US reviews big project west of Miami International
By Lou Ortiz
A commercial project that the Miami-Dade County Aviation Department is hopeful will develop into a hotel and other businesses near Miami International Airport is before the US Federal Aviation Administration, officials said.
The department has been negotiating with a developer to build on 56.7 acres west of Miami International Airport that in land rents alone would generate nearly $2.9 million a year to the airport, officials said.
The land can accommodate hotels, office buildings, industrial uses — such as storage, distribution and manufacturing — and retail establishments, including restaurants, according to documents filed with the County Regional Transportation Committee.
The land is just outside the airport's fence line near Milam Dairy Road.
"We still cannot speak on this as it is still under the cone of silence. However, I can say that it is before the Federal Aviation Administration for review and has been with them for a period of 30 days," said Marc T. Henderson, the media relations manager for the department.
In June, Associate Aviation Director Tony Quintero said the county had been negotiating with the unnamed developer about the land for two years before talks cooled during the recession. "Now," he said, "we're having more negotiations and we need to change the zoning."
The Regional Transportation Committee on June 11 unanimously endorsed an ordinance rezoning the property, and the full commission did the same July 3.
Mr. Quintero said the development would be a partnership between the county and the developer that could yield the Aviation Department an additional 3% in revenue from the profits of the commercial establishments.
He said the department is seeking to commercialize non-aviation land in and around the airport to help make debt repayments and "take the burden off airlines paying landing fees."
According to documents filed with the transportation committee, "The projected revenue for the Miami-Dade Aviation Department is a combination of the annual fair market value of land rents currently estimated at $2,885,403 per year plus additional revenue based upon a negotiated percentage of the gross revenue. The negotiated percentage of the gross revenue is expected to be in the 3% range."
Mr. Henderson said the FAA is reviewing the application and development leases, a process that usually takes four to eight weeks.
Once the federal agency returns the application, Mr. Henderson said, the proposed lease for the property will go to the transportation committee and then back to the commission.
To read the entire issue of Miami Today online, subscribe to e -Miami Today, an exact digital replica of the printed edition.