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Miami Worldcenter Creating Urban Mall With Closed Streets

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Miami Worldcenter wants to create urban pedestrian promenades with shops and restaurants, à la Lincoln Road, on two of the public streets it's trying to purchase from the city. They plan to construct a building spanning over the third, a block of NE 8th Street, and return it to public use. By sheer square footage, the Worldcenter people say they are giving more area to public use than they are taking away.

Critics have complained that the price the city is being paid by Worldcenter is far too low. Worldcenter's lawyers say the streets, although ceded for public use, aren't technically owned by the city but by adjacent landowners, according to original platting a century ago. Thus the city cannot technically sell them. Worldcenter says closing the streets will weave together the project with the new condo towers to the east. Other critics say the street closures will ensnare traffic, especially during Heat games, where the streets act as dissipators. But at Worldcenter, cars can hit the road, jack.
· Developer wants to take control of three Miami streets [Miami Herald]