Currently viewing the tag: "Homestead"

This from the Herald today:

…a group of investors are developing a large chunk of Homestead’s Park of Commerce — 270 acres lying west of the Homestead-Miami Speedway and east of Florida’s Turnpike — into what they believe will become South Florida’s largest luxury business park.

Once complete, the aptly named ParkSouth will house 1.4 million square-feet of warehouse, light-commercial and office space. Maybe even a hotel.

Then later:

“I see Homestead like a new Doral, a new Weston, three years down the line,” said Albornoz (retail investor).

Jeez, I hope not.

Photo courtesy of the Miami Herald

Photo courtesy of the Miami Herald

This is really unfortunate - especially given our current economic problems. We can no longer approach land development with a business as usual mindset. This project typifies the type of bad, autocentric planning that pervades our suburbs and which should not only be avoided, but written  out of our land development regulations (ie. made illegal - in much the same way that compact/traditional planning has been illegal for the past 50 years).

Our friends at Eye on Miami have some great commentary about the proposed changes to the State growth management laws - part of the same  discussion.  Rolling back growth management laws is clearly a mistake - we need to beef up our land development regulations,  not water them down. Our future is in compact, pedestrian friendly development - incremental growth that uses resources efficiently, and results in the creation of real communities. Projects like the one shown above perpetuate an isolated, car-dependent way of life.

The advent of the car was a great thing - it allowed us the flexibility to travel long distances,  altering the landscape we inhabit. In our eagerness to use this new toy to its fullest - we separated the different aspects of our life - work, home, school, store - into neat little zones, but we never stopped to ask whether it was practical or useful to do so in the first place. Well  it isn’t - not for the people who inhabit these places, and not for the local government that needs to provide them services.

If we continue with these same patterns of development then our future is going to look like one mini-Doral after another, all connected by an arterial that comes from nowhere and goes nowhere.

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Local:

  • Pedestrians don’t belong on 1-95…
  • Yet another person dies trying to bypass a Tri-Rail railroad crossing…
  • Buy local produce! It’s a key part of creating a sustainable society, a great way to keep money in the local economy, and an effective measure to reduce pollution (less overseas and transcontinental shipments…)
  • Get ready for strict water restrictions next year and pretty much every year after that. Anyone else think that perhaps the County should mandate the installation of water saving devices (such as technology which reuses sink greywater for toilet use) for all new construction?

Elsewhere:

  • The return of Urban Parks. Finally!
  • After they created the largest bike sharing network (note the absence of the popular word scheme, its a network, not a ploy) in the world and reintroduced streetcars to their urban landscape; Parisians are now getting ready to embrace electric car sharing service
  • Collapse of the housing market signals the end of suburban sprawl? James Howard Kunstler thinks so
  • Bike Boxes, what a novel concept to show drivers they aren’t the only ones on the road. Dual bike lanes and Bike Boxes in NYC are even more progressive…

The Fontainebleau Miami is rising. I am not talking about the reinvention of the famous Miami Beach hotel, but rather the sudden emergence of a palatial 14-acre estate on the southwestern fringes of Miami-Dade County. After a brief Miami-Dade property search, it turns out that the home belongs to one of the area’s top skyscraper designers; Charles Sieger, designer of the urban 50 Biscayne, ultra luxurious Apogee condominium in SOBE, and revolutionary Portofino tower, among other projects. It is a paradox to see one of the area’s top condominium designers, a proponent for urban life I would assume, build a sprawling mansion on land situated outside of the urban development boundary.

The house itself is set back quite a distance from the street. I drove by recently catching this glimpse, perplexed that a house in this area could be built with such a short setback. I turned around and drove by again, realizing that this was only a “guardhouse” of sorts and that the “real” mansion lay somewhere behind a few acres of well manicured gardens, obelisks, and fountains. This area is no stranger to oversized palaces as we noted back in April in a post, which incidentally featured a picture of the entrance to this estate.

I assume the home is modeled after the famous Fontainebleau in Fontainebleau, France, the same location where Charles Sieger studied in 1968 at the Ecoles D’Art Americaines according to his resume.