Miami to give landlord first crack at Knight land
By Risa Polansky
Blue Capital is to have first crack at a portion of the City of Miami's downtown Knight Center land before it is put out to bid, said Lori Billberry, director of public facilities.
Commissioners voted in June to sell 1.43 acres north of the Interstate 95 ramp, complete with a parking garage and lease agreements in the Blue Capital-owned Bank of America tower on the site.
They opted to keep and redevelop the rest of the land that makes up the 5.7-acre Knight Center parcel, which includes the Knight Center itself as well as the Hyatt Regency.
A resolution directing city staff to put the property out to bid at no less than $49 million has been pulled from two recent commission agendas — and it is not to reappear until the city and Blue Capital iron out an agreement, Ms. Billberry said.
The city hopes, she said, to "lock in Blue Capital under a purchase and sale agreement but subsequently still pursue with an invitation to bid."
The deal would ensure that the city would "still be getting the best price by going through the competitive process," Ms. Billberry said, but also offer Blue Capital officials assurance that they have the first shot.
City and Blue Capital officials are to meet Aug. 27.
Danet Linares, vice president of leasing and marketing for Blue Capital Management, said the company does have interest in the property.
"We are the logical buyer," she said.
The company has an air-rights lease on the building through 2070.
"Blue Capital obviously has a vested interest," Ms. Billberry said. Once the bidding process begins, the company would have the chance to make another offer should one come in higher, she said.
While $49 million is to be the minimum asking price on the city's invitation to bid, Ms. Billberry said she can't say what price is to be discussed with Blue Capital.
"It's a negotiation," she said. "The city obviously has to get fair market value."
The property has yet to be appraised, she said.
The $49 million is based on an analysis by consultant Staubach Co. Northeast.
"I'm not sure how close we are or how far apart we are (with Blue Capital) at this point," Ms. Billberry said. "We may find we don't come to an agreement and we just go out to bid."
The portion of the Knight Center complex the city plans to keep includes the 612-bed Hyatt Regency, now undergoing a remodeling of its guest rooms and set for a major renovation to include the addition of conference space as part of plans with the city.
Also part of the complex are the 4,646-seat Knight Center, the 28,000-square-foot Miami Convention Center and 23,000 square feet of University of Miami conference space, auditoriums and meeting rooms.