A shopping center with a unique history dating back to the era of one-lane roads in Kendall is getting a major makeover.
“It was time for a change,” said Mason Sharpe, vice president of property management at Sharpe Properties, a family business that has owned the Miller Heights Shopping Center on SW 56th Street since 1977.
The now-aging 24,500-square-foot plaza built by Lennar in 1965 then stood out because it was one of the only retail centers in that area, Sharpe noted.
“In addition, because a drainage canal then ran through the middle of Miller Road, there were one-lane roads running east and west, and it was difficult for cars traveling westbound to turn left into the center,” he recalled. “Once the drainage canal was covered by street expansion, Miller Road became a major thoroughfare in Dade County.
“However, because the area was already populated by an ever-growing residential community, there was little opportunity for the development of other commercial properties within dense residential neighborhoods.
“Thus, despite being located nearly two miles west of the Palmetto Expressway, the center still remains the very first shopping center along Miller Drive when exiting west off the Palmetto,” he explained.
Noting the Center survived multiple hurricanes and fires over the years, Sharpe said, “It seemed that no matter how bad the shopping center looked in appearance, it never deterred customers, despite its aging. That’s why we wanted to return a favor by giving the community a shopping center that stands out as one of the best around.”
To that end, BRV Construction (headquartered near Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport) and Azze Architecture Inc. of Miami were selected by Sharpe Properties to begin a $1.5 million redevelopment project in January of this year.
The facelift includes elevating tenant signage from 13-15 feet to up to 50 feet above ground with reverse channel lettering and LED lighting as well as installing high-end windstorm impact-resistant floor-to-ceiling window glass.
Twin 40-foot towers at either end of the Center also will be LED-lighted to attract shoppers and parking will be expanded by 15 spaces.
“Nearly all our existing tenants have remained open and we’re planning to attract new national firms for remaining vacancies,” Sharpe said. For information, call 305-693-3500 or visit www.SharpeProperties.com.