Miami Dade College bidding process halts after judge grants temporary injunction

Gary Nader and his proposed development at 520 Biscayne Boulevard
Gary Nader and his proposed development at 520 Biscayne Boulevard

A judge late Thursday granted Gary Nader’s group a temporary injunction in the battle for Miami Dade College’s prime development site. The bidding and negotiating process will now be put on hold until a court hearing and ruling.

Nader+Museu’s attorney earlier this week told The Real Deal that Nader’s team plans to file a bid protest and had asked the court to rule on the appropriateness of a required $2.3 million bond.

In a hearing on Wednesday, Nader+Museu asked Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Bronwyn Miller for the temporary injunction and a stay to allow the court time to consider the appropriateness of the $2.3 million bond,  Bill Riley, a partner with GrayRobinson who represents Nader+Museu had told TRD.

“The court concludes that Nader has established it has a substantial likelihood of demonstrating that no bond is statutorily required at this stage of the bid process,” Judge Miller wrote in her order on Thursday. A hearing will be held before Judge Monica Gordo. A date has not yet been determined.

Miami Dade College has not yet awarded a contract in the months-long process to develop the 2.6-acre site at 520 Biscayne Boulevard into a mixed-use project in a public-private partnership. But the college’s evaluation committee has ranked the Related Group as the top bidder. Nader+Museu was ranked second.

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Related’s proposal includes a 75-story condominium tower, a 39-story office tower, a 100-room hotel and private club. Nader+Museu’s proposal includes two 50-story residential towers, a hotel, restaurant and culinary market.

The college has been soliciting a developer to enter into a public/private partnership for the 2.6-acre parcel at 520 Biscayne Boulevard, currently used as a surface parking area at the college’s Wolfson Campus. The proposals each had to include a cultural center with a 1,600-seat performing arts theater, a conference center that can house 3,000 people, a museum measuring at least 100,000 square feet, and parking.

Miami Dade College had received an unsolicited proposal for the Nader Latin American Art Museum last year from Nader’s group, which prompted the college to put out bid packages. Proposals were due in January. Gregg Covin and Chad Oppenheim; Nader, Roberto Rocha and FR-EE Architects; Jorge Brugo; and Jorge Perez’s Related Group had all gone head-to-head for a mixed-use project at the site.

Following a Miami Dade College evaluation committee meeting earlier this month, the college issued “a notice of intended decision” to recommend it negotiate a contract with Related. In the complicated public-private partnership process, that offers a window of opportunity to file a bid protest.

On Friday, Nader+Museu sent a letter to the college saying that it it intends to file a bid protest and was told it must issue a $2.3 million bond, Bill Riley a partner with GrayRobinson who represents Nader+Museu told TRD. “The formal written protest will prove that the recommendation was arbitrary, capricious and a clear departure from the essential requirements of the law…” the letter by Riley, obtained by TRD, said.

The bid protest and bond had been due this coming Monday, but the process is now on pause until the court takes further action, Riley told TRD on Friday. Miami Dade College officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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