Tuesday, March 26

Site of the Miami Boat Show, Virginia Key Also Is the Center of a Local Dispute

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Virginia Key, the site of the Miami International Boat Show since 2016, is also the site of a local dispute, pitting developers against some local officials who want more public access and environmental sensitivity.

The one thing everybody agrees on is that the 1,000-acre key on the Rickenbacker Causeway offers beautiful views of Biscayne Bay and the downtown Miami skyline. Former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz says Virginia Key should be Miami’s version of New York’s Central Park. And the key’s master plan seemed to be heading in that direction.

But the city already has allocated $750,000 to design a mooring field by the marine stadium where the boat show is, upsetting members of rowing clubs and others who don’t want the waters disturbed there. And it has spent $20 million to blacktop the large parking lot for the stadium and install electrical, plumbing and drainage infrastructure for the boat show – all in an area where the master plan called for a new green park with a boathouse, soccer field and picnic benches.

“Everybody’s trying to get a piece of this place,” Joyce Landry told the Miami Herald. She’s a member of the Miami Rowing Club who helped defeat a $100 million marina development plan in 2016. Read more:





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