Miami Beach 2020 Ballot Questions 1, 2, and 3

Susan Askew
Susan Askew

Miami Beach 2020 Ballot Questions 1, 2, and 3:

Miami Beach Marina sale of air rights and long-term lease

Complete Voters Guide here

Miami Beach 2020 Ballot Questions 1, 2, and 3: Miami Beach Marina

Ballot questions 1, 2, and 3 relate to the City-owned Miami Beach Marina and upland property at 300-390 Alton Road. Developer David Martin is proposing to purchase air-rights at the property to construct a new luxury residential building, commercial space, park, and resiliency upgrades along with a long-term lease of the marina.

Any sale of government-owned air-rights and long-term leases require voter approval. 

City Commissioners approved a development agreement with Martin in the event the ballot measures pass. Details of the agreement in our earlier story here.

Ballot Question 1
Approval of use of $55,000,000 from sale of City property for Marina Park Project
If voters approve City’s sale to Marina Park Residential, LLC of 0.3 acres of property and air rights over 300-390 Alton Road for the residential component of the Marina Park Project, shall the City Commission use the $55,000,000 in sale proceeds, solely for the following public purposes:
  • resiliency and sustainability initiatives,
  • affordable/workforce/teacher housing,
  • programs to benefit the elderly, or 
  • increasing City’s budgetary reserves, impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

Ballot Question 2
City Charter approval of sale of City property and air rights for Marina Park Project
Should City sell 0.3 acres of property, and air rights over, 300-390 Alton Road, to Marina Park Residential, LLC, to develop the 275,000 square foot residential component of Marina Park Project, requiring, per Resolution 2020-31344: 
  • $55,000,000 payment to City, 
  • $22,500,000 in new marina facility improvements and additional public benefits, including 1.0 acre public park and resiliency enhancements, and 
  • project restrictions of 385 feet in height and maximum of 60 residential units? 

Ballot Question 3
City Charter approval of lease of City property for operation of Miami Beach Marina
Should City lease 3.51-acre property at 300-390 Alton Road, and 38-acre submerged lands in Biscayne Bay south of 5th Street, to MB Marina Park, LLC, for 99 years, requiring, per Resolution 2020-31345: 
  • $40,000,000 in new improvements for marina operations, 
  • delivery of 1.0 acre public park to City, and 
  • rent to City, greater of: guaranteed rent ($16,400,000 in first ten years, adjusted thereafter) or percentage of marina’s revenues annually? 

Organizations that have taken positions:

Ocean Drive Improvement Association
Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce

Miami Beach United (MBU) 
*Note MBU did not opine “on the merits of this project or the deal negotiated” but objected to a City Commission agreement to vacate a portion of Alton Road to provide additional FAR (Floor Area Ratio or density) for the residential tower. Because that question was not put to voters, the group is opposing all three questions. Full explanations for their position can be found in their current newsletter.


Developer David Martin is proposing:
  • To build a new marina building with 45,000 square feet of accessory restaurant, retail and office space which will be owned by the City and leased to MB Marina Park for the continued operation of the Miami Beach Marina
  • Construction of a 275,0000 sq ft residential building with a maximum height of 385 feet and up to 60 residential units
  • Construction and delivery of a ground-level 1.0-acre public bayfront park which will be owned and controlled by the City as well as resiliency improvements and other enhancements including improvements to the Baywalk and Alton Road right-of-way adjacent to the property
  • A long-term lease for MB Marina Park to operate the marina. (The current lease on the Miami Beach Marina runs through 2052 under a Lease Agreement originally executed in 1983.)
Voters are asked to decide if they agree with the sale of “up to 0.3 acres of the 3.51 acre marina property, and air rights over, 300-390 Alton Road, for the 275,000 square foot residential component of the Marina Park Project…” (Question 2, according to the City’s Voters Guide)

Marina Park Residential, LLC would be the entity developing the Residential Parcel. Its affiliate, Marina Park Commercial, LLC would be responsible for the 45,000 square foot commercial portion of the Project. Both entities are controlled by David Martin, a principal of Terra International Developments, LLC. The new lessee of the Marina would be MB Marina Park, an entity controlled by Suntex Marina Investors, LLC, an affiliate of Miami Beach Marina Associates, Ltd., the current lessee of the Miami Beach Marina.

What the City gets from the sale of the 0.3 acres and air rights for the residential tower, if approved:
  • $55 million in cash as follows:

    • $5 million at closing on March 15, 2021; 

    • $5 million, on or before January 1, 2022; 

    • $5 million, on or before September 1, 2022; and

    • $40 million, due on the date all conditions have been met prior to the beginning of construction

  • $22.5 million in Marina facility improvements and other public benefits paid for by the developer including

    • public park improvements; 

    • resiliency enhancements; 

    • public Baywalk enhancements; 

    • Alton Road right-of-way enhancements; and 

    • delivery of the new Marina building, along with retail and Art in Public Places enhancements

  • A completed 1.0-acre public bayfront park and resiliency enhancements 

Ballot question 1 asks if voters agree the $55 million should be allocated solely for the purposes of 
  • resiliency and sustainability initiatives, 
  • affordable/workforce/teacher housing, 
  • programs to benefit the elderly, and/or 
  • increasing City’s budgetary reserves, impacted due to the COVID-19 pandemic 
If approved, the City would be committed to spending the money only for those purposes.

The City Commission has already approved a resolution to use the first $15 million toward beefing up the City’s reserves which have been depleted by COVID revenue losses.

Once all deposits become non-refundable based on a schedule of approvals in the development agreement, the remaining funds (if approved) would be allocated to the categories above, if voters agree. Each category would be guaranteed a minimum funding allocation of $5 million. All expenditures for specific programs or projects would require City Commission approval.

Marina Lease: The City holds a leasehold interest in the 38-acre submerged lands area in Biscayne Bay south of 5th Street which is leased to the City and the Miami Beach Redevelopment Agency by the State for the operation of the Miami Beach Marina. 

The City Commission approved, pending voter approval, a new lease of the City’s property at 300-390 Alton Road and the Marina to MB Marina Park, LLC.
MB Marina Park is controlled by Suntex Marina Investors, an affiliate of Miami Beach Marina Associates, the current lessee of the Miami Beach Marina. 

The new lease to MB Marina Park would begin on January 1, 2022 (following the expiration of the existing lease), for a term of 99 years. The current lease, while expiring in 2022, may be renewed up to 2052 under terms negotiated in 1983 and which the City says are unfavorable today.

What the City gets:

Rent Payments
  • Rent payments (following a four-year construction period):
    • The greater of either: (i) $1,900,000, adjusted annually by CPI (the Minimum Annual Guaranteed Rent); or (ii) 10% of the gross revenues received from the operation of the leased premises
    • $.04 per gallon for all fuel sales
    • 35% of revenues generated from parking. 
  • During the four-year construction period, the City would receive “Construction Rent” consisting of the greater of either: (i) $1,250,000, adjusted annually by CPI or (ii) Percentage Rent of 7.5% of gross receipts. 
  • In addition to rent payments, “at the expiration of the current Submerged Land Lease, MB Marina Park will be responsible to pay 50% of any increases to the Submerged Land Lease rent for any extended or new Submerged Land Lease (based on a CPI formula set forth in the Lease), up to a cap of $750,000 per year,” according to the City’s Voters Guide.

Marina Improvements
  • Construction of a new 45,000 sq ft Marina building at the base of the residential tower which will include restaurant, retail and office space;
  • $40 million in capital improvements required by the lease approved by the Commission to be spent as follows:
    • $15 million to be expended in years 1-10
    • $12.5 million in years 11-20
    • $12.5 million in years 21-35
According to the City’s Voters Guide, “The new lease also includes specific Marina Standards for a ‘world-class’ marina, with consolidated operations and maintenance obligations, and with the new lease further providing for the City’s right to retain a third-party consultant to update the Marina Standards every 10 years to ensure worldclass standards are maintained over the life of the ninety-nine (99) year term of the New Lease."

The ballot questions, development agreement and lease are a package. “The proposed lease would not take place, and no aspect of the proposed Marina Park Project would proceed, unless a majority of the voters approve both the sale of the Residential Parcel and the lease of property,” the City notes. 

For additional information, including a copy of the Marina Park Project agreements and City Commission Resolutions approving the project, click here or contact the Office of the City Clerk at 305.673.7411. 


Voters Guide to the 2020 Election and Miami Beach Ballot Initiatives

Susan Askew
Susan Askew
Six local questions on the ballot this year