It is an ambitious endeavor that may take more than bricks, mortar, money and the city's pioneer spirit to accomplish. For example, when an Enterprise staff member tried to interest a developer in a vacant building on Krome Avenue, the out-of-towner replied, "I'm really interested, but I'm going to wait until I see what the city's going to do."
Members of the black community, who were put off by a now-scrapped effort by the city to plunk a migrant housing complex down in their neighborhood, stress the need to include everyone in the discussions about a new Homestead.
"Everybody is working off a dream. This whole thing is dream-driven," says David Goodwyn, a landlord and president of the Southwest Business and Economic Development Association. "You can't allow an entire city to be dominated by one goal-focused set of dreams. . . . There's got to be a set of lTC dreams generated down here, too."
Mr. Finley understands the social, political and economic forces at work.
"My goal is to do things as fast as possible, because the city is hurting. It needs its spirits lifted and its assessed valuation lifted. If the program we're managing loses momentum, it will slow down badly or possibly fall," he says.
Homestead Mayor J. W. "Tad" DeMilly, 48, agrees. As long as the federal government lives up to its financial commitments to the city and the area, then "the biggest challenge is maintaining the energy levels and the levels of optimism," he says.