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Front Page » Real Estate » Miami-Dade to seek development bids at transit hub

Miami-Dade to seek development bids at transit hub

Written by on December 4, 2018
Miami-Dade to seek development bids at transit hub

Miami-Dade will request development bids in the first quarter of 2019 for the Miami Intermodal Center near Miami International Airport to help turn it profitable, according to Alice Bravo, who said her department’s takeover of the multi-million-dollar transit hub has thus far gone “very smoothly.”

“There’s 7.8 acres of vacant land that we’re going to issue a [request for proposal] for transit-oriented development,” she said. “Just like the development at our Metrorail station, we hope it’ll increase ridership and generate revenue. The main thing is, we want to have uses there that are compatible with the airport.”

The county on Oct. 1 officially assumed control of the 25-acre center from the Florida Department of Transportation. Tenants include Tri-Rail, Greyhound, Megabus and the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority.

Metrorail and Metromover also connect to the center.

Ms. Bravo said the contracts for those tenants were turned over to the county, as were contracts for maintenance firms previously working for the state, which her department will continue using “until we [can] get our own.”

However, she said, no new tenants have come to the center, which costs about $2 million to operate but runs at a $1.87 million annual deficit.

Because the center is projected to lose money for seven more years, a memo from Deputy Mayor Alina Hudak states, the state has agreed to subsidize the county for the deficit until it breaks event.

Miami-Dade commissioners on May 15 unanimously approved resolutions permitting the county to take over the center after amendments allowed revenue to be used for county projects once it becomes profitable.

Commissioner Dennis Moss at the time said he supported the takeover on the condition its aesthetics were preserved.

“We want to make sure the level of maintenance and upkeep at the facility, once we take over its operations and maintenance, that the level continues to be world-class quality,” he said. “This is our front door. We want to make sure people have a very good impression of our community.”

In November 2015, the state proposed transferring control of the hub to Miami-Dade.

The Miami-Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) was briefly considered as a candidate to take over the site, but Esteban Bovo Jr., the county commission chairman, said he preferred that the county own and operate the center or, if that weren’t possible, that it fall under joint ownership of MDX and the county.

Roughly a year later, under a plan by Mayor Carlos Giménez, the county hired an appraiser who listed a hotel, convenience center, offices and retail as possibly uses for 10 acres of the center under long-term ground lease.

Residential use was also considered but deemed less feasibly.

In February 2017, Miami-Dade started negotiations with the state over tenants and dividing costs of taking over the center, Ms. Bravo previously said.

Under the current agreement, tenants at the center’s Miami Central Station are responsible for operating their own systems and maintaining areas assigned to them, while the county must operate and maintain all common areas of the station and property.

Florida has retained its lease of the center’s east headhouse, which contains Amtrak.

6 Responses to Miami-Dade to seek development bids at transit hub

  1. Richard McVay

    December 5, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Development will make the transportation hub more of a destination with benefits. How about a residential hotel for extended stay? And perhaps meeting room space for conferences? A small aeronautical museum would be appropriate in the hotel lobby 🙂

  2. Cully Waggoner

    December 5, 2018 at 11:38 am

    The platforms at the Miami Intermodal Center were built too short to accommodate Amtrak trains. Neither of the Amtrak trains that serve Miami, the Silver Star or Silver Meteor, use that station. They use the Miami Amtrak Station just a few miles due north of it.

    The County will most likely try to mimic the success that Brightline had with development around their stations in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm in order to help mitigate the costs of running this station. Also likely that the County will mess it up like they have in the past.

    • DC Copeland

      December 5, 2018 at 12:45 pm

      How true.

  3. William P Martin

    December 5, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    The first thing they need to do is make the platforms big enough to accommodate the Amtrak trains.

    • Tim Anoson

      December 11, 2018 at 10:54 am

      Amtrak recently was quoted in the local news saying that they were no longer interested in a station at MIA. ?????

  4. Roy Jr, Miami Springs

    December 6, 2018 at 8:08 am

    Nothing said about updating the station for Amtrak.