Plans for North Miami’s proposed Chinatown are moving forward, and property values are expected to rise in the area, city officials said last week.
The latest version of the proposed Chinatown will feature two gateways to the district, on the north and south, that will have a Chinese design, though the elements are still considered conceptual, said Ben Benmoshe, urban designer with Keith and Schnars, an engineering consulting firm that is working on the master plan for the project designer.
At the same time, Chinatown will pay tribute to the area’s largely Haitian population, as well as to American values that will be represented by a statue of George Washington. The details were revealed last week as North Miami residents, architects, planners and business owners gathered to get an update on the master plan for a new Chinatown in the Seventh Avenue corridor between 119th Street and 135th Street.
Benmoshe said the new development will be “place-making.” “It will put North Miami on the map internationally,” he told The Real Deal.
The final master plan for Chinatown is expected to go before the Community Redevelopment Agency’s Advisory Committee in July. The district is within the CRA.
Larry Spring, North Miami City Manager, said that property values will increase because of the creation of Chinatown. According to a pamphlet on the project issued by the city, property values have already gone up since February 2016 — when the city designated 16 blocks on Northwest Seventh Avenue as “Chinatown”— by 8.6 percent.
The district is expected to become even more expensive when a 300-room hotel near the south entrance to the district and a library and/or museum are built within it, among other real estate developments. By creating a Chinatown, the city is hoping to attract tourists and to lure technology companies and businesses focused on the culinary arts, among other types of businesses. The development is aimed at creating employment for residents of the district as well as nearby neighborhoods.