Midtown activists pressure developer for green space

By | February 4th, 2012 | No Comments

The green space that some Midtown residents want to see become a playground. --photo by Jared Goyette

When real estate developer Alex Vadia and his company Midtown Opportunities bought 16 acres in Midtown in December, he told a Miami Herald reporter that he saw the potential in the neighborhood and that he would keep the community’s interest in mind when looking for ways to develop the property.

“We’re evaluating anything that will enhance the community,” Vadia said.

Since then community activists that have tried to reach him say they’ve been ignored.

That hasn’t stopped their efforts: one group has started an online petition on Change.org asking for a temporary playground on the spot, and a moms group, Midtown Miami Munchkins, has started another petition at Angelina’s coffee shop asking for something a little less ambitious: a “kid friendly” play area that would be off-limits to dogs (and their poop).

“It doesn’t seem like he really wants to hear what people have to say, otherwise he’d make it easier for people to contact him,” said Yelsi Saravia, one the organizers of Midtown Miami Munchkins.

Vadia declined multiple interview requests, but the supervisor of the crew working on the lot said they planned to leave a grass field while the company looks for ways to develop the site. Crews finished laying out sod and grass Saturday morning.

The Munchkins group is meeting Thursday from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Moloko Café (3201 N. Miami Avenue, Suite 104) to discuss their attempts to reach Vadia, as well as Walmart’s plans for the neighborhood (see the Facebook event page). Open Media Miami will be there to cover the meeting and interview residents.

Open Media Miami is working to update this article with more information and sources. If you have something you’d like to add or that you think we should look into, please email us at news [at] openmediamiami [dot] com. You can also reach us on Facebook, Twitter at @OpenMediaMiami, and via text at 305-929-3417.

This post was produced in partnership with Open Media Miami.

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