MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A proposed massive development in northwest Miami-Dade’s West Little River area could turn a mobile home park into a series of towers hosting nearly 4,000 units of housing.
The Soar mobile home park, located west of Northwest Miami Court, between 79th and 83rd streets, just outside of the Miami city limits, is right smack in the middle of a changing area — and a regional housing crisis.
“Every place in Miami is kind of expensive now,” resident Frantz Pierre said.
A developer recently submitted an application to the county to amend its Comprehensive Development Master Plan to allow for the project.
A presentation to county officials notes the area’s proximity to future Tri-Rail and FEC Commuter Rail corridors, including a planned train station a little more than a half-mile away.
Presentation to county:
Some residents have been living at Soar for years. Juan Aguilar has spent nearly two decades living in the park and said he had no idea what might be in store for his longtime home.
“Yes, it’s a surprise,” Aguilar told Local 10 News in Spanish.
Neighbor Gloria Rivero wasn’t aware either.
“No, no, no, we don’t know,” she said in Spanish.
In addition to up to 3,990 residential units, the 22-acre project would feature retail, offices, a hotel and a park. Some buildings could be as high as 50 stories.
The developer “believes that this area of the County deserves a high-quality activity center, to help spur renewal and rehabilitation both within and surrounding the district,” it said in its application.
Comprehensive Development Master Plan amendment request:
“It’s sad because we have been here for a while,” Rivero said.
Rivero said rents are set to rise to $905 in July. With housing costs reaching astronomical proportions in South Florida, she said she and others worry about where they’d go.
“It’s a very serious situation,” Aguilar said about the possibility of the park, home to low-income residents, many of whom are retirees.
Developers are pitching a relocation plan to the county, “with the initial phase of development resulting in all tenants north of NW 82 Street being relocated to the portion of the park south of NW 82 Street,” according to the application.
“That area of the mobile home park has sufficient room to accommodate all of the existing trailers in the north portion of the park,” it states.
In the next phase, residents would then be relocated into one of the new towers, which, in its first phase, would include “low-income/workforce housing.”
Thirty-two-thousand units of workforce housing are in the pipeline in Miami-Dade County.
“The land is so valuable, people are selling out and we are working, sometimes with the owners, to work on a transition plan,” Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told Local 10 News on Thursday. “Some landlords are even willing to build housing that people could come back to.”
The plan is just in its infancy and would likely take years to come to fruition. It could be another 18 months before the proposal goes through the planning and zoning process, before even reaching county commissioners.
Local 10 News contacted the developer Thursday seeking comment but did not hear back as of publication of this story.