Town Square, a group comprised of representatives from the Arsht Center and surrounding area including the Herald and Omni, have been reviewing the potential impact of a casino development as proposed for the “World Resorts Miami” by the Genting Group. Their findings are not so positive, but I’m not sure they are really being objective.
We all know that Miami is suffering from the economic downturn, which according to recent reports puts Miami as the third hardest hit city in the WORLD. We need more jobs, we need more tax revenue. The Genting development provides that. Their talk about traffic congestion and other infrastructure issues weren’t even discussed when over 25,000 new condos were built in downtown Miami over the last 5 years. Traffic is bad, and gets worse by the day.
According to a Miami Today News story,
The main concerns Town Square cites:
- Reconstruction of a regional transportation system, including the heavily traveled north downtown area near the Genting site and to the west, where I-395, State Road 836 and Interstate 95 meet.
- Prior to the Genting proposal, that area of downtown highways “had been scheduled for reconstruction of roughly $750 million or more within the next decade,” Mr. Codina wrote. “But we now know that this reconstruction plan may already be obsolete for the needs of just one large destination resort casinoâ€¦”
- Material costs to the local street network.
- Parking needs that may inundate the neighborhood.
“Parking needs for car-based destination resort casinos are also significant,” Mr. Codina wrote. “While parking is a critical element of Town Square’s future, we have a serious concern that casino resort parking demand could overwhelm the neighborhood.”
While there have been incredible improvements to the Biscayne corridor through it’s recent re-do, but the 836/395/95 intersection coming East has been a disaster for several years. My daily commute takes me through that interchange each day – and it only gets worse. It’s an interchange that wasn’t well thought out, or was not intended to serve the volume of traffic which goes through on a daily basis, climaxing from 5-7 each day. West bound traffic is always a disaster from 4 to 7PM each day. We need more infrastructure as it is, and with the amount of property that Genting has planned, there is more than enough room for sufficient parking of the rental cars. In Vegas, they aren’t worried about local tourists, they are worried about all the destination travelers.
We can only wait to see what happens next.