F1: Miami Grand Prix pushed back to 2020

HOCKENHEIM, Germany (Reuters) – Formula One has given up on the possibility of having a grand prix in Miami next year and the focus is now on 2020, sources close to the matter told Reuters on Sunday.

The Florida city last week delayed a decision on hosting a race until September due to emerging local opposition.

A discussion on a race contract had originally been scheduled for next Thursday.

“The likely scenario now is that the race will take place in 2020,” one source said.

Others confirmed 2019 was no longer considered an option and official confirmation was expected soon.

Formula One’s commercial rights holders Liberty Media are keen to expand in the United States, whose only race at present is at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

That U.S. Grand Prix circuit is the only purpose-built permanent F1 track in the country and Miami would be a street circuit taking in the harborside and downtown.

The Miami Herald newspaper reported last week that many downtown and Port Miami residents had expressed concerns about the proposal and potential road closures, noise and traffic problems.

Formula One has long sought a second race in the United States but previous attempts have ended in failure.

Liberty want to make sure Miami, which has been offered a 10-year contract, has long-term viability with the maximum local support.

That meant not rushing through the proposal just for the sake of putting a flag on the map.

“It needs to be done properly, past mistakes cannot be repeated,” a source said at the German Grand Prix.

A proposed 2013 New Jersey race was unveiled in 2011 but then pushed back to 2014 because organizers needed more time to prepare.

It was included on the provisional 2014 calendar but the plan was ultimately abandoned for financial reasons.

A draft 2019 calendar has yet to be published by Formula One but Miami, penciled in for October, would have been the big new draw.

Another source said the absence of Miami could lead to renewed efforts to strike a deal for a German Grand Prix, which is out of contract at Hockenheim after Sunday’s race.

A fan festival is already scheduled for Miami this year, in the same week as the Oct. 21 race in Austin, and that will still go ahead.

The south Florida city has never before hosted a Formula One championship grand prix, although it has hosted a round of the all-electric Formula E series.

Source Link, By Alan Baldwin –

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David Beckham’s latest MLS stadium and mega complex proposal

Here’s everything you need to know about David Beckham’s latest MLS stadium and mega complex proposal.
The proposed $1 billion development will go to voters Nov. 4

For David Beckham, landing a stadium site for his Miami professional franchise has proven just as elusive as winning a World Cup for England.

Since his group Miami Beckham United launched its bid to field a Major League Soccer team four years ago, the international futbol star has cycled through four possible locations with each one falling through, including Beckham’s preferred site at PortMiami that was torpedoed by the cruise line industry.

In late 2015, it appeared Beckham United had finally settled on a 9-acre site in Overtown that included the purchase of land owned by Miami-Dade County. However, the deal hasn’t been finalized due to ongoing litigation by wealthy preservation activist Bruce Matheson, who sued the county for allegedly violating state law when it agreed to sell Beckham the land without first getting competitive bids.

Enter Jorge Mas and Jose Mas, the chairman and CEO, respectively, of Mastec, a publicly-traded engineering and construction firm based in Coral Gables. In December, the brothers became Beckham’s new partners alongside Masayoshi Son, the chairman of Sprint Corp. and CEO of SoftBank as Beckham’s original majority partner Todd Boehly bowed out. Boehly, chairman and CEO of Eldridge Industries and a part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Sparks, couldn’t come to terms with MLS and the league’s board wanted Beckham United to recruit more local owners, according to media reports. Marcelo Claure, Sprint’s CEO and another original partner, is still part of Beckham United.

Since then, Jorge Mas — who is not enthusiastic about the Overtown site — took the lead in the stadium search. The prominent Miami businessman, with the support of Miami Mayor Francis Saurez, is championing a no-bid proposal to build a massive commercial development with the stadium as the centerpiece on a site near Miami International Airport that is currently home to Melreese Country Club and an adjoining park complex.

On Wednesday, the Miami City Commission voted 3-2 to allow a referendum on the November ballot asking Miami residents to approve or reject Beckham United’s latest stadium pitch.

The Real Deal has broken down the important aspects of the project:

1. What is Miami Beckham United proposing to build?

A $1 billion commercial project called Miami Freedom Park that would include a 28,000-seat state-of-the-art stadium for Miami Beckham United’s soccer franchise, 380,000 square feet for retail and restaurants, 1 million square feet of technology-related office space, 120,000 square feet for entertainment uses, 20,000 square feet of conference space, about 500 hotel rooms, and a parking facility with a green roof that will be utilized for public soccer fields.

2. Where would Miami Freedom Park be located?

On about 73 acres of city-owned land at 1400 Northwest 37th Avenue that Miami currently leases to Delucca Enterprises, which operates the Melreese Country Club and the adjoining 18-hole golf course. The complex also includes tennis courts and a children’s water park. Should voters approve Miami Freedom Park and the city reaches an agreement with Miami Beckham United, the country club complex would be torn down. Beckham United would also build a public park.

3. What would be the terms of the lease between Miami Beckham United and the city of Miami?

Beckham United is offering to pay an annual rent of $3.6 million or fair market value as determined by two independent appraisals; $20 million to fund the park’s construction paid in annual installments of $666,667 for 30 years; $5 million for the city’s Miami Riverwalk and Baywalk projects; and a living minimum wage for the entire complex’s employees set at $11 an hour for the first year of operation but to grow incrementally until reaching $15 an hour in the fourth year.

4. Are there any environmental clean-up costs and who is paying for it?

There is a massive layer of toxic incinerator ash underneath the Melreese golf course that will have to be removed before any new development can take place. For decades, the city buried tons of ash contaminated with barium, lead arsenic and other deadly compounds underneath city parks. In recent years, the city and the county have undertaken efforts to remove the toxic materials. It cost the city $10 million to remove 86,000 tons of toxic soil at Grapeland Park, which is directly adjacent to Melreese. During the special city commission meeting on Wednesday, Jorge Mas said he estimates the clean-up will cost around $35 million and that Beckham United will pay for it. However, the real tab won’t be known until the group gets access to the Melreese site. Mas said if the price tag is higher than $35 million, Beckham United would seek state and federal funding, but it will not ask the city for a dime.

5. What does the opposition say about Miami Freedom Park?

Jorge Mas and Beckham have faced an onslaught of criticism in recent weeks for rushing the city commission to place their proposal on the November 4 ballot. Opponents claim that the public, as well as the commissioners, did not have enough time to vet the terms of the deal and that details were withheld from public scrutiny until the last possible moment. For instance, the proposed term sheet was released by city officials at 2 a.m. on Wednesday, eight hours before the start of the special city commission meeting. Miami lawyer Douglas Muir sued the city to stop the referendum by alleging Miami officials violated the city charter by authorizing a no-bid deal without competitive bidding.

Developer Jorge Pérez, who compared Beckham’s latest stadium play to the Miami Marlins stadium scandal, wrote a letter to city commissioners arguing Miami could fetch around $10 million a year in rent, a figure echoed by Michael Fay, managing director and principal of Avision Young’s Miami office. Fay wants to set up a competitive bidding process for the Melreese site in order to “drive the highest value and terms for the city.”

Source Link, By Francisco Alvarado | July 20, 2018 03:30PM

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Miami’s Underline underscores potential of park projects.

A 10-mile, $120 million transit corridor and public space poised to change how the city moves.

Many of the new generation of superstar urban park projects came to fruition with interesting origin stories. Atlanta’s Beltline was a creative grad school thesis turned into multibillion-dollar urban redevelopment. The High Line and Chicago’s 606 reclaimed abandoned rail lines after years of community activism.

Miami’s forthcoming Underline, by contrast, came to shape after Meg Daly, a digital marketer and the founder and president of the nonprofit backing the project, broke her arms five years ago. Incapacitated and largely limited to going to and from physical therapy, Daly realized she could take the city’s Metrorail and then walk to her doctor’s appointment. During one trip, she passed underneath the concrete pillars of the rail line, on a dark, shaded public path, and had an epiphany.

“Maybe because I was walking and experiencing it for the first time, it made me think, ‘Why don’t we do something like this, a park below Metrorail, inspired by the High Line?’” she told Curbed. “‘Why don’t we do this, that’ll be easy.’ I clearly didn’t know what I was getting into.”

Daly’s story illustrates the philosophy behind, and potential of, one of Miami and the nation’s most intriguing park projects. The 10-mile linear park, a $120 million redevelopment of open space under a span of Metrorail tracks roughly parallel to the north end of the Miami River, will link the condos, coworking spaces, and tech offices of the booming Brickell neighborhood with South Miami, in a bid to be a catalyst for community, connection, and safer transit.

The groundbreaking on the project’s first half-mile phase next month, which will begin construction of the so-called Brickell Backyard portion of the Underline, comes after five years of promotion, proposals, and fundraising.

Daly, a full-time volunteer who has shepherded the project forward, hopes this represents both the beginning of a transformational infrastructure project, as well as a shift in the planning philosophy for Miami-Dade County, a “very big gesture to rethinking how we rebuild infrastructure and transit.”

“Like every city in Florida, Miami is one of the most dangerous places in the U.S. to bike and walk,” Daly says. “It’s more dangerous that LA and New York. This park will provide last-mile connection to eight transit stations. The only way you’ll make people leave their car behind is giving them a safe way to get there.”

What the Underline space looks like today | Friends of the Underline

A park project bringing momentum to Miami

Metaphors of movement and transition run throughout the plans for the Underline, fitting for an infrastructure project underneath a rail corridor. The focus is activity. The Underline, which will vary from 70 to 170 feet wide, will weave throughout the city, creating a mobility corridor for bikes and pedestrians, with various artwork and amenities forming rooms along the path. Can you imagine rollerblading on the High Line?

The Brickell Backyard portion will include a dog park, outdoor gym and basketball court, a 50-foot long communal table, and a gaming table for checkers and chess inspired by similar, ad-hoc tables set up in the city’s Little Havana neighborhood.

Native vegetation, waterfalls, butterfly gardens, and orchids will be spread across the more than 100 acres of open space that will be created or reimagined by the project, another example of the parks-as-rooms concept. Argentine curator Ximena Caminos will be overseeing the project’s public art master plan. Initially called the Green Line, the project will turn a dark, trash-filled, unwelcome space into a park in the city’s backyard.

“In addition to placemaking and recreational components, we’re excited about rebuilding a city,” says Daly.

“This park will provide last-mile connection to eight transit stations. The only way you’ll make them leave their car behind is giving them a safe way to get there.” | James Corner Field Operations

A different experience than other High Line clones

Like many of today’s high-profile public space projects, the Underline was designed by in-demand landscape architecture firm James Corner Field Operations. But Daly’s quick to point out that, while it’s the work of the same firm behind the High Line, it’s very specific to its surroundings.

Corner himself contrasts the projects as a difference of speed: The High Line, a slow-moving urban promenade, stands in contrast to the fast-moving Underline, a site for fitness, running, cycling, and activity.

“The similarities come from the ways in which we’re working to bring drama to the everyday and encourage people to spend time outdoors,” he told CLAD Magazine.

The focus on movement carries over to the project branding from Hamish Smyth, the graphic designer responsible for the recent series of graphic standards reissues. Based around a U-shaped logo and a bold, black-and-green color scheme, the simple, strong identity, found on signage and furnishings spread across the 10-mile park, will be easy to see in motion and while navigating crossings and curves.

Graphic plan for the concrete columns underneath the Metrorail. Hamish Smyth. | Courtesy Friends of the Underline

Underline branding. Hamish Smyth. | Courtesy Friends of the Underline.

Daly credits many of the park’s features and design to extensive community feedback. Early on in the Underline project’s existence, the Knight Foundation, which has been active in promoting urbanism and economic growth in Miami, became an early backer and funded the master plan. Part of the organization’s support included flying Daly to Copenhagen to meet with planners from Gehl Architects, the firm founded by pioneering urbanist Jan Gehl.

Daly says the Danish research trip taught her the value of taking a tactical approach, and listening to neighbors.

“There’s no playbook to making a good public space,” she says. “It’s about will and community demand.”

Creating positive community impact

Daly, who is a member of the High Line Network, a coalition of planners and advocates working on new urban parks, has also been aware of the downside of high-profile infrastructure projects, specifically accelerated development and displacement along newly valuable, park-adjacent land. According to a 2015 economic impact study of the Underline, the park connects 1,400 businesses and eight transit stations, and roughly 300,000 Miamians live within a 10-minute walk (defined as a third of a mile).

One of the basketball courts proposed for the Underline. | James Corner Field Operations

That explains the large economic footprint the project is projected to leave: “20 million square feet of potential new development across the corridor, with a total estimated $3 billion in new gross taxable value,” as well as $50 million in economic output from park operations alone. The trick, as always, will be balancing growth with maintaining affordability and neighborhood character. Daly believes the park project can not only provide transit options and connections to jobs and employment, but adjacent development can help spur the construction of additional affordable housing nearby.

“One of our biggest issues is workforce housing,” says Daly.

When the project is complete—current estimates suggest three miles will be finished by 2020—the Underline may be best remembered as a link in a larger transit expansion. With a southern terminus at the Dadeland Metro stop, near as the proposed Ludlam Trail and existing South Dade Trail, and the north end near the Miami River Greenway, the Underline could become the spine of a much larger transit system. Joining it with the proposed Baywalk project adds another protected pathway to this growing pedestrian-friendly network.

“[The Underline] has catalyzed a lot of new thinking, and a city of the future that’s more multimodal,” says Daly.

Source link, By Patrick Sisson

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