Thursday, March 08, 2012

The North Miami Ongoing Boondoggle. By Geniusofdespair

Broward County Commissioner John Rodstrom, who opposed the port deal, still distrusts Swerdlow and contends that no government is a match for the developer.

This link will take you to the latest version of the Biscayne Landing (a.k.a. Munisport) Lease between Oleta Partners, LLC (Michael Swerdlow) and the City of North Miami.  Talk about leaving your options open, look at this paragraph about gambling. It appears everyone wants in on that gaming action.

Michael Swerdlow & Fish
The most current draft of the lease is 86 pages with other pages not included in the numbering.  John Dellagloria is Michael Swerdlow's attorney, he was a former attorney for the City of North Miami. Brett Dill is Swerdlow's partner. I think the City of North Miami will get screwed again, they always get screwed on Munisport. I have watched this property as part of a half dozen schemes that never panned out in the last 20 years -- and Swerdlow was part of one of those: The failed Biscayne Landing.

Broward New Times Reporter Bob Norman reported on one of Swerdlow's other deals:

"When then-Pompano Mayor Bill Griffin was supporting the controversial International Swimming Hall of Fame project in his city in 2002, I found out that ISHF developer Michael Swerdlow had gotten the mayor a job at Turner Construction, the company lined up to build the project. Here's the story I wrote at the time, Swimming In Trouble. To me. it was a clear case of unlawful compensation, but Satz didn't prosecute. The terrible project, however, was killed and Griffin was ousted by voters at the polls. The Miami Herald cited the scandal and "Swimming In Trouble" as the reason why."
In the same article Norman said:
He has a history of attaching his deals to politicians' livelihoods. You may recall the infamous 1997 Port Everglades deal in which Swerdlow sold 271 acres to Broward County for $120 million, about double the price that county's appraisals showed for the raw land, much of it swamp.
And (this is the worst):
Broward County Commissioner John Rodstrom, who opposed the port deal, still distrusts Swerdlow and contends that no government is a match for the developer. Rodstrom recalls that Swerdlow's lobbyist, Ron Book, offered his private firm work as well. Rodstrom declined the offer, which Swerdlow insists Book made without his knowledge. "Book did it, and at the time, I wasn't doing anything in Broward County," Swerdlow explains. "He was trying to do something for Rodstrom."


Anonymous said...

People are sheep. That's the lesson. For the wolves, Munisport-- one of the worst superfund sites in the nation-- is a gift that keeps giving. Pathological? Depends if you ate sheep or wolf.

Stephanie Kienzle said...

Great investigating. Something about this whole thing stinks! You've done an awesome job peeling away the layers of the onion.

Jay said...

One of your best articles. Nice job. It's nice to see how the dots are connected. I think I read before that Swerdlow also owns the mortgage to ex-No. Miami Mayor Joe Celestin's house while Celestin is being paid a fortune for the environmental clean up on the property. Also read that Swerdlow recently gave a large amount of money to a North Miami city commissioner's nonprofit organization.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect to Mr. Norman, but the part about the Port Everglades deal being double the price and much of it swamp is not correct. The land was cleared and filled ready for containers or warehouses or any other port related use. Strategically positioned at the terminus of I-595 between FLL International airport and Port Everglades, fronting on a deep water canal with rail service, you can not recreate this type of property. At $10/SF it was an investment in Broward County's future. The loss of that site, along with it's revenue potential, to private development would have been a significant blow to county's ability to grow and expand the airport and port. Just my take on events. I know it's good sport to take shots at a guy like Swerdlow but on this deal I believe the media got it wrong. Otherwise, your article(s) continue to expose the corruptibility of the political class. It further impresses on me the critical need to take these major decisions out of the hands of our elected officials.

Geniusofdespair said...

I think the point was Swerdlow over-charged for the site

Anonymous said...

Swerdlow is making overtures in the city of Gainesville. Seems no one is safe