Pedestrian Plaza Considered In Front Of Downtown Miami’s New Courthouse, But County Nixes Idea Over Traffic Concern

A busy downtown Miami street was under consideration for closure to car traffic to create a new pedestrian plaza, but Miami-Dade county quickly decided against the idea.

Northwest 1st Avenue would have been closed to automobile traffic to create the new plaza, if the suggestion by area stakeholders had been accepted by the county. The closure would have affected a single block, from Flagler Street to 1st Street.

Miami-Dade historic Civil Courthouse sits on one side of the street, and a tall new courthouse tower is planned to begin construction next year on narrow lot on the other side of the street.

At an April 11 stakeholder meeting, the county was asked to consider creating the pedestrian plaza between the old and new courthouse buildings by closing the street.

A July 1 memo from Mayor Carlos Gimenez states the county’s Department of Transportation and Public Works was unable to approve the closure. A study shows that nearby streets are already operating at an unacceptable “F” level and cannot accommodate any rerouted traffic.

Construction on the new courthouse is scheduled to begin in July 2020, but the county is five months ahead of schedule and will select a developer by November, according to law.com

Three remaining bidders remain for the courthouse project. They are:

  • M-S-E Judicial Partners LLC (DLR Group and Suffolk Construction)
  • Plenary Group USA Concessions Ltd. (HOK and Tutor Perini Corp)
  • Sacyr Infrastructure USA, (Sacyr SA, AECOM and Plaza Construction)

MiamiCentral developer and Virgin Trains/Brightline parent Florida East Coast Industries was selected as an alternate, but is now out of the bidding after all three top ranked teams submitted proposals.

The new courthouse site is also polluted with arsenic and other contaminants, likely due to its former use as rail property. Cleanup time and cost is still being studied.

 

 

The historic courthouse, which will be replaced. The portion of Northwest 1st Avenue seen below will soon be rerouted to make way for supertall towers at MiamiCentral, and the county considered closing the next block for a pedestrian plaza:

 

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Anonymous

Sad!! That would’ve been an awesome idea!! It would’ve brought much needed live to the area.

Unfortunately this is Miami and our corrupt government officials love garages, cars!

We need to vote these dinosaurs out.

Anonymous

We need a Mayor like Raul Martinez who made Hialeah the city of progress

Anonymous

But they “speky no englas” in Hialeah.

Anonymous

neither do you!

Anonymous

But your mom think my French is great!

Anonymous

Nice come back.

Anonymous

Hialeah…agua, monte y factorias.

Anonymous

It’s more important for workers to get to their jobs wit their gasp!cars than it is for bums to smoke crack at a new “pedestrian plaza”. This is real world, not architecture 101 at FIU

Anonymous

If you think about it, it is important for Ambulances, fire trucks, garbage trucks, and delivery trucks to use the streets.
Unless, we can convert all of those emergency vehicles, and service vehicles to convert to LIME Scooters.

Think about it…

Anonymous

I agree that they all suck, but Hardemon and Russell are not Cuban. Many of us on this site do not live within the city limits. I can’t vote for/against them, but many of you can, and perhaps know others who do. Mount a grassroots campaign to get them out. Why would anyone in their right mind vote Carollo back in? Gort was elected in 1993! They run unopposed. They tow the anti-Castro line and know how to get to the last few old Cubans left within the city limits who can vote. Now they will be talking about Venezuela. It’s never about Miami. Some of you on this site might consider, or know someone who might be able to run and beat them. If they don’t speak for you, or represent your views, VOTE THEM OUT!

Anonymous

Talk is cheap…and posting here is cheaper (like you don’t have even walk out of the house to speak to an audience.)
May I suggest that you run for office?
Perhaps get involved some way were you may have some influence.

Thank goodness, the people that bitch, complain, and whine the most are lazy and ineffective.

Anonymous

So then why ask me to run?

Anonymous

A plaza makes too much urban planning sense to have been accepted.

Anonymous

Don’t see why it can’t be done. NW 1st Avenue by the courthouse is almost the end of the street before it gets to the river. Traffic gets rerouted today anyways for anyone wanting to continue further south.

Anonymous

You are making too much sense. This IS Miami.

Anonymous

Another option, that probably makes too much sense for the City, would be to create an elevated plaza over the street connecting into both building. The old court house is already elevated with the stair pedestal under it. The design of the new building would need to be tweaked to accommodate such a plaza.

Not Gene

Whoa there, my dude. This is the COUNTY’s fault, not the City.

Anonymous

The nearby street is probably an F because Miami central has messed up traffic throughout downtown with their entire closure of NW 1st Ave for the last four years. I understand that construction, especially of that size, needs closures, but they have the entire street closed even on the south end of their site, as recent as last week, even as construction seems to be wrapping up on the south portion. Who holds these guys accountable? Open the street!

County may want to consider reassessing the request for the pedestrian area once traffic gets back to normal.

Anonymous

I love the plaza idea. All major cities in Europe and South America have dozens of them. But I think that at least at the moment, until we get more residents downtown, that they would be desolate and derelict. I think this everytime I drive by the “Dropped Bowl” sculpture/fountain plaza and see it empty. Great places to gather Mon-Fri, 9-5. But drive around after dark and you will see what I mean. People walk around in Europe and South America. Old couples stroll holding hands after dinner, kids play. Coffee shops and bars are filled with people. How do we work towards that? What has to be done to make Miami (not Miami Beach) like that?

Not Gene

You mean there aren’t a lot of residents? And they’re not frequenting the park with the defunct fountain? But they said Ultra takes “their” park away from them…

Anonymous

As i have said since 2000. We do not have a lack of parks, we have a lack of attractive programming in the parks.
There are way too many great alternatives in Miami. When these academic dopes calculate “greenspace” per resident, they never include Biscayne National Park or Everglades National Park in the calculus. Miami is in the only city on the nation boarded by two National Parks.
They also neglect the extraordinary amount of public beach.
Further, unlike most major cities, Miamians have the luxury of private pools in their condos and apartments.

FuThSh

(ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻

Anonymous

Love the lighting on the building but unfortunately, the only building in Miami with a crown and at night it goes dark.
Lights should focus on the crown too

Anonymous

I am 100% for parks and European style plazas but 1) Miami wasn’t planned/laid out for such things 2) the plazas and parks we have now aren’t even utilized… also I do think the old county courthouse should remain a civic building and not sold to a developer for private use. Would be awesome if that building could go back to being Miami’s city hall.

Anonymous

Gimenez is still just cranky his half-assed courthouse proposal tacked onto the children’s courthouse was shot down.