Beckham group submits draft lease deal for Miami Freedom Park complex

Voters approved the referendum in November
By Katherine Kallergis | June 05, 2019 05:30PM

David Beckham and a rendering of Miami Freedom Park

David Beckham and a rendering of Miami Freedom Park

David Beckham and his partners moved forward with their plans to redevelop the Melreese Country Club property in Miami into a $1 billion mega mixed-use soccer complex.

Miami Freedom Park submitted a draft lease agreement to the city of Miami that outlines the terms of the deal that Miami voters approved in November. The referendum allowed the city to negotiate and execute the 99-year lease with Miami Freedom Park, which includes Beckham, brothers Jorge and Jose Mas and Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, for a portion of the property at 1400 Northwest 37th Avenue east of Miami International Airport.

The 99-year lease calls for annual rent payments of at least $3.5 million, the creation of a 58-acre public park and 11 soccer fields, and a commitment to complete the park at the same time or before the stadium is finished. Miami Freedom Park would pay the full cost of remediation to allow for public use of the park, and the developer would pay for construction of the home stadium, entertainment and retail space, office technology component and hotel.

The city will now review and negotiate the draft agreement with Miami Freedom Park, and eventually present it to the full commission for approval, according to a spokesperson for the Beckham group.

Jorge Mas said in a release that the Miami Freedom Park project will create 11,000 construction jobs and 2,300 permanent jobs. Miami Freedom Park will also make a $5 million donation to the city’s riverwalk/baywalk project and $20 million for park maintenance and access to the soccer fields. Inter Miami CF, the group’s Major League Soccer team, and Miami Freedom Park also finalized an agreement with the First Tee program to relocate from the Melreese property.

Because the Miami stadium won’t be ready in time, Miami Beckham United, another Beckham LLC, 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.

Miami Beckham United will also close on a site in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood for $9 million. The group reportedly plans to seek building permits for a stadium on the Overtown land, but is also considering other projects on the property, including affordable housing.