Coral Gables, FL — August 28, 2014 – A vision and conceptual design for Downtown Coral Gables, set forth in 2009 by the Business Improvement District of Coral Gables (BID), is moving forward after the City of Coral Gables Commission approved  the multi-million dollar Miracle Mile and Giralda Streetscape Improvement Projects on August 26, 2014.  The BID, whose mission is to promote commercial vitality for Miracle Mile and Downtown Coral Gables, has supported the combined initiative and made it its top priority for the last seven years.

“This is a historic day in the City of Coral Gables and a major victory for the BID, its property owners, merchants, citizens and everyone who resides, works in  and visits Downtown Coral Gables and its unique shops, restaurants and entertainment,” said Burton H. Hersh, AIA, President of the Business Improvement District of Coral Gables. “We wish to thank the City of Coral Gables Mayor, Vice Mayor, Commissioners and City staff for their leadership and vision during this entire process.”

The conceptual design of the Streetscape Project will provide wider sidewalks, public art displays and open plaza areas along Miracle Mile to create a pedestrian friendly area and encourage more foot traffic. During certain times of the day and night, bollards along Giralda Avenue will be raised making it a pedestrian-only zone.

The streets along Miracle Mile and Giralda Avenue will feature improved urban lighting, tree grates, benches, kiosks, better signage for businesses and parking garages, more welcoming connections to garages and alleyways and permanent valet stations.

The use of the centralized valet parking system will be enhanced and expanded allowing visitors to drop off their car at any of the valet stations within the Business Improvement District and retrieve it from the station of their choice. The Streetscape Project will add pull-in and pull-out valet stations that will provide cover to people waiting for their vehicles when it rains.  The Streetscape Project also includes bringing the sidewalks to grade and will improve water drainage into the city’s existing drains.

Construction by the City of Coral Gables will be phased and will be done one block at a time after evaluating the merchants’ needs and peak times for business. Nighttime construction is being considered to expedite the length of the construction. An RFQ for Streetscape design services is being prepared by the City.

To finance the project, the City of Coral Gables will issue a General Obligation Bond to fund the costs of the Miracle Mile and Streetscape Projects. Benefitting BID Property owners are being assessed 50 percent of the cost spread over a 20-year period. Pre-payment options will be available for property owners and the City of Coral Gables is currently reviewing subsidies and alternative sources of financing to possibly reduce property owner assessments and offset the cost of the construction.

About the Business Improvement District of Coral Gables

The Business Improvement District of Coral Gables was incorporated in July 1997 and encompasses 19 blocks of Downtown Coral Gables including Miracle Mile. As an advocate of downtown issues and businesses, the BID empowers district members with a single-unified voice, speaking collectively to governmental and civic organizations as well as the general public in order to bring prosperity to the District.  Its mission is to promote commercial vitality for Miracle Mile and Downtown Coral Gables through marketing and advertising, and to act as a strategic catalyst for the overall improvement of the area.

Downtown Coral Gables’ Miracle Mile is a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood with more than 150 property owners and over 350 merchants which includes restaurants. Infused with a chic European feel, tree-lined streets and Mediterranean architecture, the historic area boasts some of Miami’s finest boutiques, acclaimed restaurants and lively cultural venues.   Downtown Coral Gables, with its Miracle Mile, is an elegant and sophisticated destination to live, shop, play and work.  It is Miami’s charming gem that locals like to keep secret and visitors fall in love with when they find it.  For more information and a directory, visit www.shopcoralgables.com, become a fan on www.facebook.com/ShopCoralGables, www.instagram.com/ShopCoralGables  or follow us on Twitter @ShopCoralGables.


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