By Frank Maradiaga From Miami SunPost
Advisory Board Warns Miami Beach It Will Lose $390 Million if Miami Beach Convention Center Plan is Scrapped.
The Miami Beach Convention Center Advisory Board announced this week that Miami Beach stands to lose $390 million dollars if the current renovation plans for the center are scrapped.
Chairman of the Board Stu Blumberg said the city has on the books tentative agreements that represent real tangible money, and warned it would go up in smoke if the city moved away from developing the 52-acre lot.
The meeting was called a day before the city’s October Commission Meeting, and in response to the commission asking the administration to look into ‘alternatives’ after the project hit a detour in the courts.
“We are a little bit frustrated about the lack of information regarding this center,” said Blumberg, “and more so the misinformation.”
With the ballot question struck from this November’s election because it did not include a finished agreement between the city and the developer, the project gets delayed and opponents get more time to poke at the aging center. None of the most vocal opponents to the project were present at the meeting.
“Our biggest critics are not in the room. That speaks volumes,” said Blumberg.
Commissioner Jonah Wolfson, backed with money from the Fontainebleau -themselves a failed bidder of the MBCC project-, has lead a campaign against the project. He even successfully put a question on this year’s ballot that would raise a potentially raise the passing of a referendum on public land from a simple majority to 60% of the vote.
If it passes it adds another difficult hurdle for the project. This lead the advisory board to rhetorically ask the commission, as none were present when the question was asked, does the city want to be in the convention center business?
“It’s not complicated, because if the city doesn’t wish to be in the business…then don’t talk about a renovation and don’t talk about a hotel,” said the chairman.