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Newly-Released Study Makes Compelling Case for Placing Permanent Tri-Rail Station in Booming Wynwood-Midtown-Edgewater Area

Future development capacity and projected population boom make area ideal site for permanent Tri-Rail station, according to BID-commissioned study by garcia-pons+associates

 Miami, FL (October 10, 2018) – As South Florida commuter rail line Tri-Rail prepares to expand service to Miami’s urban core, the board of the Wynwood Business Improvement District (BID) has publicly unveiled a detailed study confirming the Wynwood-Midtown-Edgewater area as the ideal site to house a new Tri-Rail station. The study by respected urban planner Cesar Garcia-Pons was publicly presented for the first time at the BID Board’s monthly meeting today, and supports the organization’s long-held contention that current development, plus future development capacity and population growth, justify development of a permanent Wynwood station.

“The Wynwood BID prides itself on implementing forward-thinking urban planning concepts in our growing district – and that includes doing our part to find solutions to Miami’s growing traffic challenges,” said BID Board Member David Polinsky. “We hope that our City of Miami and Miami-Dade County partners will take note of this new study and work with us to ensure that the booming Wynwood-Midtown-Edgewater area houses a permanent Tri-Rail station.”

Mr. Garcia-Pons, who previously served as Deputy Director of the City of Miami Planning & Zoning Department, used 2015 U.S. census data to establish current baseline population and development figures for the study. He then projected maximum buildout statistics for the study area based on physical conditions and Miami 21 zoning code. The study covered two areas which geographically overlap in Midtown: the area within a ½-mile radius of NE 29th Street and the FEC rail line in Wynwood, and the area within a ½-mile radius of NE 36th Street and the FEC rail line in the Design District.

“From an urban planning perspective, it’s important that any new transit stations in Miami’s urban core not only be located near vibrant, mixed-use residential and commercial communities, but also within a neighborhood or area that has the greatest potential for residential and employment growth,” said Garcia-Pons. “The results of the study make a compelling case for siting a commuter transit station a bit further to the south.”

Garcia-Pons’ findings show clear differences in both projected population growth and potential new development for the two subject areas – one anchored by Wynwood-Edgewater and the other anchored by the Design District. This study comes after the City of Miami announced earlier this year its intention to apply to the TPO Demonstration Program for a temporary passenger rail platform at the Design District location.

Key findings of the study including the following:

  • When the overlapping Midtown area is removed, the future development potential capacity of the Wynwood/29th Street Station Area is three times higher than the equivalent Design District/36th Street Station Area
  • Based on the maximum build-out data sets (Population, Density, Commercial and Employment), the total Wynwood/29th Street Station Area has a 50% higher future potential development capacity than the total Design District/36th Street Station Area
  • Exclusive of the overlapping Midtown area, the Wynwood/29th Street Station Area has a projected maximum buildout population of 52,400, versus 16,100 for the Design District/36th Street Station Area
  • When the overlapping Midtown area is included, the Wynwood/29th Street Station Area has a projected maximum buildout population of 90,500 versus 55,000 for the Design District/36th Street Station Area
  • At maximum buildout, the total Wynwood/29th Street Station Area is projected to have 27,900 employees, while the Design District/36th Street Station is projected to have 18,300 employees

Looking ahead, the Wynwood BID will now share the results of the study with City of Miami of elected officials, as well as members of the City administration for their consideration. Additionally, the BID will ensure that Miami-Dade County Commissioners, relevant members of the administration and members of the Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization receive copies of the garcia-pons+associates research document. Lastly, the study results will be shared with Grupo Mexico, owner of the FEC Railway, the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, and residents of the Wynwood-Midtown-Edgewater area.

“We look forward to sharing the findings of this study with City of Miami leaders and other South Florida decision-makers,” said Wynwood BID Executive Director Manny Gonzalez. “The results truly speak for themselves, and make the case for why the Wynwood-Midtown-Edgewater area is the right place to build a permanent Tri-Rail station.”

The Wynwood BID officially endorsed the Tri-Rail station concept by way of resolution in May 2018, signaling its readiness to work side by side with Tri-Rail, as well as City of Miami and Miami-Dade County leaders, to bring the service to the area with a centrally-located station. In addition to pledging their support for the Wynwood-Midtown-Edgewater Station, the BID also affirmed its support for utilizing transit-oriented development zoning incentives to further move station development forward.

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About the Wynwood Business Improvement District (BID)

The Wynwood BID is a municipal board of the City of Miami representing more than 400 property owners that comprise the 50-city-block Wynwood Arts District. Run by a Board of Directors who themselves are property owners from the community, the BID works to enhance security and sanitation services in the neighborhood, advocate for the betterment of the area, raise awareness of advancements being made, and plan for the future of Wynwood.