Monday, September 22, 2008

Sep. 22: Corporate Welfare, Miami-Style

By Sylvia Gurinsky

MiMo is the Miami Modern style of architecture, generally built in South Florida during the 1950s and 60s. The most famous examples are hotels like the Fontainebleau and Eden Roc in Miami Beach, and the Bacardi building in Miami. Other MiMo structures have included a variety of motels in Sunny Isles and along Biscayne Boulevard in Miami. Once criticized, MiMo has recently been celebrated in books, on the Web and in the press.

However, the City of Miami hasn't joined the party:

To quote the captain in "Cool Hand Luke": "What we got here is ... failure to communicate."

The primary failure belongs to the City of Miami. City employees should have guided MiMo advocates on the application process during the process, instead of pointing fingers elsewhere and saying the applicants didn't get it right.

The city also continues to not get the message that fellow municipalities like Coral Gables and Miami Beach have gotten for years: History sells.

MiMo is part of Miami's magic. For the city to be buddies with condominium developers in these tough times, when people are less likely to buy those new condos, puts some tarnish on the Magic City. Miami's government needs to remember its obligation to all of its citizens - not just the rich ones.

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