Entrepreneurs Should Take Their Talents To Miami’s Artsy Opportunity Zone

By Majella Mark

  • The TAMI (Technology Arts Media Innovation) building was approved for the $74M housing development project in Miami’s Overtown Opportunity Zone
  • The median household income for Miami is roughly $58K where Overtown’s predominantly Black area sits at $26K per year

A historical Black Miami neighborhood called Overtown is the latest “Opportunity Zone” in Miami that may soon be unrecognizable. An “Opportunity Zone” is an economic development area where investors can invest in underdeveloped neighborhoods across the United States with the expectation of tax breaks. At its peak in the 30s, the likes of Louis Armstrong and Josephine Baker resided in Overtown as a segregated Miami made way for a renaissance period for colored people of the deep south. Today, this community, once known as the ‘Harlem of the South,’ has attracted real estate developers with plans to tap into the more than 1,500 Opportunity Zones Funds that have raised more than $75 billion of capital

Why This Matters: The median household income for Miami is roughly $58,000, where Overtown sits at only $26,000 per year. To revive the predominantly Black neighborhood, it was officially certified as an opportunity zone by the U.S. Treasury back in 2018 to encourage commercial development, bike lanes, and skyscraping 80/20 housing complexes. 

Currently, Chef Marcus Samuelsson has his signature restaurant, Red Rooster, in the community, while Black owned theaters and cafes are now popping up. Southeast Overtown/Park West CRA is investing $74 million in a new 12 story property called TAMI and other developers such as Soleste Grand Central has began leasing apartments in their 360 unit property, renting studios at the cost of $1,500/month. 

Since the 1960s Overtown was facing challenges but building a highway through the neighborhood in the 1990s increased its condition as an impoverished food desert with high crime and abandoned buildings. The neighborhood is two miles from Downtown Miami and just blocks from the high pedestrian Art District called Wynwood, full of color, music, and kitschy restaurants. 

Situational Awareness: In five to 10 years, the forgotten neighborhood of Overtown may face a revival in the form of gentrification, losing some of its historical DNA in its pavement. New cultural pillars are popping up in the heart of Overtown, trying to preserve its Black history, like the Art Of Healing Community Center and The Urban. This is an opportunity to plant the seeds necessary to bring the Harlem of the South into its new renaissance period of the soaring 20s.

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