David Beckham, partners to close on county site in Overtown after all
Ownership group says it’s still building Miami Freedom Park complex on Melreese site
David Beckham and his partners will close on a site in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood, even as they forge ahead with their plans to build a mega-soccer stadium complex on a different property near Miami International Airport.
According to a statement from Inter Miami CF, the Major League Soccer team owned by Beckham, Jorge and Jose Mas and others, the group remains “fully committed to bringing Major League Soccer to the City of Miami and creating Miami Freedom Park, as approved by 60% of Miami voters” but will close on the $9 million purchase of the Overtown property.
Miami Beckham United LLC has been under contract to buy the county land, putting a $450,000 deposit down so far. Another payment of $901,500 was due in June 2018 before Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez agreed to extend the deadline until litigation over the no-bid land deal was resolved.
Activist Bruce Matheson sued to undo the deal but failed to win at trial and on appeal. Last week, the Florida Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by Matheson. Miami Beckham United was facing a seven-day deadline from that decision to notify the county whether it wants to surrender the three acres or pay $901,500 to keep the county land under contract.
In March, Jorge Mas told the Miami Herald that the land in Overtown was a backup stadium site if the group fails to negotiate a deal to build a stadium at the city-owned Melreese golf course in Miami.
Mas said in a statement that Inter Miami CF is still set on the Melreese property. “Our vision includes a 58-acre public park, soccer stadium with a great fan experience and high-paying jobs on the Melreese site,” he said.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez told the Herald that Mas and his partners plan to seek building permits for a stadium on the Overtown land. He also said they discussed building other projects on the property, including affordable housing.
The county commission would have to approve a change in the intended use of the property if the group decides to move forward with a project other than a stadium.
At the same time, Beckham and his partners are planning to build a temporary home for their soccer team.
Miami Beckham United also signed an agreement with the city of Fort Lauderdale to replace city-owned Lockhart Stadium with a training facility and an 18,000-seat stadium where its MLS team would play in its first two seasons in 2020 and 2021.