Developer Flagstone vows to pay, pleads to stay, but Miami still may end agreement
By Risa Polansky
As the City of Miami moves to end its years-long agreement with would-be Watson Island developer Flagstone Property Group, the company is pleading for more time — and offering $500,000 to make up for five months of missing rent.
Flagstone, in line since 2001 to build a luxury hotel, marina and retail development on the city-owned island, hasn't paid rent since July.
Commissioners are to vote today (12/17) whether to cut ties after granting several extensions over the years.
But the developer is asking for another chance.
"We ask the City, in view of the global economic crisis we have seen, to work with Flagstone just as the Federal government has worked with financial companies needing funds…," attorney Alexander I. Tachmes wrote in a Monday letter on Flagstone's behalf.
The developer is ready to pay $500,000 to make up for the past-due rent, resolve liens, prove the company has already poured $46 million into the project and is willing to contribute more, and to "establish a modified timetable, with verifiable benchmarks, for construction based on today's economic realities," the letter says.
The lawyer asked the city to pull the termination from the agenda and sit down with the developer to discuss.
Reached by phone early Tuesday, Commission Chair Marc Sarnoff, whose district covers the island, would say only that "my hopes for the site is that it remains a significant income generating site which will help the City of Miami's budget crisis."
Mayor Tomás Regalado did not return calls. Flagstone head Mehmet Bayraktar did not respond to a call or e-mails.