Just hours before the start of the City of Miami commission meeting that could potentially decide the deal’s fate, the Term Sheet that establishes the proposal between the ownership group and the city regarding Miami Freedom Park and Soccer Village was made public.
First shared by local columnist Grant Stern, the three-page term sheet covers a number of issues, some dealing in terms already established and some touching on concerns that commissioners shared last week.
1. The lease for the property that Miami Freedom Park, LLC (MFP) would take on is guaranteed for 39 years, with MFP holding two 30-year options beyond that to take the total length of the deal to 99 years. For commercial ground leases, it’s common practice to offer long terms, and 99-year leases have historically been considered the limit. Commercial development on the land would take up 73 acres.
3. The rent the city will receive from the property is guaranteed to be at least $3.5 million per year. It could adjust to a larger number if the property is appraised at a higher Fair Market Value or if the rent from the developments exceeds expectations (the city will receive 5 percent of all rent if that number is larger than the Fair Market Value or $3.5 million).
4. The city will not pay for any portion of the soccer stadium, the commercial development, or any environmental remediation on the property.
5. If MFP is sold to another owner at any point in the lease, the City is entitled to 1 percent of the price of the sale. This would be important if Fútbol Miami MLS was ever sold to another ownership group.
6. MFP will not be granted a certificate of occupancy for its stadium unless the park at the property (at 58 acres) is fully developed, including any environmental remediation that would be necessary.
7. As previously mentioned, MFP will contribute $20 million to open the park at the site. Additionally, MFP is committing $5 million to complete the City’s Baywalk-Riverwalk Project. The second portion was discussed at the commission meeting on Thursday, but never formally committed to with a dollar amount. This project has been the baby of Commissioner Ken Russell. Russell is believed to be the swing vote on the commission.
8. MFP is committing to adhere to the City of Miami’s no-net-loss policy, as per the city’s comprehensive plan. That means the organization will need to provide funding or support for 73 acres of park land somewhere else in Miami. Likely, the Baywalk-Riverwalk will play a big role in this.
9. This point reiterates a portion of Point 4, which states MFP will be responsible for all environmental remediation. According to Jorge Mas, the estimated cost of this remediation is $35 million.
10. This point could prove to be contentious on Wednesday. The plan states that MFP and affiliates will guarantee a living wage of at least $15 an hour ($13.19 an hour for employees who receive health benefits). However, this is for “covered employees”. According to the plan, that means “those hourly employees of MFL and its affiliates who primarily work at the Demised Premesis”. Does this mean all employees who work on the property? Or is there a more specific category. Russell and other commissioners will likely want clarification on that.
11. MFP will commit to providing space for The First Tee program, including a driving range and “other amenities.” This may prove to be unnecessary, as Miami mayor Francis Suarez has stated Miami Springs Golf & Country Club will take the program.
12. The agreement between the city and Delucca Enterprises, Inc. (Charlie DeLucca Jr. was responsible for the rehabilitation of the course in the late 1990s. The company operates the course today) would need to be terminated in order for the MFP project to be built. If there is any cost to terminate that agreement, MFP has agreed to pay it.
Will that be enough to get this proposal over the line? There’s no way to know until the commission meets. However, it does appear to be tailored to the concerns that were brought up at the meeting last Wednesday. Ultimately, only time will tell.