Sound Familiar?

The Miami Herald's story this morning on the Wynwood Free Trade Zone read a helluva lot like a story I penned for the newspaper on May 18, 1994, 13 friggin years ago.

Old version:

IN WYNWOOD, A GRAND ECONOMIC DREAM TURNS BITTER

BY CHARLES STROUSE Herald Staff Writer

Shards of concrete and garbage litter empty fields where Miami leaders once predicted thousands of new jobs. A multimillion-dollar federal grant for one of the city's most desperate neighborhoods is now only a memory. Almost five years after Miami commissioners agreed to donate 12 1/2 acres of prime land in Wynwood for a foreign trade zone, the plan is mired in accusations of wrongdoing and incompetence. Though developers still hope to build a large warehouse, even some backers...

New Version: Posted on Mon, Oct. 15, 2007

Failed Wynwood site attracts bids

BY ANDRES VIGLUCCI

"Behind wide-open gates, the big warehouse and office building -- the product of millions of dollars in public investment -- stands empty and trashed, windows busted out, covered in graffiti, stripped by vandals of anything of value.

This is all that remains of the Wynwood Foreign Trade Zone, a commercial project whose sponsors once pledged 3,000 jobs for a struggling community. It never got off the ground, done in by 17 years of infighting and a skein of lawsuits steeped in claims of ethnic discrimination.

Now the bankrupt nonprofit group behind the trade zone stands to receive a multimillion-dollar windfall from a project that by any measure has been a rotund failure.

Broke, owing more than $2 million in back taxes, and unable to afford even a guard to secure its property, the Wynwood Community Economic Development Corp. has put it up for sale."

Which is to say: The more things change in the rest of America....the more they never ever never change in Miami....

Chuck Strouse

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