Organized by Doral Family Journal
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, who was one of the panelists, highlighted that Doral has become a beautiful city, full of opportunities, in which its residents are living, working and raising their children.
The main purpose of the “Miami 2020” Forum that was organized by Doral Family Journal was to analyze the present and future of Doral. Local authorities, community leaders, residents and different business people from the city attended this important event.
Miami 2020 was held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Doral. Among the panelists was Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart; Julian Perez, Director for Planning and Zoning of the City of Doral and Cristina Valencia, real estate specialist, broker and owner of RES-Real Estate Solutions. As host of the event, Maria Fernanda Lopez journalist and conductor for Univision Noticias was also present.
Ettore Sabatella, Editor in Chief of Doral Family Journal welcomed and thanked the attendees for their presence and highlighted the importance of Doral within Miami Dade County.
MARIO DIAZ BALART: THE 2018-2019 FEDERAL BUDGET WILL ALLOCATE IMPORTANT FUNDS TO FLORIDA
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart who is in his eighth period in the House of Representatives started his presentation by recognizing the hard job that the local authorities have done in favor of the growth of Doral.
When speaking about the future achievements of the State of Florida, Congressman Diaz-Balart highlighted the fact that the Commission that he Chairs in Washington, has made significant progress in the 2018-2019 Budget.
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, Chairman of the House of Appropriation Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, announced that Miami Dade County would receive an $11 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration’s Bus and Bus Facilities grant program. These will be added to the $3.6 million that were approved earlier this year to upgrade the County’s buses, to improve and modernized them, making them the cleanest fleet for the environment.
“I know the importance of these grants for localities, such as Miami Dade, that seek to expand access to transit, and I am glad to have been able to allocate $400 million towards this program in my fiscal year 2018 bill.”
“We also achieved that this year Florida could receive $790 million additional funds for the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery program, raising them to $1,400 million.”
“The U.S. Department of Transportation issued two grants to Miami International Airport. One for $308,000 for equipment acquisition and another one for $11 million for the rehabilitation and expansion of the airport platform”
“We have been assigned $250 million that were allocated for seaports, $835 million to the recovery of the Everglades and $5.1 million to address traffic problems. None of this would have been possible without the confidence that the community and the electors have put into my work during all these years.”
Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart ended his presentation stating that we should not stop feeling concerned for Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba. “We have to help these Nations and keep on fighting for them to recover their freedom.”
JULIAN PEREZ: WE NEED TO WORK ON OUR WATER
The Director of Planning and Zoning of the City of Doral, Julian Perez, divided his presentation in four important topics: the importance of the 2020 Census, the development of Doral, his vision for 2020 and water, which in his opinion is one of the main problems that we face as a city and as a County.
For Perez, it is vital for all the residents of Florida to participate in the 2020 Census. “There are people that are afraid to participate for personal or immigration reasons, but we need to remember that the Census is confidential and that the fact that we all participate allows us to have the proper number of representatives in Congress.”
Perez reminded us that the population in Florida is 21.3 million people, we are the third state with more residents in the United States and for this reason, it is very important that we have a fair representation in Washington. “The City of Doral is already working in the verification process for all the addresses and in programming workshops to educate the residents about the importance and confidentiality of the Census.”
About the development of Doral, Julian Perez stated that in his 33 years of professional experience, he never heard or knew before of a city with a speed in growth similar to the one Doral has had, he also mentioned that recently the Times Money magazine classified Doral as one of the 100 best cities to live in the United States in 2018. “We are building one of the most dynamic cities in Florida, some years ago we were just swamp and today we produce 69.4 billion dollars annually in a city that is just 15 square miles.”
Speaking about Economics, we are very important within the Miami Dade County, this is because we are home to 802 businesses, every day 73,000 people come to work in Doral and from 2017 to date we have around 1087 additional businesses that generate around 10,000 jobs. One of the main economic sectors present in Doral are logistics and electronics, these generate around 42 million dollars per year.”
As one of the Directors of the City of Doral, Julian Perez stated that in order for this growth to continue, we must keep on working and reviewing the actual rules to adapt them to the needs of today’s lifestyle in which every day more people want to live close by their job places.
He also mentioned some of the future projects in the City, such as an assisting living facility that is being developed for people 55 and older and that is being evaluated thoroughly because the city wants to make sure that it is appropriate to the needs of senior citizens. He also mentioned the importance of improving our park system and for this, he stressed the support that is needed from the voters in November. “We have 142.9 acres of parks that require maintenance, together with projects for more recreational areas.”
He summarized his vision for 2020 in two, connectivity and sustainable growth. “We must keep up an organized and responsible growth, for this purpose we are improving the connectivity of our city and analyzing our code system to adapt it to the mixed-use concept. We also need to keep up working side by side with the County, the State, and the Federal Agencies.”
For Perez, water is one of the main problems that we are facing as a city and as a County. “Since Hurricane Andrew, the level of the water has risen three inches and it is estimated that it will rise three more inches for the year 2020, therefore we need to work on how to handle floods and how to drain the water.”
Perez stated that we must work with all the agencies that are involved in flood management to improve the current programs and retain the water by using only nature, at the same time that we need to train ourselves in how to act before, during and after a natural disaster in order to mitigate the economic, human and psychological impact of them.
CRISTINA VALENCIA: WE ARE AN ICON IN MIAMI
Cristina Valencia, the real estate and marketing specialist that has been recognized as one of the most influential brokers in Florida assured us that Doral is becoming an Icon within Miami, which on its own right, is a big metropolis and the second financial hub in the world.
“Doral is a pioneer city. For example, we anticipated the traffic and transportation and therefore we have had for years a Trolley system and since 2017 we have a public bicycle service,” explained Valencia, who has been a resident of Doral since its beginnings.
Regarding the real estate behavior for the years to come and in 2020, Cristina Valencia spoke about the gear towards mixed use, because this allows to work, live and enjoy entertainment in the same area. “Families are now limiting the number of vehicles they have, they want to live close to their jobs and/or transportation hubs and are looking for smaller spaces.”
Valencia is sure that the properties that will have better surplus are going to be the ones close to public transportation, this is given the fact that “millennials” do not want to drive, they like to be close to their jobs, they do not want excessive spaces and prefer a place close to entertainment sites.
Cristina Valencia also reminded us that we have the honor to live in a city that is considered Platinum, according to the certification that we got from the World Council on City Data or WCCD because our city is beautiful, well structured and has been planned properly. She finalized her speech by reminding us that Florida is still the strongest real estate market.