Kendall corridor charrette set Mar. 1 at Varela High

Input from West Kendall residents designed to improve both new and redevelopment potential of a mile-wide corridor along N. Kendall Drive west of SW 137th Avenue has been scheduled for Saturday, Mar. 1, beginning at 10 a.m., at Felix Varela Senior High School. The charrette-styled workshop, open to the public, is planned for a four-hour period to solicit specific ideas that can be used by Miami-Dade County planners for review with District 11 Commissioner Juan C. Zapata.

Printed flyers are being distributed by Zapata’s office aides in various West Kendall locations to call special attention to the meeting.

The program is similar to another conducted in 2006 in East Kendall that provided a future course for new developments to improve the infrastructure around Baptist Hospital, then enlarging its campus with new facilities.

Zapata initiated the corridor study last year with an Oct. 8 meeting attended by more than 90 residents, most of whom met again Nov. 12 to hear MDC Principal Planner Jess Linn detail the overall focus of the program.

Zapata has stressed the importance of developing new business opportunities through upgrades of Kendall Drive west from SW 137th Avenue to Krome (177th) Avenue, specifically providing new impetus for job opportunities.

Planning better landscaping, parking and access to the six-lane Kendall Drive would enhance potential development of the 70-acre “Town Center” property along Kendall Drive east of West Kendall Baptist Hospital, he said.

The Residences, a senior living complex, is under construction on center property originally designated for that purpose adjoining the east side of SW 158th Avenue.

The Howard Hughes Corporation currently markets center properties for 621,300 square feet of retail, 60,000 square feet of office and a 50,000-square-foot community center.

“The corridor charrette is the next step to determine what may be done to redevelop both Kendall Drive and other areas, one-half mile north and south of SW 88th Street,” Linn explained. All planning that develops from charrette studies is ultimately recommended for changes in the county’s master land use plan, subject to approval after public hearings at both community council and county commission meetings.

For information, call 305-375-2842; Commissioner Zapata’s office at 305-375-5511, or visit <www.miamidade.gov/district11>.

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