WATSON ISLAND

THE IMPORTANCE OF WATSON ISLAND

Every new element of public infrastructure or private development creates ripple effects near and far. 

A little over ten years ago, Downtown Miami consisted of some scattered office buildings, bedraggled retail stores, sketchy dining establishments, and hardly any residential offerings.  Today the area is bursting with dozens of new public and private buildings, brilliant architecture, and a burgeoning full-time population. more..

In general, life in Downtown Miami gets better every day...but also more challenging.

Euphemistically named "Island Gardens" by its private developer this monstrosity should realistically be named "The Watson Island Strangler" It looks beautiful on paper. But, this twin-towered 50 and 35 story hotel complex with 605 rooms and over 350,000 of shopping mall activity, and a base alone the size of the American Airlines Area, will dwarf everything around, and block the sight lines of everyone on the bay from South Beach to downtown Miami.

Every new element of public infrastructure or private development creates ripple effects near and far. 

A little over ten years ago, Downtown Miami consisted of some scattered office buildings, bedraggled retail stores, sketchy dining establishments, and hardly any residential offerings.  Today the area is bursting with dozens of new public and private buildings, brilliant architecture, and a burgeoning full-time population. 

Some ideas - first advanced many years ago - may no longer make sense given the new reality of Downtown Miami.  Island Gardens was selected 14 years ago to develop a mega project on Watson Island. It might have been a good idea - THEN.

But decisions made by the City of Miami in recent years, in many cases using highly questionable procedures, could cause unimaginable traffic congestion impeding the flow of traffic between Miami-Dade's two major economic hubs - South Beach and Downtown Miami. This nightmarish image of traffic on MacArthur illustrates what COULD happen on a regular basis if we do not act to prevent it now.

Concerned residents and businesses are invited to explore the enormous risks to their economic interests and quality of life. 

As local media organizations – newspapers, magazines and TV news staffs – grow smaller, it is increasingly difficult to stay informed about local issues. 

As a result, many major real estate and infrastructure developments move along quietly, out-of-sight and unknown to the public.

For example, many people living and/or working in Downtown Miami and/or South Miami Beach do not know that the City of Miami is about to give the go-ahead to the long-stalled Island Garden development on Watson Island. 

Nor are they aware of how this project could severely clog traffic on the already overburdened McArthur Causeway.

The  COALITION AGAINST CAUSEWAY CHAOS seeks give the public a better opportunity to learn about the flaws in this project and the suspicious process by which the City has allowed it to move forward. CACC believes that development must proceed in accordance with all applicable state and local laws, through a transparent process in which the citizens have input with the local government after obtaining current and accurate information from the City and the developer. In the Island Gardens case, those principles have not been  followed in virtually every important respect. If interested citizens do not take action to hold their local government officials accountable for these failures, then we have abandoned the very notion of democracy and accountable government.

To do this, we need YOUR support.