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Front Page » Government » Soccer stadium play labels ballpark area ‘slum’

Soccer stadium play labels ballpark area ‘slum’

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Written by on October 13, 2015

Soccer stadium play labels ballpark area ‘slum’

Miami-Dade County is being asked to put the ball in play today (10/15) to create a redevelopment agency enveloping Marlins Park and use the agency’s tax proceeds to buy land next door for a soccer stadium that would also house University of Miami football games.

The resolution by Commissioner Bruno Barreiro comes before the county’s Economic Prosperity Committee for its blessing. Final approval would come later from the full county commission.

To create the agency, which Mr. Barreiro labels the Orange Sports Complex Community Redevelopment Agency, the commission would have to declare the area that includes the baseball stadium “slum and blighted,” in the words of his resolution.

Marlins Park opened in 2012 to much fanfare as a revitalizing agent for its slice of Little Havana. Miami city commissioners authorized construction of four garages wrapped in more than 53,000 square feet of retail intended to focus on upscale visitors that the ballpark was expected to lure. The county and city combined invested nearly $3 billion, including interest, in the ballpark. But redevelopment of the area never began.

A consortium headed by former British soccer star David Beckham now is seeking a stadium beside the ballpark for a Major League Soccer franchise that has been granted to him if he can get the stadium. The consortium has sought several sites and been rebuffed. It early on rejected the site beside the baseball stadium as tainted by the Miami Marlins financing deal but now has embraced it.

Talks have reportedly been held with the University of Miami about moving its football games from Sun Life Stadium at the northern edge of the county to the site beside the ballpark, much nearer the Coral Gables campus.

The resolution asks the commission to select a consultant to prepare a Finding of Necessity study for the redevelopment agency. The study is required by state statute to initiate a redevelopment agency.

The study is to consider whether a redevelopment agency could be used to fund land for the dual-purpose stadium as well as the construction of a Metromover leg from Government Center downtown to the stadium site.

The study, the resolution says, would provide for the redevelopment agency to close its doors once the two projects were fully funded. It would also provide that county taxes pay in half of the redevelopment agency’s trust fund and all other taxing authorities contribute the other half. Because the site is in the City of Miami, that would require the city to contribute a large share of the other half of the redevelopment agency’s funding.

The agency’s boundaries are suggested to be Flagler Street to the South, Northwest 22nd Avenue to the west, and the Miami River to the north and east, though the resolution says the study being sought could expand that area if needed.

Community redevelopment agencies by statute create trust funds that retain 95% of the increase in tax revenues from their area above the taxes that were collected before the agency was born. The agency uses that money to finance or refinance any redevelopment it undertakes. In this case, it would include stadium land and Metromover construction, though it could include more.

9 Responses to Soccer stadium play labels ballpark area ‘slum’

  1. DC Copeland

    October 14, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    Great idea– especially including a MetroMover link/loop.

  2. dell

    October 14, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    what about Tropical Park ? did that fall apart?

    • McKenzie

      October 19, 2015 at 10:05 am

      Tropical Park was never an option for this stadium or any other. The development focus is on a pedestrian friendly urban core.

  3. Edward Reid

    October 15, 2015 at 8:13 am

    There is one very good reason why Marlins Park did not bring prosperity to the Little Havana neighborhood. The stadium by itself is not capable of pulling in upscale neighbors. Usually it’s the residential real estate that starts the ball rolling. If you want evidence look at the Upper East Side of Miami. Anchored by upscale Morningside to the east of Biscayne for many years, it was not until the west side neighborhood underwent transformation that high end commercial neighbors moved onto northern Biscayne Blvd. Same thing happened toward the south.

  4. Peter Ehrlich

    October 15, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Elected officials forced the taxpayers to pay over $3 Billion for the Marlins Stadium and Garages. Educated residents might have expected that the $3 Billion spent in Little Havana might have alleviated “slum and blight”. No such luck. Educated residents have come to expect slick out-of-town promoters to lobby elected officials to force the taxpayers to pay for their for-profit businesses. Let us hope that this time elected officials say No.

  5. Waste of Money

    October 15, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    Born & Raised in MIA 58 yrs.Here we go again wasting vauble time and our money! Soccer and UM football deserve much better and the adjacent water front land to the AAA! The Marlins neighborhood is depresseing! I’m not going and either are most of Miami! Dr.MIA

    • DC Copeland

      October 16, 2015 at 3:26 pm

      Hey, Waste, you don’t have to live there; just visit on weekends when the games are being played. And, if a MetroMover link is thrown in, you won’t have to set foot there either.

  6. Rio

    October 16, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Why does this sound a little like “total waste of our tax dollars” & totally like a terrible idea & ABSOLUTELY like government sponsored socio-economic gentrification?!?! WTF Miami?! You keep using OUR tax dollars to lure rich foreigners THAT NEVER WANT TO STAY HERE & don’t give a damn about the city & it’s issues in the first place?! This only sounds like a “great” idea to all the thieves in the County Commision lining their pockets w incentives to green light this! Otherwise IT WILL JUST BE DISPLACING Miami’s poor EVEN further west just to satisfy a some rich soccer prick’s fancy. F David Beckham AND his stadium plans!!!! F the Dade County commissioners who are all turning OUR CITY into a whorehouse! Soon they’ll sell off the entire Everglades to help house it’s poor… Then what will happen to the little bit of wildlife & indigenous people still left?

  7. 12 street

    October 17, 2015 at 11:33 pm

    Metromover finally a good idea, another agency not good.

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