Miami Beach politician on convention center: "massive development....that never goes well"

From Next City writer Bill Bradley: "Miami Beach wants to update its convention center, but not just with a fresh coat of paint, new lines in the parking lot and a sparkling new sidewalk out front.  Instead it wants to redevelop the whole 52-acre district near the Atlantic shore. "Commissioner Jonah Wolfson seems to be the only official in town opposed to the redevelopment plans.  'I am not an anti-development guy,' Wolfson told me.  'And it’s very hard to be the sole voice of opposition.  But these massive developments are just cheesy.  It makes no sense from a planning perspective.'

"'People come to Miami Beach for the beach,' he said, making a fair point.  'This is not a convention town.  I don’t have a problem with renovating our existing structure, but the concept of expanding is not wise from a planning perspective.  I don’t think it’s wise from an economic perspective.'

"Wolfson said that development has to be organic.  'To go in and drop a spaceship in the middle of this area, to me it’s not necessary,' he said.  'Look at the Design District.  It was organic.  Men and women who were trying to invest in the area, they bought stuff and they worked with what they had and they built it up and it was a process.  It wasn’t just like, "slap down this massive development." That never goes well.'"  Full article here.