AVENTURA, Fla. – City of Aventura Mayor Enid Weisman called the construction of the $76 million Brightline train’s Aventura Mall station a “gamechanger” during a ground breaking on Thursday.
“It’s a gamechanger for Northeast Dade, not just for Aventura,” Weisman said.
There’s no doubt that the new Brightline spot is going to open up travel options for those in Northeast Miami Dade. There will also be a pedestrian bridge built that will lead directly to Aventura Mall. And, it should take riders only 15 minutes to get to Aventura from Miami.
“Miami-Dade County is going to be investing $76 million in this station, but really, it’s leveraging probably a well over $1 billion investment by Brightline,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
The station will be located adjacent to Aventura Mall on three acres at the 19800 block of West Dixie Highway and can be accessed from both West Dixie Highway and NE 26th Avenue. It includes the construction of a new pedestrian bridge over the railroad right-of-way and Biscayne Boulevard, providing direct access to the mall and the Miami-Dade Transit Bus Terminal at Aventura Mall.
“Residents from all over Miami-Dade County are going to benefit tremendously as they take the trains here to Aventura and other points in between and further up,” Gimenez said.
The vote to go forward with the new train station by Miami-Dade County Commissioners was a contentious one. Commissioners finally passed the land swap and development deal in October 2019.
The two mayoral candidates running against each other in November were on opposite sides of the vote last October. Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava was one of only two “no” votes (the other was Commissioner Xavier Suarez). Commissioner Esteban Bovo, a long time supporter of commuter rail, was on board with the deal.
Skeptics were wary of the county’s financial investment, but Gimenez told commissioners that the money would not hinder any other county transportation plans, and that he believed the new train station would serve as a catalyst to create more revenue through real estate development.
The Brightline Aventura Mall station was to have been completed by October of 2020, but then was hampered by delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The project is now expected to be completed by Fall of 2021.
Copyright 2020 by WPLG Local10.com – All rights reserved.