Homestead Leisure Complicated underneath contract | information
The family entertainment center and parking garage have full support from Homestead and Florida City officials after questionable proposal
Homestead City Council met for a special session on Friday March 10th on the parking garage / family entertainment project planned for Krome Avenue.
City administrator George Gretsas said he had spoken to each city council individually to bring the issues to their attention.
“Mayor, the purpose of this meeting is to get your approval so that prosecutors take the necessary steps to protect the integrity of our procurement process,” said Gretsas.
Councilor Jon Burgess then moved: “… to authorize the city’s lawyers to take measures to protect the integrity of the city’s procurement process, including, if necessary, to initiate legal disputes.”
There were no public comments. Without further discussion, the council unanimously approved the motion. The board meeting was then interrupted to discuss other legal issues.
The Homestead project goes beyond the bus transportation component. It includes a family entertainment center with bowling, a cinema, shopping and a parking garage. It is slated for the corner of Krome Avenue and Mowry Drive, which is where the old police station and several downtown bars are located.
On Monday, March 13th at 11:27 am, lawyers for the City of Homestead filed a lawsuit against Bleu Network in the Miami Circuit Court for misleading and unfair trading practices.
Bleu Network applied to develop the Homestead project in October 2016. According to the lawsuit, Bleu’s proposal was rated third of three offers, so Bleu approached Florida City around January 11, 2017 with a proposal for a similar project.
Florida law does not allow a company to withdraw its proposal until a winner is selected. Since Bleus alternative development could compete economically with the Homestead project, which is about a mile away, and could affect the financing options, Homestead applied for damages plus legal fees. In addition, Homestead would like an injunction to prevent Bleu from advancing its rival project with Florida City.
Bleu’s proposal to Florida City was to build a parking garage with 1,500 parking spaces, 65,000 feet of retail space, a movie theater, and a family entertainment center with bowling on a site in Florida City. Homestead’s project includes the same plus a pending proposal to add a cyber library alongside a new county bus transfer center. Bleus project should also be next to the bus route.
The Homestead lawsuit alleges that without working on their project, Bleu would have had neither the idea nor the plans to start his business.
A trailer park on 601 NW Third Avenue in Florida City is selected as a competing location. The 14.6 acre site is valued by Miami-Dade County for $ 52.5 million. The website has annual sales of $ 400,000, according to Florida City sources.
Bleu’s website states that it is dedicated to developing and managing public-private partnerships. The company has the ability to “secure more than $ 5 billion in project funding for debt and equity financing.” The website lists partners in India, Europe, Australia and Qatar. The local address is 381 N. Krome Avenue Suite 206 in Homestead. The president and CEO is Janet Legrand, according to the website.
There was no immediate response to a request for comment on Bleus’s phone number.
At Florida City
On the evening of March 14, Mayor Otis Wallace quickly met to dispel rumors of a rift with Homestead.
The city clerk first asked for a change to the minutes of the Florida City meeting on February 14, stating that the commission had not “accepted” Bleu’s unsolicited offer, but that the proposal was deemed to be that of the Florida Public-Private Partnership Act mandatory notice will be “advertised”. The change was approved unanimously.
“It has been determined that the two cities are in a significant conflict and that Florida City is trying to take over the project from Homestead,” said Mayor Wallace. “That was never the case for the recording. I met with Mayor Porter and the city administrator last week and again pledged my support for their projects. “
“The way people have interpreted the word unsolicited is worrying,” the mayor continued. “If I come from the word unsolicited, we haven’t asked for it. We did not request this proposal, we are under no obligation to it. In fact, I look forward to severing the ties with Homestead when they complete their project. That’s as clear as I can get. “
“I want confirmation from this commission that we are not pursuing a project that involves the City of Homestead,” said Mayor Wallace. Commissioner RS Shiver supported Commissioner Sharon Butler’s request. It was unanimously adopted by the Commission.
“I hope the people in Homestead get the news,” said the mayor. “I had a tough week answering questions about the project that never came up. Good luck to the town of Homestead. “
The Florida City ad in the News Leader said Bleu’s proposal must be returned to the Commission for review on March 20. The ad also states that Florida City reserves the right to decline any proposal.