Poor Watson Island, the man-made black sheep of Biscayne Bay. Fisher Island has its very own ferry and Star Island has, well, stars. But what does Watson Island have? A couple of parrots and some barren land? I’m sure tourist will come in flocks to see that. Yeah, right.
We could argue that it’s also home to the Miami Children’s Museum and that it boasts a full theme park, formerly named Parrot Jungle and recently renamed Jungle Island, but somehow this just isn’t enough. Jungle Island struggles to attract visitors. Some high-end hotels as well as shops and boat slips for yachts were slated to be built, but the project Island Gardens has never quite made it off the paper.
With a new boss in town, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, replacing former Mayor Manny Diaz, maybe some of this city’s treasures will receive the attention they deserve as home to the Japanese garden and some of the best views of the Miami skyline. City icons like the Miami Marine Stadium on Virginia Key, which has been closed since 1992 due to Hurricane Andrew, has had epic performances by Ray Charles and Jimmy Buffet.
Miami residents would like nothing more than to see their city revamped into a more beautiful entity. Not everyone here is that crazy about this idea. Commissioner Joe Martinez argued that “redevelopment areas are really taking a lot of money away in a time when we need it.” But if we don’t invest in these areas we are potentially looking at the next Overtown or Park West right along the way to our world-renowned South Beach.