Miami Arena Buyer Says He Has More Plans
By Yeleny Suarez
The Palm Beach businessman poised to take over Miami Arena is eyeing other Miami-Dade County sites.
Glenn Straub, owner of Palm Beach Polo & Country Club, said this week that he hopes to buy and redevelop Melreese Golf Club, next to Miami International Airport, 1802 NW 37th Ave, and another site he would not name.
"We are not down here for just the arena. We plan to have things that merge with our business that justifies us being here," he said. "First thing on the agenda is closing the (arena) sale."
Mr. Straub won a bid in an Aug. 10 auction to buy the arena in downtown Miami for a little more than $28 million. The sale was scheduled to close Tuesday, but the City of Miami delayed the transaction.
Saying his check is ready, Mr. Straub said the city will start seeing changes at the arena in early October.
Arena Ventures LLC, sister company to Broward Yachts Inc., a company owned by Mr. Straub’s two daughters, will be the new management firm after a closing now planned for Sept. 28. Some arena employees will stay on, he said.
Mr. Straub said he will invest $3 million in new box seats in the upper tier of the venue.
"The arena is in good condition but needs a facelift," he said.
He said he wants the arena to work more as a community facility with about 30% of the scheduling having an equestrian theme. Mr. Straub said he plans to have an agent book hockey and other sports teams plus concerts to fill the rest of the open dates at the arena.
"Aside from being the landlords, we are an operations company, " he said. "If we can’t get a team to sign, then we will buy one to get the arena busy. We don’t have to rely on just owning the property."