South Florida

Mega Developer Wants to Build in Little Haiti

The fate of a South Florida community is up in the air because of a mega project that wants to be built in a certain part of Little Haiti.

Residents who live in and around Little Haiti have mixed feelings about welcoming the Eastside Ridge Special Area plan.

“I’m afraid we’re going to lose all the Haitians in Little Haiti. Like, Little Haiti is going to become a place where they have Haitian things, but no Haitian people,” said Elie Philippe, a local resident.

“I’m for development. I want Little Haiti to be beautiful. I want when people walk into Little Haiti for them to feel like they’re walking to Aventura or developed cities,” said Jean Souffrant, a local resident.

Developer Eastside Ridge, LLC, presented the idea to the City of Miami Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board. The resolution states they’d like to re-zone certain parcels for the development of approximately 22 acres.

“We will plan a mixed use development that includes rental property, retail, small number of restaurants, two hotels, family oriented hotels, which by the way, will employ a lot of people in the neighborhood,” said Rc Katz of Eastside Ridge.

The developer said they have committed $10 million to community benefits, including low income housing.

“$7 million of the $10 million goes for housing. $3 million goes into a fund and the stipulations on that fund range from education to arts and culture,” said Katz.

“This development is going to have to go through multiple approvals before it can put a shovel in the ground and we want to make sure that before that happens, the community is heard,” said Wendi Walsh of Unite Here.

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