‘Gentrification is real’: Magic City developers pay $3M to Little Haiti trust

MIAMI – Miami Mayor Francis Suarez held a news conference on Monday to announce the investors behind the Magic City Innovation District paid $3 million to the city’s Little Haiti Revitalization Trust.

Neil Fairman, of Plaza Equity Partners, said it was the first payment in a $31 million commitment. Plaza Equity is working with Metro 1 and Dragon Global on the $1.36 billion redevelopment project.

“Gentrification is real, but it’s moments like this that remind us that we have to create a Miami that’s not only here forever, but that it’s here for everyone,” Suarez said.

The new 18-acre “campus-like” project is on the eastern side of Little Haiti. It will be built in phases to include 432 hotel rooms, 2,630 residential units, and commercial real estate. The construction of Magic City’s first residential tower is set to begin in 2022.

Many of the current residents and business owners of the community built by Haitian refugees fear the modern project will force them to move out of the city.

The Family Action Network Movement, a social services organization for Haitian women, is among the opponents of the project. In November, a Miami-Dade Circuit Court panel rejected the organization’s challenge to the city’s approval of the project.

Members of the community who want to serve in the trust must submit an application form to the Office of the City Clerk, 3500 Pan American Dr., by 4 p.m. on March 12.

The clerk will publish a list of the nominees on March 19. The city commission will consider the confirmation of five voting members and one non-voting member, a teenager who is age 15 to 18, on April 8.

About the Authors:

Christina returned to Local 10 in 2019 as a reporter after covering Hurricane Dorian for the station. She is an Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist and previously earned an Emmy Award while at WPLG for her investigative consumer protection segment "Call Christina."

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.