Miami-Dade County, Related Urban Celebrate Grand Reopening Of Robert King High Community Center

3D aerial perspective of the River Parc complex. Photo from Google Maps. (2020)

On the morning of Friday, October 14, Miami-Dade County and the county’s Department of Public Housing and Community Development (PHCD), together with Related Group, are preparing to celebrate the grand re-opening of the Robert King High Community Center, a longstanding community asset serving low-income seniors in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood. First built in 1964 in response to a rapid increase in the senior population, Robert King High Towers was a first-of-its-kind development in the southeastern US, offering seniors above the age of 63 a safe and affordable place to call home, as well as a 10,000+ square foot community center. The community center renovations are now fully completed, with work on the 315-unit residential towers underway.

The renovation preserved essential elements of the property’s original design, including the open-air courtyard and interior terrazzo flooring, while providing modern enhancements. A full-fledged commercial kitchen was installed to improve service delivery of the daily meals program that caters to the low-income seniors who live in Robert King High and surrounding developments. Necessary life safety improvements were also made, including the addition of fire sprinklers and a generator, that will make this center a place of refuge in the event of a natural disaster. The main dining room, which has been host to important civic and political events for many decades, has been enhanced with new lighting, a sound system, and a high-resolution projector screen. The property will also be graced by a curated collection of modern art from local artists, as well as a top-of-the-line fitness center, activities room, verdant courtyard, and riverfront domino tables.

This public-private partnership development’s value goes way beyond just visual renovations. It aims to preserve an extraordinary sense of community for Robert King High residents while enhancing their well-being and security. Chase provided a $49 million facility which funded a construction loan to finance the rehabilitation and redevelopment.

“Related Urban recognized the architectural historical and civic importance of Robert King High while understanding the need to improve living standards for its low-income elderly residents,” said Alberto Milo, President of Related Urban, the affordable and mixed-income division of development powerhouse, Related Group. “We undertook this partnership effort with Miami-Dade County with a commitment to preserve this community asset for decades to come, and we are proudly delivering on this promise.”

“Chase is incredibly proud of our role in making the redevelopment of Robert King High Towers a reality,” said Tammy Haylock-Moore, Executive Director, Community Development Banking at Chase. “Our elderly deserve to live in clean, affordable homes in healthy, vibrant neighborhoods. The residents are what makes this community special. Thank you to Related Group for their leadership and shared commitment to this project and the model it provides for others.”

The renovation of Robert King High Towers and Community Center is the fourth phase in the broader River Parc Master Plan. Phases five and six (Paseo del Rio and Haley Sofge Preservation) are currently under construction, with future phases in the conceptual planning stage.

“The transformative renovation of this facility fulfills a promise that I and my staff at Miami-Dade County’s Public Housing and Community Development made to the residents when I arrived in 2014; that as part of our development plans for the “Senior Campus” we would deliver a state of the art activity and meals hall to complement new modern apartment units, and in the process maintain the unique sense of ‘community’ for Robert King High residents. A true example of the power of private-public partnerships working in concert with a common goal and vision,” said Michael Liu, Director of Public Housing and Community.

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