreciation of its unique cultural identity, a group of PR-wise investors are more focused on converting it into a “signature neighborhood,” failing to appreciate that it already is.
El Nuevo Herald 1/17/15
La propuesta ha recibido el apoyo de algunos agentes de bienes raíces que la consideran una oportunidad para desarrollar en el vecindario a un nivel menos lujoso que en áreas como Brickell. Pero el plan no es bienvenido por activistas y residentes, quienes opinan que las medidas podrían desplazar a los vecinos de menos ingresos y cambiar la cultura y la identidad del barrio.