Florida Marlins garage leases tied to entertainment district aims
By Jacquelyn Weiner
Newly appointed to oversee retail leasing at three City of Miami-owned Marlins stadium garages, Terranova Corp. plans to target tenants that will spur a ballpark entertainment district, the firm's chairman said.
Desired retailers include a sports restaurant and bar, coffee shop and sportswear stores, said Stephen Bittel, chairman of Terranova Corp.
"The goal of the city and the Marlins is to make this an important component of a new entertainment district," Mr. Bittel said.
Miami commissioners approved Terranova 5-0 in July as the leasing agent for the garage retail.
Terranova was ranked first of two firms that responded to an expedited city request for letters of interest to handle the project. The opportunity was open eight days versus the typical minimum of 15.
Miami Commissioner Frank Carollo has said other firms were interested in the opportunity but weren't able to meet the narrow deadline.
The other respondent, NAI Miami, had been working on marketing the retail space for months on behalf of the Miami Parking Authority.
Yet after hearing of NAI's prospects, ballpark-area Commissioner Carollo said he wanted to open the leasing gig to other firms.
Mr. Bittel said Terranova hopes to bring in some different retailers than those NAI had been targeting.
"The direction of the prior leasing firm was closer to a local-service strip center," he said.
According to NAI Miami's response to the request for letters of interest, interested retailers proposed uses that included a Latin market and café, an "elevated" Pollo Tropical, a choose-your-toppings frozen yogurt shop, Asian eatery Teriyaki Experience and a full-service Sonic restaurant.
The stadium contract with Florida Marlins bars garage retailers that would clash with in-stadium offerings such as ticket brokers other than those affiliated with Major League Baseball and fast-food restaurants that compete with concessions.
Rather than seeking out businesses that will cater to the immediate area, which was NAI's strategy after it found some bigger-name retailers were concerned they couldn't maintain business in baseball's off season, Mr. Bittel said Terranova plans to "cast the net widely" and use the retail space as to draw in business "well beyond the first mile."
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