Cutler Bay residents worried about proposed apartment complex

The Cutler Bay Town Council will consider a controversial seven-story, 236-unit apartment building this Wednesday, Nov. 20.

The plan proposed by Cedar Holding LLC would demolish the US1 Discount Mall located in the Point Royale Plaza at 18901 So. Dixie Hwy.

Gabriela Borgneth, a Cutler Bay resident, said the plan is a horrible idea and will only cause chaos. “The site where they are planning it logistically does not make sense. That shopping plaza already has a problem with customers entering and exiting, and now you’re going to add at a minimum 236 cars,” Borgneth said.

Aimee Richardson, a nurse at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, said the problem with building apartments is that they don’t expand the roads. “I believe that the roadway needs an expansion prior to building up the community,” Richardson said.

But traffic is not the only concern.

Jessie Prado, who has been a resident for four years, said that many good residents are moving out of Cutler Bay because it is getting overcrowded and dangerous.

Prado believes that this plan might increase crime and theft. “Cutler Bay needs a shift in the right direction. Better places to eat, more community engagement, crime watch, clean-ups in canals and better transportation. We do not need more apartments,” Prado said.

Town Manager Rafael Casals said elected officials, who delayed approval after a recent hearing, are working with the developer to address concerns. “The deferral will allow the developer to address the council’s concerns: traffic circulation within the existing shopping center, set-backs from adjacent residential properties, et cetera,” he said.

The Nov. 20 meeting is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

Originally from Nicaragua, Maria Grijalva is a senior majoring in journalism at Florida International University. After she graduates, Grijalva wants to pursue her dream of reporting for fashion magazines.