Miami dumps hotel from Melreese plans
By Risa Polansky
Miami has scrapped a quest for a hotel at Melreese Golf Course after seeking a developer for years, said City Manager Pete Hernandez.
Instead, he said, "what we're planning to do there is to construct a building that will house a clubhouse and pro shop for the golf course and on the second story provide a banquet hall-type facility."
City commissioners suspended hotel development efforts in July, when prospective developers balked at a pending lawsuit from a previous bidder.
Rather than request hotel proposals again, the city will pursue the 16,000-square-foot clubhouse/ banquet hall concept on the site, 1802 NW 37th Ave., as a spinoff of its redevelopment of Grapeland Park, 1550 NW 37th Ave., Mr. Hernandez said.
The banquet hall was intended as part of a community center to be built at the park, but Commissioner Angel Gonzalez was concerned about serving liquor in a family venue.
The plan now is to build a traditional community center at the park and develop the banquet hall as part of a golf clubhouse — "a more compatible" use, Mr. Hernandez said.
The 5,000-square-foot community center will cost about $1.2 million and the clubhouse/ banquet hall $4 million-$5 million, he said.
The city's Capital Improvement and Transportation office is still studying funding sources, but, Mr. Hernandez said, "We'd like to start construction on at least one of the two buildings before the end of the year."
The clubhouse will serve golfers, he said, and, in the banquet hall, "We feel we will have a very high demand for quinceñera parties, for weddings, for organizations that may have events."
The first step will be to construct the park's community center.
The city will use the same plans as for its nearly complete center at Antonio Maceo Park, 5115 NW 7th St., Mr. Hernandez said. "That will give us some savings — money and time."