Aligned, Coral Rock sue Florida over industrial megaproject outside UDB

Miami-Dade County is a co-plaintiff on lawsuits against state’s department of economic opportunity

Coral Rock Development’s David Brown, Michael Wohl, Stephen Blumenthal and Victor Brown
Coral Rock Development’s David Brown, Michael Wohl, Stephen Blumenthal and Victor Brown (Coral Rock Development, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Getty)

The developers of a controversial industrial megaproject outside Miami-Dade County’s Urban Development Boundary sued Florida over a state department’s stance that the approval process needs a do-over. 

Aligned Real Estate Holdings and Coral Rock Development want to build the 5.9 million-square-foot South Dade Logistics and Technology District on 378 acres on the southeast corner of the Florida Turnpike and Southwest 122nd Avenue. The site is outside the UDB, which sets a boundary between suburban development and green spaces such as farmland. 

In their lawsuit, the developers pushed back on the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s decision that Miami-Dade missed a 180-day deadline to vote on the land use tweaks after the state’s review of the project, the Miami Herald reported. Miami-Dade County is a co-plaintiff. 

In fact, the requirement is for the county to only hold a second and final public hearing on the project within 180 days — a deadline Miami-Dade met in May of last year — and not for the commission to actually give a final vote on the project, according to the complaint. 

“Once the county complied with the requirement to hold the second public hearing by the statutory deadline, no law required the county to take final action on the [project] by any date certain,” the lawsuit says. 

Aligned and Coral Rock scored final approval on Nov. 1 after they went in front of commissioners five times last year. Along the way, they tweaked their proposal, including roughly cutting the project’s size in half and committing a 622-acre donation to a county wetland preservation program. In doing so, they gained additional commission support. 

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Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava vetoed the approval on Nov. 10, but commissioners overrode her veto five days later. 

Part of Levine Cava and environmentalists’ opposition had been premised on the development site possibly being needed for Everglades restoration. 

Miami-based Aligned and Coral Gables-based Coral Rock countered that South Dade Logistics will be a needed economic boon for the area, creating about 7,000 jobs, and it will actually be environmentally beneficial. 

The developers declined comment to The Real Deal about the lawsuit. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity did not immediately return a request for comment. 

— Lidia Dinkova

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