The Real Deal Miami

Miami-Dade seeks to block shopping center with land purchase

Developer purchased the land for $22 million last year

March 09, 2015 10:30AM

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Rendering of Ram Realty's proposed Coral Reef development

Rendering of Ram Realty’s proposed Coral Reef development

Miami-Dade County wants to purchase an 88-acre tract of land near ZooMiami to block a proposed mixed-use development.

The project was announced by Palm Beach County-based developer Ram Realty Services last year and would include an LA Fitness, Walmart, restaurants and apartments. Residents and environmentalists are protesting Ram’s plans for the area because the land houses a variety of endangered wildlife and the largest intact stretch of pine rockland outside of the Everglades National Park, a publication reported.

The county is banking on Florida’s Amendment 1, which is aimed at helping preserve endangered land. Mayor Carlos Gimenez sent a letter to Gov. Rick Scott detailing the situation and asking for funding on Friday, the Miami Herald reported.

The county already owns a large chunk of the tract, with the remainder split among the University of Miami, federal agencies and Ram.

Ram purchased its portion of land from the University of Miami for $22 million last year, and county officials aren’t sure that the developer will be interested in selling it back, the newspaper reported. [Miami Herald] — Sean Stewart-Muniz