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Front Page » Top Stories » Little Havana Landmark Back On Block After Developers Bid Fails

Little Havana Landmark Back On Block After Developers Bid Fails

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Written by on September 1, 2005

By Deserae del Campo
Teatro Marti, the landmark in eastern Little Havana that was once the stage for Latin artists and a Ku Klux Klan headquarters, is up for grabs after developer Amco Holdings lost a bid to redevelop the building.

The Teatro Marti project would add to the list of 23 planned for East Little Havana, with 3,547 residential units planned at a total construction cost of $252 million.

Amco in January gave an oral presentation to a review committee named by Miami City Manager Joe Arriola and the committee chose Amco to spearhead the building project at the city-owned site.

The company offered the city $1.2 million for the property to turn the theater into 64 one, two-and three- bedroom condos ranging from $160,000 to $250,000 with ground-floor commercial space.

Although Amco lost the bid, the city is continuing to seek a mixed-used development including ground-floor retail.

The value of the property was confirmed by appraisal to ensure the city receives fair market value. Investors Research Associates & Quinlivan Appraisal set the property’s value at $2.1 million. The Amco Holding proposal was nearly $1 million short of that.

"Amco indicated they would be required to make substantial changes to their proposal in order to meet that price," said Laura Billberry, the city’s acting director for economic development. "But pursuant to our request for property process, substantial changes cannot be permitted."

According to Miami-Dade County appraisers, the part of the site at 400-420 SW Eighth Ave. is worth $685,000 and the part at 430 SW Eighth Ave. is appraised at $199,421.

Negotiations were terminated with Amco in July and now the city must seek new bids for the project based upon the appraisal value submitted by Investors Research Associates & Quinlivan Appraisal.

"We are currently drafting a new request for property to be issued in the near future, which will include an affordable housing component and ground floor retail," Ms. Billberry said.

Although there is to be new bidding on the theater site, Amco may bid again if it offers the city the appraisal price produced by Investors Research Associates & Quinlivan Appraisal.

The property now has 25 outstanding fire violations and lacks proper illumination. Miami commissioners considered selling the landmark in April.

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