Miami wants Related to finish Watson Island job

The city commission voted last week to extend a lease so that Related Group and Related Cos. can join as co-developers.
June 20, 2013 10:00AM

From left: Flagstone Property CEO Mehmet Bayraktar and a rendering of Island Garden

Miami is taking a gamble that Jorge Pérez and Stephen Ross can step in and finish a mega-yacht complex on Watson Island that has stalled for 12 years, the Miami Herald reported.

Last week Miami’s city commission voted to give the project’s current developer, Flagstone Island Gardens, a lease extension that grants additional time to start building. The commission expects that in this time, Pérez’s Related Group and Ross’s New York-based Related Companies will become co-developers on the project, which they say will cost more than $1 billion, the Herald said.

Related’s pitch to jump into the project, for which Flagstone won a bid in 2001, includes more than doubling planned retail space from 220,000 square feet to 500,000 square feet; adding an additional 100 hotel beds from 605 to 705; and adding 100,000 square feet of new convention center space to the tiny man-made island in Biscayne Bay, according to the newspaper.

Only one commissioner – Frank Carollo – cast a vote against extending Flagstone’s lease, arguing the project be rebid and put to a public referendum again. [Miami Herald]Emily Schmall