Miami Suspends Effort To Redevelop Melreese
Written by Deserae del Campo on August 3, 2006
By Deserae del Campo
Miami city commissioners have suspended efforts to have Melreese Golf Course redeveloped after prospective contractors said they are wary of a lawsuit from a previous bidder.
Concalpro, a Venezuelan company operating in Miami, is suing the city after its $110 million redevelopment proposal to construct a four-star hotel was rejected late last year. Concalpro claims its proposal was tossed out without cause and is seeking $630,000 from the city for reimbursement of costs to develop the proposal.
City Manager Pete Hernandez last week asked commissioners to suspend its request for proposals "indefinitely" after developers posed questions about the lawsuit during a pre-bid conference July 20.
City officials rejected the Concalpro bid and issued a new request for proposals after deciding a three-star hotel at the site would be sufficient. They also were not happy with the layout of Concalpro’s design.
Two other developers submitted proposals last year but withdrew from consideration, leaving Concalpro as the only candidate.
"While we feel strongly that the city acted appropriately in the rejection of Concalpro’s proposal, prospective proposers appeared concerned in investing in the preparation of a proposal with the possibility of such being rejected or delayed as a result of the litigation," said Lori Billberry, the city’s director of public facilities.
Ms. Billberry said developers interested in the project requested that city officials "consider extending the date for submission of the proposals."
A three-star hotel and golf clubhouse are central elements of the city’s plans for redevelopment of the 135-acre property at 1802 NW 37th Ave. The project also could include entertainment and cultural facilities, retail shops, restaurants and offices.
The city has been seeking a developer for the project since 2004. According to city regulations, anyone involved in litigation with the city is not able to bid for projects.