Beckham group considers soccer stadium site at PortMiami (1)

Beckham group considers soccer stadium site at PortMiami (1)

Dec 02, 2013 December 02, 2013

 

The group led by superstar David Beckham envisions a stadium on one end of PortMiami, with views from the stands of downtown and Brickell rising from Biscayne Bay. At least some fans would make a short walk from Biscayne Boulevard or perhaps even hop on a water taxi to watch a new Major League Soccer team play.

Neither Beckham nor MLS have announced an expansion franchise in Miami yet, though one has been in the works for months, with Beckham making frequent visits.

But his investors have identified the seaport as the top potential site for a permanent stadium and have asked Miami-Dade County if it would consider allowing the structure on the southwest corner of Dodge Island, Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s office confirmed to the Miami Herald.

“They kind of elevated this site,” Deputy Mayor Chip Iglesias said. “We said yes, we’d take a look at it.”

Zeroing in on a site lends weight to Beckham’s push to bring a professional soccer team to Miami, which hangs in large part on building a new stadium designed for soccer.

Beckham’s group, which includes billionaire Marcelo Claure of the Miami-based global wireless distributor Brightstar, is considering some 30 potential stadium sites, Iglesias said — not all of them on public land. Beckham has told county administrators he is interested in an urban setting.

“We are looking at a lot of locations and working closely with Dade County officials analyzing all of them,” Claure told the Herald. “The port is only one of them.”

Gimenez has said the county would not finance a stadium. But it could lease county-owned land at the port to team owners, who would then build a stadium themselves.

A 25-year PortMiami master plan contemplates better connecting the debt-laden port to the mainland by revamping its southwest corner with commercial development, including a hotel, an office complex and a harbor for mega-yachts facing downtown’s Bayside Marketplace. Those facilities would generate revenue.

 

Some 25 acres could be available, Iglesias said — enough for a 25,000-seat stadium with expandable seating for various events, as well as the mega-yacht marina and perhaps a waterfront promenade.

Limited parking could be built underground, as in the Miami Heat’s AmericanAirlines Arena, but it’s unclear how much more parking space would be available. Iglesias said some fans could park in the same Biscayne Boulevard lots they use for Heat games and then walk over the bridge to the port.

Still, traffic could also be a concern. The island that is home to PortMiami can be accessed by road only from Port Boulevard on Northeast 6th Street and the new Port Tunnel, which is scheduled to open next year. Most MLS games take place on weekends — the busiest days for cruise passenger traffic. The soccer season runs from March to October.

Alyce Robertson, chief executive of Miami’s Downtown Development Authority, said the arena, which seats 19,600, proved downtown can handle large crowds. But what if basketball and soccer games overlap?

“If we think in a traditional manner, then there’s going to be some challenges on the transportation,” she said, referring to Miami’s car culture. But downtown has pushed for people to walk and take the Metromover to Heat games, she added.

“For large events, people do resort to public transportation, because it can get you there faster,” Robertson said. “There’s a lot of different options available downtown that aren’t available in other parts of Miami-Dade County.”

A stadium could displace smaller businesses that have leased office space in a building located on the property, but not the neighboring Royal Caribbean Cruises headquarters, according to Iglesias. A spokeswoman for Port Director Bill Johnson declined to comment.

Cynthia Martinez, a Royal Caribbean spokeswoman, said the cruise company has not been involved in any talks about the matter yet.

“Since the plan is still in its infancy, they haven’t reached out,” she said in an email. “If they move forward with that location, there are a lot of factors they’ll have to take into consideration.”

After retiring from MLS last spring, Beckham said he would like to exercise an existing option in his contract to buy a franchise for a deeply discounted $25 million.

A separate, London-based investment group headed by Italian financier Alessandro Butini has also launched a campaign to bring a future MLS team to Miami, enlisting the help of University of Miami architecture students to design a soccer-specific stadium. The students are scheduled to present their project next month. Butini has been inquiring about other potential sites in downtown Miami.

MLS announced last week that it would open an Orlando franchise in 2015. League backers say a Miami team could set up an in-state rivalry. The passenger train company All Aboard Florida plans to begin service from Orlando to downtown Miami — blocks away from the port entrance — by the end of 2015.

A local MLS franchise would initially have to play in a temporary home — possibly the Miami Marlins’ Little Havana ballpark — until a permanent stadium is built. Claure, Beckham and Beckham business manager Simon Fuller were in town touring locations two weeks ago, including Marlins Park. Florida International University’s stadium in West Miami-Dade is also under consideration.

With investors predicting crowds smaller than 30,000, the Miami Dolphins’ Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens could be too big, though it may not yet be out of contention. London’s Daily Mirror reported Monday that Beckham’s group had settled on Sun Life as its temporary location and already selected a permanent stadium site, fueling rumors in Miami as to where a stadium could go.

Gimenez and Iglesias met Monday with John H. Alschuler Jr. of HR&A Advisors, a New York-based development firm hired by the Beckham Brand Limited group to scout would-be stadium locations in Miami. It was their second meeting with Alschuler in 10 days.

HR&A principal Cary Hirschstein has also been retained by the group. Locally, Beckham Brand has hired T. Spencer Crowley, Javier Fernandez and Neisen Kasdin of the Akerman law firm. Informed sources said the group has hired Miami-based Arquitectonica to plan and design the stadium.

A couple of the county’s 13 commissioners said Tuesday they were surprised to learn of the talks. One of them, Commissioner Juan C. Zapata, wrote Gimenez a memo last month urging the county to put together a proposal to lure an MLS team.

“It’s a typical pattern where the administration likes to negotiate in secret,” Zapata said. “This is obviously an issue that several commissioners have voiced interest in, and I think that people should be informed.”

Zapata, who represents Southwest Miami-Dade, said the franchise should play temporarily at FIU, and the county should propose turning 160 acres of county-owned land in West Kendall into an international soccer training facility.

Talks with the county over the seaport site are still in early stages, Iglesias emphasized. More serious discussions would involve reaching out to cruise and cargo lines for input, he said. Any deal would require commission approval.

And any benefit for a private stadium developer would require threading the political needle for Gimenez, who has already drawn criticism for orchestrating a short-lived deal earlier this year to help the Dolphins add a roof to Sun Life Stadium. His predecessor, Carlos Alvarez, was recalled in part due to the unpopular public financing for Marlins Park.

“We’re not paying for a stadium,” Iglesias said.

 

Source: miamiherald.com

Contact Us
Sep Niakan
Broker / Team Lead
(305) 697-7667
sep@blackbookproperties.com
Request Info
By sending you agree to CondoBlackBook's Terms of Use

Your Miami Condo Awaits

Recent Posts

How to Spend the 4th of July in Miami & More Summer Events 2022 - Miami Swim Week, Rolling Loud Miami, Swedish House Mafia, Ballet Festival
Lifestyle How to Spend the 4th of July in Miami & More Summer Events 2022 - Miami Swim Week, Rolling Loud Miami, Swedish House Mafia, Ballet Festival
Summer is hot in Miami and so are the events. We’ve got all you need to celebrate July with a bang! With an overflowing events calendar this summer, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Continuing with Miami Hotel discounts and topping those with Miami Spa special savings, you won’t be able to resist a weekend or two for self-care. Music lovers of every sort are in for a treat as the Rolling Loud Fest, Miami Salsa Festival, MB Classical Music Fest, Seaside Summer Fest, and Swedish House Mafia hit the stage in Miami. There are also plenty of summer camps and activities to keep the kiddos blissfully busy. Not to forget, the Fourth of July is right around the corner and Miami’s night sky is going to be lit with fireworks and the sweet smell of all-American barbecues. Check out our special curation of Independence Day events to make the holiday even more spectacular. And, read more below for a complete list of Top Things to Do in Miami this July 2022: Things to Do in Miami - July Events at a...
The 5 Most Luxurious Condo Buildings in Downtown Miami
Real Estate News The 5 Most Luxurious Condo Buildings in Downtown Miami
Downtown is, and continues to evolve as, one of Miami’s top neighborhoods, especially because of its central location to all that Miami has to offer, its views of Biscayne Bay, and its major public transportation hubs. In recent months, developers have been delivering world-class projects with unmatched luxuries in this urban core.  Today, a host of ultra-luxury buildings call Downtown Miami home, and we’ve listed the 5 Most Luxurious Condo Buildings in the neighborhood that set the bar for top-notch living. We’ve also included a few bonus pre-construction condo buildings that will provide even more luxurious lifestyle options for you to choose from if you’re looking to move to Miami or invest in this international city. Last updated on June 23, 2022 Why Choose Downtown Miami? Downtown is home to some of Miami’s best art, culture, shopping, entertainment, and social hotspots. It not only ties for #1 on our 11 Most Walkable Neighborhoods in Miami report, but is also the best...
Video: Agent Faves - Our 3 Favorite Condo Buildings in Sunny Isles Beach, Miami
Video Blog Video: Agent Faves - Our 3 Favorite Condo Buildings in Sunny Isles Beach, Miami
Close enough to all the action in Aventura and Miami Beach, yet far enough removed from touristy chaos, Sunny Isles Beach has turned into a darling for luxury developers in recent years. This upscale seaside community is home to an enviable collection of luxury-branded, high-rise condo towers, such as the Porsche Design Tower, Estates at Acqualina, Mansions at Acqualina, Turnberry Ocean Club, Muse, Jade Signature, and each one more luxurious and beautiful than the next. But we have a few that top our list of favorites. Check out Blackbook Properties’ Condo Specialist and licensed agent Vera Berezhnaya talk about her top 3 favorite luxury condo buildings in Sunny Isles Beach: Residences by Armani/Casa What we love about this building? Every unit in this oceanfront high-rise features a summer kitchen.  Milan couture meets Miami charm in this 66-story ultra-luxury high-rise. Besides affording private beach access, this 649-foot glass tower features 308 designer condos with interiors...
The Top 10 Miami-Area Beachfront Condos in Preconstruction Right Now!
Real Estate News The Top 10 Miami-Area Beachfront Condos in Preconstruction Right Now!
What’s more popular than Miami and South Florida’s sensational beaches these days? It’s our upcoming beachfront properties that are topping wishlists across the globe – luxury created for buyers from New York to New Zealand!  Regardless of whether you’re looking to move to the beachside for dazzling morning-to-night water views, instant access to a yachting lifestyle, or simply for bragging rights – an oceanside home in South Florida tops the wishlist for many - there are several upmarket projects on the horizon that offer you an oceanfront address. With developers eager to stay relevant in Miami and South Florida’s growing condo market, there are plenty of luxury, oceanfront condo preconstruction projects in the pipeline. Here’s our list of the Top 10 Upcoming Luxury Beachfront Condo Projects in Miami and Pompano Beach: Miami and South Florida’s Beachfront Condo Preconstruction projects at a glance: The Perigon - Mid-Beach Bentley Residences - Sunny Isles Beach St. Regis Residences...
Video: Comparing Miami’s Best Neighborhoods - Coconut Grove vs Brickell
Video Blog Video: Comparing Miami’s Best Neighborhoods - Coconut Grove vs Brickell
When most people are thinking about moving to Miami, two super popular neighborhoods are Coconut Grove and Brickell. These two neighborhoods are pretty much neighbors, and only about a 5-10 minute drive separates them. But they are very different and offer completely different lifestyles and vibes. So, how can you know if Brickell - the Manhattan of the South – is right for you? Or will the laid-back and tropical Coconut Grove neighborhood be better? Check out our video comparing these two Miami neighborhoods to help you decide which one could be your next home.  Coconut Grove vs Brickell While both areas provide plenty of variety in housing options, they also offer differing lifestyles and benefits. We’ve provided a comparison of these two popular Miami neighborhoods based on categories we think are important to living a good quality of life – things like lifestyle, parks and green space, shopping, entertainment and culture, walkability and transportation, and cost of living...
42 Pine: Boutique luxury and Kosher-friendly in Miami Beach
Preconstruction 42 Pine: Boutique luxury and Kosher-friendly in Miami Beach
It’s beautiful. It’s boutique. It’s Kosher-friendly. And, it’s in Miami Beach. Developer JP Roosevelt LLC, an entity managed by New York’s Boylmelgreen family, recently launched early sales and secured a $35.5 million loan to start the boutique condo project in the exclusive Pine Tree Drive area of Miami Beach. At only 8 stories, 42 Pine will offer 1 - 3 bedrooms residences, starting at 700 square feet and going to 2,700 square feet. Set for a 2023 completion, early friends and family pricing start at $700,000. Its eight exquisite penthouses start from $4 million.  Designed to offer modern luxury for Jewish residents, 42 Pine will feature gourmet Kosher kitchens, offerings two sinks, two sets of appliances, and separate cabinets for meat and dairy dishes – a true one-of-a-kind condo project in Miami Beach. 42 Pine: A Luxurious Hill Town in Miami Beach  42 Pine will be an 8-story condo community with 50 move-in-ready residences. Designed by Miami’s award-winning Arquitectonica,...