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Beckham group submits Miami stadium rent bid

Inter Miami has created renderings of its proposed 18,000-seat venue at the site of Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale. Courtesy Inter Miami

Miami Freedom Park LLC (MFP), the business entity attempting to build an MLS stadium for Inter Miami CF, submitted the first draft of its proposed lease agreement to the City of Miami on Wednesday.

The city is authorized to negotiate with MFP following the approval of a referendum last November that passed with 60 percent of the vote. The submission of the draft lease allows negotiations with the city to begin immediately with MFP targeting at Melreese Country Club.

The final plan requires approval from four of the five city commissioners. Both Manolo Reyes and Willy Gort have so far voiced opposition to the proposal. Negotiations must be completed by Sept. 16.

City commissioner Joe Carollo has suggested that if a deal cannot be reached by the deadline, the city will open up development of the site to other bidders.

If the proposal is approved, the stadium portion would likely not be completed until the 2022 MLS season. With its entry to the league taking place in 2020, Inter Miami will play its matches at a temporary venue on the grounds of Lockhart Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale.

The plan calls for an initial 39-year lease that would see MFP pay annual rent of at least $3.577 million, which could rise based on the revenues generated by the project. MFP would then have the right to exercise two options of 30 years each.

In addition to the stadium, the proposal also calls for the creation of a 58-acre park, 11 soccer fields, entertainment and retail space, an office tech hub and hotel, all of which will be delivered at no cost to taxpayers.

"We look forward to working with the City of Miami to finalize the voter-approved, fair-market-value lease agreement that provides residents with an expansive public park, 11,000 construction jobs, 2,300 permanent jobs and more than $40 million in tax revenue, while using zero City taxpayer dollars," said Jorge Mas, managing owner of Inter Miami CF.

It was discovered last year that the stadium site at Melreese Country Club is contaminated with toxic waste, but the plan calls for MFP to pay for the full remediation of the property to all for public use of the park.

The proposal also includes a community benefits agreement which will provide $5 million for the city's Riverwalk/Baywalk project, $20 million for park maintenance and free access to the soccer fields at Miami Freedom Park for city of Miami youth.