The long-awaited deal to establish a water park next to Zoo Miami finally nears as the agreement between developers and Miami-Date awaits signatures
This Friday, a county commission committee is set to evaluate a lease alongside Miami Wilds LLC, a team that manages Miami Wilds hotel, retail outlet, and park that extends to a tune of 27.5 acres close to the two museums and Zoo. If the review kicks off, the lease will be subject to the entire commission’s final vote.
The county looks forward to collecting $120.7 million parking income and rent within the initial 40 years of this lease that comprises two renewable terms of 20 years each. Miami Wilds, which has to inject $99 million, intends to use a combination of equity and debt.
A circular from Michael Spring, who is the county Cultural Affairs said. The debate of converting the land to a park begun way back in 2006 when voters passed a theoretical plan through a referendum. Development proposals came one after the other, including those that had dinosaurs and the other with 20th Century Fox cast.
The negotiations between Miami Wilds and the County kicked off more than 6 years ago but stagnated along the way due to claims that the park would destroy Pine Rockland that houses endangered plants and animals. While responding to these concerns, Miami Wilds agreed to reduce its size to remain within the current paved zone
The lead coordinator at Miami Wilds has been Paul Lambert who is the founder of Lambert Advisory, a real estate agency who disclosed to Miami Today that together with his partners- Lawyer Michael Diaz Jr of Diaz-Reus, accountant Eamon Smith, architects Bernard Zyscovich and Uche are all convinced that this deal is a win for all the parties involved.
It focuses on addressing all the problems while checking every box and it should be noted that this project has not undergone thorough scrutiny. Construction is set to take “24 months from its commencement in 2021 with the official launch set to be on 2023,” the project website indicates that the water park will comprise of wave pools, slides of various sizes, kiddie pools, and a beachfront for recreation with shady lawns. A family lodge resort with 200 rooms will be constructed in two phases at a cost of $26 million.
A “Mercado” is going to provide eateries and “several unique retail outlets that showcase the Zoo Miami and Miami Wilds theme. That closeness to the zoo and attractions, Miami Military Museum and Gold Coast Railroad Museum, is going to establish the kind of destination that parents and their families will look forward to revisiting more than once. Mr. Zyscovich claimed in a promotional clip. Within the first five years of “notable completion” or after eight years from the time of the lease, Miami Wilds will bring 304 permanent employment opportunities generating more than $35,000 and 99 similar jobs within five years of completing the last phase of the family resort or 11 years of the lease.
The project comes with $14 million-$15 million for restoring the Zoo parking section with improvements in drainage, signage, lighting, and security. Miami Wilds plans to construct a minimum of ordinary parking sections, 90 bus sections, and Lyft and Uber accommodations. All this is going to come at a cost: the visitors will be paying for every visit to the park for the first time. The rates per day, Mr. Spring wrote, “will not be more than $9 (in 2019 dollars) without obtaining prior approval and written consent by the county.” Miami-Dade envisions a $1.53 million annual cut of parking proceeds.
Miami Wilds can also opt to construct another luxury hotel to sit on 39 additional acres within a year after signing the lease. Mr. Lambert claimed that group tourists from European nations would determine if his company invests in the project. “We will establish in months to come,” he added.” But there will an ideal opportunity already there owing to the nature of this park.”