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Front Page » Top Stories » Melreese golf course deal for major development targeted for May

Melreese golf course deal for major development targeted for May

Written by on December 31, 2019
Melreese golf course deal for major development targeted for May

After debate over a Melreese golf course deal still being negotiated boiled over in November, Miami commissioners have let talks simmer, awaiting a May update from lawyers.

Attorneys retained for ongoing negotiations with Miami Freedom Park laid out issues in December. Ex-commissioner Marc Sarnoff, one of the city’s lawyers for the deal, said commissioners could hear a direct report in May and “there’s not complete agreement” between the two parties.

“I think it’s fair to say – and I’m going to give myself and our group a little bit of leeway – I would put it for direct report by the second meeting in May,” he said.

Billion-dollar Miami Freedom Park, a city hall hot button, would develop a million square feet including a Major League Soccer stadium, office and retail buildings and a hotel on the city-owned park by the airport.

The deal hinges on pending land appraisals. But prior to appraisals, environmental studies are a must, which Mr. Sarnoff dubbed the X-factor. The process with the Department of Environmental Resources Management (DERM) could take 60 days.

Commission Chairman Ken Russell asked lawyers to inform him on DERM’s options for remediation and advised commissioners to search for parkland to replace what would be lost at Melreese.

“I don’t want that if this passes and you were against it, that your district doesn’t get the park it deserves,” Mr. Russell said.

“Of course, Mr. Chairman, most of that parkland has to be in District 1, because that’s where it’s being take away from,” said Alex Diaz De La Portilla, the district’s new commissioner.

Commissioner Joe Carollo asked for a run-down on appraisal methodology.

“It’s our responsibility and obligation that for future Miamians we leave the most income that we can for this project,” he said. “It’s one of a kind. It cannot be duplicated ever again.”

10 Responses to Melreese golf course deal for major development targeted for May

  1. Richard McVay

    January 1, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    Why does a private developer get corporate welfare and the demolition of our limited public green space for their own profit?

    Why has not the proposition of two private entities – The Beckham Group and Flagler Dog Track develop a Stadium/Casino/Hotel on existing private property without destroying our public park?

    Once again public property is being given away to private interests.

    This project stinks to high heaven.

    • Ed

      January 2, 2020 at 1:44 pm

      It is not a public park. It is a pay-to-play golf course that a very small minority of the citizens of the City of Miami actually ever step foot on. The redevelopment of the golf course will provide a real free to access public park along with all the other facilities and amenities that will serve the citizens of Miami in a much greater way than that property currently provides. The developer is not gettting this property for free…they will be paying significant rent and taxes on the property that will provide the City with funds to do other things with in the community. This is not corporate welfare. The developer will be investing hundreds of millions of dollars to create a destination that can be accessed and enjoyed by a great deal more people than currently visit that golf course. I have lived my entire life here in Miami (i am 50 years old) and have never once stepped foot on that property. And yes I have played golf at other public courses,but my point is that property should be accessible and used by more citizens of Miami than just a few golfers.

      • Paula

        January 7, 2020 at 2:48 pm

        Still prefer an open green area such as a golf course than a stadium. Traffic to and from the airport will become a nightmare as will traffic on already busy Dolphin expressway.

        • Ed

          January 8, 2020 at 12:59 pm

          The development will include allot more than just a stadium…office, retail, and hotel are also part of the mix which will serve the continued growth in business and leisure in the area and open up this property to a much greater audience of the citizens of Miami as well as our visitors. I agree with you that traffic is and will continue to be an issue in the area and throughout the City and County with or without this development, but if traffic concerns stopped us from continuing to develop needed facilities we would have to stop buiding everything in the County. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your point of view) people will continue to move to Miami and visit the area. They will contribute to traffic congestion. That is another topic that needs to be fixed on its own. We cant just put up a wall around Miami and stop people from coming here because traffic is so bad (or can we?). Therefore we cant just stop building facilities to serve the existing and soon to come citizens and visitors of our City of Miami.

        • Andrew

          January 9, 2020 at 3:32 pm

          The stadium includes more public green space than is currently available. I would recommend reading the plans there is ample public green space and retail space in the plans.

  2. Thomas Crews

    January 2, 2020 at 4:18 pm

    I would love the opportunity to purchase and develop
    This property myself

  3. JUAN

    January 3, 2020 at 2:10 pm

    por lo visto en los comentarios esto no le preocupa a casi nadie….VAMOS INTER !!!!

  4. Alan Leon

    January 8, 2020 at 8:58 am

    The valuations given to this site are dated . The property is worth much more today that it original valuation . Although it is city land , this space would serve the community greater if it was used to enhance the actual lifeline of the city the Miami International Airport .

    • Ed

      January 8, 2020 at 12:44 pm

      How exactly would you use this property to “enhance the actual lifeline of the city the Miami International Airport”?

  5. Larry Levis

    January 8, 2020 at 2:48 pm

    While many people understandably worry about adding more traffic to the 836/Airport nexus, we should note that this would be a transit-oriented development with Metrorail’s Airport station across the street.