Crescent Heights is working on plans to build a new or expanded civil courthouse for Miami-Dade County, and possibly restore the existing building.
The current courthouse was built in 1928 and has been described as too small and outdated. Although most judges want the building replaced, voters rejected a $540 million replacement plan in 2014.
Another company that counts Crescent Heights principal Russell Galbut as an investor has a case pending in the existing courthouse, and opposing counsel is arguing that the judge may be biased by the potential new courthouse.
On January 3, Galbut’s lawyer filed a motion in that case, confirming the courthouse negotiations. The motion states:
Crescent Heights, has been in communications with the Mayor’s Office, the Clerk of Court for Miami-Dade County, and members of the Dade Heritage Trust, for over a year to assist the County, offer a solution, for the overburdened civil courthouse and possibly develop an expanded courthouse project.
Mr. Galbut became involved in this endeavor mainly because Crescent Heights owns an interest in an adjoining piece of property across from the civil courthouse which could conceivably solve the county’s need for expanded space at the courthouse.
Florida Bulldog first reported on the possible new project. The website quotes a judge who states that the plans are “preliminary” but “gaining steam.”