Casino Giant Genting’s plans for 300-room hotel wait
Miami-Dade County commissioners deferred legislation Tuesday to approve a joint development at the county’s Omni Bus terminal and access to the Adrienne Arsht Center Metromover station in which Malaysian casino giant Genting plans a 300-room hotel over the bus terminal.
The resolution is to be discussed at the next commission meeting April 18.
The development contract would include air rights over the real property for the Department of Transportation and Public Works. Awarding the contract would bring the county $54.85 million over the initial 90-year term of the lease.
Miami-Dade’s Transportation and Public Works Committee unanimously approved the concept from Genting subsidiary Resorts World Miami LLC and forwarded it to the full commission on March 23. It was a late addition to the agenda.
Deputy Mayor Alina Hudak wrote in a memo dated April 4 that the project includes a revenue-generating mixed-use development, expected to have a positive economic impact on the community, that promotes maximum use of the transit system; provides functional and aesthetic integration of the Ar-sht Center station and Omni bus terminal into the overall project; and upgrades or redesigns the Metromover station, including replacement of stairs, elevators, escalators, surveillance systems and flooring.
At the March 21 meeting, Commissioner Sally Heyman said she was reading the analysis for the first time but, speaking as a member of the county commission, emphasized “it doesn’t get better than what we have – a win, win win [for Miami-Dade].”
It’s excellent, Ms. Heyman said, with an agreement that has the developer making payments to the county. “This is exceptional to all the partners and staff that’s been involved.”
The Omni bus terminal and Arsht Center Metromover Station, the development site, consists of seven contiguous parcels totaling 0.987 acres. The negotiated agreements for the development site with Resorts World – which owns the Omni across the street and the old Miami Herald site to the east where it had promoted what would have been the world’s largest casino – consist of a development and lease agreement as well as an easement.
“The easement is needed for construction-related development site ingress and egress,” Ms. Hudak wrote. “According to the terms of its proposal, Resorts World plans to construct a 300-room hotel and residential service apartments over the expanded bus terminal with retail space at ground level. Resorts World will also make numerous upgrades to the existing transit infrastructure, valued at almost $22 million.”
Under the development agreement, Resorts World would submit all design and construction plans to the Department of Transportation and Public Works for review and approval before starting any work.
In addition to increasing density around the Metromover station, the project would provide substantial long-term revenue for Miami-Dade over the 90-year initial lease, with the developer paying $100,000 minimum rent per year through construction. Thereafter, Ms. Hudak wrote, the developer would make a one-time $10 million payment to the county and then the greater of 50% of gross revenues from the retail portion or $300,000 per year.
The project in construction is forecasted to create 1,871 jobs and, once completed, 171 direct jobs. “It will also stimulate the creation of 100 additional indirect jobs and provide significant revenue to the county and City of Miami in the form of taxes and impact fees,” Ms. Hudak wrote.
Transportation and Public Works Committee Chairman Bruno Barreiro asked March 23 when the project would be completed, as he likes to “go to ribbon cuttings, not groundbreakings.”
Transit Chief Alive Bravo explained the developer would have four years to begin and the department would be receiving funds right away that would be put back into the transit system.
Commissioner Dennis Moss asked if commissioners could see conceptual drawings to get an idea of what’s happening.
Ms. Bravo showed a drawing. She explained that the bus facility is currently outside. Under the plan, she said, Resorts World would build an air-conditioned terminal.