Lawsuit alleges “vague and ambiguous” language could hamper David Beckham’s soccer complex plan in Miami

Miami attorney is asking the court to determine which portion of the site would be developed

Miami /
Jan.January 24, 2019 11:40 AM

David Beckham (Credit: Getty Images and Google Maps)

Miami attorney David Winker filed his second lawsuit in a week against the city of Miami, attempting to derail David Beckham and his partners’ plan for a multimillion-dollar soccer complex.

In the latest lawsuit, filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court on Tuesday, Winker focuses on the ballot language that was used in the November referendum that voters approved. The referendum, which waives competitive bidding for the property, allows the city to negotiate and execute a 99-year lease with Miami Freedom Park LLC, an entity that includes the soccer star, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, and brothers Jorge and Jose Mas, for the Melreese Country Club site.

In the lawsuit, Winker alleges that the language, now part of the city charter, is “vague and ambiguous” and that the city legally may not use the referendum to bypass competitive bidding requirements and negotiate and execute a lease.

The referendum states that Miami Freedom Park LLC would lease about 73 acres of city-owned property “generally at 1400 Northwest 37th Avenue,” also known as the Melreese Country Club, and that it would undertake the remediation and site development for a roughy 58-acre public park.

That comes out to a total of 131 acres, not the 157 acres that the properties total. Two property folios make up the majority of the 157 acres: a 130.3-acre parcel that includes most of the golf course and represents the western portion of the site, and a 48.4-acre parcel that includes the Melreese clubhouse and First Tee Miami classroom and driving range on the northeast side and the water park and baseball fields on the southeast end. As part of the deal, the water park and baseball fields would remain as is.

One issue that Winker cites is that the address used in the referendum is not the address of the Melreese Country Club; instead, it matches the 130.3-acre golf course parcel on the west side. The country club’s address is 1802 Northwest 37th Avenue.

A spokesperson for the city of Miami did not respond to a request for comment.

Winker is alleging that it’s impossible to know which of the 73 acres Miami Freedom Park plans to lease and develop, “so it is an unenforceable vague and ambiguous statute,” he said. Alternately, he’s asking the court to declare that the language only covers the 130.3 acres of golf course land.

Critics of the plan argue that the deal was rushed. The proposed $1 billion project also calls for at least 750 hotel rooms and a minimum of 1 million square feet of office, retail and commercial space.

In a separate lawsuit filed last week, Winker is alleging the city broke its own lobbying laws when dealing with Miami Freedom Park LLC. Winker claims that Beckham and his partners only registered as lobbyists after he filed an ethics complaint last year. Winker is also alleging the city violated a charter requirement for competitive bidding of the Melreese site.

Months earlier in July, attorney Douglas Muir alleged in a lawsuit that the city didn’t follow its competitive bidding rules for the referendum.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Allied Partners' Eric Hadar and RH's Gary Friedman with the Savoy hotel (Allied Partners, Getty, Google Maps)
Inside RH’s plans for $100M renovation of Miami Beach hotel
Inside RH’s plans for $100M renovation of Miami Beach hotel
Lil Wayne and 6480 Allison Road in Miami Beach (Getty Images, Become Legendary/Douglas Elliman Realty)
Lil Wayne lists Miami Beach mansion for $30M
Lil Wayne lists Miami Beach mansion for $30M
Codina Partners’ Armando Codina and Ana-Marie Codina Barlick with 5350 Park condo project (Codina Partners, Getty)
Judge orders Codina Partners’ affiliate to pay Grycon $8M in damages
Judge orders Codina Partners’ affiliate to pay Grycon $8M in damages
Balzebre Investments' Robert Balzebre with 8710 Southwest 72nd Street
Winn-Dixie sues landlord over leaky roof at South Miami store
Winn-Dixie sues landlord over leaky roof at South Miami store
Terra's David Martin and AB Asset Management's Getzy Fellig with rendering of Residences in the Grove (Terra Group, LinkedIn, Getty)
Terra, AB Asset plan 174 apartments in Coconut Grove
Terra, AB Asset plan 174 apartments in Coconut Grove
Allied Partners founder Eric Hadar and The Savoy Hotel & Beach Club at 425 Ocean Drive (Google Maps, Getty)
Investor seeks $50M for allegedly botched Ocean Drive hotel repairs
Investor seeks $50M for allegedly botched Ocean Drive hotel repairs
Restoration Hardware’s Gary Friedman, Michael Comras and Apollo's Ben Gray (Getty, Comras Company, LinkedIn)
“No f*cking around:” Restoration Hardware’s Miami Design District deal implodes
“No f*cking around:” Restoration Hardware’s Miami Design District deal implodes
Jane Holzer with 980 S Ocean Boulevard (Getty)
Warhol star Baby Jane Holzer’s planned Palm Beach mansion advances
Warhol star Baby Jane Holzer’s planned Palm Beach mansion advances
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...