Lawsuit filed by Little Haiti resident over new development

Magic City Mega Complex developers plan to build 17 buildings in area

By Glenna Milberg - Reporter

MIAMI - A development debate is creating controversy in Miami's Little Haiti neighborhood.   

The Magic City Mega Complex got the green light to transform the neighborhood, but now one resident's new lawsuit is holding it up. 

Warren Perry didn't get to give his say on the issue with the city commission because he's a renter not a property owner. 

He is suing for standing. Whether he gets it or not remains to be seen. 

Perry and some others are opposed to not only the size of the development, but the entertainment components that they fear will create noise from traffic and ruin the quality of life. 

Developers said it will enhance the area and have promised to bring programs to the area and other benefits.

Although he is a renter, Perry maintains that he is a resident and, as such, has just as much stake in the neighborhood.

"It's too large for the scale of the community," Perry said about the new development.

Perry's lawsuit is the latest attempt to stop the development after it got final approvals five weeks ago.

"There is an incredible impact about to happen. You can hear the frustration of the community that they didn't get an opportunity to participate in the process," Perry's attorney, David Winker, said. 

The green light for the billion-dollar project came in a post-midnight vote by three commissioners. The other two commissioners were already gone over intense opposition from some neighborhood groups.

The approval gives Magic City developers the ability to build a high-rise condo, a hotel, offices and an entertainment complex. In total, 17 buildings would be built on just short of 18 acres in Little Haiti's low-rise, low-rent, immigrant-rich neighborhood.

"It's a project that is so good for the neighborhood, that will provide so many benefits, that will displace no one," the developer's attorney, Neisen Kasdin, said.  

Kasdin touted job creation, an economic infusion and another $31 million donated to the Little Haiti trust fund. The first payment of $6 million of that money is being held up by the new lawsuit.

"The only ones being hurt by this appeal are the people -- the residents of Little Haiti -- who are going to receive $6 million in short order," Kasdin said. 

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