Miami-Dade County commissioners approved several developmental sites that could replace its downtown civil courthouse at a meeting on Tuesday.
The county is also accepting proposals from builders interested in generating revenue for a courthouse replacement, the Miami Herald reported.
Already, Crescent Heights developer Russell Galbut made an unsolicited offer to build a new $300 million courthouse in exchange for a 99-year lease that would collect $18 million a year in rent from the county. That’s $1.8 billion at the end of the lease. In his proposal, Galbut offered to build a 35-story courthouse on a lot across the street at 54 West Flagler Street.
On Tuesday, commissioners said the future of the 28-story building, which was built in 1928 at 73 West Flagler Street, is still up in the air.
The list of approved sites includes the county’s “Cultural Center,” which holds its downtown library and HistoryMiami museum. All approved sites lie relatively close to the courthouse’s original location, and could potentially cut into parts of the County Hall and nearby Metrorail station.
The endeavor to replace the historic courthouse hit a road block back in 2014 when voters rejected a $219 million bond measure to build a new civil courthouse, out of fear it would raise property taxes.
As a result, county leaders and developers are seeking a revenue stream to pay for the building.
At the commission meeting Harvey Ruvin, the county’s court clerk, suggested enforcing a fee on new development to help pay for government buildings, according to the Herald. [Miami Herald] – Amanda Rabines