Referendum 1: Miami Freedom Park

If you’re a City of Miami resident the first city-specific referendum on your ballot will say this:

Shall Miami’s Charter be amended authorizing city to negotiate, execute 99-year lease with Miami Freedom Park LLC, for approximately 73 acres of city land, waiving bidding, converting Melreese Country Club (1400 Northwest 37 Avenue) at no cost to city to:

  • soccer stadium;
  • minimum 1,000,000 square feet office, retail, commercial uses;
  • minimum 750 hotel rooms;
  • living wage for on-site employees;
  • $3,577,365 minimum annual rent;
  • $20,000,000 for 58-acre public park or other green space?

This item is all about the long-discussed soccer stadium for Miami’s future MLS team, Inter Miami. The decision is going to voters because it calls for the city to negotiate a no-bid contract. Melreese is city-owned land and normally if a private company wanted to develop on city property, there would have to be a bidding process so private entities could pitch their own ideas for how to use it. This deal would allow David Beckham’s group to skip that step.

This would also be the first step in a long process. The Miami commission would still have to approve the lease. Also, it will be a few years before the team actually plays at the site.

If you vote yes, you’re allowing the Beckham group to negotiate a lease with the city to build the Freedom Park project at Melreese Country Club.

If you vote no, the Beckham group will have to scramble to find a site or go back to the City of Miami to either work out a lease or propose the question to voters again in a special election.