Miami voters might get to decide in November whether two major projects on public land move forward — David Beckham’s long-awaited soccer stadium and a Miami River development.
Beckham, whose quest to open a soccer stadium became public in late 2013, now is eyeing the International Links Miami Melreese Country Club east of Miami International Airport.
Beckham and his project partners want to build a 28,000-seat stadium and much more on 73 acres at the 131-acre city-owned golf course, according to city records. The add-ons could be 1 million square feet of offices as part of a technology hub, 120,000 square feet of entertainment including art and music, 380,000 square feet of retail including restaurants, 500 hotels rooms, 20,000 square feet of conference space and parking.
The redevelopment plan for the golf course at 1802 NW 37th Ave. would pose height restrictions with its proximity to the airport. The property is north of the Dolphin Expressway, giving potential patrons easy highway access.
This plan calls for a land lease with annual base rent of nearly $3.6 million or the property’s appraised market value, whichever is higher. The lease would be for 39 years with two 30-year options to renew, according to city records.
The ballot also could give Miami voters a say on a developer’s plan to lease or buy about 3.13 acres of city property along the Miami River for development.
Adler Group LLC’s projects include the 1221 Brickell Center office tower and the Links at Douglas mixed-use project at the Douglas Road Metrorail station that is in pre-construction.
His latest plan includes the 2-acre site where the city administration building is located at 444 SW Second Ave.
Adler owns a vacant 1.6 acres at 230 SW Third St. and wants to expand to the adjacent city property and a third neighboring lot at 460 SW Second Ave. All three are west of Southwest Second Avenue, east of Interstate 95 and north of the river.
It’s uncertain whether the votes will be held. The City Commission first would have to place the measures on the ballot.
On Thursday, it will vote whether to ask voters if it should lease part of its golf course to the Beckham project for 99 years at the proposed rent.
The Adler initiative is farther back in the process as it’s being reviewed by the Miami River Commission, an advisory board to the City Commission. On Monday, the River Commission will vote whether to recommend a referendum, and the City Commission would make the final decision.
Adler could build up to four towers, and preliminary plans show residential, hotel, retail and office development. The only sure thing is apartments, and Adler likely would lease the sites and eventually buy them, said company president David Adler.
A specific plan would be submitted if the referendum passes. Even then, it could take about seven years to move ahead because the city would have to find a new building and demolish the existing one, Adler said.
The city has outgrown its current 374,661-square-foot headquarters and is looking to move.
Adler Group is involved in that, too. It won a city solicitation to help find a new location, said Adam Mait, vice president of acquisitions and development for Adler Group.
One of the new sites could be the one Adler owns next to the existing administration building.
Adler has shown in renderings “that the office building could go there and there’s plenty of room for it to go there, but there are also other sites. It is one of the possibilities and ultimately will be their decision,” Adler said.
The city didn’t return a request for comment seeking confirmation it’s working with Adler and what sites it’s considering.
For its part, the Beckham soccer stadium proposal would require Miami Freedom Park LLC, the company in line for the golf course lease, to contribute $20 million to pay for a 58-acre public park that would be built next to the golf course.
The stadium proposal, which was first reported by the Miami Herald, comes on the heels of Beckham being awarded a Major League Soccer franchise for Miami in January.
Beckham’s project partners are Jorge Mas and Jose Mas, who head Coral Gables-based infrastructure engineer and construction company Mastec Inc.