Photos: This Is The Golf Course Beckham Wants To Demolish For Stadium & Office Park

Below are photos of the Melreese golf course that will be demolished, if voters approve a deal with Miami Freedom Park LLC, controlled by David Beckham and Jorge Mas.

It is the largest remaining green space in the city of Miami.

This is the ballot language for the November 6 election:

Proposed Charter Amendment for the Lease and development of a soccer stadium and commercial complex
Shall Miami’s Charter be amended authorizing City to negotiate, execute 99-year lease with Miami Freedom Park LLC, for approximately 73 acres of City land, waiving bidding, converting Melreese Country Club (1400 Northwest 37 Avenue) at no cost to City to:

  • soccer stadium;
  • minimum 1,000,000 square feet office, retail, commercial uses;
  • minimum 750 hotel rooms;
  • living wage for on-site employees;
  • $3,577,365 minimum annual rent;
  • $20,000,000 for 58-acre public park or other green space?

According to the Herald, the deal also still has serious red flags, with the proposed rent said to be well below market value for the zoning contemplated, among other issues.

 

(bottom photo: twitter)

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Anonymous

Not an ideal location for a stadium, do it right or don’t do it at all.

Anonymous

how in the world is this not a ideal location??? next to a terminus for metro rail tri rail and the airport which covers noise….oh right you want to force it in the middle of a neighborhood….you’re a genius.

Traffic bozo.

The site is next door to the Miami International Airport (MIA). If this scam
goes through residents and tourists will DEFINITELY miss plane flights. Traffic. Gridlock.

Anonymous

Hey Bozo, go find a circus.

Anonymous

what are your arguments to call this project a scam? so it is more important to you that tourist take their time in getting to the airport than developing a project that will create jobs and spur development in the airport area?, i hear some people talk about david beckham paying rent below market value on this deal.what determines market value is demand and there is no demand to rent or buy this place, there are no developers interested on this location and no one wants to bid on this land and not too many people are interested in using its facilities

Scam

No-Bid deal? By definition it is a scam. This site was NEVER put out to bid. If Jorge Perez or the Terra Group wanted to submit bids the taxpayers would get a better deal. This scam is designed to steal from the taxpayers and divert the money to connected billionaires.

Acere!

so do you think the people flying are going to the game? how is that convenient? the fans LIVE in MIAMI, we DON’T NEED THE AIRPORT!

Miss flights?

Hey Acere! Tourism fuels Miami. You want to piss off tourists? You want to make residents miss flights?

Acere!

The team is for LOCALS, tourist don’t give a hoot about a soccer team. Tourist are interested in the actual CITY OF MIAMI, not an MLS team. The stadium needs to cater to where LOCALS will go. How many locals do you see hanging out near the airpot???

peej

You do realize MIA has departing flights too, right? You think LOCALS all depart from FLL when travelling for Business or Vacations? Few locals “hang out” near the airport, but plenty travel to/from it on a daily basis.

What an inane argument.

Just another project

Office buildings, 750 hotel rooms and a mall. This is a real estate deal. Forget your beloved soccer. There are only 17 games a year. Traffic? You betcha.

Acere!

yea, because you have a lot of season ticket holds that are tourist right? you make no sense!

Anonymous

I don’t get your logic of tourist missing flights….? How are they missing flights….please enlighten us Oh Master…..

Anonymous

“Not an ideal location for a stadium, do it right or don’t do it at all.”
Top comment given to someone who obviously does not have a clue. So let me bring you up to date, this is not the first, second, third, or fourth site. This is the FIFTH try to get this deal done right, and yes this is the best and most likely site to succeed. It is now up to the people of Miami to decide, and in less than two weeks we will finally know.

Deceitful ads

Taxpayers still paying $3 Billion for the Marlins Stadium. Voters? They are so easily deceived.

Anonymous

So let’s not have any sport arenas at all. Let’s tear down the AAA, the Marlins Park, and the Hard Rock Stadium. Will that make you happy? Cities have sport venues and the people who chose to live in them pay for them. If you don’t want to be one of them I will be happy to show you the door.

MIami305

Exactly…. this is the ideal location because you have the Metro Rail next door…is the perfect location IMO

Anonymous

Already voted no.

Anonymous

voted yes

Anonymous

Wow, I have never seen such a slanted title on an article on TNM, I guess we know which way the writers and editors are voting for. My 4 friends and I voted yesterday and we all voted YES. This way is the best way to decide about the stadium, let the people decide. If you haters win we will shut the hell up. If we win I hope you will do the same.

William

All our elected leaders would prefer to have the people vote on it. It removes them from having to spend political capital on decisions. Though, we vote these people in, to make decisions. Not to defer them.

The vast majority of the public have no real understanding of public land policy and the long term repercussions of said land leases. Leaving it up to a pool of voters is like asking them to make good decisions on broader drug (Cannabis) and gaming (Casino) policies – They will of likely want more access to it. Because their true understanding of the social repercussions is limited to facebook and instagram.

Anonymous

The ownership group is out handing out free merchandise everywhere to gain votes. They have millions to blow because they will be receiving, as you said, millions in land lease value.

The folks like you and I who understand that can’t compete with the ownership group’s money/lobbying power, therefore we lose by default.

An Opinion

If they lose they will sue. And I mean that of both sides. That’s the process *bangs gavel*

No-Bids?

No-Bid. You realize if City officials put the site out to bid the taxpayers would get a better deal, right?

Sellout Much?

Mas and his public relations team are in the house!

Anonymous

I don’t work for Mas you jerk, but I am a huge soccer fan and it is about time we get a soccer team. My late father and I used to go to Lockhart in 2000, I want to do the same with my son now.

Anonymous

Miami owes me a soccer team! wait, what?

suomynona

Ditto.

Anonymous

Great! That is what every citizen is supposed to do and we must also accept the outcome of what the majority decides. I voted YES.

Acere!

I’m a HUGE futbol fan, and i hope we get the stadium BUT not at this cost. This only reinforces the fact that out local government needs to be voted out!! they are BEYOND corrupt! This is a total JOKE!

Anonymous

I call BS on your post, if you really were a HUGE fan you would vote yes, period.

Acere!

First, the MLS is a joke, so i don’t care about it to begin with. Second, just because i like the sport doesn’t mean that i’m OK with the corrupt city officials robbing me blind!

Anonymous

this stadium is a waste..when was the last time you saw someone in Miami that follows mls? everybody that watches soccer around here is only interested in the top leagues, and the Barcelonas and Real Madrids of the world. Miami soccer fans are have no interest in the amateur soccer level that mls brings.

Anonymous

This. Try talking about any club team outside of Real Madrid and Barca in Miami and you’ll get blank stares back.

Wait, actually, try talking about Real Madrid or Barca beyond Bale/Messi and you’ll get even more blank stares.

Anonymous

Huge football (calcio for me) fan here as well, and I am voting NO and have been campaigning for others to vote NO as well.

This is no longer about soccer, it’s about a real estate scam concocted by the Mas Brothers. When they ditched the Overtown site despite owning the land, it became a real estate play first, soccer second.

I’ve been waiting for the Miami MLS franchise for years. I’d love nothing more than to be a season ticket holder in the ultras section. But not at the cost of the city being swindled again, and not at the cost of a developer getting a sweetheart deal to place the stadium in the WRONG location.

Scam? Yup.

Show some respect for the taxpayers of the City. Vote No to this scam.

Fanatic much?

Ah, another soccer fanatic… probably lives in Georgia?

Anonymous

Was anxious to vote this fall–NO on strong mayor, NO on this scam, NO on the riverfront lease. if they want to develop the golf course, put the land out to a competitive bid process. not this charade.

GBA

Why “no” on the riverfront lease? That went out for a competitive bid.

Anonymous

I’m a bit skeptical on the plans for the new municipal HQ and don’t generally like swaps. Just sell the land. And find new land. It’s a convoluted set up, but I’m not incredibly fired up about this one. It’s not bad as far as Miami deals go. I just tend to say NO unless there is a strong reason to say YES

Anonymous

“I’m a bit skeptical on the plans for the new municipal HQ and don’t generally like swaps.”

Meaning, you just want to be a “negative Nancy” just for the sake of being a “negative Nancy.”

Anonymous

No, use your brains. If it doesn’t work or its not good for the general population its not good. That’s not negative; just realistic.

Anonymous

This unsure about anything poser uses the word “if” and talks like his way of viewing things is “Ipso Facto!

“If it doesn’t work” is not being “realistic,” it means in reality you just don’t know, and that makes you sound like a “negative Nancy” just for the sake of being a “negative Nancy.”

Anonymous

With Miami’s history of corruption, it is not being a “negative nancy for it’s own sake” to vote no on almost anything unless there’s a good and clear reason to vote yes. That’s just good astute citizenship on his part.

If only we had more voters like this holding our local politicians to a tougher standard.

Anonymous

I own a home in Miami. Part of the tax dollars I pay every year goes towards the existence of this golf course which I’ve never or even wanted to use. Being an “astute” citizen to me is getting this money trap off of my back by having someone who wants to pay the city millions of dollars a year in rent to be on it.

No-Bid means screw the taxpayers

If you want money then demand this “deal” be put out to bid. The City will get $10 mil per year not $3 Nil.

Anonymous

Sorry I support Anonymous #1 on this. I don’t think they are being negative just sending a message that’s Miami doesn’t NEED, it would be nice to have but not at the cost of land, tax money or breaks for the rich.

Dumb deal

Riverfront land sale or swap? City is selling an office building for $200 per sq ft and then the City is forced to pay $600 per sq ft for a new office building (or pay $35 per sq ft RENT). Dumb.

Acere!

What’s wrong with the river front? I think it’s great.

Huge loss projected

That is a NO Vote as well. Selling a perfectly adequate site for $200 per sq ft and buying a new grandiose site for $600 per sq ft seems like a HUGE loss for the taxpayers.

Anonymous

Agree

Anonymous

I have yet to hear about Miami taking city owned land and establishing green space on it for the taxpayers. We do not have enough greeen space in this county.

Anonymous

Um what? Dude, whata’ya talking about?.. MiamiDade County contains the Everglades National Park!

Acere!

green space within the city not a national park!!

Anonymous

But the Everglades National Park is, just like Miami, in the county of Dade. And it’s not that far to get to!

Miami needs grass

The City of Miami ranks LAST in park space per capita. Every year that figure gets worse.

Anonymous

Here we go again with that BS magazine article. I can take you around to plenty of desolate parks right now in Miami.

Anonymous

Agree but that report should include beaches… beaches are Miami parks too!

Anonymous

“We do not have enough greeen space in this county.”

If it was up to people like you, this entire county would still be nothing but farmland.

Anonymous

Just a bad idea

Anonymous

Why vote No on Strong Mayor though ?

Anonymous

The way this amendment is written, it gives way too much power to one individual in power. VOTE NO.

Anonymous

No on any of the silly BUNDLED amendments! Get this Miami people who continue to push stuff down our throats by using confusing wording and bundleing. VoteSaveAmerica.com does a great job on helping make sense of it all.

Anonymous

I’m just here for the comments.

peej

If this isn’t passed, I’d expect Bechkam to pack his bags.

The proposal is far from perfect, and of course should carry higher rent costs, but this seems to be the best (only?) spot he has left.

I’m also sick of all the “green space” jargon–it’s a public course that charges for entry, for specific use. Agree or disagree with the new intent, but it should serve a larger demographic of the City’s population than its current setup.

Miami1

The only “green” thing about it now is the money you have to pay to use it!!!

Anonymous

Then open up the process to open bidding. There probably is a much better use than an office park with a stadium.

Anonymous

Who cares if he leaves. No deal is better than a bad deal. MLS needs Miami more than Miami needs MLS.

Anonymous

Totally agree! Miami is an amazing city with or without this deal/soccer team!

Anonymous

MLS doesn’t need Miami, the city failed them once already. MLS wants Beckham and Beckham wants Miami.

Anonymous

And peej, not only is it a “public course that charges for entry,” on top of that, every year it’s very existence is paid for by the taxpayers of MiamiDade.

Ick deal

Jorge Perez would have paid 3 x more than Mas and Beckham. No-Bid deals always screw the taxpayers.

Anonymous

3x less..

Anonymous

Good. His investor friends have more than enough money to buy a piece of property and build a facility. How / if it makes money is their concern. Not the taxpayers. If not here, then somewhere else.

Anonymous

I agree, then let’s turn it into a REAL park but not give this land away for a significantly discounted rate to someone who doesn’t need handouts!

Anonymous

Exactly. This isn’t a park. It’s an Office Park and Mall with a few soccer fields and a stadium attached to it.

If it was really about building a stadium, it would be in Overtown where they already have wasted money on the land.

VOTE NO

THey were going to do it in overtime but the property owner of one of the lots jacked up the price bc he knew Mas would make billions. They have other sites, the golf course is just the cheapest bc they are ripping off the city.

Oscar

You can be pro-MLS, think the whole “green space” argument is BS, and still be against this deal. Mas is a smart business man who saw this as an opportunity to leverage public support for Beckham’s team to take control of public land at below market cost. This is not a stadium proposal, it’s a massive real estate play. If he thinks he needs the commercial development to help subsidize the costs of managing the team that’s fine, but he should be bidding for that land like anyone else should. Trying to cram this through as a “stadium deal” for “Miami’s team” is hilariously insincere.

Anonymous

Nailed it. There were ZERO problems with Overtown location until Mas became involved. Now you would think Overtown is Compton according to him.

Theft

Yup. This is just a chance for novice developer Mas to pick up 73 acres of taxpayer owned land on the cheap. Mas testifies he will cover the grass with office buildings, a mall and a hotel. As he laughs his way to the bank.

Anonymous

THIS IS NOT A PARK! We are not throwing away green space because this is not a “green space” I cannot take my family and have a picnic on hole 11 if I wanted to. This is a private golf course that costs over $100 to enter and is completely funded by the county. The only park being proposed here is by bekham. Only 1 quarter of the Beckham project will NOT be green space, the rest will. Get it through your thick skulls people, what bekham is proposing is beautiful AND the final chance at an mls stadium, he will leave if it does not pass, we have the opportunity to green light what is a much better option than what we have. Vote yes and stop being so hard headed. FYI opening up to bidding does not guarantee that a developer will include a park in the winning bid here but bekhams is a park. That alone should be enough reason to vote yes as all anyone is concerned about is this valuable “park” space. I FEEL LIKE IM TAKING CRAZY PILLS!

Anonymous

You are taking crazy pills. As part of the open bidding process, the city can require the developers to include park space.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Took the words outta my mouth!!! This ‘park’ is only used by a slight minority and it’s very disingenuous for TNM to continue to advertise it as such. Clear bias on this issue.

Anonymous

And it won’t really even be a park when it is built. Sure, there will be 12 soccer pitches and some paths and trails, but there will also be an office park, mall, and stadium.

Most importantly, do you think you’ll be able to walk in and picnic willy-nilly at the new park? Think you’ll be able to go take your kids to one of the pitches to kick a ball around?

Please, think for a second. All of this is going to require permits for use, a rental fee, or something. It is not like the golf course is suddenly going to become this free, green space haven for everyone.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

“All of this is going to require permits for use, a rental fee” – so basically like this useless golf course we already have? At least with this new park we will be allowed to do something besides golf and without paying $100 a pop. What if I want to go jogging? Walk my dog? All this is stuff that will be much more accessible to most people with the new park.

Anonymous

Walks and jogs under the roar, heat, and smell of jet engine exhaust is exactly where I’ll be taking my kids on the weekend! Sounds lovely!

Anonymous

Yet you think this is a lovely place to golf? Pick a lane and stick to it man…

Anonymous

You are not going to drive to this so called park to jog or walk your dog.

Anonymous

Based on the ballot language this will probably pass. Whether or not this is a good move for the city and its residents is to be seen.

Concerned citizen

#NobidNoBueno, bad deal for everyone except developers and crooked politicians

Anonymous

Already voted no.
If this gets approved, I know 3 City Commissioners and a Mayor who will be recalled in record time.

Keep Florida not like NY

Ken Russell is the worst…I will personally campaign against him.

Sellout

Commissioner Sellout. Al Crespo and now many other residents call Ken Russell Commissioner Sellout.

Anonymous

Ken Russell sold his vote for a selfie with Beckham.

Anonymous

Ken Russell sold out who? I don’t own one golf club but I do own a house and this golf course can kick rocks for all I care.

Anonymous

the Stadium is only a small part of this proposal. There’s over 1 million SF of commercial entitlement that is really at stake, separate and apart from the stadium, and completely unnecessary to the stadium. It wasn’t included in any of the other stadium proposals. Unfortunately we can’t separate the two. Since Beckham prevailed in the challenge to the Overtown site for the stadium there’s really no reason to pursue this site. So a no vote is the obvious choice, unless you’re into enriching real estate developers.

Anonymous

I hope it doesn’t pass and Beckham packs his bags

Anonymous

You must be fun at parties.

Anonymous

Back to Overtown! This is a scam!

Anonymous

If it’s a “scam,” why bother Overtown with it? Put it somewhere in Kendall.

Anonymous

Overtown is a worse location, far from transit and incompatible with adjacent neighborhoods like Spring Garden, and inevitably will cause traffic and the geniuses will want bigger roads. Melrose already has the roads, transit, and is in a non-intrusive location.

Polo

VOTE NO!!!!!

Anonymous

Why?.. you want me to keep paying my tax dollars so some delusional pricks can get their Tiger Woods or Jack Nicklaus fantasy on?

Put this land to better use like building some highrise apartment buildings on it.

Anonymous

What’s wrong with just green space; golf course, wetlands, etc. Why does everything need to be concrete?

Anonymous

People like you ask a question like that but I bet you’ve never stepped one foot into the Everglades National Park.

Anonymous

HIGH RISE APARTMENTS? THE GOLF COURSE IS JUST EAST OF RWY 9/27!!!

Anonymous

What does that matter? Visit cities throughout the world and checkout what they did.

Anonymous

Sad. Love this course.

Anonymous

VOTE NO

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Says 1 of the 12 people who actually use it…

Anonymous

Says 1 of the 5 people who will actually go to games.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Hey, still better than your numbers!!!

Marlins, baby!

Marlins lost 98 games this year.

Anonymous

12 is more than 5. 12 people going to play golf is more than 5 people going to a soccer game. If you were talking percentages, 1 out of 12 people is actually a lot if you consider the population of Miami.

Marlins?

Taxpayers forced to pay over $3 Billion to the Marlins Stadium. Marlins barely sell 1,500 tickets a game.

Anonymous

That’s why we cannot repeat that mistake with Beckham. The Marlins are at least part of MLB. MLS is still essentially an amateur league compared to the European leagues.

Anonymous

Wish I were a billionare so I could promise to build some small stadium and swipe land from the city w/ a sweetheart deal in a no bid-process and build lots of commercial RE on it!

Oh yeah and if there’s any room left a small stadium and a park as an afterthought too.

If it worked for Jeff Loria it should work for me too!

USA#1

Why is there a tiny smile character at the bottom left of the website? lol

Anonymous

These comment’s ya’ll *pops popcorn*

Vote No on the No-Bid deal

Vote No. Great pics. Thank you. Too many unanswered questions.

Anonymous

No no no no and NO! I want soccer just as bad as the next person but I am DONE will rich people using and beigiting from the BS and frankly WAY under market pricing for the land! Our teachers need raises, our infrastructure needs repairs, our city need money to protect it against GLOBAL WARMING! Taxes pay for all of this and I’m done give the cow away for free! Miami will be fine WITH or WITHOUT soccer if this is the only way! No sorry!

Anonymous

Um, you tax dollars pay for this golf course to exist.

Martim MSK

“Waive Bidding” was Strike 1 for me; how many Deals have we been exposed to where there is no competition aside from 1 party?

Minimum Rent was below Market – Strike 2; how many times do we see Developers offer the least amount to City & County Coffers.

No mention of the Toxic Wasteland beneath the Golf Course, WHO will pay for the cleanup and HOW MUCH is paid for by the Taxpayers; the ballot language was extremely vague and misleading – Strike 3.

This deal was basically rushed and attempted to get passed with little to no oversight and/or true cost analysis.

Sorry, I voted NO because this process needs to be vetted, analysis’ done thoroughly and done with the citizens best interest in mind…and they weren’t here.

Anonymous

Business Rep was on WQAM this morning trying to sell the project. Never once mentioned the office or retail components. They’re obviously trying to hide parts of it…..

Vote No

Offices, hotel, another mall. Soccer? Ha Ha. Only 17 games a year? Maybe less?

Anonymous

I don’t want to use the word scam because as a business of course your looking for the best deal. Your trying to spend the least amount of money possible! The deal is not finalized even if we vote yes! There will still be a lot of things that need to be worked out. What is a scam is all this land used for a golf course only 5% of all Dade county uses and for a fee at that! At least with this proposal we all can benefit from it. It will create jobs and entertainment as well as the long awaited soccer team . I don’t play golf and I’m all for jobs an entertainment so I vote YES!!!

Anonymous

Who cares about Dade county. This is a city of Miami property. I’m glad Kendallites can’t vote for this.

Anonymous

Francis “show me the money” Suarez gave a speech at the ULI Miami Symposium yesterday. It almost completely consisted of a plea for everyone in the room to vote yes on the stadium. The funny part is that these are smart developers. Putting the investment out near the airport instead of near their massive projects in Downtown makes no sense to them. Mas getting free land for office space instead of having to purchase blocks in Overtown (to help connect the stadium and Downtown and increase property values) is pure stupidity. Oh, and none of this touches on the fact that the stadium isn’t the only real estate deal on the ballot. Why is it that the Stadium/Office Park got a impassioned speech from Suarez at a ULI event, but the Adler Group proposal for the Miami River Office bldg got not even a mention? Of course, Adler isn’t lining Suarez’ pocket with enough cash…. Please vote NO in November on the stadium proposal. This is another Marlins Park waiting to happen. There were no issues with Overtown until the Mas Brothers got involved and wanted their free office park and mall. This should be about soccer, not a real… Read more »

Vote No.

Well stated.

Anonymous

I played there – it’s wonderful and most importantly an affordable course – and it looks good to visitors upon arriving

Anonymous

empty green space just for a few, this is a private country club in public land.

Anonymous

return to the people the land scammed for the politicians and theirs friends, VOTE YES…

Anonymous

THIS IS NOT A PARK! We are not throwing away green space because this is not a “green space” I cannot take my family and have a picnic on hole 11 if I wanted to. This is a private golf course that costs over $100 to enter and is completely funded by the county. The only park being proposed here is by bekham. Only 1 quarter of the Beckham project will NOT be green space, the rest will. Get it through your thick skulls people, what bekham is proposing is beautiful AND the final chance at an mls stadium, he will leave if it does not pass, we have the opportunity to green light what is a much better option than what we have. Vote yes and stop being so hard headed. FYI opening up to bidding does not guarantee that a developer will include a park in the winning bid here but bekhams is a park. That alone should be enough reason to vote yes as all anyone is concerned about is this valuable “park” space. I FEEL LIKE IM TAKING CRAZY PILLS!

Anonymous

In the immortal words of George Carlin, “Golf courses, what a complete waste of space so some schmuck can walk around trying to hit a tiny ball into a small hole in the ground,” or words to that effect. And boy does those pictures demonstrate what he was talking about.