David Beckham’s Major League Soccer group is moving ahead with the $9 million purchase of 2.79 acres in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood after winning a court case challenging the purchase.
Beckham and his partners in 0101 Miami Properties LLC asked Miami-Dade County officials Tuesday to schedule a closing date. The request came in a letter to Deputy Mayor Jack Osterholt.
The partnership with MasTec Inc. executives Jorge and Jose Mas pushed about two years ago to buy the land to supplement other property they were amassing for a soccer stadium before setting their sights on Miami’s Melreese golf course.
The Beckham group didn’t immediately respond to an inquiry.
The Miami Herald reported Mayor Carlos Gimenez said Beckham would start requesting building permits for the Overtown site. The soccer group faces an MLS deadline to start playing in Miami, and the mayor said this is an avenue to move ahead while talks continue with Miami officials for the Melreese site.
By email Tuesday, Mas reiterated the group’s commitment to the Melreese project.
“We remain fully committed to bringing Major League Soccer to the city of Miami and creating Miami Freedom Park, as approved by 60% of Miami voters. Our vision includes a 58-acre public park, soccer stadium with a great fan experience and high-paying jobs on the Melreese site,” Mas said.
He touched on the Overtown purchase but didn’t elaborate on plans.
“We will also close on the purchase of the Overtown property and honor our commitment with Miami-Dade County as per our July 2017 agreement,” he said.
The purchase of the properties at 678-690 NW Seventh St. and 566 NW Seventh Ave. north of the Miami River faced a lawsuit filed by Bruce Matheson. The descendant of a Miami pioneer family that donated land for public parks and the Miami Marine Stadium sued the county and 0101 Miami Properties, challenging the no-bid deal.
The county cited an exemption for economic development, and Matheson lost in three courts, most recently May 17 when the Florida Supreme Court rejected jurisdiction.
The Melreese proposal, approved by 60% of Miami voters last November, calls for a 25,000-seat stadium, a 750-room hotel and more than 1 million square feet of other commercial development.