The Real Deal Miami

Mater Academy pays $8.5M for failed youth-offender building in Cutler Bay

By Sean Stewart-Muniz | May 05, 2016 08:45AM

22025 Southwest 87th Avenue

22025 Southwest 87th Avenue

The Mater Academy Foundation just paid $8.5 million for a compound that housed Cutler Bay’s Bay Point Schools youth-offender program, which was shuttered seven years ago amid reports of violent incidents and escapees.

County records show the deals include a six-building, 94,655-square-foot compound at 22025 Southwest 87th Avenue. The land was sold by the Ethel & George W. Kennedy Foundation, which owned the property through a corporation called Bay Point School Properties.

Founded in 1995, the boarding-school program grew quickly from a single building to five within several years of operating. However, its apparent success was disparaged soon after as reports surfaced regarding dozens of escapes and alleged violence at the compound, according to a 2014 report in the Miami Herald.

To make matters worse, an audit from Miami-Dade County’s Inspector General found that the county wasted nearly $1 million worth of taxpayer funds on the school long after it closed.

Amid the controversy, the Kennedy foundation evicted Baypoint and began searching for a replacement tenant for its educational facilities.

It seems Mater Academy has purchased the lands in lieu of merely leasing them. The charter school operator financed this deal with a $7.44 million mortgage from Sabadell United Bank, according to county records.