(CBSMiami) – While the Miami City Commission celebrates the passage of the new Miami Freedom Park plans on the current 131 acre Melreese Country Club golf course, the neighborhood 35 yards across 18th Street is full of uncertainty.
Neighbors don’t know what to expect and it has them kicking around possibilities.
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“Whether we’ll stay here or not, I’m not sure”, said one resident.
Families say they already experiencing high traffic volume on Miami Marlins game days.
LoanDepot Park is three miles from their front doors. They can do the math. With the sheer volume a mega-mixed use complex will generate, combined with its proximity to the neighborhood, things are likely to get worse.
“Well we’re going to have a problem with that,” said ‘Frank’, who has lived in the neighborhood for nine years. “Yeah, I think so. We’ll probably have people parking in front of our house, I’m sure.”
The night prior cheers bellowed after city commissioners gave Inter Miami CF the leasing rights to the land where Melreese Country Club now sits. The site will be the future home of Inter Miami CF’s stadium, a retail area, restaurants, offices, hotels, and a 58-acre public park.
Proponents say the complex will generate tens of millions of dollars a year for the city of Miami.
But on the other side of 18th Street from the 131-acre property, the fear is their common day reality will be swallowed by a mega-development.
“I like the way it is. It’s so calm. I use the park every day, I take my baby to the park every day, my grandma goes there to walk,” said neighbor Isabella Noda.
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Noda can see the future Freedom Park from her front yard and envisions issues.
“The traffic is going to be something crazier and safety as well. So I don’t know how I feel about it,” she said.
And then there’s a loss to the links.
Melreese employs roughly 100 people from grounds and greens keepers to cart attendants and restaurant staff. The golf course and club have been a community mainstay for more than 50 years.
“You’re talking to a golfer. So I’m not too happy about it I guess. I’ve played Melreese a few times and I go up there and practice a lot,” said one golfer.
Alfonso Blanco, now in his 60’s, grew up in the neighborhood across from Melreese. He takes the dissolution of the golf course as an evolution of life.
“I’m ok with it. It’s time to move on”, he said as he cracked a 5-iron. “I’m a soccer fan. I’m an Inter (Miami) fan. I think more of the community will take advantage of it than it is right now. It’s a selective group here. It’s expensive to play here. I think the kids today are more likely to play soccer than they are to play golf.”
That includes kids in this neighborhood who grapple with the uncertainty of a state-of-the-art project that could end up giving them a definitive life choice. Asked if he would move if given an offer on his home?
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“If it was good enough. I’m sure,” said Blanco.