On April 29, 2021, at the request of Commissioner Michael Góngora, the Mayor and City Commission referred a discussion item to the Land Use and Sustainability Committee (LUSC) pertaining to a proposal for a mixed-use building at the location of City-owned Parking Lot P13 (the Property) located at 1000 Washington Avenue (Item C4 L). On June 21, 2021, the LUSC discussed the proposal and recommended that it be referred to the Finance and Economic Resiliency Committee (FERC). Subsequently, on June 23, 2021, the item was referred to FERC by the Mayor and City Commission.
Parking Lot P13 (the Property), located at the northwest corner of Washington Avenue and 10th Street, is a 14,694 square foot surface parking lot with thirty-seven (37) spaces. The parcel is comprised of Miami- Dade County folio numbers 02-4203-009-0280 and 02-4203-009-0290 and is located immediately south of the Washington Park Hotel complex at 1020-1050 Washington Avenue. Annual parking revenue for P13 in 2021 and 2022 were $231,327 and $255,731, respectively.
WPH Properties, LLC (the Proposer or Developer), owner of the Washington Park Hotel, submitted an unsolicited proposal, pursuant to Florida Statutes Section 255.065 (the Statute) that would engage the City and WPH Properties, LLC in a redevelopment project of P13 with a new mixed-use structure. The proposed development program for the lot contemplates a seven (7) story structure that includes: (1) 135 structured parking spaces in three levels, including a single subterranean level utilizing mechanical lifts; (2) ground level commercial space; (3) three (3) levels and thirty-three (33) units of workforce housing units; (4) a top-level office/hotel use level; and (5) rooftop residential/hotel amenity area. As currently designed (Exhibit A), the proposed redevelopment will more than triple the parking on the lot, while providing much-needed workforce housing for this area of the City.
The Proposer has offered to enter into a 99-year land lease where they would pay rent to the City based on the average yearly net income the City earns from the current parking operations with annual escalations, once the building is open and operating. The essential terms are set forth in the term sheet attached hereto as Exhibit C. Currently, the Proposer believes that a rezoning of the site is the only change necessary to accommodate the redevelopment as part of a unified development site with the remainder of the block; and is requesting the City process and incur the responsibility of zoning changes and relevant fees. Closing to occur following the issuance of necessary zoning approvals, including Historic Preservation Board (HPB) approval (Exhibit C).
Certain Legal Requirements
If the City Commission determines that it would be in the City’s best interests to enter into a comprehensive agreement for the Project, Section 255.065, Florida Statutes (the Statute), requires that the City publish a notice in the Florida Administrative Register and a newspaper of general circulation at least once a week for two (2) weeks stating that the municipality received a proposal and will accept other proposals for the same Project. The timeframe within which the municipality may accept other proposals must be at least twenty-one (21) days, but no more than one hundred twenty (120) days, after the initial date of publication.
Additionally, if the City chooses to proceed with a proposal to develop surface lot P13, the Statute requires that the City retain an architect or engineer, in accordance with the requirements of Section 287.055, Florida Statutes, to ensure a professional review and evaluation of the design and construction proposed by the initial or subsequent proposers, including without limitation a review of material quality standards, interior space utilization, budget estimates, design and construction schedules, and sustainable design and construction standards consistent with public projects. Pursuant to the Statute, the required review shall be at the sole cost of the proposer. If the fees for the required review are anticipated to be lower than the threshold established in Florida law for requiring a formal solicitation, the City may utilize a prequalified consultant pursuant to an existing City contract to perform the review and thereby expedite the review process.
If the Commission opts to proceed with the Project, whether with WPH Properties, LLC or a different proposer, the City Administration would incur title search fees, outside counsel fees and other costs related to its review and evaluation process, as well as the negotiation of a comprehensive agreement. Although the City has not imposed an application fee, the City has the right to require, per the Statute, that the private entity pay the costs of the required reviews. The City may stop its review of the unsolicited proposal if the private entity fails to pay the additional amounts. The City will require WPH Properties, LLC and/or any other successful proposer to execute a Reimbursement and Indemnification Agreement in connection with the City’s evaluation of any proposal, and the negotiation of all necessary agreements, to develop the P13 surface lot.
The Master Parking Resolution imposes certain restrictions on the sale or leasing of assets that form part of the Parking System. Surface lot P13 is such an asset. If the Commission wishes to lease surface lot P13 to develop the Project, an analysis would be required to determine whether this could be accomplished in compliance with the Master Parking Resolution. Furthermore, it would need to be determined if the leasing of this parking lot would impose a risk that would impact the current Bond Covenant.