Inter Miami CF investors have given the city a first draft lease for Miami Freedom Park, a proposed development that includes a new soccer-specific stadium.
Set to begin MLS play in 2020, Inter Miami CF is an expansion club backed by an investment group that includes David Beckham. While Inter Miami CF is expected to play its first two seasons in Fort Lauderdale, its long-term facility concept is Miami Freedom Park–a proposal for a new stadium and surrounding development of the city-owned Melreese Country Club near Miami International Airport.
Planning for Miami Freedom Park took a step forward in November, when voters approved a referendum that allows the city to negotiate a 99-year lease for the project. The referendum did not finalize plans, however, as Inter Miami CF investors and Miami officials still have to negotiate a land lease and eventually have it approved by four of Miami’s five city commissioners–and it remains to be seen if the club can reach that threshold.
Discussions for the site are underway, as the business entity Miami Freedom Park LLC (MFP) submitted the first draft of a proposed lease to the city on Wednesday. Plenty of discussion will likely unfold from here, but the draft lease terms provide an early look at some potential plans for the project. More from ESPN:
The plan calls for an initial 39-year lease that would see MFP pay annual rent of at least $3.577 million, which could rise based on the revenues generated by the project. MFP would then have the right to exercise two options of 30 years each.
In addition to the stadium, the proposal also calls for the creation of a 58-acre park, 11 soccer fields, entertainment and retail space, an office tech hub and hotel, all of which will be delivered at no cost to taxpayers.
“We look forward to working with the City of Miami to finalize the voter-approved, fair-market-value lease agreement that provides residents with an expansive public park, 11,000 construction jobs, 2,300 permanent jobs and more than $40 million in tax revenue, while using zero City taxpayer dollars,” said Jorge Mas, managing owner of Inter Miami CF.
The earliest that the stadium within Miami Freedom Park would open is 2022. Discussions over the preferred stadium site shifted from Miami’s Overtown neighborhood to Melreese last year, as club investors were eyeing a larger parcel of land that would offer more room for additional development around the facility. Club investors are expected to close on a $9 million purchase of land for the Overtown site, but their main focus for the stadium project remains on Melreese.
All renderings via Intermiamicf.com.
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