Two Cities Look To Tackle Prostitution And Drug Dealing Along Calle Ocho
The days of hourly room rentals at a string of hotels and motels along Southwest Eighth Street could be coming to an end — if two cities team up to enforce changes.
Coral Gables and the city of Miami are working on a partnership that will enforce a new law in the Gables that prohibits hourly rentals. The Coral Gables City Commission hopes that ending the rentals will be a step toward changing the character of the stretch of Calle Ocho that runs from LeJeune Road to the Palmetto Expressway and preventing prostitution and drug dealing there and in nearby neighborhoods.
“I look forward to hopefully implementing this and cleaning up an area that for such a long time has been a blight not only for the city of Miami but for the city of Coral Gables,” Commissioner Vince Lago said. “For some reason there’s been a blind eye turned to it for a long time.”
But Coral Gables, which for a long time didn’t crack down on the hourly room rentals, needs cooperation from the city of Miami. Only one of the motels is within Coral Gables city limits. The motels on the other side of the street are in Miami.
That section of the busy street has establishments like Wishes Hotel, Jamaica Motel, Stardust Motel, Miami Executive Hotel and Tamiami Motel that offer heart-shaped jacuzzis, mirrored rooms, adult movies and emphasize privacy and discretion. Many of these “no tell motels” have operated for decades.
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