After months of turmoil, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has endorsed a $307 million plan to redevelop Liberty Square, the county’s oldest public housing project.
Gimenez sent a memo to county commissioners Friday recommending that they approve an agreement with Related Urban Development Group to build 1,572 units of mixed-income housing at the “Pork n’ Beans” and nearby Lincoln Gardens property. The affordable housing developer spent the last several weeks negotiating with Gimenez’s administration after winning a tumultuous competitive solicitation.
By signing the recommendation to commissioners, Gimenez for the first time endorsed a specific plan to carry out his high-profile “Liberty Square Rising” project, which has become a political lightning rod in the African-American community as he campaigns for re-election. He also effectively lifted a procurement “cone of silence” gag order that kept county commissioners, the mayor and members of his administration from responding to criticisms and publicly discussing details of the polarizing project.