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CRESPOGRAM REPORT

APRIL 15, 2013

The SEOPW CRA has been in business since 1982. That’s 30 years. In those thirty years very little has actually been accomplished for all the tens of millions of dollars that have supposedly been spent on eliminating “slum and blight.”


In fact, it could be argued that in some ways things are worse.    Housing stock and buildings that could have been part of an effort to redevelop the core of the Overtown Business District were torn down and empty lots are what remains.


For every project that has seen completion, others fell by the wayside. Some projects linger in a bureaucratic limbo as a result of gross incompetence or because of a lackadaisical disregard for demanding that the contractors who were awarded the jobs, actually complete the jobs.


A classic example is the Two Guys Restaurant on the corner of NW 14th Street and 3rd Avenue.

HOME OF MIAMI’S  GHETTO BURGER
TWO BROTHERS RESTAURANT  GOT A $260,000 GRANT FROM THE SEOPW CRA FOR A MAKEOVER, AND STILL SITS EMPTY THANKS TO GROSS INCOMPETENCE

The shell of this unoccupied building represents a grant of $260,000.00 allocated by the SEOPW CRA in 2010 to build out a restaurant.


It sits empty because no one bothered to investigate the status of the gas lines that were assumed to lead to this building - they were removed when NW 3rd Avenue was redone - and because the City changed the water pipe link up size. Neither of those problems were addressed or incorporated into the plans before they went ahead with the build out. 


Now the building sits empty waiting for the street to be dug up - at what cost I do not know - supposedly to refit the water hookup.


But that’s not the worst of it.  In March, as  I sat in the lobby of the SEOPW CRA waiting for one of my many sessions of trying to make sense of the Robert Townsend project, I got into a conversation with a property appraiser who was waiting to talk with the SEOPW folks too.


His reason for wanting to talk with them was that the FDOT had supposedly decided that in addition to obtaining property along the north side of I-395 in order to widen the Interstate as part of the Port Tunnel project, they had now decided to obtain property along the south side as well, and the Two Guys Restaurant was now sitting on property that the FDOT was going to seize/buy.


So, although the story from the SEOPW CRA continues to be that they are weeks away from some Grand Opening of Two Guys, the fact is that even if that were true - and those couple weeks from the last time I was told a Grand Opening was weeks away -  have now exceeded a month and the building is still empty and now destined at sometime in the future to be torn down to accommodate the widening of I-395.


It’s Miami, Bitches!

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