Miami CRA Plan
Overtown is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Miami. Established in the 1890s, the area developed into a vibrant center of African American culture and economic activity, where business owners established a viable, thriving community by building schools, homes, churches, and commercial ventures. Hotels, apartments, night clubs, and small neighborhood markets shaped the character of Overtown.
Today Overtown is experiencing re-investment and redevelopment. The area is part of a Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) established to promote overall physical, social, and economic revitalization of the neighborhood. The 2003 Plan sets forth the mechanisms to guide growth and redevelopment of the community.
The new Biscayne Boulevard was designed to be pedestrian friendly, with special street features, wide sidewalks, shopfronts and outdoor cafes to serve the redesigned park. Better connectivity with Park West and prominent civic buildings was also stressed, while the creation of development standards maximized waterfront properties along Biscayne Boulevard and established an architectural integrity for Downtown. The Promenade, a once-abandoned railroad right-of-way in the center of Park West, was redesigned as a bustling Entertainment District centerpiece to celebrate Miami’s diverse music and cultural scenes. A variety of projects for Overtown aimed to promote increased safety, create improved public space, and diversify large blocks with new streets and a mix of building types and uses.
The CRA Plan was approved; Biscayne Boulevard streetscape improvements have been completed, and smaller infill projects in Overtown and Park West are well underway.