Earlier this week, Miami-Dade County ethics administrators gave a go-ahead for the City of Miami Commission to begin negotiating a lease agreement of public land with Jorge Mas, a co-owner of MLS club Inter Miami FC. Mas is seeking a 99-year lease on the property.
The MLS club owned by Mas, David Beckham, Sprint Corporation chairman Marcelo Claure and other investors is seeking to build a stadium and retail complex on the 131-acre site of Melreese Golf Course near Miami International Airport. The golf course is built on public land.
Voters in the city had given the commission the right to negotiate a long-term lease agreement with Inter Miami CF’s owners in a November referendum. The expectation has been that the club’s owners would pay fair market value for the land as well as for all construction costs. It’s also anticipated the ownership absorbs the costs improved transportation and infrastructure around the facility.
The entity that has been authorized to negotiate the lease with the city is owned completely by Mas according to documents obtained by The Miami Herald. Mas’ sole-ownership of the corporation that would negotiate the lease has raised some concerns among Miami City Commissioners according to The Herald.
Inter Miami is scheduled to begin MLS play in 2020 and will likely have to play two seasons in a temporary facility while the new ground on the Melreese land is built.