Be careful what you wish for. Activists who brought lawsuits against David Beckham's Overtown Soccer Stadium proposal may have derailed that initiative which would have energized the Overtown community. The developers of a proposal led by David Beckham known as Miami Freedom Park now seek to remove one of Miami's last affordable public golf courses, Melreese Country Club, home of "The First Tee Miami,"one of the most respected youth golf organizations in South Florida serving individuals of all ages, capabilities, and backgrounds; in exchange for developing over 1 billion SF on the site if the proposal passes. The proposal includes 400K SF of office space and 600K SF of restaurant, retail and entertainment space; along with 750 hotel rooms and a 25,000 seat soccer stadium with only 3,750 parking spaces. A 400,000 SF office park would be one of the largest office parks in the United States of America.
Mayor Francis Suarez has received both praise and backlash on Twitter after his tweet:
"Wow. A beautiful vision! 110 acres of true green public space open and accessible for our neighbors! This will be a vibrant park, entertainment complex, and soccer facility for ALL Miamians. #FutbolMiami" - @FrancisSuarez
Many of the proponents of the proposal are backing the soccer aspect of the proposal, but do not mention that the 110 acres of true green public space. Other bring to attention that the proposal is an office park, not a public park as Mayor Suarez had stated. Additionally the sit is a former waste dump and is only maintained to keep golfers safe but not for real estate development. The costs to clean the land would be astronomical to the city. What would happen should the proposal go through would be the city would lose its biggest public park (Melreese Golf Course), traffic would build up around the airport and the city would get hit with massive bills in which they would issue debt to cover as the $20 million contribution from the development is paid over 30 years and has a net present value near $4 million. The partnership of developers is in a rush to try to get the public to vote by pushing the potential of bringing pro soccer to Miami without even having a full developed plan to move forward with the proposal and would remove any leverage the city would have. The project is expected to cost over $1 billion.