By: Ismael Rodriguez
Since North Miami announced its plans for a Chinatown district last year, it seems that its next-door neighbor North Miami Beach will also have one.
Both Chinatown proposals were inspired by Chinese investors’ hunger for South Florida real estate and commerce, as well as the two cities’ aspirations to create tourist destinations, accommodating an influx in the Asian population.
Late last month, the latest version of North Miami’s Chinatown, which will run across Seventh Avenue between 119th Street and 135th Street, showcased an upgraded infrastructure and two gateways to the district, placed on the north and south entrances, that will have an aesthetic Chinese design.
Meanwhile the Chinatown in North Miami Beach, which has been in the works for the past two years, already contains a substantial amount of Chinese and other Asian establishments. There are currently 47 Asian and Chinese businesses located within the boundaries of the district, according to a study conducted by Miami-Dade County in 2015.
Another long-established attribute to placing a Chinatown in North Miami Beach is that a large majority of the Chinese community has, since the early 1990s, referred to North Miami Beach Boulevard as Chinatown, according to what Justin Proffitt, a planning and zoning manager for the city, told the press. He added that currently the city is working with business owners in the area to make the district a legitimate Chinatown.
Earlier this year, North Miami Beach requested for development proposals and five firms submitted bids, while three winners were chosen. These winners included Bermello, Ajamil & Partners, Calvin Giordano & Associates, an engineering and planning firm, and GAI Consultants, an engineering, planning and environmental firm.
Negotiations will start with the primary option in Bermello, Ajamil & Partners within the upcoming months.