2006-12-13, 11:14

Another mixed-use controversy, this one in Florida

By: Jonathan Groner
A proposal to build a mixed-use development on the site of the old Hialeah Race Track in South Florida is drawing community opposition. A local blogger is reporting: "The plan calls for high, middle, and low rise residential, mixed use, the usual." The race track is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, opponents say, and the site should be developed as a park or cultural center, not what they see as another humdrum mixed-use project.

A community activist has written:

"We want the park to be restored and preserved for its architectural and historical significance, if not a race track, then as a place that will welcome visitors to our city and hold cultural events and evening galas. We will argue any plans to develop on the historic park area and its gardens, modify it in any way, or move any of the buildings, fountains and statues from their original place. Hialeah is not only the City of Progress, it is also the Home of the Thoroughbreds. Even if they never race here again, they will forever be part of our history. Any intent to destroy or modity this historic site will receive major opposition. We invite anyone interested in the preservation of Hialeah Park to contact us."

More information on this controversy can be found in the "Eye on Miami" blog at http://eyeonmiami.blogspot.com/2006/12/hialeah-park-bites-dust-unless-citizens.html.

Just another indication that mixed-use development, however fashionable it may be in many circles, is by no means a sure thing for a developer and is not the only way in which an appealing site can be developed.

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