Community gathers together for long anticipated groundbreaking of new Krome Avenue entertainment center. Plus fireworks!
The crowd gathering for the Friday, May 11, 2018 ground breaking of Homestead Station on Krome Avenue steadily grew as did the
celebratory feeling of the evening. Plans for the entertainment/retail
complex, parking garage, and public transportation Transit Station have been discussed at great lengths as the previous buildings were demolished and cleared. Showbiz Cinemas has been successful in multiple markets with the
impressive facilities they will be bringing to Homestead.
Since movies were definitely on everyone’s mind, music filled the air as a montage of favorites played across the big outdoor movie screen. There was only a small element of irony since the first number was from the classic, “Singing in the Rain”, while everyone was glancing skyward hoping for nothing more than clouds.
Josh Padgett, whose flair is always enjoyed during City events, urged everyone to pick up their “Magic Wands” (white tubes that emitted multi-colored bands of light) to hold aloft as the ceremony unfolded.
Mayor Jeff Porter, most of the City Council, and the City Manager came to the stage along with Mr. Chris Cline of Showbiz Cinemas and Mr. Rene Joubert, of I3Interests.
The Mayor welcomed everyone and during his short remarks, he
reminded the crowd of how Homestead recovered from Hurricane Andrew’s devastation.
“This council and the management team made it our number one goal to reinvest in downtown. We couldn’t do it without the community though and you are the community. This is a big step; a public-private partnership the way it should be. Once this is completed, you need to support it in the same way you have the Seminole Theatre.”
“We’re bringing family entertainment to downtown,” Cline said, “and we couldn’t be more excited to be here.” Images of the high-tech movie theatre with a 75-foot wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling screen and other amenities showed behind him.
The Boutique Bowling planned is state-of-the-art and intended as family activity rather than traditional league bowling.
“We’ve had a warm welcome,” Joubert said in greeting. “We’ve had countless meetings and construction will take time, but you will see it going up.” Part of the complex will be approximately 30,000 square feet of retail space. The initial “open” build will be subsequently customized based on which
restaurants and stores enter into lease agreements.
Yvonne Knowles, Director for Homestead Main Street, spoke briefly of the economic development side of their mission. “This is a perfect example of revitalization and jobs creation alongside our efforts of historic preservation.”
Excitement as the theme of the evening continued when fire shot from five cylinders that had been positioned to the right of the stage. Police cars escorted heavy construction equipment onto the grounds, the horn of the dump truck reverberating among the applause. With everything in place, Mayor Porter read the Official Order to Proceed. More flames fired upward and the first bucket load of dirt was lifted and dumped into the waiting truck while the colorful “Magic Wands” were enthusiastically waved. Another movie montage accompanied the entertaining fireworks display that capped off the festivities.
Orlando Lopez has seen many changes in the decades he’s been involved in real estate. “This is one of the greatest things that’s happened to downtown Homestead. It will help raise property values as well as bring people downtown.”
Corey Gold, current Chair, South Dade Chamber of Commerce agreed. “We’re excited to be part of this new opportunity. Homestead has come a long way.”