The Real Deal Miami

Man sues Miami for details of Watson Island project

Related Cos. and Related Group accused of dodging permitting process
July 08, 2013 03:00PM


From left: Island Gardens rendering, Stephen Ross and Jorge Pérez

A downtown Miami resident filed suit last week to push for the release of public documents on the long-stalled Watson Island development plan.

Developers Stephen Ross and Jorge Pérez,  respectively chairman and vice chairman of the Miami Dolphins board, intend to finish a mega-yacht complex on the island that has stalled for 12 years. Last month, 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 $1 billion-plus project, as previously reported.

The resident, Stephen Herbits, claims that Related Group and Related Companies are trying to circumvent the permitting process. Herbits first sued the city to halt development of the proposed Island Gardens project in 2006, but lost his bid.

Ross and Pérez are currently deciding whether to partner with Flagstone to develop the project together. However, the city would first have to approve the expansion of Flagstone’s original plan. [Daily Business Review]Mark Maurer