Skyrise Miami is close to a deal for a county grant

Agreement on terms of $9 million county grant requires 'little additional negotiation'

Sep.September 05, 2015 09:00 AM

Mayor Carlos Gimenez and rendering of SkyRise Miami

The Skyrise Miami development advanced as Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez disclosed that little negotiation is needed to reach agreement on the terms of a $9 million county grant for the mixed-use development, which would feature a 1,000-foot observation tower.

County commissioners have allocated $9 million from a property tax-supported economic development fund to the Skyrise project and another $66 million to nine other planned developments, pending negotiations of grant agreements for each of the 10 projects.

In a memo dated Sept. 3, Mayor Gimenez told Jean Monestime, chairman of the county commission, that the grant agreement for the Skyrise development is one of four that require “little additional negotiation.”

Separately, billionaire Norman Braman and Raquel Regalado, a board member of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, withdrew Miami-Dade County as a defendant in their lawsuit challenging public support for the Skyrise development, which Miami voters approved in a referendum last year as a privately funded project. Braman and Regalado filed the suit February 5 in Miami-Dade Circuit Court against the county and the City of Miami.

Skyrise developer Jeffrey Berkowitz has said the $9 million county grant would pay for infrastructure work, not the observation tower itself.

Berkowitz is trying to raise $270 million from foreign investors to fund the 1,000-foot-tall observation tower on Biscayne Bay near the Bayfront Marketplace.

SkyRise is an approved EB-5 project, meaning investors abroad receive green cards if they create 10 domestic jobs and contribute at least $500,000 to the project.  [Miami Herald] — Mike Seemuth

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