THE 1ST OF ITS KIND IN SOUTH FLORIDA
Thanks to some locals with a passion to see places for our South Florida skaters to cal home, Skate Free Florida celebrates the opening of South Florida's first quality outdoor concrete park.
Spanning over 45,000 sq. ft., the new Lot 11 Skate Plaza features multiple skate areas catering to all skill levels. It includes:
- A state-of-the-art contest course
- A bowl and transition sections
- A “real street” section
- A a flexible beginners area
BIG THANKS TO SKATE FREE FLORIDA
Skate Free is a nonprofit that aims to empower under-served communities through skating.
Nick Katz has been skating for over 20 years and is the brains behind the project with Skate Free. He is also the owner of Miami skate shop Andrew. Alongside local pro Danny Fuenzalida (left) and Richie Effs (right), this team has brought nothing but the best to the skaters of Miami. And we are so thankfu!
"Skateboarding for me has taught me perseverance," Katz said to New Times Miami. "It’s taught me dedication and discipline. It's taught me that when you fail something and you get up and re-try it again you'll accomplish it through dedication and practice. With skateboarding entering the Olympics in 2020, I hope that there's kids from this community that use this facility to practice and get so good that they can eventually be Olympic athletes."
The original idea for Lot 11 came from an opportunity Katz was given share a skatepark design. From this vision, they won a Community Redevelopment Agency grant to build a temporary park at the site of the old Miami Arena. While working on this temporary park, Nick met restaurant owner and skate dad Richie Effs and Miami pro Danny Fuenzalida. They both shared his passion for bringing places to skate to their community in Miami.
After several successful projects in partnership with the City of Miami and the support of commissioner Ken Russell (left), Nick (right and his team got the green light to build the park of our dreams. With the help of Pivot Custom and local builder Jay Ramps, the team brought back some of Miami's iconic skate spots and created one of the best skate parks we have ever seen.
Although most city governments have treated skateboarding as a nuisance, Miami's reaction was positive when they pitched their idea to the City of Miami. Skate Free began looking for sites downtown with access to public transportation, making it easy for skaters to get there.
Nick share with New Times, "I grew up with no skate parks. There was nowhere centrally located or accessible for the Miami skate population. The only places to go were the street or privately owned skate parks.I proved that if you built a park, whether complex or rudimentary, it created a home for skateboarders that took their attention away from private property," Katz says, referring to the success of the temporary park. "Cops would come by on their lunch break and tell me: 'Ever since you built Grand Central Skatepark, we’ve had a lot less trespassing calls down at Bayfront.' What I had seen in other cities was that skate parks had been given underutilized and unprofitable spaces, mainly underneath interstate overpasses. So we started looking into who owned those spaces.”
Come Celebrate The Opening
Com celebrate today, November 16, from 3 to 8 p.m., Skate Free will celebrate the grand opening of Lot 11 with Jay Ramp Jam to give prps to local skatepark builder, Jay Ramps, who put his heart and soul into this project. Expec food trucks, live music, giveaways, best trick contests and a great day of celebrating with our South Florida skateboarding family.