Officials on Saturday broke ground on the Larcenia J. Bullard Plaza in historic Richmond Heights.
The project, which was first envisioned in March 2010 as part of the Richmond Heights Charrette Area Plan, was approved by the Board of County Commissioners June 2018. Commissioner Dennis C. Moss sponsored the resolution.
The plaza building, to be located at 14518 and 14508 Lincoln Blvd., will include a South Miami-Dade Black history exhibit, social services, offices and retail space.The two-story building will be about 14,000 square feet.
The Richmond Heights Community Development Corp. will be located on the second floor and will manage the building.
The project is funded by a county General Obligation Bond.
Richmond Heights was established after World War II as a community of Black soldiers returning from the war.
Moss said the plaza will be a hub for Richmond Heights residents.
“It’s not a shopping center; it’s a town center,” said Moss at the Aug. 24 event.
The county commission voted June 2014 to name the building for Larcenia J. Bullard. Bullard died March 16, 2013. She had a lifetime career of public service as both an educator and politician.
She was first elected to serve in the Florida state house in 1992. Bullard became District 39 state senator, serving from 2002 until 2012, representing parts of Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach, Hendry, and Collier counties.
She was named 2012 Legislator of the Year during the 18th Annual Delta Days at the State Capitol, Top Intriguing Floridian by Florida Monthly Magazine, Quality Citizen of the Year by the League of Cities, Woman of the Year by several community organizations and Ambassador of Peace by the Inter-religious and International Federation for World Peace.
Bullard actively helped to rebuild South Miami-Dade in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew She lived one block from the location of the plaza that will be adorned with her name.