Friday, September 30, 2011

Grand Central Park Set to Begin Construction on former Miami Arena site

Omni Parkwest Redevelopment Association Inc's Grand Central Park Project receives permits from the City of Miami, allowing construction of Florida’s first Instant Park to begin on the former site of the Miami Arena.


Sept 30, 2011 – Miami - Grand Central Park received final permits from the City of Miami, allowing construction of Florida’s first Instant Park to begin on the former site of the Miami Arena. Formal groundbreaking ceremonies will be announced shortly.

Mark Lesniak, Director of Omni Parkwest Redevelopment Association Inc. (OPRA) a 501 (c)3 non-profit corporation in Miami, Florida is pleased to announce Florida’s first Instant Park will soon break ground and begin construction.
Rendering of Grand Central Park

Grand Central Park will be built in 30 days according to OPRA’s Architectural plan, leading the movement of rapid deployment multi-use recreational facilities for temporary and permanent use across the State of Florida.

OPRA is a community-based not-for-profit group, founded by Bradley Knoefler in 2009, focused on progressive, low-cost urban renewal projects. Walter Meyer, the Owner of Local Office Landscape, a Landscape Architecture firm located in Brooklyn, New York designed the Instant Park concept, which OPRA will erect on 5 acres of Downtown Miami urban blight.

“OPRA’s instant park concept will be self financing, paying its site rental through events such as concerts and outdoor retail,” said Knoefler,” while allowing Downtown residents to enjoy green space sorely lacking in Miami’s downtown core”

Grand Central Park will provide needed recreational space and activate the area for thousands of new Downtown Miami residents. The park will exist for a minimum period of 3 years, while the final status of the former Miami Arena site is determined.

“We designed Grand Central Park to serve as a platform for sustainable design concepts” says OPRA Executive Director, Mark Lesniak, and “a catalyst for job creation and community activation of the Overtown and Parkwest neighborhoods.”

For questions and further information, please visit or contact Mark Lesniak at 305.814.6219 or or follow the Grand Central Park twitter account @gcparkmiami

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Omni Parkwest Redevelopment Association is a not for profit community organization with a citizen board of directors located in Downtown Miami

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

PARK(ing) Day #Miami, Friday September 16th, 2011: Grand Central Park

The Omni Park West Redevelopment Association (OPWRA) is pleased to announce a new PARK (ing) day location in a dilapidated area of Downtown Miami.  The former site of the Miami Arena, a five acre parcel slated to become Grand Central Park 

Several hundred trees slated for planting in the Park will be staged in 15 metered spaces directly in front of the site, where the tree canopy was cut down to build the former Arena.  OPWRA also intends to install for a temporary period a dumpster "parklet" as recently seen in San Francisco.  Come out and support us and enjoy some down home ribs by Brother Frazier..

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Miami street artists participate in “weed bombing”

Miami street artists are beautifying a dilapidated neighborhood, one weed at a time.

Miami, FL September 12, 2011 — In an area mostly devoid on any color except for black asphalt, Miami street artists are brightening one of the most dilapidated areas of Downtown Miami, one weed at a time.
   Weed bombing is the act of converting overgrown weeds into works of street art by painting them various colors, thus adding a vibrancy to the neighborhood that did not exist before.  Bradley Knoefler, founder of the Omni Parkwest Redevelopment Association (OPRA), which organized the event stated “we used to cut the weeds ourselves, but it’s much more beneficial to beautify them and convert them into street art.  Unlike traditional graffitti, weed bombing doesn’t damage private or public property and has immediate benefits to our quality of life.”

“The idea is gaining traction among local street artists,” said Gregg Rivera, one of the participating artists “Wynwood has its graffitti walls, and Downtown we have our weeds.  They both are a blank canvas that street artists can use to practice their art.”  Knoefler hope the idea will catch on and traditional taggers will paint weeds instead of buildings.  “This way we can beautify the neighborhood through street art as opposed to degrading it.”

Follow: @WeedBombing and for more information

Monday, September 12, 2011

OPRA and Transit Miami To Participate in PARK(ing) Day 2011

OPRA will temporarily transform metered parking spaces into public parks, as part of an annual event called "PARK(ing) Day."


Miami, Florida - Sep 12, 2011 - In cities around the globe today, artists, activists and citizens will temporarily transform metered parking spaces into public parks and other social spaces, as part of an annual event called "PARK(ing) Day."

Originally invented in 2005 by Rebar, a San Francisco-based art and design studio, PARK(ing) Day challenges people to rethink the way streets are used and reinforces the need for broad-based changes to urban infrastructure. “In urban centers around the world, inexpensive curbside parking results in increased traffic, wasted fuel and more pollution,” says Rebar’s Matthew Passmore. “The planning strategies that generated these conditions are not sustainable, nor do they promote a healthy, vibrant human habitat. PARK(ing) Day is about re-imagining the possibilities of the urban landscape.”

Locally, a group of young leaders, and progressivly thinking organizations such as OPRA, Transit Miami, the Street Plans Collaborative, and the Urban Environmental League have partnered with the City of Miami Parking Authority to transform ten metered parking spaces in one of Downtown Miami’s least green neighborhoods into a park.  The event will take place at 700 N. Miami Avenue, directly in front of the old Miami Arena, demolished in 2008.  The Old Arena site is also the future site of Grand Central Park (, an OPRA project to convert five acres of rocks on the former arena site into a three year temporary park.

Since 2005, the project has blossomed into a worldwide grassroots movement: PARK(ing) Day 2010 included more than 800 “PARK” installations in more than 180 cities in 30 countries on six continents. This year, the project continues to expand to urban centers across the globe.

PARK(ing) Day is an “open-source” user-generated invention created by independent groups around the globe who adapt the project to champion creative, social or political causes that are relevant to their local urban conditions. More information regarding local PARK(ing) Day activities can be found and a global map of all participating cities are available on the PARK(ing) Day website, at