GRAND CENTRAL PARK skate spot
Omni Parkwest Redevelopment Association announces Miami’s first private skating facility on the site of the Old Miami Arena
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The Omni Parkwest Redevelopment Association (O.P.R.A.), a Florida. (501(c)(3)) non-profit corporation based in downtown Miami and behind the successful Grand Central Park (www.grandcentralpark.org) project, has completed a “D.I.Y.” skating facility on the site of Grand Central Park to open today. It will be the only site within miles of Downtown Miami where skaters can legally skate.
“There have been various plans from Government entities for years for a skatepark due to the high demand and the fact that Miami is one of the only major American Cities with no skatepark.” Said Mark Lesniak, Executive director of O.P.R.A. “Private donations allowed us to build and open a bare bones skatepark in less then two weeks.”
The project cost of $25,000 was the result of a private donation from Brad Knoefler, and the Sandra E. James Foundation. The skating area consists of 15,000 of smooth paved area and six concrete benches with steel rails in its initial stage. O.P.R.A. hopes that opening the facility as is will stimulate sponsorships and private donations to improve the facility now that it is open.
The skate facilty, though private, will be open to members of Grand Central Park, of which free membership is available on line at Grandcentralpark.org. Grand Central Park is Florida’s first Instant Park, located on the five acre parcel which formerly house the Miami Arena. The Park opened in January, 2012 thanks to a $200,000 grant from the City of Miami Community Redevelopment Association.
“The Skatepark is simply another element in O.P.R.A.’s strategy to activate vacant land and build a community “block by block” from the bottom up as opposed to top down initiatives that have failed in the past” Said Lesniak. “Activity is the catalyst for community redevelopment and skating is simply another element contributing to Art / Culture / Music mix which is making Downtown Miami the center of Miami’s burgeoning cultural scene.”