The Ultimate Nasty Neighbor

A 600-foot-tall monster stomps into your neighborhood. What can you do about it? In the City of Miami, absolutely nothing

Dickman promptly filed a lawsuit to quash the commission's ruling, which is why commissioners won't talk about it today. Murphy, for his part, has declared war on the city and especially on Winton. "He betrayed me and he betrayed all his other constituents in the name of some future constituents who aren't even here yet and let me tell you something, his ass is through," Murphy seethes. "There are a lot of people who feel this way and we're going to remove him from office and let him get re-elected by the future residents he's already working for."

In addition to forming a group to oust Winton and find a suitable replacement, Murphy vows he will file several lawsuits against the city beginning in April. The first will deal with the so-called park next to Onyx 2. "Let me tell you something, buddy boy, the city could have covered their ass by postponing a decision for a couple of weeks so we could get a better answer on this," he says, "but instead they had to go ahead and hurry up for their buddy Willy, and now I am going to sue the pants off them."

Dana Murphy: "I worked hard to fix up my home, but after they build that 
monster, the morning traffic is probably going to drive me nuts"
Jonathan Postal
Dana Murphy: "I worked hard to fix up my home, but after they build that monster, the morning traffic is probably going to drive me nuts"

In the office of Miami's Economic Development director, Otto Boudet-Murias, hangs a computer-generated city map that must mirror the one in Gustavo Miculitzki's mind. Most of the city is filled in with drab blues and greens, but along Brickell Avenue and Biscayne Boulevard are vivid renderings of approved developments. Neon paeans to Miami's future, they rise out of the dense urban core of downtown, Edgewater, Wynwood, and Overtown.

"There is a difficulty with the perception of this new development boom," Boudet-Murias begins. "In a way, the city can't win. Before, we were criticized because the city was blighted and poor. Now we are criticized for allowing this new development to run roughshod. In the end, time will tell." Boudet-Murias believes that by pushing developers to include retail space on the ground floor of big developments, and by trying to encourage middle-income as well as luxury housing, the new condos will create a richer, more vibrant downtown.

Boudet-Murias's vision for Miami may not be anything close to that held by Dana Murphy, but it's not much different from Miculitzki's. "With regard to pricing," he says, "which a lot of people say is outrageous, in comparison to Paris or New York -- cities of the caliber we're reaching for -- we're only charging a quarter of the price. Miami has a lot more growing to do. And we're giving the people what they want -- a lifestyle of prestige."

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