Gary Nader, a local art collector with a gallery in Wynwood, is not giving up on his battle to build an art museum in downtown Miami to display his personal collection. Nader wants to develop the Latin American Art Museum, which would also house condos upstairs, on prime property at 520 Biscayne Boulevard. His collection features artists like Botero, Matisse, and Picasso.
The land Nader bid on is currently owned by Miami Dade College and is utilized as a parking lot for students. It was valued at $125 million as of three years ago. The college rejected Nader’s proposal for the museum, as well as a competing proposal submitted by Jorge Perez, Chairman and CEO of Related Group. When Nader sued the college for public records violation, a judge ruled that Miami Dade College didn’t violate the law, but still ordered the college to turn over all documents requested by Nader related to the bidding process. Now, the two parties are fighting over $1.7 million accrued in legal fees, which Miami Dade College calls unnecessary and frivolous. The attorney for Miami Dade College told judge Thomas Rebull that those “public funds should have been used for educational purposes—your tax dollars and mine.”
Nader spent $4 million developing his plan in collaboration with Mexican architect Fernando Romero, who designed Mexico City’s Soumaya Museum, which was also funded by a private investor. Still, Nader remains hopeful. Given the prestige and size of his collection with over 150 of Latin America’s most important artists, he thinks, “It would be a project that would be visited by everybody who comes to this city, without a doubt.”
Article By: Katya Demina