FYI Miami: June 18, 2020
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
SOCCER PROJECT UNDER ZONING PROVISION: Miami Freedom Park LLC, the proposed project at Melreese Park that’ll feature a 25,000-seat soccer stadium in a mixed-use development including hotel and office space, has applied for a special area plan. As per Inter Miami, the soccer team that would play at Miami Freedom Park, 20.9 acres of the total 131 acres need to be rezoned. Because of the city’s no-net loss park space policy, Miami Freedom Park LLC would have to replace the park space elsewhere in the city. Special Area Plans have become subject to much pushback, with many saying they bring about speculation and gentrification. The city provision allows for more flexibility than is allowed under the city code, placing the city and developers in a position to essentially negotiate.
POLICE REPORT ORDERED: Exactly one week after calls to support the item dominated a committee comments period, Miami-Dade Commissioner Barbara Jordan’s resolution to direct Mayor Carlos Giménez’s administration to report on county police arrest, custody, physical restraint and use of force procedures passed unanimously and without a word Tuesday in the county commission. The resolution also expresses shock and condolences regarding the May 25 death of George Floyd, whom a Minneapolis police officer suffocated to death, sparking worldwide outrage and protests across the country. “I don’t think anybody who saw the video [of] the officer with his knee on the neck of George Floyd could not be moved by that,” Ms. Jordan said during last week’s virtual meeting. “It’s only one incident [of many] that occurred in the black and brown community over and over again.” The report is due by July 26.
BERTH FEES WAIVED: Cruise companies at PortMiami have again received a much-needed lifeline, as Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giménez extended an existing waiver of lay berth and harbor fees to all vessels owned by businesses with berthing or operating agreements with the county. The 30-day extension, which runs through July 12, follows prior extensions the mayor executed March 13, April 13 and May 12. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a no-sail order in April, directing all cruise ships to remain docked for up to 100 days. Lost business due to Covid-19 hit the cruise business hard, with reported first-quarter shortfalls of $1.4 billion for Royal Caribbean and $1.9 billion for Norwegian, as well as a nearly 70% dip in stock value for industry leader Carnival. “I don’t know when we’ll sail again,” Carnival CEO Arnold Donald told industry outlet Cruise Critic late last month, adding that following CDC directives is just one piece of a complex global puzzle. “We go to 700 destinations around the world. Everybody’s got their own rules and regulations, and we have to abide by them all.”