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Miami park proposal inches closer to reality

February 21, 2011 03:58PM

Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff has approved funding for the appraisal of a parcel of waterfront land the city would purchase for conversion into the proposed Manatee Bay Park. The appraisal will pave the way for talks between the city and the current landowner Skip Van Cel, who has said in the past that he would sell the plot, along the Little River near NE 79th Street, to the city for $635,000. But one deal already fell through last year, and the city has yet to come forward with an offer since then. While Van Cel said he wants to see the land used as a public park, he has other back-up plans on the table, including a building project that would give rise to eight new cottages on the parcel. Sarnoff’s office said the park plan is “still a high priority for our office” and that state and grant funding would still be available should the city follow through with a purchase this year. [Miami Herald]