Lionstone Development’s Diego Lowenstein met with county officials yesterday to discuss developing the southwest corner of PortMiami, records show.
Also at the meeting was BEA architects principal Bruno Elias-Ramos, along with several lawyers. All represented a company called Destination 305, LLC, which was formed in March of this year.
Lionstone holdings include the Ritz Carlton hotels in South Beach and Bal Harbor, Epic Hotel in Miami, and a Virgin Hotel in Chicago.
Dade commissioners voted on October 20 to seek bids to develop a portion of the port, but deed restrictions could prevent any new construction there. The county owns the land, but it was original deeded over from the state to the city of Miami and then later to the county with a reverter clause that restricts development.
Miami’s Downtown Development Authority has opposed development at the port, fearing that it would siphon of growth from downtown. Also likely opposed: Royal Caribbean which enjoys a below-market rate lease for their headquarters at the port, and led a campaign to stop David Beckham from building a soccer stadium there.
Since 2011, Port officials have commissioned at least three studies to determine the best use for the land. At the October commission meeting, the port chief told commissioners that they weren’t aware of restrictions on the deed when the studies were commissioned.
County administrators will now have 90 days to review legal options and prepare a solicitation.