Regatta Park meeting
They are still in the preliminary stages and not much was discussed at the meeting other than introducing the concept to the public. Some are concerned about the plans or lack of plans and I do find it interesting that after years of meetings and concepts, the plan is not concrete but there will be changes. As one person put it, "the plan is 6 years old."
Either way, it's a park, not really much to say about it, but my friend Harry said this:
"On Wednesday, January 29, I attended the Regatta Park meeting at Miami City Hall. The first bad omen was the announcement that the water was off in the building and that Port-A-Potty’s where soon to arrivel that a water main had been damaged due to the demolition of the Dinner Key Expo Center nearby. The second omen was about the parks financial situation. Cesar Garcia-Pons, Deputy Director of Department of Planning and Zoning said the estimates for constructing the Regatta Park would be in the area of $26 million for phase one and so far they only had about $2 million. And I doubt that the build-out estimate includes the possibility that toxic soil may be there and its costly clean-up. Let’s not forget that Dinner Key was used as a naval base since WWI and Pan Am Terminal hangers since the 1930s. I like parks as much as anyone and admire communities with waterfront vistas, but I don’t understand the logic in demolishing a perfectly useful film studio when we did not have the budget to build the projected park in the first place.
For over seven years the Expo Center continued to generated revenues for the City of Miami, was an economic engine for the Grove and Miami, employed hundreds in the film industry and peripheral businesses. It also was the best spokesman for the Greater Miami Convention and Visitor's Bureau by creating massive positive good Will for our community with PR throughout the world. Will we once again seek much needed funds by negotiating an exclusive lease with a private school for the use of a portion of our public park? Will we be as desperate to finish the park as was MAM and sell the naming rights to a deep pocketed individual that wishes to purchase some respectability? Would it not have been wiser to postpone the demolition of that accidental yet most successful film studio until all the monies needed for a world-class waterfront Regatta Park had been raised? At the very least let’s hope Regatta Park will not include a waterfront fenced in dog area or better yet, any dog area at all."
Harry Emilio Gottlieb
Coconut Grove, FL
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