Committee Assignments - C4 G
|TO:||Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Commission|| |
|FROM:||Rafael Paz, Acting City Attorney|| |
|DATE:||February 10, 2021|
REFERRAL TO THE FINANCE AND ECONOMIC RESILIENCY COMMITTEE FOR REVIEW OF A PROPOSED TRANSACTION WITH THE GREATER MIAMI JEWISH FEDERATION, INC., A FLORIDA NOT-FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION (THE “FEDERATION”), THE CITY’S LONG-TERM LESSEE AND OPERATOR OF THE HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL SITE LOCATED AT 1933-1945 MERIDIAN AVENUE (THE “MEMORIAL”), FOR THE CONVEYANCE OF THE MEMORIAL AND ADJACENT MUNICIPAL PARKING LOT AT 775 19TH STREET TO THE FEDERATION, TO PERMIT THE FEDERATION, AT ITS SOLE COST AND EXPENSE, TO DEVELOP, CONSTRUCT, OPERATE AND MAINTAIN A STATE-OF-THE-ART HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL COMMUNITY LEARNING CENTER, FOR THE PRESENTATION OF EXHIBITS, LECTURES AND OTHER INTERACTIVE PROGRAMMING THAT CONNECTS THE HOLOCAUST EXPERIENCE TO CONTEMPORARY CIVIC LIFE AND PROMOTES TOLERANCE, REMEMBRANCE AND GLOBAL HUMAN RIGHTS.
This referral item was prepared at the request of Mayor Gelber. The item was initially referred on March 18, 2020 and shortly thereafter withdrawn due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The applicant would like to proceed with the proposal at this time.
On January 26, 2000, the City entered into a 99 year lease agreement with the Holocaust Memorial Committee, Inc. (the “Lease”), to operate and maintain the Holocaust Memorial located at 1933-1945 Meridian Avenue (the “Memorial”), which Lease was assigned to the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, Inc. (“Federation”), on January 16, 2008, pursuant to Resolution No. 2008-26732. The Federation has successfully operated and maintained the Memorial since that time.
Although the visitor experience at the Memorial is impactful, the Memorial lacks facilities that would permit the presentation of changing exhibits, lectures and other programming and related activities. As a result, many local and regional visitors to the Memorial rarely visit the Memorial more than once.
At the State of the City address on February 24, 2020, Mayor Gelber announced that he intended to sponsor a proposed transaction for a modest expansion of the Memorial, which would include the footprint for the adjacent parking lot at 775 19th Street (the “Lot”), currently used as a surface parking lot with only 22 parking spaces (5 of which are already designated for the Memorial).
The concept is for the City to convey the Memorial (which is already leased to the Federation, through 2099) and the adjacent Lot, to the Federation, to permit the Federation to develop, construct, operate and maintain, at its sole cost and expense, a community learning center adjacent to the Memorial, with learning/education space, exhibition space (both temporary and permanent) and performance space (the “Center”). Through interactive and other programming, the Center would activate the Memorial and reach broader audiences, by educating students and the public about tolerance, human rights and the need for global understanding and community. If realized, the Center would be sited directly across from the City’s PRIDE Park, and would serve to promote the City of Miami Beach as a destination not only for convention guests and tourists, but as a community which places a value on civic engagement, education and culture.
The Federation would be solely responsible for all fund-raising for the Center, and for all costs for the development, construction, operation and maintenance of the Center, with the City’s contribution limited to the underlying land (the vast majority of which is already leased to the Federation through 2099). With the participation of committed donors, the Federation has already raised $6 million in charitable pledges for the proposed project.
This referral initiates the review process under Chapter 82 of the City Code with respect to the sale or lease of City-owned property. If the proposed transaction is approved by the City Commission, the conveyance of the Memorial and Lot would require approval by 60% of the voters voting in a Citywide referendum, pursuant to Section 1.03(b)(3) of the City Charter.
SUPPORTING SURVEY DATA
|Is this a "Residents Right to Know" item, pursuant to City Code Section 2-14?|| ||Does this item utilize G.O. Bond Funds?|
|Yes|| ||No|| |
Office of the City Attorney