Miami To Seek Bidder Again For Melreese Project
Written by Deserae del Campo on April 6, 2006
By Deserae del Campo
Miami’s Melreese Golf Course will be up for grabs if city commissioners approve a resolution today (4/6) to again seek investors to build at the 135-acre site. One former bidder has said he’ll try again.
Last time, the city insisted on a four-star hotel. This time, a three-star would be good enough on the site east of the Miami International Airport at 1802 NW 37th Ave.
The resolution calls for a unified development "that shall include a golf course, hotel, club house, pro shop, and other related golf and hotel amenities and may include recreational, entertainment, educational and/or cultural facilities, convention and/or conference facilities, hotel timeshares, retail, offices and parking."
The city has been seeking a developer since 2004. Three – Concalpro, a Doral company owned by a Venezuelan group; Miami Arena owner Glenn Straub; and hotelier Sherwood "Woody" Weiser – bid last year. Mr. Straub and Mr. Weiser dropped out. But City Manager Joe Arriola decided to seek new proposals to increase competition and commissioners agreed Jan. 12.
"The primary change to this request for proposal as opposed to the previous one issued," said Lori Billberry, city director of public facilities, "is that we are proposing to allow a 3- or 4-star hotel," said Lori Billberry, the city’s directory of public facilities. "The old one only provided for a four-star.
"Also, instead of restricting the commercial area for the hotel to the northeast corner of the golf course, we would allow the developer to advise us of the best location," she said.
Mr. Straub said Tuesday he would bid again "but city officials have to understand that it’s difficult to have a star hotel at the end of a runway" because it would need insulation in walls to block noise.
Mr. Weiser and Concalpro Vice President Leonardo Ambard couldn’t be reached.