DEM will pay $228,750 in rent per month for the two-month initial term and an additional $228,750 if it opts for a third month. The agency is also responsible for paying all utilities, facility services, and operational costs while it is using the facility. In addition, the expenses of expedited safety system testing in order for the building to obtain its Temporary Certificate of Occupancy are eligible for reimbursement by FEMA.
Construction of the alternate care facility by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is expected to be completed “on or before April 21, 2020,” according to the lease.
City spokeswoman Melissa Berthier said, “The monthly rent of $228,750 is approximately 25% of the going rate (which would normally be approximately $915,000 per month)” for the Convention Center which, of course, is closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Centerplate, the food and beverage provider for the Convention Center, will operate the kitchens and provide food and beverage catering services with the costs paid by DEM.
Safety measures are also addressed in the lease, requiring “deep cleaning, sterilization and sanitization of the venue before, during and at the conclusion of the [lease]… in accordance with all industry standard ‘best practices’ and in line with accepted CDC, EPA, OSHA, Miami Dade or State of Florida Department of Health/Department of Emergency management and/or established standards within the medical field.”
Upon conclusion of the use as an alternate care facility, “repair and restoration work shall include, without limitation, confirmation of a medical grade, acceptable industry-standard disinfection/sanitization process for similar facilities containing COVID-19 patients, to be performed by Lessee or its contractors throughout the Premises, including all support and common egress areas for the Premises, and any space sharing the same air circulation within the Premises…. This paragraph applies to the Premises as well as all areas of the surrounding areas including but not limited to meeting rooms, loading dock, elevators, and other ancillary spaces.”
Any Convention Center personnel or contractors who need to perform work requested by DEM are to be provided with “industry standard personal protective equipment (PPE)” including “proper masks, face shields, clothing and gloves.”
In addition, “Lessee [DEM] accepts fully responsibility for the safety of the Lessee Parties, and assumes the complete risk of any injury to any of the Lessee Parties and for any claims or demands which may arise in connection with the services or activities contemplated by this Lease Addendum or Lease Agreement or the uses.”
For safety and security, some streets in the area will be closed and all of Pride Park will be fenced in while the hospital is in use.
In terms of the impact on the event calendar at the Convention Center, General Manager Freddie Peterson said the schedule is “not predicated on the alternate care facility. You still have to watch and see what the health professionals are saying” regarding mass gatherings. “You look at the health experts and where are they going to come down on what will be the new norm." Whatever that is, it will impact all venues, he said, including convention centers, performing arts centers, cinemas, and stadiums.
For now, the first large event on the calendar is Supercon which pushed its initial May 8-10 dates to July 3-5. Move-in is scheduled to begin June 30.
Supercon is “an annual three day pop culture convention that celebrates comic books, animation, cartoons, anime, video games, cosplay, fantasy, sci-fi, pop culture and all things geek!” according to its website.
Event Director Kristina Rogers issued this statement about the news of the temporary hospital:
“Our team is working very closely with the Miami Beach Convention Center and local authorities to ensure the health and safety of our fans. What they’re doing for the community is heroic, in a time when we need to see heroes the most, and I commend them for opening their doors to overflow patients if the need occurs. We’re all doing the best we can during this unprecedented time and will look to the future with hope while we work in the now with diligence. Our team will continue to build a safe and exciting place for you to have fun and celebrate pop culture on July 4th weekend.”
In the FAQ about refunds, the website notes if Supercon is postponed from the July date, badges will automatically transfer to the new dates. If cancelled, ticket holders will receive full refunds. “However, if Supercon 2020 occurs as planned in July, [which we fully anticipate happening], our traditional no refund policy stands…”
Photo: City of Miami Beach