FYI Miami: March 20, 2014
TOWERING INITIATIVE: Skyrise Miami, a proposed 1,000-foot-tall waterfront glass and steel tower intended to offer an observation deck, nightclub and bungee jump-like platform on City of Miami waterfront land beside Bayside Marketplace downtown, would receive $10 million from the state as part of the House’s $11.49 billion transportation and economic-development budget plan released Tuesday. The proposal for the Berkowitz Development project isn’t matched in the Senate’s $11.7 billion combined budget plan. Also on the House Transportation, Tourism and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee list is $150,000 for the Doral Business Council Expo.
FUNDING ITSELF: The most sweeping mixed-use project targeted for downtown Miami is one step closer after Miami commissioners supported creation of a Community Development District for Miami Worldcenter Group LLC for 25 acres just blocks west of American Airlines Arena. City Manager Daniel Alfonso said the land is adjacent to the former Miami Arena’s site. The designation would allow the developer to apply special tax assessments to the vast holdings to help fund infrastructure, he said. State law allows such a district to own property, make contracts, borrow money, issue bonds, impose assessments and levy property taxes. The city’s resolution encourages the county to approve the development district. In late 2008, the city commission approved a development agreement with Miami Worldcenter Group supporting the plan for a large-scale urban infill project, to include hotels, restaurants, retail stores and entertainment venues.
GENTING DEAL BLOCKED: State regulators denied a move of a non-profit pari-mutuel permit associated with Gulfstream Park racetrack to downtown Miami, effectively blocking a deal with gambling giant Genting to start a stand-alone casino. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation denied the request by the Gulfstream Park Thoroughbred After Racing Program Inc., saying the permit was issued for use in Broward and can’t be moved to Miami-Dade. The permit is a cornerstone of a deal by Gulfstream and Resorts World, a division of Malaysia-based Genting Group, to open a casino hotel at the former Miami Herald site Genting bought in 2011 for $236 million. Under the plan, Resorts World would use the permit to operate up to 2,000 slot machines while races would remain at Gulfstream. Genting lobbyists are also trying to get the deal passed during the legislative session that ends in May.