New Upper Eastside mini mall slated for April ground-breaking

By | February 28th, 2012 | 5 Comments

A rendering of MiMo Center at night. -- image from Roomscapes Inc.

In what could be a sign that Miami’s real estate comeback is creeping north of downtown and the Design District, two new projects are being planned for the Upper Eastside.

The latest one is MiMo Center, a planned two-story, 7,975-square-foot mini mall set to break ground in as little as two months, according to property owner Javier Rabinovich.

The new building will be built on a vacant lot at 6405 Biscayne Blvd., just south of Legion Park, and will provide space for up to seven business and 17 parking spaces for customers. True to its name, the building’s design will draw inspiration from the historic 1950s Miami Modern architecture characteristic of the motels in the area, Rabinovich said.

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Upper Eastside residents want gay club shut down

By | February 15th, 2012 | 7 Comments

Tokyo Valentino, a new lounge and videoplex that some Shorecrest residents believe is an adult entertainment complex -- photo by Sergio N. Candido

A  recently opened gay club in Shorecrest has drawn the ire of local residents who believe it to be an illegal adult entertainment complex. The owner denies it, but the City of Miami has cited the business and opened an investigation.

The club in question is Tokyo Valentino, an after-hours lounge at 8330 Biscayne Blvd. Customers who pay the $10 admission fee can take advantage of some features common for any lounge — a dance floor and a game room with pool tables — but there is another part of the business that has drawn the attention of city officials and residents: private rooms and viewing booths. The viewing booths fit two people, while the rooms feature leather day beds and flat screen plasma TVs.

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South Florida Puerto Rican Chamber backs Midtown Miami Walmart

By | February 9th, 2012 | No Comments

While some small business owners in Midtown and Wynwood believe a Walmart would be bad for the neighborhood, one of the main authorities in the Puerto Rican business community — which settled in the area long before it became trendy — thinks exactly the opposite.

“I do shop at Walmart from time to time, and I think it’s going to be an economic booster for the community,” said Luis de Rosa, president of the Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce of South Florida, which is located just east of the Shops at Midtown, on 36th Street. “It’s going to create a lot more jobs, hundreds of jobs.”

The Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce works to promote job creation and economic development in the area through county-issued grants. De Rosa argues that Walmart and businesses in Midtown are targeted toward completely different customers. As a result, the big box store won’t be snatching away clients with its low prices.

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Open-air exhibit pops up in Wynwood in time for Art Walk

By | February 7th, 2012 | 1 Comment

'Sagebrush Gulch' by New Hampshire artist Sam Trioli -- photo from

The vacant lot at 44 N.E. 29 Street, next to Morgan’s restaurant in Midtown, is usually nothing more than a patch of grassy land with an abandoned old rusty trailer. But since Jan. 28, the property has been re-purposed as an open-air, pop-up gallery as part of a national project to promote emerging artists.

“I loved the idea of using an available space,” said Meaghan Kent, director and chief curator for site95, a nonprofit established last November to present exhibitions in temporary urban locations. The Wynwood exhibit is site95’s first.

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Midtown Walmart would force art fairs out

By | February 6th, 2012 | 12 Comments
Scope Art Fair 2011

A Walmart in Midtown would force art fairs based in the retail district, such as Scope (pictured above), to move. -- photo from

With plans for a proposed mega Walmart store in Midtown moving forward, reality sets in for many art fair organizers who will have to start looking for new venues once the project breaks ground.

Scope Art Fair, Red Dot, and Art Asia, three Art Basel Miami Beach satellite fairs that last year took place on land where Walmart is planning to build its new store, are confident they’ll be able to set up camp on the lot this year too. After that, they’ll have to start searching for a space somewhere else.

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Plans for Midtown Walmart emerge with zoning request

By | February 2nd, 2012 | 5 Comments
Midtown Walmart Lot

The future home of a 160,000 square-foot mega Walmart in Midtown, between 29th Street and 30th Street. -- photo by Jared Goyette

The owner of a vacant lot set to become a 160,000 square-foot mega Walmart store in Midtown is asking the City of Miami to waive zoning regulations on recently submitted plans for construction of garage entrances and a truck loading area, arguing the additions would only be a “minor modification” of the city’s design standards.

The Akerman firm representing Cleveland-based Developers Diversified Realty, which owns the vacant land at 3055 N. Miami Avenue, asked the planning department to approve a design of a truck loading dock and garage entrance on the east side of the property facing Midtown Boulevard (NE 1st Avenue), between 29th Street and 30th Street.

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Wynwood Green: A family-friendly outdoor fest

By | January 31st, 2012 | No Comments

-- photo from the I Am Your Villain Facebook page

These days, historic Puerto Rican enclave Wynwood may typically make headlines for the opening of a hip restaurant or bar, or perhaps the completion of a monumental graffiti mural. But there’s a new event in the burgeoning art gallery district where bringing the entire family — even your dog — is regarded as “cool”.

Sundays on the Green, a monthly festival that mixes environmentally friendly vendors, skateboarding, art, children’s educational activities, and music, kicked off on Sunday, Jan. 29. Celebrated in a 12,000-square-foot lot at 572 N.W. 23rd Street, just east of I-95, the project is the brainchild of a collective known as Wynwood Green. The group is lead by Daniel Wills, owner of recording studio Armory Studios, on whose lawn the event takes place. Also on board: WVUM, 305Green, the artists collective Ground Up Collective, and party supplier I Am Your Villain.

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New contemporary art gallery opening in Wynwood

By | January 30th, 2012 | 1 Comment
Gregg Shienbaum Fine Art Gallery

A new Wynwood gallery will be one of the few to invite window shoppers. -- photo by Sergio N. Candido

The elaborate murals that cover the outside walls of many Wynwood galleries are works of art in their own right, but ever wonder why more galleries don’t have windows that show off what’s inside?

The answer has a lot to do with government bureaucracy, as gallerist Gregg Shienbaum recently discovered first hand while filling out piles of City of Miami paperwork. In order to open his own gallery with storefront windows, he had to obtain permits from the city to change the building’s use from “warehouse” to “retail,” but he thinks it was worth the hassle.

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Miami DDA offers free Art Basel shuttle

By | November 30th, 2011 | No Comments

Attracting hoards of jet setters, vacationers, and even Broward residents to Miami, Art Basel Miami Beach — the fair itself and all the simultaneous satellite fairs — inevitably creates major parking and traffic headaches. If only Miami had a more robust public transit system. Well, for a few days at least, it does.

DWNTWN Shuttle
Click image for a high-res version of the full map.

Starting Wednesday, Nov. 30, the Miami Downtown Development Authority is trying to make it easier for art lovers to check out this week’s main attractions by offering a free shuttle connecting downtown, Wynwood, and Midtown.

The shuttle will run every 30 minutes from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. through Sunday, Dec. 4, the last day of the fair. There are 12 stops, including Pulse Art Fair, the Adrienne Arsht Center, the Miami Art Museum, and the Wynwood Arts District. (To print/download a high-res version of the map, click the image above.)

The Miami DDA is an independent public agency of the City of Miami funded by property tax money coming from residents and businesses within its district boundaries. The organization is charged with improving the economy of downtown through different events and capital improvement projects.

This post was produced in partnership with Open Media Miami.

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First ‘Wynwood’s King Mango Strut’ planned for Dec. 10

By | November 23rd, 2011 | No Comments
Coconut Grove King Mango Strut

In early December, the King Mango Strut, an annual parade in Coconut Grove, will roll through Wynwood for the first time ever. -- photo from

One of the original organizers of the King Mango Strut, a satirical, eccentric annual parade in Coconut Grove, is planning to bring the festivities to Wynwood for the first time on Dec. 10.

“Wynwood’s King Mango Strut,” as organizer Glenn Terry has dubbed it, will be similar to the Grove parade but tailored to the neighborhood’s vibe, Terry said.

“It’s a mix of performance art and political satire, a lot like our Grove parade but with a greater emphasis on ‘art,’” he said in an email.

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