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'This Is A Legacy You Don't Want'... Mayor Warned After He Comes Out In Favor Of Beckham's Office Park

‘This Is A Legacy You Don’t Want’… Mayor Warned After He Comes Out In Favor Of Beckham’s Office Park

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez is being warned that he may come to regret favoring David Beckham’s plan to build a $1 billion complex at Melreese Park.

On Sunday, the mayor sent the strongest signal yet that that he would campaign in favor of turning over 73 acres of park to be developed into an office, retail and stadium complex. His public endorsement came just days after the proposal was revealed to him and fellow commissioners.

Moments after Beckham business partner released a rendering of the complex on Twitter, Suarez retweeted the proposal and called it  “a beautiful vision” of “true green public space.”

But critics quickly pounced on the deal, questioning the back-room dealing, paving over of green space, and below market value rent proposed for what will become intensely zoned land.

Eric Zichella, a lobbyist who isn’t involved in the deal, wrote to the mayor that “this is a legacy project you don’t want.”

Others have questioned whether the project site just feet from the end of Miami International Airport’s runway would risk endangering planes, causing the FAA to reject the proposal. The site is also a former toxic waste dump.

As part of the proposal, Beckham is promising a $20 million gift to renovate the remaining half of the park – but the city may already have the funding to rebuild the entire golf course into a park without him. Last week, it emerged that the city still had no plan how to spend $400 million in “Forever Bonds,” including up to $78 million tabbed for parks, which could be used to turn Melreese into a public green space.

Beckham’s team has intentionally kept details of the proposal hidden from the public, only revealing renderings to commissioners in closed door meetings just days ago. They also avoided leaving plans on file with the city to skirt public records laws, and have worked to avoid a competitive bidding process for the land.

According to the Crespogram, one of the lobbyists hired by Beckham is Barbara Hardemon, an aunt of commissioner Keon Hardemon, who will be voting on the deal. The mayor, commissioners, and city manager are also invited to attend a party hosted by Beckham at the Five-Star Setai Hotel tonight.

So far, two commissioners have announced that they are against the deal, including Willie Gort and Manolo Reyes, according to Crespo. Three votes are needed to block it, and commissioner Ken Russell hasn’t announced his decision yet.

 

this green space would become office and retail under beckham’s plan. photos of melreese from january 2015:

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Anonymous
Anonymous

Overtown is perfect since its near downtown and right on the river, not to mention the majority of the land is already secured. Theres an enormous opportunity to transform the surrounding neighborhood and introduce the worlds game to the core of Miami its a shame that these Mas guys got inolved…

Anonymous
Anonymous

I agree with you 100%! The Mas brothers are just too damn rich and too white to ever let their name be attached to a project located in the black area of town. If they had not gotten involved the Overtown location would have happened. They even had Beckham recording videos from the site. But you know? Let’s not lose hope just yet. The commissioners may still vote this project down and as far as I know Becks still owns the land in Overtown. Letts’s keep our fingers crossed.

Jimmy I Suarez
Jimmy I Suarez

Too White? Now If I choose to support this project for what ever reason, I or in this case Mas are racist.

Anonymous
Anonymous

If you don’t invest in black areas you’re racist but you sjw’s also say if you do invest in black areas that is gentrification and you’re raising property values so you’re racist. You guys are morons and the stadium would be filled with white hispanic and Mas is one too. So either quit saying hispanic or start calling hispanics just white.

Anonymous
Anonymous

White Hispanics are from Spain, not Cuba. Both you and Mas are non white. So quit claiming to be white,to distance yourself from non whites. A little education on where whites originated would help. No one is called racist for failing to invest in black areas. Yes blacks have demanded that development in their areas take into account their history, greater numbers of employment, and rightly so, not unlike other areas of Miami. I know of many developments in Miami that the city has demanded quotas of local employment, in exchange for approval. If gentrification started up in little Havana whereby the residents are forced out due to their inability to afford continued living there, you can bet they would be raisig hell. Of course city leaders would never allow that to happen. While I’m at it,you should stop hiding behind acronyms such as (sjw), and just say what you mean.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Can we get back to the real coversation? How much is Suarez getting paid?

Anonymous
Anonymous

LOL, try that across the red states of the country, lets see how many people agree with Hispanics being white.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Very true, but according to history, very correct.

Anonymous
Anonymous

What far left bubble are you living in ? Its common knowledge and Florida is a red state too. And even if they didn’t agree hispanics are still self identifying as white mostly.

Anonymous
Anonymous

The fact that they’re identifying as “white” does not make them white. That is simply a classification of groups, and nothing more.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Try Jackson Mississippi suburbs, tell them you are white and your name is Gilberto Jimenez.

suomynona
suomynona

Florida is a purple state.

And many of Florida’s hispanics are white.

Anonymous
Anonymous

To white ?

Anonymous
Anonymous

Learn to spell, it is too white not to white.

MiamiArchi
MiamiArchi

You know the way this article is written I find to be quite sad. There is a clear bias from the writer which is unfortunate.
I have always thought news should provide all the information possible and let the readers make up their own minds. Followed by conversations in the comments or among each other.

As a side note. The process of meeting with commissioners before hand and not submitting renderings or plans into the city is 100% normal. It is painted in this article as underhanded dealings and that could not be further from the truth. I am involved in the construction industry and it is common place when making presentations to the city, for you to meet with all commissioners before hand to receive feedback and make last minute changes to address concerns they may have.
Nothing has been submitted into the city yet because there team is still working diligently to address all parties concern and present the best product.
Once the meeting occurs on the 12th all documents will be made public.

Please don’t paint typical processes as dirty or underhanded to help reinforce your preferred point of view. It comes off as very disingenuous.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Quit with the bs. They meet with commissioners for one reason, and that’s to attempt to secure favorable votes for aporoval. Plain and simple. It is rife with favoritism and dishonesty. If it wasn’t then they would invite the residents and other stakeholders to those closed meetings.

Gene
Gene

This is the problem. There’s something called ‘public input and comment’ that never seems to hold a place in Miami. It’s always just politicians and developers – and this is where its deals made in backrooms . It has to stop.

Forget DC – our swamp is just as big and just as dirty.

The golf course is a last minute attempt to keep Becks in the game and lead him by the balls with the Mas people. The site is impacted by the airport traffic and noise already and should be kept as a golf course.

Overtown would have the greatest potential to bring this neighborhood up by the soccer socks and become part of the New Miami.

No to Melreese and yes to Overtown.

Commissioners , do your job and vote no deal for the golf course.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

What’s the issue with noise? It’s a stadium not a library. They can be as loud as they want.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I am so sick of this! Every single site Becks has wanted has been met with massive opposition. His first proposal on the port was turned down because the cruise lines were going to build great things on that lot and they would start immediately because they already had the plans ready to go. Bunch of BS! Nothing is there now and nothing will be for years to come. The second site didn’t happen because the cry baby rich condo owners cannot stand to have a stadium for soccer on the bay even though they already have a basketball arena. The third site also failed because greedy jerks who have no concept of fair market value would not sell their “casitas” around the proposed stadium. The Mas brothers are just too good to ever allow a project that they are involved in to be built in a black area so the Overtown deal is now off the table. Leaving us with this Airport project that everyone seems to be against now even though until last week no one had even heart about this so called park. It pains me to say this as a true soccer fan but if the… Read more »

Anonymous
Anonymous

Call Miami what you want, the fact remains that Beckam’s choice of locations were inadequate or inappropriate. There is lots of land in Wynwood, even though Overtown and the city of Miami would benefit greatly it it was built there. Such a pristine golf course directly in the flight path of airplanes landing and taking off is not suitable for a stadium or tech hub. I am positive that the FAA would not allow this.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Try the Trailer Parks on 79th St East or West of I-95.
Use the money to relocate the residents

Anonymous
Anonymous

“The Mas brothers are just too good to ever allow a project that they are involved in to be built in a black area” Or maybe black pastors started crying racism and are you admitting that hispanics don’t want to be in black areas ?

Anonymous
Anonymous

Exactly! I dont get this comment. Can you explain what you mean by that “The Mas brothers are just too good to ever allow a project that they are involved in to be built in a black area”? I don’t understand the narrative I am seeing about Overtown. I test walk through the neighborhood once to see what you all here were whining about, not a second did I feel in danger. But good luck with getting this passed, I am getting tired of this MLS Miami drama. I honestly don’t want to support this anymore.

Anonymous
Anonymous

This first paragraph is a trip:

Others have questioned whether the project site just feet from the end of Miami International Airport’s runway would risk endangering planes, causing the FAA to reject the proposal. The site is also a former toxic waste dump.

Lol… now, if a plane hit the stadium, it would be the stadium’s fault, not the plane that hit it. Also, it’s okay to play golf and be out there right now on this “former toxic waste dump” but don’t come there to watch a soccer game because you’ll be in danger of being contaminated and dying from toxic waste.

Man, where do these people come from?!

Anonymous
Anonymous

The FAA is concerned with an airliner that has to abort a take-off or needs a place to crashland near the airport. A golf course in a flight path is better than a stadium full of soccer fans. I suspect you haven’t lived here long enough to remember a plane in 1969 that crashed on 36th Street when attempting to return to MIA due to mechanical failure. Ten people died. The fact that it wasn’t worse is a miracle. http://bit.ly/2KXWk1j

Anonymous
Anonymous

f the faa

Gene
Gene

Such great logic you display.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Lol… you’re kidding, right?

The population in Dade county (before it was renamed MiamiDade) was roughly around 1.2 million people. The population in MiamiDade right now is a little over 2.7 million people. MIA is much larger now than in 1969. We’ve seen incredible growth around and near the MIA. If a plane has to do a crash landing almost anywhere near and around the airport, it will be very catastrophic. That means basically people are going to be in danger no matter what because of what’s in the air and not what’s on the ground.

MiamiArchi
MiamiArchi

Guys, The issue with the stadium proximity to the airport has nothing to do with the amount of people in it, it has to do with the height of buildings on approach.
If their is an engine failure on takeoff, or landing, planes may not be able to reach their typical takeoff heights. This is what controls the heights of the buildings in Brickell. Its also what caused the hotel by Ft. Lauderdale airport (cant remember the name) to be torn down when they expanded the 2nd runway.

The stadium can be placed here if it meets the height requirements from the FAA. Hopefully they considered this and met with the FAA because if not all of this arguing everyone is doing will be for nothing.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Um yeah, sure… because this stadium would be taller than any hotel near the airport.

Anonymous
Anonymous

If an engine fails at takeoff the plane could hit the stadium even if it’s two or three stories high. It’s inability to climb could mean disaster for a stadium.

Gene
Gene

So let’s just add to the danger. Great logic.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Hate to burst your bubble Gene but the danger starts with a plane malfunctioning.

Anonymous
Anonymous

At that point it doesn’t matter who is at fault, you idiot, We know this could happen, so why an obstacle there now?

Anonymous
Anonymous

Obstacle? Unless a malfunctioning plan falls out of the sky and hits water, open farm land, mountain, forest, or the Everglades, anything else pertaining to a city the size of Miami “is” a target, dumbass!

Anonymous
Anonymous

Lol… you’re kidding, right?

Try convincing the FAA that removing one of the last open areas around the airport is a prudent thing.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Yeah, because that “last open area” around the airport is what any pilot would aim for in case of a crash landing?

Trying to make your point is futile to me.

Gene
Gene

Great reply and thanks for the archive article. This is just why the golf course should stay.

Anonymous
Anonymous

It is very interesting that before becoming Miami’s Mayor Francis Suarez opposed The Legion Park SAP application:

From the Miami Times article “Miami commissioner goes after large-scale developments”

At the city commission meeting Jan. 26, Mr. Suarez moved to direct the administration to prepare an amendment removing the city option to be a co-applicant to SAPs and make sure no city property is incorporated into a private SAP.
The city’s involvement in a privately developed Special Area Plan is a conflict of interest, he said.
And using city-owned property to meet the 9-acre threshold is “problematic on a number of fronts,” Mr. Suarez said then.

Gene
Gene

Not enough money in the right pockets- perhaps.

Anonymous
Anonymous

When I heard he wanted to build by the airport I was disappointed until a seen the whole proposal. Now I see it’s more than just a stadium that will create jobs year round. I don’t see this as being a problem, 85% of people in Miami don’t use the golf course. Golf courses don’t create anything they are membership only usually for people who can afford it. If they are going to build more than just a stadium as well as renovate the one that’s there why is there a problem? What’s there now nobody goes there so at least people will have a reason because now the land is just going to waste.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

85%? More like 99% of Miamians don’t use the gold course. It’s a huge waste.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

golf* grrrrrr!!!

Anonymous
Anonymous

the airport is the best location. why is any one upset? people crying about parks yet they shit on them in downtown, then theres cry babies trying to force Beckham into that shitty river location. Beckham had his spot the first time and Miami sucks so bad its forced him all the way to the airport.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Exactly! Most people didn’t even care about the golf course a few weeks ago and now all of a sudden they give a damn? GTFO!!!

Anonymous
Anonymous

Agree.

Anonymous
Anonymous

He might end up like the former county mayor Carlos Alvarez

Anonymous
Anonymous

He must’ve received a nice paycheck for his support!! no doubt. keep miami classy!

Anonymous
Anonymous

Seems like a great plan to me too. Not sure why anyone would object as it improves greatly on the current use of the land.

mondocondo
mondocondo

Can’t fathom why such good public land would even be considered for these private uses – a “minor league” stadium, office buildings, a hotel. And park land no less, not a crappy run down industrial district. These deals typically happen in marginal locations needing rejuvenation – South Park in Los Angeles, the west side in Chicago. Their projected economic benefits are rarely achieved, even for a major league team. Cheers.

Anonymous
Anonymous

There are always a few guys opposing everything and it is prominently stated in news articles. Must feel very empowering for the douches.

Anonymous
Anonymous

They should just stick to Overtown… Shame.

Anonymous
Anonymous

This is a stupid place to put a stadium. It should be in Overton.

Anonymous
Anonymous

It’s a scam. They are not building a soccer “mecca”. They are building a mall.
https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article214614770.html

The stadium and soccer fields are just an excuse to use publicly owned land. The mall will be full at the beginning but then it will turn into another Mall of the Americas.

Jimmy I Suarez
Jimmy I Suarez

Actually I do not care where they are going to build it, what I’m interested in is that they build it, Overtown seems like a good place as I also think about the golf course, both have the potential to use public transport and have a very good location, I could add It seems to me according to the plan that was presented for the golf course that it would be a good idea to also transfer Ultra Fest, for example, to this place and relieve traffic in downtown. they are opinions,

Anonymous
Anonymous

How could they host ultra there?

Stop selling Francis
Stop selling Francis

Francis Suarez would have to be an idiot to continue selling this dubious scheme. It is so one sided and anti-resident that Suarez could easily end up permanently tainted.

Anonymous
Anonymous

This is a perfect place for the stadium.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I foresee a stadium in Doral, sadly.

Jesus
Jesus

How is that sad? We should build it in Homestead. We need to density all of the metro area. Not just the core.

Anonymous
Anonymous

No one is going to go to homestead to watch an MLS game.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Yeah, because there are no real soccer fans in MiamiDade County. Just wannabe pretenders.

Anonymous
Anonymous

It should be built on their site in overtown.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Who is the “their” you are talking about?

suomynona
suomynona

The Beckham group that owns the land in Overtown. Duh.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Really, so you’re saying the Beckham Group did purchase that site in Overtown?

marc
marc

Yes they payed for that land in Overtown. They would be given the airport land and they would turn around and pay a lease.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Let them build in Doral. They can have an empty stadium that no tourists will ever go to out there.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I notice something the city and everyone else obviously don’t want this stadium built anywhere. Not downtown not the airport not the port but it’s very odd that their ok with it in Overtown. Everywhere he tried was denied soon as he said Overtown then they gave him the green light. Not saying it’s not a good site but long as it’s not in a white neighborhood, downtown or prime real estate then who cares if you build it in Overtown the residents don’t care now do they?

Anonymous
Anonymous

Not everyone was in favor of the Overtown site. Go back and read past articles and comments in TMN and you see and read negative opinions about the neighborhood, parking, and the metrorail station concerning the Overtown proposal.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Who cares? It was private land. Also, the only thing that prevented them buying the bus depot was a lawsuit by a rich WHITE man. Lol.

Anonymous
Anonymous

((white)) = what 90% of the hispanics in miami dade are why are you morons keep trying to inject race into when overtown is involved. did any or you sjw’s see that black people were worried that they were going to be displaced because of the stadium increasing real estate prices ?

Anonymous
Anonymous

The plain fact is, Mas didn’t like the Overtown location. There were other locations that the city proposed for the soccer stadium site and the Melreese Golf course was chosen by the Beckham Group.

Some people can be mad all they want, but that’s just the facts.

Gene
Gene

Overtown is prime – just look at the proximity to 95, Marlins Stadium parking, the Metromover with a connection to Brightline.
This is the place for this stadium and the jobs it will bring.

Anonymous
Anonymous

And all that will guarantee that this soccer franchise would be successful?

Remember, this is Miami, and remember the Fusion.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Most people will still get there using cars, not public transportation. Wishful thinking on your part.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Overtown was mostly going to be built on private land. The only public land was a county bus depot that can be moved anywhere.