Miami To Update Request For Melreese Proposals
By Deserae del Campo
Miami plans to release an updated request for proposals for developers interested in building a three- or four-star hotel at city-owned Melreese Golf Course, a 135-acre site east of Miami International Airport.
City officials expect to release the development proposal today (6/8).
Last time, officials asked for a four-star hotel at 1802 NW 37th Ave. This time, a three-star hotel could also work, they say.
"What basically happened is we had received two letters from Mr. Glenn Straub and Mr. Sherwood Weiser," said Lori Billberry, director of Miami’s public facilities. "They expressed concern about construction costs, especially after the hurricane season where costs went up, and whether or not this site would work financially with a four-star hotel. Now we are allowing a combination of a three- or four-star hotel component."
The city has been seeking a developer since 2004. Three – Concalpro, a Doral company owned by a Venezuelan group; Miami Arena owner Straub, and hotelier Weiser – bid last year.
Mr. Straub and Mr. Weiser dropped out. Concalpro bid, but city officials pulled it once they decided a three-star hotel would also be suitable. In January, City Manager Joe Arriola decided to seek new proposals and increase competition.
The city commission voted in April to seek a unified development "that shall include a golf course, hotel, club house, pro shop, and other related golf and hotel amenities and may include recreational, entertainment, educational and/or cultural facilities, convention and/or conference facilities, hotel timeshares, retail, offices and parking."
"We would still bid for the new request for proposals if it eliminates the four-star hotel, which would be standing right along the path of the airport’s landing pattern," Mr. Straub said Tuesday. "But, according to the city, if anyone is currently involved in an on-going lawsuit against the city, that bid will not be accepted."
If Mr. Straub did bid for the project, the bid would be deemed non-responsive because he is suing the city over the Crosswinds development project in Overtown, claiming the city should have put out for bid for development.
Concalpro Vice President Leonardo Ambard and Mr. Weiser couldn’t be reached.
Meanwhile, Miami’s Department of Public Facilities is asking the city commission today (6/8) to amend its contract with Sharpton, Brunson and Co. for evaluating bids from the new request for proposals for Melreese. The company is responsible for recommending the most suitable developer for the site.