Source: Miami Herald
By: Andres Viglucci
Photo by: Coral Gables Business Improvement District
Hard to believe, but after two years of messy construction, street and sidewalk closures, contractor disputes, lost business and unfathomable delay, the ambitious Miracle Mile makeover is finished. Coral Gables’ main drag, one of South Florida’s signature shopping streets, is finally and fully open for business again.
Now comes the real test: Whether the $24 million that Gables taxpayers and downtown property owners invested in the design-heavy streetscape reconstruction will draw the promised crowds to revive the Mile, which had lost its shine amid cracked, worn sidewalks, lackluster shopping and stiff competition from other resurgent South Florida urban centers.
As the city and the downtown Gables business improvement district get ready to dedicate the new-look Mile with a sidewalk celebration on Saturday evening, it’s much too early to predict success. But backers say so far, so good.