OVERTOWN – Design renderings are giving Overtown residents a peek into the future.
“I love living here,” exclaimed Overtown resident Electa Edwards.
“From all the pictures I have seen, they’re going to make it a pedestrian park that have water parks,” said lifelong Overtown resident Jackie Bell, 84.
Bell says she’s excited about the “Underdeck” renderings illustrating the 33-acre public space, that will be developed by Florida Department of Transportation and the City of Miami, running below 395, from Overtown to Biscayne Bay.
“They had to do something for the community because they keep destroying it,” Bell said.
Like back in the 1960s when 395 was constructed, resulting in this for Overtown, “Slum and blight because Black businesses that were here they had to move,” said Bell.
“This 395 project disrupted Overtown. It was dubbed “urban renewal” but truth be told it ended up being urban removal,” said Dr. Nelson Adams, Chairperson of The Underdeck Committee.
Now, hoping to learn from past mistakes, by bringing new life to Overtown and beyond.
“We are optimistic that this Underdeck, this green space that will connect, reconnect, if you will, Overtown to the other side of the track will be significant,” said Adams, “We want this public space to be just that, for the public.
Project leaders are still working on a final design, budget and official name for the Underdeck.