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Miami-Dade Workshop Seeks Input For RFP

The Miami-Dade Aviation Department held a workshop Tuesday for the largest Public-Private Partnership it has ever had.

The workshop, at the Miami International Airport Hotel, attracted about 50 people.

The goal of the workshop was to get input from the development agency before completing an RFP to make it more appealing to investors. The RFP covers four sites at Miami International (MIA): the existing MIA Hotel site within the airport; a designated site for a convenience store plaza and one for a big hotel; and an area at the immediate north side of the entrance to the airport that could be used for mixed-development.

“Everything was on the table, as far as the terms of the agreements, the amount of investment that we would ask for up front,” says Greg Chin, media relations manager for the department. “A variety of things were on the table to get input before we draft anything … to make sure it’s the best fit for everyone.”  

Commercial real estate investors, bankers and investment firms were invited to attend.

One key topic of discussion at the workshop centered around financing for the widening of Central Boulevard, which leads into the airport. The project is estimated to cost $100M; the state of Florida has agreed to pay for half with the stipulation that the aviation department come up with the remainder. Investors wanted to know how the developments would provide some source of revenue, so they can generate money to service the $50M debt they would incur. They also asked about the length of the term, how much rent would be charged for the four spaces that would be developed and the selection process details.

In related news at MIA…

Miami-Dade Aviation Official Tapped For National Board

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez has appointed Miami-Dade Aviation Department Director Jose Abreu to the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.

Originally chartered in 2003, the board is made up of 15 members to represent companies and organizations in the travel and tourism industry. Members serve from their appointment date through the end of the board’s charter, slated for Sept. 21, 2009.

The board is charged with the development, creation and implementation of a national tourism strategy, and approved a strategy report in September 2006. The report listed ways to make visiting the U.S. easier while ensuring hospitality and travel.

“This appointment recognizes our community’s leadership in government policies and programs that affect the U.S. travel and tourism industry,” Abreu says.