Lease for MB convention center hotel still in negotiations

Deal must be approved by 60% of the electorate, and the deadline for the ballot is Sept. 9

Jul.July 08, 2015 03:45 PM

Renderings of the Miami Beach Convention Center Hotel (Credit: John Portman & Associates)

Miami Beach’s city manager needs more time to negotiate a lease with the developer of a 300-foot tall, 800-key convention center hotel behind the Fillmore Miami Beach’s parking lot.

During Wednesday’s Miami Beach City Commission meeting, City Manager Jimmy Morales vowed to have a lease ready for circulation to the public by July 17 and before the commission for approval by July 20.

Atlanta-based Portman Holdings was the sole company to bid for the right to lease the parking lot from Miami Beach for the next 99 years in order to build a convention hotel.  Portman plans to build a $405 million privately funded project with 95,210 square feet of meeting space, 320 parking spaces, and other amenities. Portman told commissioners in May that the project will be primarily financed with a private $162 million construction loan, $145 million from an institutional investor, and $17 million in equity.

How much rent will it pay the city for the right to use the land? That’s being worked out.

But, time is of the essence. Under Miami Beach law, the leasing of city land must be approved by 60 percent of Miami Beach voters. The deadline for ballot language to be placed on the upcoming November election is September 9.

On a related note, Morales said that planning for the reconstruction of the Miami Beach Convention Center is on track. The $500 million renovation project, conducted by Clark Construction, will commence right after Art Basel Miami Beach, Morales said.

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