Back on November 14, 2022, the City Manager of Miami Springs, William Alonso, promised that Canal Street would be open in two to three months. Well, yesterday was Valentine’s Day. (Hope you had a nice Valentine’s Day!). That’s over 90 days or three months since the City Manager promised that Canal Street would be open.
Spoiler alert. Canal Street remains closed.
Canal Street between Hook Square and Curtiss Parkway was shut down back in late 2019 as development started at the new Miami Springs Town Center apartment complex located at One Curtiss Parkway. Below is the timeline of the closing of Canal Street including the brief opening after COVID-19 hit.
TIMELINE: Canal Street Closure
- DECEMBER 2019 – DEMOLITION BEGINS & Canal Street Closed
- MARCH 2020 – COVID-19 Hits
- JULY 2020 – Canal Street Temporarily Re-Opened
- JANUARY 2021 – One Year After Demo, Developer Promises to Start Controversial Apartment Complex
- APRIL 2021 – 16 Month Delay – Canal Street Closed Again
- APRIL 2022 – Canal Street Closed for 20 Months
- NOVEMBER 2022 – City Manager Promises Canal Street Will Re-Open in 2-3 Months
- FEBRUARY 14, 2023 – Canal Street remains Closed – 90 Days after Promises that Canal Street would be Open by this date.
- FEBRUARY 14, 2023 – City Manager William Alonso submits notice of resignation effective May 31, 2023.
Despite the City Manager’s promise back in November that Canal Street would re-open by now, it’s not only still closed but shows no signs of the promised improvements and renovations required for the road to re-open.
Miami Springs’ Municipal Code states that:
It shall be unlawful to obstruct any part of the public streets, sidewalks, parkways, parks, or other publicly owned properties in the City by placing or causing to be placed thereon any box, stand, counter, shelving, debris, sign, merchandise, building material, or other obstruction; …In case of the construction or repair of any building in such location as to make it necessary or proper that any part of a public street or sidewalk be used for the placing of building materials thereon during the construction of such building, the City Manager may in his discretion, grant a permit upon payment of a fee of $5.00 to the City Clerk for the temporary placing of such building materials thereon, for a period not to exceed 60 days.
Heck, Canal Street has been closed for the construction of the building for approximately 30 months. That’s well in excess of the 60 days allowed for the temporary placement of building materials.
The City will probably argue that it’s been closed longer since the developer is going to redevelop the road and parking. We were promised by the City Manager that:
“…The section of Canal Street in front of the development is part of the overall project. Canal Street will undergo major improvements (road milling and paving, sidewalks, landscaping etc). Once the project is completed Canal Street will open to the public again. Expected completion is within the next 2-3 months.”
Let’s be honest. There has been no improvement to Canal Street since this project started back in December of 2019. It’s been over three years. The developers have only used Canal Street as extra space for construction material, vehicles, porta potties, etc. But the developers have made zero progress on actual improvements to Canal Street. No road milling. No paving. No landscaping.
Once again, the neighboring businesses, patrons, and residents of Miami springs are the ones who are hurting from this closure that started over three years ago.
Will the developer face any penalties for the delays?
Will the developer be allowed to keep Canal Street closed in perpetuity without a penalty?
We’ve sent these questions to the City Manager. We’ll share any response we receive from the City, but we have yet to receive answers on our previous questions:
- Does the developer have unlimited usage of Canal Street in perpetuity or is there a deadline?
- Were timelines put in place in the agreement with the developer that they could only have the road closed for X amount of time?
- Were penalties put in place should the developer exceed the deadlines?
- Is there an opportunity to collect funds we can use towards parking should the developer delay in reopening Canal Street?
Based on the City Manager’s response, it appears deadlines weren’t put in place to protect the interest of residents and neighboring businesses. If protections were put in place, you’d think the City would be forthright in sharing those protections with the public.