Tax Rebate Parade Omni Mall Seeks 7 Million Boost
Written by Yudislaidy Fernandez on May 21, 2009
By Yudislaidy Fernandez
Owners of the under-renovation Omni Mall want a $7 million tax rebate from the Omni’s Community Redevelopment Agency but must first convince city commissioners the project will generate enough jobs and spur development.
The agency’s board, all commissioners, delayed a vote Monday on an incentive deal with mall owner Argent Ventures. Marc Sarnoff, who represents the area, wanted time to review the pact.
Commissioners said they also wanted time to review developer Tibor Hollo’s bid for a $16 million tax rebate for his $100-plus million Sonesta Mikado Hotel, to rise 36 floors at 1701 NE 4th Ave.
The $140-plus million Omni Mall revamp encompasses a 350,000-square-foot mixed-use office development, 16,000 square feet of retail and renovation of a 527-room hotel at 1501-1701 Biscayne Blvd.
To get a rebate, the mall owner first must put up to $95 million into the project. Job benchmarks are 700 full-time office posts in five years and 100 full-time retail jobs in three years, said agency Executive Director Jim Villacorta. The completed hotel component now employs 245 and is to hire 17 more.
A redevelopment agency generates revenue by capping value of real property in the area and collecting the increase above the cap as property values rise.
Should commissioners approve Omni Mall’s rebate request, owners would get a 50% discount on taxes its increase in property value generates above a base-year value. It’s estimated at $7 million.
Last month, the Omni agency reached its first tax rebate deal, at 50% totaling up to $20 million, with developer Ignacio Garcia Du-Quesne to build $200 million retail and office project Bayview Market next year.