Arts center officials still working on residents' lease contracts
By Suzy Valentine
The Miami Performing Arts Center is still months from signing leases with its four desired resident companies although its completion is planned in less than a year, arts group representatives say.
"It's in the comment stage, to use the legal terminology," said Mark Rosenblum, Miami City Ballet general manager. "The trust, the foundation and the resident companies have each enlisted the services of attorneys to look over the documents. I think we're months, rather than weeks, from ironing out these issues."
"The arts center has begun circulating a draft," said Justin Moss, Florida Grand Opera vice president of marketing and communications. "We haven't signed it yet, but it shouldn't be too long. In the meantime, we are all observing the terms of our operating agreements."
"We still don't have a contract," said Craig Hall, Concert Association of Florida director of public relations and marketing.
"This is the first lease agreement with the arts center," said Mr. Hall, "rather than renewal of an existing lease. That makes for a more protracted process. We have definite dates for the first season, and that's good enough for us."
Performance dates are in a separate scheduling agreement - distinct from the operating agreement and lease - that has been set with two of the resident companies.
"The opera accepted the dates, requesting only one change," said Gail Eaton, the arts center's chief marketing officer. "The concert association has signed the agreement, subject to two changes. I expect the other agreements to be submitted shortly."
Miami Beach-based New World Symphony has agreed dates with the arts center, said Marc Fest, vice president of communications.
The center is to be substantially complete by June 4 and done by Aug. 4, an ambitious timetable by the reckoning of some.
"The contract concerns me not," said Mr. Rosenblum. "What most concerns me is that the building is built. With less than a year to go, I know there are some labor issues. This may put things back."
Though labor shortages and hurricanes dog all construction across the region, he said he hoped arts center officials were prepared.
"I'd like to think they factored all of that in."