MIAMI—What do you get when you team some of Miami’s most effective non-profits with one of the nation’s most prolific affordable housing developers? A mixed-use residential and educational complex in West Coconut Grove called Gibson Plaza.
Located on Grand Avenue, just east of Douglas Road, Gibson Plaza will sit in the heart of one of Miami’s most historic neighborhoods. The affordable housing project will offer 56 apartments and an educational facility to serve residents and members of the surrounding community.
Pinnacle Housing Group and the Collaborative Development Corporation, in partnership with the Theodore Roosevelt Gibson Memorial Fund, and Miami Dade College, through the Mitchell Wolfson Sr. Foundation, are co-developing the project.
Miami Dade College will provide the educational and workforce programs within the affordable housing complex. Gibson Plaza will break ground on April 28 and is set for completion in mid-2015. The project mark the first ground-up multi-family residential development to take shape in the West Grove in nearly five decades.
“It has always been a dream of ours to have affordable housing, continuing education and after school programs for children running side-by-side,” says Thelma Gibson, the founder of the Theodore Roosevelt Gibson Memorial Fund, which owns the land on which Gibson Plaza is being built. “Gibson Plaza will bring us one step closer to realizing our long-held vision of improving the West Grove neighborhood.”
Commissioner Xavier Suarez notes that the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners allocated $9M towards the construction and development of affordable housing in District 7 to the four partners involved in the development. He says, “I believe will spur the re-birth of the long neglected segment of our community—The Coconut Grove Village West.”
The ground floor of Gibson Plaza will feature educational spaces created to provide job and technology training for area residents. The Mitchell Wolfson Sr. Foundation is largely funding the educational component.
“Gibson Plaza will create new jobs, educational opportunities and access to affordable housing in one of South Florida’s most underserved areas,” says Michael Wohl, partner with Miami-based Pinnacle. “Pinnacle Housing Group’s communities breathe new life into neighborhoods across the US, but it’s always extra special when we make an impact in our own backyard.”
The development, catering to elderly residents, will offer one- and two-bedroom apartments for rent. Amenities on-site will include an exercise room, community center, a library, and a computer lab. Gibson Plaza’s architectural design will echo traditional Bahamian architecture, a nod to the West Grove’s history as one of the earliest settlements in Miami-Dade County.
“We have high hopes for this development and its ability to catalyze, revitalize and transform the historic Coconut Grove’s Village West neighborhood of Miami,” says J.S. Rashid, president and CEO of the Collaborative Development Corporation. “Gibson Plaza will create a synergy in the Grove business district that will promote further investment.”