Miami New Times — 05-05-2016
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reader comment of the week:

“The people buying the properties are not interested in the arts. Once they buy your building, the first thing they do is jack up your lease.”


Changing Neighborhoods

Misrepresented story: Regarding your story about other neighborhoods that could follow Wynwood’s path (“The Next Wynwood,” Alexandra Martinez, April 28) , this is not the article we at 6th Street Dance Studio/WholeProject signed on for. When approached, we were told the article was on gentrification in our beloved neighborhoods and art. We have no desire to become “the next Wynwood,” where prices have soared, neighbors have lost their homes, and artists have been displaced. Our neighborhoods and cities are suffering from lingchi — death by 1,000 cuts as culture and history are replaced. We have been extremely active and vocal, and this misrepresentation is just another part of the larger problem. BRIGID BAKER, DIRECTOR OF 6TH STREET DANCE STUDIO/WHOLEPROJECT

Hope for lasting change: I have nothing against trying to predict the future, but the title of this article says a lot about the culture here in Miami, which is partly driven by the breakneck speed of real-estate development and the profit motive. Developers are surely eyeing the same trends in the hopes they can cash in on any upswing in prices caused by the influx of youth and hipness. I grew up in New York City in the ’80s when gentrification was not so prevalent. In my eyes, any hipness that Wynwood has is found on the exterior of the buildings, where free art flourishes. The interiors have been scooped up by overpriced coffee shops, retail, and restaurants. The next step is overpriced housing. I look forward to discovering the new centers of artistic flourishes in Miami and hope they last more than a flash in the proverbial pan. MARK BERTOCCI

Corporate takeover: In Little River and Little Haiti, the gentrification has already begun. Say goodbye to all the little mom-and-pop businesses that give this town its flavor. Make way for the new Starbucks, Paneras, and other national chains. Our cultural identity must make way for these cookie-cutter, hipster, overpriced shithole businesses. RICHARD SMITH

Business is good: Let’s make way for the change. I don’t mind the big-cheese businesses moving in to any town, because progress is progress. But wouldn’t it be awesome if the small businesses would stay and thrive along with all the wonderful arts? That’s what makes an art district: that awesome down-home feeling. CARY BARCELO

Down with speculation: This trend of letting outsiders come in and destroy what makes a neighborhood “organically” special is so tired and lame. “Curating” up-and-coming neighborhoods in low-income areas is such a contradiction. Then to later push out and alienate the residents and mom-and-pop business owners who have been there for years is a disservice to our whole community. Am I the only one yawning at all of this real-estate speculation in Miami? Just throw some street art on it, and suddenly it’s worth ten times more. The people buying the properties are not interested in the arts. Once they buy your building, the first thing they do is jack up your lease and then tell you what kind of business you can and can’t run at their spot. My husband and I closed our cigar factory in Little Havana once our lease was up because of the nonsense going on over there. NATASHA RICO

Knock it all down: Hopefully, some developer will come along and bulldoze all of these areas to build overpriced condos for the jet-set crowd of foreign investors. Then the rest of us can sit around and reminisce about the days when Wynwood was around. RAUL A. MAESTRI JR.

Float On

Learn the facts: Uncle Luke may be a hip-hop legend, but he needs to stick to what he knows and not make uneducated comments on topics like Floatopia (“Forget Floatopia: Meet Blacktopia,” Luther Campbell, April 28) that he obviously knows nothing about. He can start educating himself by actually showing up at a commission meeting so he can listen to the dozens upon dozens of residents who disagree with his uninformed remarks arguing against shutting down this harmful event. MARILU CRISTINA FLORES

Bring on the tourists: Some of the proposed tactics to deal with Floatopia border on dictatorial rule. As a resident of South Beach, I am extremely disappointed in the city commission for even considering such nonsense. Rather than propose those garbage ideas, the city simply needs to prepare for the onslaught of visitors and clean up the mess afterward. Miami Beach has always been a city that invites visitors and tourists. The city commission needs to be extremely happy that people are coming over here and spending their money. Just the parking tickets that are issued should relieve them of any pain and get rid of that false indignation. SAM FELDMAN