Stadium site near Bicentennial Park costliest of those favored by Marlins
By Paola Iuspa
Of three sites preferred by the Florida Marlins for a stadium in downtown Miami, the one connected to Bicentennial Park is the costliest, according to analyses by city-hired consultants.
The Marlins said this week only three of eight proposals on six sites "warrant further discussion" for its 40,000-seat stadium.
They are 11.29 acres across from Bicentennial Park, 13.3 acres in Park West and 19.81 acres north of the Miami River, said team official David Ginsberg in a letter to a consultant.
All three will increase stadium proposal costs due to the need to buy land, relocate utilities and other logistics.
Consultants say the site across from Bicentennial Park could add between $139 million and $168 million to the cost of the $385 million stadium. That would drive up overall project costs to $524 million-$553 million, not counting a needed environmental cleanup.
In that scenario, Biscayne Boulevard would be moved to the east or the Metromover rail line and station to the west for the stadium to fit.
Realigning the Metromover would add at least $43 million to the project, plus demolition costs, the city consultants' report said, and construction would take more than five years.
A Park West site that was another of the Marlins' picks could add $48 million-$60 million to costs. That site is made up of 56 parcels owned by 30 landlords. Construction would take almost four years, the report said.
A riverfront site that could add $114 million-$136 million to costs is the other option the Marlins say is acceptable. One of three privately owned parcels on that site belongs to FPL, the report said. Marlins officials have said that site is not large enough for the stadium and would drive construction costs up at least 15%.
The Miami City Commission Thursday (3/15) will discuss selecting a site for a stadium after listening to recommendations on eight proposed plans.
The 2 p.m. meeting will be held at Manuel Artime Community Center, 900 SW First St.
Although Florida Marlins officials said they were no longer pushing to build a $385 million stadium in Bicentennial Park, the site the team originally favored, City Manager Carlos Gimenez said he would still give the commission recommendations on two proposals that put the stadium in the waterfront park.
His recommendations will be based on a 79-page report released Monday that was prepared by consultants the city hired a month ago to estimate land acquisition and utility relocation costs, determine access, measure traffic impact and calculate a construction time frame for each site.
Miami Mayor Joe Carollo said he would ask commissioners to pick three sites instead of just one and give city staff two weeks to negotiate with land owners before voting on the site that offers the best deal.
If that happens, the commission would not meet a self-imposed March 15 deadline to select a site to give to the county for the ballpark. When it was decided to postpone the site selection until the report was complete, Mr. Carollo on Feb. 15 had asked the commission to set March 15 as a deadline, then ask for "extension after extension" as necessary.
The Florida Legislature is waiting for the city to agree on a site so it can start working on the approval of a state sales tax rebate and a 40-year extension of the city's parking surcharge needed to help finance construction.
The reports will give city commissioners approximate costs associated with each proposal.
The proposals included in the report are one that calls for the stadium to go across from Bicentennial Park after rerouting Biscayne Boulevard to the east. That plan would cost $524 million to $555 million.
A proposal that calls for the venue to go in Bicentennial Park after moving the Metromover line to the west would cost $523 million to $540 million.
Another proposal that put the stadium in the park under its current configuration would have an overhead of $466 million to $471 million.
A proposal that put the venue in Park West along Southeast Second Avenue would cost between $433 million and $445 million.
A plan that calls for the stadium to be west of the Miami Arena would cost $412 million to $423 million.
Another plan that places the venue north of the Miami River would cost $499 million to $521 million.
A proposal to tear down the Orange Bowl Stadium to make way for a baseball park could not be determined because the city has a 10-year lease agreement with the University of Miami.
A last proposal that put the stadium next to the Orange Bowl would cost $412 million-$423 million.
Marlins officials said it considers only three sites acceptable for the stadium across from Bicentennial Park, one in Park West and one by the Miami River.