A New Chinatown in North Miami?
At a conference last year on the potential for Chinese investment in Miami, one of the takeaways was that Miami needed a Chinatown. To encourage the kinds of investment we want, Miami needs a neighborhood where Chinese have already congregated to some extent that can foster additional growth. It sounds like North Miami is trying to do that, sort of, on a stretch of six-lane asphalt west of I-95. The bounds of this new ‘Chinatown’ are along NE Seventh Avenue from 119th Street to 135th Street. There are currently few (if any) Chinese businesses in the area, although there are a few strip malls, and a smattering of this and that, and the City of North Miami is probably hoping an influx of Chinese capital just might bring some life to this seriously lackluster area. Interestingly, there is already a significant number of Chinese-owned businesses on a stretch of 163rd Street just west of Biscayne Boulevard, but that’s in North Miami Beach, not North Miami. ‘Officially’ designating an ethnic or culturally-specific neighborhood can be a messy situation (just look at Little Haiti). Let’s hope they can do it right.