In 2018, a group of civic leaders, business leaders, philanthropic leaders, adjacent landowners, small business owners, nonprofits, and residents united to advocate for the future of the Underdeck. Over the past four years, they have worked closely with City administration to advocate for state-level funding for this City of Miami project, to contribute to the development of the concept design submitted by the City to FDOT through their community engagement process, and to commit to solutions on this important project.
The Underdeck Committee secured grant funding from the Knight Foundation, the Health Foundation of South Florida, the Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation, and the Bloomberg Foundation and raised match funds to power this planning process. The Townsquare Neighborhood Development Corporation (TSNDC) agreed to incubate the Underdeck Committee’s work within their nonprofit, at no cost to the group, to ensure that the group could accept and manage funding at this stage of the planning process.
On September 23, 2021, the City of Miami Commission approved a Memorandum of Understanding authorizing a collaborative planning process requiring heavy engagement and collaboration with all key stakeholders in the development of recommendations for the future design, governance, management, funding, and naming/branding of the Underdeck. The Memorandum of Understanding provides an outline of the planning deliverables and an established an Executive Committee structure.
The Executive Committee is authorized to approve the submitted recommendations transmitted to the City Manager. The Memorandum of Understanding frames the deliverables to be submitted within this report. The Executive Committee was fully appointed by the community, City Manager, Mayor and three District Commissioners. The Executive Committee is made up of:
- The Chair of TSNDC or a person designated by such Chair
- The Chair of the USAG
- One Designee each from City Commission Districts 1, 2, and 5
- Once Designee from the City of Miami Mayor
- One Designee from the City Manager
- USAG Working Group Chairs
- One Additional representative from each working group selected by their membership.
As the Underdeck Project and affiliated Working Groups continue to move forward, the following items represent the most significant recent updates:
- The Consensus Plan and Governance Membership was shared at last month’s community meeting and approved by Underdeck Executive Committee.
- City and FDOT have been working on defining the cost “delta” between the consensus plan and the original plan submitted by the JV. This process is delayed.
- Construction timeframes for the signature bridge are delayed which will impact construction timeframes for the Underdeck
- MOU between FDOT and the City of Miami will have to be updated to reflect the extended timelines.
- MOU between the City and TSNDC/Underdeck Committee will have to be updated to align with the FDOT/City of Miami MOU
- The City Commission will be receiving detailed updates and will discuss before final timelines/approach are finalized
- We have received additional insights/feedback regarding the Naming process. We will be expanding input gathering including involvement of youth, a broader, more public push, and then will share the anticipated timelines for the finalization of the process.” .
The Memorandum of Understanding provided for the establishment of five working groups:
The Underdeck Committee membership reflects a cross-referenced representation of participants in the five Underdeck Committee working groups. Recruitment of working group membership was at the center of our comprehensive outreach efforts and resulted in 124 working group committee members across the five groups. Individual members and organizations represented within the working groups can be found in the Recommendations Report.
Special Interest Groups
Feedback garnered through the Stakeholder Awareness and the, Education & Engagement group resulted in the development of two Special Interest Groups: Youth Engagement and Economic Development.
Youth Engagement and Economic Development strategies for local, small and minority-owned businesses will continue to be a top priority for the Underdeck Committee.