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Front Page » Top Stories » Juggernaut mall touted to replace Miami golf course

Juggernaut mall touted to replace Miami golf course

Written by on March 19, 2019
Juggernaut mall touted to replace Miami golf course

Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo is convinced a mall built beside Miami International Airport on city-owned land that today is a golf course would become one of the nation’s most successful commercial ventures and a huge financial boon to the city for decades.

Mr. Carollo’s determination that Melreese Golf Course be redeveloped was apparent after he commented on legislation to push the administration in talks with the David Beckham group that plans to make the site a commercial hub and tech campus anchored by a Major League Soccer stadium.

Commissioners told City Manager Emilio González last week to report on negotiations for the proposed ground lease at the next commission meeting and deliver a finished proposed lease for approval by Sept. 12.

“This is a one-of-a-kind site, a key location, next to the airport and expressways. We need top dollar development potential,” Mr. Carollo said. He predicted a shopping center there within a year would be one of the top producing malls in the US.

Mr. Carollo said Miami is the gateway to the Americas and visitors all shop, going to Sawgrass Mills or Aventura Mall because nothing is near the airport.

“That’s gonna be big – we need to share in that,” he said of a mall at the Melreese site.

If no deal is reached by September, he vowed to move to put the property out to the highest bidder with the best development proposal.

City voters in 2018 authorized the city to negotiate and sign a 99-year lease with Miami Freedom Park LLC for 73 acres, waiving bidding and converting Melreese Country Club to a soccer stadium; a minimum 1 million square feet of office, retail and commercial uses; and 750 hotel rooms – at no cost to the city.

Commissioner Manolo Reyes says he remains totally opposed and wants to make sure he can vote on the final lease before November’s election, in which he is running.

7 Responses to Juggernaut mall touted to replace Miami golf course

  1. William P Martin

    March 20, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    The last thing we need is another mall! Malls are becoming absolete in the age of Amazon, and online shoping!

    • Vito Solomon

      March 22, 2019 at 5:36 am

      Totally agree.

      We expect Miami to be a cultural destination, not a retail junkyard.

    • Oliver Klosov

      March 22, 2019 at 11:47 am

      Says who.
      There is a an $800M Dania Pointe, a $4B Miami World Center, a River Landing, an American Dream retail and entertainmentment complex, and the list goes on and on. The news of retails death is greatly exaggerated.

  2. Elvis Cruz

    March 20, 2019 at 10:24 pm

    The Melreese golf course deal is a horrible scam that cheats Miami’s residents, now and forever more. It was cooked up in back-room meetings to give a sweetheart deal to billionaires.

    Our elected officials were supposed to be protecting our park land from greed. Instead, they conspired with these politically well-connected developers to put this on the ballot.

    If the City didn’t want a golf course there anymore, it should have turned the ENTIRE property into a park. Why wasn’t that on the ballot?

    Build a big new mall on the golf course land at a time when malls around the country are closing and retail is declining due to internet sales? The Omni mall closed, Bakery Center closed, Sunset Place is struggling, Sears is bankrupt, etc.,

    More scams are coming. Mark my words, you can expect the City to pull some shenanigans if and when the time comes to replace lost park land with new park land (as required by law); they’ll try to declare the land under the Metrorail as replacement park land, or the shoulder alongside Rickenbacker Causeway (as they did once before), or some similar farce.

    It would be so nice if our elected officials treated parks as sacred ground to be protected, not sold off to the highest bidder. Or, in this case, no bidding at all.

  3. Gerwyn Flax

    March 21, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    Ft. Lauderdale has just approved the renovation of Lockhart stadium by none other than David Beckham for a soccer stadium. Did the Melreese project fall through?

  4. Vito Solomon

    March 22, 2019 at 5:33 am

    Commissioner, please don’t waste your time and our tax dollars, the residents voted and now expect the area to become a beautiful stadium park.

    Miami is becoming a cultural and arts destination.

    But yet another empty mall?

    Who is behind your proposal?

  5. Dawson Allen

    March 22, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    I think it would be a good idea to build a lot of housing in and around the park. The airport is staffed by numerous low-wage workers who can’t afford to live nearby. It would be healthy to abbreviate their commutes a bit.