Cutler Bay residents fear high-quality housing project at Southland Mall site will cost people – CBS Miami

CUTLER BAY (CBSMiami) – Southland Mall in Cutler Bay will soon be transformed into a multimillion-dollar mixed-use development with homes, restaurants and retail stores.

“It’s embarrassing here, it’s run down,” said longtime Cutler Bay resident Dahlia Canes as she strolled through the Southland Mall.

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“The mall has deteriorated a bit, as you can see in the background, it needs a major facelift to say the least,” Canes added.

Canes and other Cutler Bay residents who feel the same way will soon have their wish for a facelift.

“You have to worry about what’s going to happen when a mall is in trouble, so we decided to come up with a vision for this area rather than leaving it in the hands of the developer,” said Mayor Tim Meerbott. by Cutler. Bay.

City officials say the mall, which was bankrupt, was recently sold for more than $100 million and the new owners have agreed to work with the city to transform the 80-plus-acre property.

“So we are developing a division that would be compatible with our city a multi-purpose environment that will bring all the things that we can use – restaurants, entertainment, jobs – something that is very vital in every community, Meerbott added.

Additionally, Meerbott says the plan is to build a pedestrian space, which will also include housing. But he adds that these units will be different from other developments.

“Cutler Bay has certain standards that we want to make sure the developer meets to provide quality accommodation with enough space to make it a living space rather than a space for people.”

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But the community is mixed on the idea.

“It would be a good opportunity, but a lot of people can’t afford it,” said Cutler Bay resident Latoya McCray.

Leila Batista agreed, saying: “I am concerned about the value of property in the area as it is already increasing. It’s already hard to pay. »

“It’s not as crowded as other malls, so hopefully the new management will be better,” Carlos Salas said.

And the better is what city officials say they are working towards.

“Cutler Bay is the geographic center of the county, but there are very few employment opportunities here, very few entertainment opportunities, and this could be the spark that will change everything,” Meerbott added.

The PR firm representing the developers sent CBS4 the following statement:

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“The shopping center will be significantly renovated and modernized. Plans are being drawn up for beautiful residential space on surplus land. We look forward to providing additional information on our plans soon.

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