Crosswinds Loss Wouldnt Kill Other Projects
Written by Risa Polansky on January 4, 2008
By Risa Polansky
Losing a residential project slated for Overtown would affect the delicate funding plans for Miami and Miami-Dade County’s recently approved massive package of projects, city Chief Financial Officer Larry Spring said — but not enough to derail it.
The complex strategy to fund billions in major projects using redevelopment monies and tourist and convention taxes depends largely on valuations of property within the city’s Omni and Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agencies.
It proposes expanding both districts to encompass some of the planned projects and increase the agencies’ tax bases.
Any project the governments are counting on that doesn’t get built means a loss of expected future tax revenues now earmarked to back projects such as the Port of Miami tunnel and a revamp of Bicentennial Park.
To replenish the general coffers the plan taps into through expanding the districts and losing the tax increment to projects there, it calls for feeding back into the city and county some of the $1 billion projected to be generated by the Overtown agency over the next 20-plus years.
Developer Crosswinds’ recently approved Sawyer’s Walk project is one Mr. Spring’s projections count on to help make the $1 billion. But the project could die this month should county commissioners vote to take back the land it’s planned for.
City commissioners are prepared to fight to keep the property — they voted last week to hire a lawyer — but if it ends up back in county hands and the project dies, "it will have an impact on the (global agreement’s) numbers," Mr. Spring said. He estimated Sawyer’s Walk, if built, would have a $250 million taxable value.
However, he said, though he included pending projects — like Crosswinds — in his projections, he left off others he believes are likely to be built, leaving some wiggle room. "It will balance out," Mr. Spring said. "The projections were conservative."
He cited as an example Boca Raton developer Art Falcone’s plans to seek city approval on a massive mixed-use city within a city in Park West.
The project, planned for more than six city blocks, would have a $1 billion taxable value, Mr. Spring said. He did not include it in his forecast.
"If Crosswinds were to come off, I have this other project that’s five times the value that I know is going to be coming on," he said.
Mr. Spring said his projections are conservative also in that they are based on projects’ construction-cost values, not market values.