Investor Group Close To Deal For 14 Acres In Homesteads Park Of Commerce
Written by Eric Kalis on September 7, 2006
By Eric Kalis
Shortly after the City of Homestead’s deal to sell its portion of the Homestead Park of Commerce to developer M&H Homestead fell through, city officials agreed to sell 14 acres of the park to a consortium that plans to keep the space and build for itself.
City Manager Curt Ivy said the city agreed to sell 14 acres to Homestead Commerce Group LLC, a partnership of local businesses, for the appraised value of $130,472 an acre — just over $1.8 million. The city must close the deal by Dec. 27, Mr. Ivy said, for the property to get on the tax roll in 2007.
The sale would soften the blow of the city’s failed attempt to sell its 118 acres in the 270-acre park to M&H Homestead, Mr. Ivy said, and could be a sign of increased activity in a park that has been largely dormant since its inception in 1993. The city is negotiating with a Dutch pharmaceutical company to sell four more acres, he said, which would leave the city with 100 acres to unload.
"At the end of the day we are happy to sell 14 acres to move forward the development of the park," Mr. Ivy said.
Homestead Commerce Group officials have attempted to buy space in the park for three years, a spokesperson for the group said, but the city was not responsive while attempting to resolve its dispute with M&H Homestead on a 1993 settlement, preventing other businesses from stepping in. The group hired Eagleton Kathe Co., developer of the Lexus of Kendall dealership, to build on the 14 acres, he said, with hopes of attracting businesses such as import/export companies, mortgage firms and motor sports-related offices to complement the nearby Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The city’s failure to close a deal with M&H Homestead could benefit the park’s future, the spokesperson said, because it opens the door for businesses to buy land there.
"They were going to take the whole place and not let anyone build," he said. M&H Homestead’s withdrawal of its offer "should start the domino effect of development of the park. This is historic."