Tuesday, July 29, 2008

July 29: Why Isn't Norman Braman Opposing This Project?

By Sylvia Gurinsky

With the title, I'm only speaking figuratively. Given Braman's utter contempt for the current Florida Marlins ballpark project at the Orange Bowl site, I'm surprised he's not absolutely beside himself about the idea of a Wal-Mart across the street from Miami-Dade County's performing arts center:


I would imagine when city leaders envision business, they hark back to the halcyon days when the late, great Jordan Marsh ruled the roost on Biscayne Boulevard, down the street from the Arsht Center (In fact, Jordan Marsh was also part of the original Omni Mall until Federated Department Stores killed the store chain in the early 1990s.). City leaders are certainly not thinking of a Wal-Mart.

Update: According to this Miami Today article, city leaders apparently didn't think in approving the permit for the proposed City Square center, period:


How did that one get past them?

The Shops at Midtown Miami mall, with Target, Marshalls and so forth, is in an appropriate place - on North Miami Avenue, just south of the Interstate 195 exit. That's an area that lends itself to middle-of-the-road retail. But that complex wouldn't be appropriate for across the street from the Arsht Center any more than Wal-Mart would.

People who are going to an arts center aren't going to shop at the same time. If anything, they're more likely to eat, before or after the show. Mark Siffin, who would develop the proposed City Square, should think meals....not malls. And certainly not Wal-Mart.

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