Friday, March 28, 2014

ARENA PARK (AKA PARCEL B) 2.76 ACRES - Promised to the people, used as a parking lot for the Miami Heat. By Geniusofdespair


TIME: 6:00 – 8:30 PM

100 NE 1st AVE, Miami


The Arena Park Forum
The Urban Environment League &
Downtown Bay Forum




A waterfront park was promised to the citizens of Miami-Dade as part of a negotiated deal to approve the Heat Arena. The site, also known as Parcel B, is a 2.76 acre waterfront parcel directly east of American Airlines/Miami Heat Arena.

18 years later this prime waterfront site sits fallow, vacant and fenced-off from Public access or use.

Miami-Dade needs more well designed green spaces. A 2004 planning effort led by the nationally acclaimed Project for Public Spaces, inc. ( in conjunction with the Bayfront Park Trust came up with recommendations for the Arena Park site: participants supported keeping this space well programmed with park-like features and amenities, such as shade trees, benches and seating, places to picnic or BBQ, and casual activities (pick-up soccer rather than scheduled leagues). It would be more of a neighborhood park serving area residents and it would become a central part of a continuous bay front promenade with unique views of our beautiful waterfront.     
Do you want a county 2.76 acre neighborhood waterfront park promised to voters in 1996 to - finally - become a reality?

The UEL has a proud 15-year history of involvement in important local issues - from preserving Virginia Key and Bicentennial Park from thoughtless development to leading the struggle to preserve the Urban Development Boundary Line by working with other local organizations in forging a new constituency that is sensitive to environmental and equity issues, housing, and overall better planning.


Anonymous said...

City needs more condominiums with ground floor retail.

Anonymous said...

Also promised by the Heat as a condition for the AAArena: Pedestrian Overpass to Bayside, Revenue Sharing with the County. Broken Promises. County Administration lax oversight.

Anonymous said...

Although frustrating that this has been allowed to sit vacant for 17 years, now is the time to make our political and governmental leaders and the Heat organization deliver what was promised to the community. Certainly, it should be on the table as a requirement as part of the negotiations for the Heat lease extension, paid for by the Heat. Next time you are passing through Downtown, take the time to drive by this property. It's a big, 2.76 acres, beautiful site that many in our community didn't realize was even there. Also, it is a strategic interconnecting piece of the Baywalk that would allow pedestrians and bicyclists to go from the Miami River north to the Museum Park.

Anonymous said...

this is going to be a parking garage with a bay of pigs museum on the bottom. the idea is that if you dare to vote against it you are a communist and must be run out of the county. its a brilliant 1970-80's style ploy that might work

Anonymous said...

If the Heat organization promised a public park as part of the deal for the AA Arena, then the Heat organization should be held to that promise and made to deliver.

HOWEVER, the truth is that this particular little parcel of land behind the Arena is not easily accessible for use as a park. It would be more practical to do some sort of land swap deal.

The Heat should honor their promise of a 2.76-acre park by buying and developing a comparably-sized lot elsewhere in a more centralized and accessible part of the downtown area.

In exchange, let the Heat use the land behind the arena for a parking garage for Heat games and other arena events.

I get that it is waterfront property, which is obviously in short supply. But with the huge arena sitting right in front of it, nobody will want to schlep all the way back there just to sit on a bench and watch the grass grow.

Anonymous said...

Honestly a noble sentiment BUT useless without any real access. No way this gets used by anyone but vagrants as it sits right now. It would be like the Bicentennial Park of yore. Waterfront property for the homeless.

So should we leave as is? No! Fill in the slip north of the AAA. Get the Heat to pony up the money for pedestrian access to Bayside and then you can do something with it.

Until then I don't see any reason to do anything with it than what it is used for now. You're on crack if you think residents are going to dodge Biscayne, walk all the way around AAA to hang out by the water when they can just go to Bayfront Park or Museum Park when it is completed.

Geniusofdespair said...

please stop with the fill in the slip idea. I don't want to hear it.

Anonymous said...

The Heat paid for ads showing a soccer field. Time to honor the campaign promise.

Anonymous said...

Gimenez is getting ready to give the Heat more money. This is karma. He gets into office by critiquing the Marlins deal, but is now willing to give the dolphins, heat and soccer money and land. What a hypocrite. The power of lobbyist. This mayor and commissioners are not representing the public interest. They are in it to help their friends.

Anonymous said...


OIG Schedule A

Audit of the Agreements Between Miami-Dade County and Basketball Properties, Ltd., et. al., to Operate the American Airlines Arena

Timeline of Events Related to the Development and Management of the American Airlines Arena

R-683A-96 Resolution
June 18, 1996 - Dade County BCC approved management agreement for operations of a professional sports
franchise facility and delegating limited naming rights for the Arena.
- County was to lease the land (FEC/Bicentennial Park Site) from the City of Miami.
IG11-34 OIG Schedule A Page 1

R-1398-97 Resolution
November 18, 1997 Miami-Dade County BCC approved Composite Amendment One to the Arena Agreements:
- Authorized BPL to sell certain of the Arenas naming rights to American Airlines Arena (AAA)
- Would reduce the County's obligation to BPL by $2.1 million annually
- Enlarges BPL's duties with respect to the Pedestrian Bridge
- Any amendments necessary to facilitate the County's purchase of the FEC Property
- Any amendments necessary to facilitate BPL's financing of the Arena
IG11-34 OIG Schedule A Page 2

R-1334-01 Resolution
November 20, 2001 Miami-Dade County BCC approved Composite Amendment Three to the Arena Agreements:
- Authorized a six-month extension to the December 1, 2001 deadline in order to finalize the plans for the Parcel B development.
- BPL paid County annual air rights $25,000 (paid in November 2001) for this extension until June 30, 2002 and another $150,000 subject to the project moving forward

R-808-03 Resolution
July 10, 2003 Miami-Dade County BCC approved Composite Amendment Five to the Arena Agreements:
- Allowed the County and the Manager to negotiate a further amendment to the Arena Agreements
regarding the extension of BPL's Parcel B development rights
- Authorized an air rights payment of $175,000 from BPL to the County for its rights with respect to
Parcel B Retail Complex

R-1018-03 Resolution
September 23, 2003 Miami-Dade County BCC approved Composite Amendment Six to the Arena Agreements:
- BPL to agree to forbear from exercising its rights with respect to developing Parcel B until October 7, 2003.

R-1118-03 Resolution
October 7, 2003 Miami-Dade County BCC approved Composite Amendment Seven to the Arena Agreements:
- BPL to agree to forbear from exercising its rights with respect to developing Parcel B until December 15, 2003.
- Approved the County, BPL, City of Miami, and Bayside release of agreement terms with respect to the development of Parcel B, the Pedestrian Bridge, and the Garage Annex.
IG11-34 OIG Schedule A Page 3

R-1446-03 Resolution
December 16, 2003 Miami-Dade County BCC approved Composite Amendment Eight to the Arena Agreements:
- Extended the time period for the approval, valid execution, and delivery by the parties to the County of the Second Amendment to the Tri-Party Agreement
- Allowed BPL to make an informed decision regarding surrendering their Parcel B development rights on or before December 29, 2003
- Allowed the City of Miami Commission to approve the Second Amendment to the Tri-Party Agreement at its December 18, 2003 meeting
IG11-34 OIG Schedule A Page 4

Anonymous said...


Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 032720 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Introduced: 10/2/2003
Requester: County Manager
Final Action: 9/23/2003
Agenda Date: 9/23/2003
Agenda Item Number: 11A2
Sponsors: NONE
Board of County Commissioners 9/23/2003 11A2 Adopted as amended Pass

......In response to Commissioner Barreiro’s request for a presentation by the Miami Heat and the City of Miami, Mr. Weiss stated the Heat had given Parcel B back to the County and was no longer involved in the transaction. Assistant County Manager Johnson stated if the proposed resolution was approved today, Miami Heat BPL would not be included in the transaction involving the County’s development obligation on Parcel B. He noted pursuant to the City of Miami’s development laws; construction of a baywalk was required as a permitting condition. Mr. Johnson stated the City of Miami would be responsible for connecting the baywalk to the North and to the South. He noted it would be staff’s recommendation to the Board at a subsequent date, that the City and the County work in a collegial manner on the development of Parcel B—possibly a charette—to include involvement of interested parties; and that the $1.5 million earmarked for the pedestrian bridge, be incorporated into Parcel ‘B’. Commissioner Sosa suggested that instead of a charette, a workshop be held between the County and the City. Commissioner Heyman directed questions to Assistant County Manager Johnson regarding the proposed baywalk and development of Parcel B. Chairperson Carey-Shuler asked that in the future, a representative of the City of Miami be present when issues relating to the City were being considered. Following further discussion, it was moved by Commissioner Seijas that the Board extend the Heat’s deadline for exercising its development rights for Parcel B from October 1, 2003 to October 7, 2003. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Ferguson, and upon being put to a vote, passed by a vote of 6-5, (Commissioners Barreiro, Heyman, Rolle, Sorenson and Sosa voted “No’) (Commissioners Diaz and Morales were absent). Commissioner Seijas asked that County Manager George Burgess meet with the appropriate parties regarding the development of Parcel B. Commissioner Sosa asked that Ms. Ortiz from the City of Miami apprise the City of Miami Mayor and the City Manager of today’s discussion.

Anonymous said...

Parcel B needs an elected official to be its champion. And I mean we need an elected official to push and make Parcel B green. Who will step up? Any heroes?

Anonymous said...

What about a compromise position of a park and green space built above a level of parking? There is currently a single level of parking underneath the arena. You could extend that out into the 2+ acre site and the put the above at level with the sidewalk and roadway that wraps around the arena. The Heat would get their coveted parking spaces and visitors to the park could park underneath the park. Also, any park improvements should include a water sports center with floating docks so the downtown residents and the community have access to the Bay. How cool would it be to have rowing, paddling and swimming in the slip. Water quality is another issue but one can dream.

Anonymous said...

Good idea. Allow one level of semi underground parking - like at Miami Art Museum - and then put a 2 acre soccer field and grass on top. Keep it simple.

Anonymous said...

WTF "2 acre soccer field and grass on top. Keep it simple. " No No Soccer period.

Anonymous said...

Why does this county feel it needs to be in the sports business? We can't fix out water infrastructure. I don't understand. Somebody explain to me how crony capitalism translates through to economic growth. Also, Sarnoff is right about the give-aways. Tax payer sponsored office and retail space will rent out cheaper and will collapse other real estate in the area.