County Votes To Stand By Overtown Development Deadline
Written by Deserae del Campo on March 30, 2006
By Deserae del Campo
Time may be running out for the $200 million Crosswinds development in Overtown after Miami-Dade commissioners unanimously voted last week to uphold an August 2007 reverter clause where Michigan developer Crosswinds Community is planning to build the project.
The clause stipulates that the land shall be returned to the county if there is no development by Aug. 1, 2007.
In seeking the resolution, County Manager George Burgess sent a message to commissioners that at "this time, I believe it is in the best interest of the county to clearly communicate to the City of Miami its intent to strictly comply with all the items of the settlement agreement."
"This resolution is the county trying to remind us that the reverter clause is in effect come Aug. 1, 2007," said Frank Rollason, executive director of the Southeast Overtown/Park West and Omni community redevelopment agencies, "and if there is no development on the land, the county is taking it back."
An effort to extend the provision from 2007 to 2017 was pushed aside after Mr. Burgess blocked extension of the Omni and Overtown redevelopment agencies because of sour negotiations with the city over funding for Parrot Jungle Island.
An appendix attached to the Omni and Overtown extensions would have stretched the reverter clause for the Overtown land bounded by Northwest First and Second avenues and Eighth and Ninth streets.
"Now, is this in the best interest of the community?" said Mr. Rollason. "No, it is not."
The land is under litigation involving the city’s Department of Community Redevelopment; Miami Arena owner Glenn Straub, who is suing the city for not putting the land out to bid for development; and Power U, a nonprofit organization in Overtown that claims the land was promised to benefit Overtown residents and businesses.
"If the land reverts back to the county, the county could amend the lawsuit, and it would be Mr. Straub against the county and not the City of Miami," said Mr. Rollason. "That also includes Power U, who is only suing us because we have the land."
Due to current litigation with the city, Mr. Straub refrained from commenting about Crosswinds and the stipulations of the reverter clause settlement.
The $200 million Crosswinds development in Overtown is to have 1,050 workforce-housing units in four buildings and include 63,000 square feet of commercial space.