Florida Grand Opera To Sell Future Headquarters Site
By Patricia Hoyos
After years of planning to build downtown, the Florida Grand Opera is singing a different tune and has decided to stay in its Doral headquarters.
The plan had been to build on 46,000 square feet the opera owns at Northeast Second Avenue and 14th Street, making the opera’s home part of a mixed-use project.
Robert Heuer, general director and CEO, said that a year ago the opera put the project on hold until the economy turned around. But its board has decided it didn’t make sense financially to move and now plans to sell the site.
"We own a building here that has our offices, our rehearsal space," he said of the opera’s 35,000-square-foot Doral building at 8390 NW 25th St. "It has everything that we were going to build."
The downtown property will go on the market in a couple of weeks, he said.
Land around the Omni area site has been in play since gambling firms targeted the area for mega-casinos.
The opera bought the site in 1995 with plans to build a residential tower atop the proposed headquarters with a ground floor of retail and parking. Architectural firm Rodriguez and Quiroga drew the plans.
After the developer that proposed the project backed out, Raul Rodriguez, principal of the architect firm, said last January that another developer proposed building a hotel in its place. At that point, the opera’s board decided to wait until it could get funding for the $40 million project.
While a new home isn’t on the horizon, the opera will see changes as soon as next spring. In May 2013, Mr. Heuer will resign as general director, a role he’s played since 1985.
Directors met Tuesday to discuss the opera’s future and how to search for a replacement, he said. Next month, the board is to contract with a recruiting firm for a national search.To read the entire issue of Miami Today online, subscribe to e -Miami Today, an exact digital replica of the printed edition.