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Monday, July 16, 2018

About the Melreese Park/Soccer scam

This Melreese Park/Soccer issue  speaks volumes about our city leaders and our parks. And it does affect Coconut Grove.

I like that our district commissioner Ken Russell's swing vote delayed the approval of the plan to move forward. It's all outlined here in the story about the meeting. Commissioners Willy Gort and Manolo Reyes also had reservations. Now if we can just get Ken and the rest to stop the whole project. Giving away public land for private enterprise is a terrible idea.

I was confused about our Mayor Francis Suarez who seemed to be pushing the project which to me should be out of his hands. I didn't understand why he was at the commission meeting and why he was pushing so hard for a deal, but then I read Al Crespo's blog and it's quite clear - Suarez is in the pockets of the Mas family and the Beckham group, they are helping fund his bid for strong mayor - a sure signal that we should vote NO for strong mayor.

I'm not sure how Crespo's blog works and how long the story will be there, but it is required reading and I recommend you read the whole scam story here.

You can tell they all rehearsed their parts because David Beckham, Jorge Mas and Francis Suarez all had the same story of how they grew up loving soccer to a loving family and how two of them grew up and played at local schools and sports fields, etc. Sob stories that have nothing to do with handing over public land to private enterprise. All stories meant to throw off the gullible voting public.

Commissioner Keon Hardemon's aunt, Barbara Hardeomon is a paid lobbyist for Beckham's MLS group, and as he stands there and puts on his act as being this great statesman, he should be removing himself from the process due to this fact.

Keep in mind this is not about soccer, this is about the city being scammed by the Mas family and David Beckham and his group. They want to turn a city owned park into a huge complex, not just a soccer stadium. The stadium is now accompanied by 96 businesses, a 500 room hotel, which is now 750 room and if Commissioner Joe Carollo has his way, 1000 rooms;  a conference center, retail and 400,000 square feet of office space and 3750 parking spaces.  All this in a public park. At the entrance to the airport. If you thought you were rushed to get to your plane now, wait till you have to sit in traffic before or after a soccer game.

And on top of all this, the neighbors who live adjacent to the park, do not want the project in their front yards.

This project needs to go elsewhere. And the Mayor needs to sit down. Opening any city parks to development should never be allowed. 

For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing - only through social media. Not copying and pasting.


Blogger Elvis Cruz said...

Excellent analysis.

Crespo has also done extensive analysis.

It is appalling that some Commissioners have no problem with turning over publicly-owned park land to private developers.

This is a naked greed-grab.

Let these rich developers buy private land elsewhere and build their soccer stadium with their own money, like Joe Robbie did for the Miami Dolphins.

Our parks should be considered sacred land to be protected and preserved!

I hope any commissioner who believes otherwise will be voted out of office. Public-minded citizens are urged to become candidates.

July 16, 2018 6:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post, Tom. You also need to pursue Jorge Perez’s email to Commissioner Russell. It was printed in a tweet from Channel 10 reporter Glenna Milberg. Coconut Grove needs to keep up the pressure. Before you know if the city will be giving away Peacock Park. They already gave away the parking garage.

July 16, 2018 8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give me a break. We're talking about a golf course here! It is an abomination to call the golf course "public space." It costs at least $100/person to play at Melreese and, at any given time, you have no more than 100 golfers on the course. To portray the status quo as being for the public good is absurd. At this time, Melreese is effectively inaccessible to 99.9% of Miami residents. Yes, the new soccer stadium will benefit private interests, but it will also create a park and fields for public use -- real public space -- and generate revenue for the City. Cry me a river about losing a golf course. Who cares?!

July 16, 2018 10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why don't they have a chat with the developers of that monstrosity of a mall that they're going to build out by the Turnpike and I-75? That land is already going to be ruined and the area residents screwed by the additional traffic, they should just add a stadium to that mess.

July 16, 2018 11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's ridiculous that Keon Hardemon hasn't recused himself. (and what he tweeted at Billy Corben was also ridiculous).

Anon 3, you can actually play for $35 as a member or $50 in the afternoons if you're a resident. Also many seem to overlook changing it from an open space to a large event space will greatly increase traffic to that area on certain dates. I know I don't want to be checking soccer schedules every time I have a flight out of MIA. Also remember that the Heat promised public fields (soccer and basketball I believe) when the AAA was built. That never happened.

July 16, 2018 11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is it that when developers want to start a project for private profit politicians hand over our public properties? And how is it that when the public demands a modern accessible public transportation they same politicians only discuss how complex a project it is and the need to wait despite all the taxes they have collected for that particular purpose? THEY ARE PATHETIC THIEVES.

July 16, 2018 12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greedy land grab. I'm so embarrassed for my city. We all voted for Russell in the Grove because he stood for preservation, I'm praying that he doesn't cave. THIS IS NOT ABOUT SOCCER. I could throw a stone on any street and hit 20 soccer lovers, that's a no-brainer. The soccer stadium is a carrot they're dangling in front of the horse to get approval for an out-of-scale commercial development. A soccer stadium could go anywhere on much less land.

July 16, 2018 4:01 PM  
Blogger Ben Dover said...


July 16, 2018 4:55 PM  
Blogger Grant Sheehan said...

“It’s been a long time since I’ve walked into a room and people have not smiled at me,” Beckham told commissioners. “It’s not a nice feeling.”


Beckham needs to separate himself from this attempted development of public land NOW.
If he feels bad now, as stated above, it’s not going to get any better!

Once the commission opens, this Pandora's box developers will be coming out of the woodwork trying to get the Cities parkland.

Just say NO!

July 16, 2018 5:24 PM  
Blogger Marc Buller said...

The site next to Marlins Park should be revisited. That was part of the Global Agreement with Port Tunnel Baseball Soccer Stadiums and Museum Park
Comm Russel recently wanted to revisit that agreement .

July 16, 2018 5:26 PM  
Anonymous Kathy Kesler said...

The project is all smoke & mirrors.
The facts prove that point-
It is at the airport and the admit a traffic study has never been done.
It is over toxic lakes and the exact amount of toxicity & the time needed has not been determined & what I read says the City of Miami is financially responsible for the entire-extremely expensive- cost to do the clean ups
There is a program in place that teaches youth to play golf and tutors them academically.
Based on the above we are being played for fools by a sports celeb & a developer that thinks we are all stupid.
I hope the Commissioner Russell agrees and votes it down, at this location.
The Soccer Stadium is a great idea and will be wonderful for the City of Miami. But, If they are serious they need to do a lot of research on a viable location before they take it to the Commissioners.

July 16, 2018 9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out the Crespogram this morning, he sent a letter to Suarez calling him a weasel and asking for the "real" term sheet! So glad that someone has the guts to do that, our poor city, duped again.

July 17, 2018 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Beckham, Kendall Soccer Park (8601 SW 127 Avenue Miami, FL 33183-4350) welcomes you for a visit. Demographically, logistically and infrastructure of five existing soccer fields with active soccer community. 64 acres dedicated lot and 120 plus more acres next door. Blocks away is the Palms at Town and Country with similar square footage.

July 17, 2018 12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL a soccer stadium in the heart of Kendall! Good luck getting the residents to agree to that, traffic there is awful as is. Apart from that, there's well fields by that soccer park and The Palms is pretty active nowadays.

July 17, 2018 1:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A soccer stadium may be a what Kendall needs to get rail extended west at last.

July 17, 2018 2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:53...With your reasoning, there would be a rail line near Marlin Stadium. Where is it?

July 18, 2018 6:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:22 AM, That is exactly THE problem with our local government top to bottom which is geared only to the wishes of private development and pays almost no attention to basic needs of its residents and investment in public infrastructure development. Only a look at the environmental disaster under our feet caused by Miami Dade Water and Sewer Department and the threat of the Federal Government to take it over a few years ago proves our local government is not interested in public good and only wants to be a servant to runnaway development.

July 18, 2018 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watching the special commission meeting this morning and it came to me, why is this on the table at all? How did it get this far. The answer should have been no from the beginning, like that's a park so no dice. Damn mayor and commissioners. This city is so backward and they are making so much money from the taxes of all the new developments, Brickell City Center, and multiple new high-rise condo. towers. No excuses.

July 18, 2018 12:24 PM  
Blogger Roberto Nespereira said...

The golf course is run by a private company and it has lost money 8 out of the last 10 years. Only way for us residents to enjoy that park/golf course is to pay money. Whether it's $50 for residents in the afternoon and deal with the stifling heat or $100. Bottom line, us residents have to pay. Yes, the deal will benefit the developers the most. At the same time the city will receive a lot more revenue than they are currently getting for that space. Local businesses will see an increase in new business which means more money for the city. Yes, I believe there will be park space and all residents and non-residents will be able to enjoy without having to pay money to use our space. Roberto Nespereira, resident of Miami/Coconut Grove for 18yrs and resident of Dade County for 50yrs.

July 18, 2018 12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tie in the deal to expanded public rail transportation, otherwise no.

July 18, 2018 2:24 PM  
Blogger Grant Sheehan said...

Just heard they are going to leave it up to the voters.
What a bunch of cowards we have as City commissioner afraid to stand up for what is right! We won't forget!!!!!
Don't give away city property!

July 18, 2018 6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Crazy Joe Carollo. Weak Ken Russell. Predictable Keon...

July 22, 2018 9:56 AM  

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