The Real Deal Miami

Miami Worldcenter seeks public subsidies

Subsidies could range from $85 to $121 million
worldcenter-and-motwani

Miami Worldcenter first phase rendering, Nitin Motwani inset.

Developers of the mixed-use Miami Worldcenter project are seeking public subsidies that could be worth tens of millions of dollars as they ready for phase one construction in the first quarter of 2015.

Worldcenter representatives met earlier this week with officials from the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency, according to the Miami Herald. Worldcenter is seeking subsidies for two of its projects: a mixed use residential/retail building in phase one and an adjacent Marriott Hotel and expo center in phase two.

The requested subsidies could bring between $85 million to $121 million to the project depending on whether the CRA is extended to 2030 or 2042, the paper reported. However, a group of local clergy is calling for the CRA to slow down negotiations to increase transparency.

Nitin Motwani, Worldcenter’s managing principal, said in a statement obtained by The Real Deal that the developers are working with the clergy: “We’ve spent months engaging our neighbors, meeting with clergy, and collecting feedback about how Miami Worldcenter can create meaningful progress in Overtown. Hundreds of area residents and business owners have endorsed our plans by speaking at City Hall and signing letters of support,” he said.

Motwani also noted that Worldcenter is working with the CRA and city of Miami to develop a tax increment finance agreement to fund infrastructure improvements to the area.

However, the clergy group urging greater transparency on the deal is skeptical.

“While we live in hope that Miami Worldcenter spreads its success throughout Overtown, our past has taught us to fear that, in truth, it could create a wall,” the group wrote in a statement given to the Herald. “It could permanently segregate Overtown from the prosperity available just across the tracks.” [The Miami Herald]Chris Guanche