The Real Deal Miami

Miami considers loophole to take control of Miami Marine Stadium

January 26, 2012 03:45PM

Miami Marine Stadium

Miami commissioners were expected to vote in favor of exploiting a loophole that would allow the city to take control of the Miami Marine Stadium and develop it without voters’ approval, but the vote was pushed to Feb. 9.

According to the Miami Herald, the city would make the Miami Sports & Exhibition Authority the landlord over the property. By transferring control of the property the city can avoid a law that requires the public to approve any development plan for city-owned waterfront property — even though the MSEA’s chairman is Mayor Tomas Regalado and many of its executives are city commissioners.

“It’s outrageous. They’re circumventing the referendum process,” said attorney Grace Solares, who has a lawsuit pending over the same issue against related to the development of the Museum of Science at Bicentennial Park. The loophole was also used for the Miami Children’s Museum on Watson Island in 2003.

But the vote was pushed back two weeks at today’s commission meeting.

If Miami goes ahead with the move, it would give development control to the Friends of Miami Marine Stadium, which hopes to raise $30 million to preserve the structure ravaged by Hurricane Andrew in 1993.

The Herald said the city wants to complete the transfer by Feb. 17, when Friends of Miami Marine Stadium hopes to hold a press conference with its inspirational advocacy group, Friends of the High Line in New York, touting its project. [Miami Herald] and [Miami Herald]