WATCH: Commissioner Sarnoff Says Downtown Miami Is "Best It's Ever Been"

Mar 2, 2015

Miami’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) held its first ever “State of Downtown” event Friday evening to showcase the growth of Miami’s urban core. Miami Commissioner and DDA Chairman Marc Sarnoff says downtown is on the upswing. 

Jorge Cantero, with MS International Real Estate has a taste of Mediterranean quinoa salad from Chef Alex Rodil, who has a new catering business in Miami called On the Fly. Samples of Miami area food and beverages were on hand during the first State of Downtown event hosted by the Miami Downtown Development Authority at the MDC Museum of Art Design at the Freedom Tower Friday evening, Feb. 27, 2015.
Credit Emily Michot / Miami Herald

"We’re about to make leaps and bounds, progress that we haven’t made in years and years," Sarnoff said. "Miami is putting the pieces together that it needs for a vibrant economic engine."

While downtown has attracted a wealth of new residents, businesses and investment in recent years, the area still faces challenges, including poverty, homelessness, traffic and sea-level rise.

Meanwhile, the DDA itself is fighting lawsuits that seek to dissolve the authority and question its development initiatives.