April 18th, 2017 6:47 PM by Nour Ailan
City of Miami commissioners approved an essential subsidy package on Monday night for the development of a downtown Miami convention center and hotel.
MDM Group is proposing a 600,000-square-foot expo center and 1,700-room hotel on the site of the old Miami Arena and within the footprint of the Miami Worldcenter development district. While the subsidies, a result of months of negotiations, are a step in the right direction for the developer, MDM is still looking to secure key milestones to move forward with construction.
For one, the developer wants to extend the life of the Southeast Overtown Park West Community Redevelopment Agency until 2042 to increase the value of the subsidies, the Miami Herald reported. It needs county approval to push the CRA’s end date from 2030, which would value MDM’s agreement at $50 million, to 2042.
MDM also wants to re-establish the “Global Agreement” from the mid-2000s that helped fund projects like the PortMiami Tunnel and Marlins Park, the Herald reported. The developer would need to collect 95 percent of its property taxes back through the agreement, Javier Fernandez, the firm’s attorney, told the newspaper.
In March, commissioners sent MDM back to the drawing board on its proposal, instructing the developer to offer stronger community benefits. Monday’s proposal includes higher wages, construction jobs earmarked for local residents and the funding of a culinary institute and other programs.