The developer of the long-delayed Island Gardens now has a clear path to finally starting the project planned for Miami’s Watson Island.
Members of the Florida Cabinet approved modifications to the deed for the city-owned island with no discussion. The vote allows developer Flagstone Property Group to break ground on the project, which includes a mega-yacht marina, retail center and two hotels. Flagstone is required to start construction by June 2 under its latest lease extension from the city.
State Cabinet members include Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi.
Project opponents, including former Miami-based government consultant Stephen Herbits, asked the Cabinet to block the development, according to the Miami herald.
“It’s undeniably a giveaway of a prized public asset to generate huge profits for a private development while the city reaps very small rewards,” Herbits wrote in a letter.
Island Gardens was initially approved by Miami voters in 2001. The project languished after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and last decade’s recession. [Miami Herald] — Eric Kalis