MIAMI (WSVN) - Miami-Dade County and the Related Urban Development Group broke ground on the first phase of the highly-anticipated Liberty Square Rising development, Wednesday.
The $307 million redevelopment will completely reimagine Liberty Square, one of the Southeast’s oldest and largest public housing developments.
The project will demolish more than 700 public housing units and replace them with a mix of over 1400 new units that will include public housing, affordable housing, market-rate units and retail space.
According to commissioners, the new development will dramatically improve the quality of life for the families living in the historic Miami neighborhood.
“We’re really long overdue,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez. “For too many years we’ve put a million dollars here, a million dollars there, and then finally I told my housing director, ‘Look take a big chunk of money. Let’s make a difference. All right?’ And that’s what we did.”
The county expects to bring hundreds of jobs to the community because of this project. Giminez promised that 30 percent of construction jobs and 75 percent of permanent jobs will go to the people of Liberty Square.
Last summer, more than a hundred residents from Liberty Square lined up in hopes of change at a commission meeting.
Commissioners promised the redevelopment would include an increase in public housing, as well as new opportunities for homeowners. However, controversy has long surrounded the project, which has been in the planning stages for years.
Some Liberty Square residents and local leaders have accused Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez of showing favoritism in the developer selection process. Some residents have said they have not had enough of a voice in the design phase of the process.
Commissioners unanimously voted to approve the project.
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