Miami is considering a move to redevelop a park along Biscayne Bay downtown, according to a news report.
The Miami City Commission will consider giving a conservancy control of Museum Park, the South Florida Business Journal reported.
The park is home to the Perez Art Museum and the Frost Science Museum, which is under construction. The 22.5-acre park is in a prime location for the city and for years there’s been debate about how to improve it for residents and visitors.
A city-commissioned plan in 2008 by Cooper, Robinson & Partners highlighted a future Museum Park with more shade trees, water features and a restaurant, but the city hasn’t acted on it – until now. The park is currently managed by the Bayfront Trust, a quasi-city agency.
The commission was scheduled to vote on Jan. 14 on turning over management, events and development of the park to a new non-profit called the Museum Park Conservancy. Yet, the item was deferred to a later date by the city. The framework of the potential deal was included on the city agenda.
The conservancy could charge for events and naming rights at the park and allow the sale of alcoholic beverages at the park during special events. The conservancy would actively solicit donations to support the park and its development, which is currently not allowed under the Bayfront Trust structure.
The conservancy promised to show the city proof within 90 days that it’s raised at least $7.5 million for the park. The group says it already has this money. However, the conservancy could not start managing the operations of Museum Park until after the first phase of the development breaks ground. That could occur in about 18 months, according to the proposed agreement.
The proposed deal between the city and conservatory refers to the Cooper, Robinson study as the “master plan.” The conservancy would have to submit its annual audited financial statements to the city. The city commission would have the right to abolish the conservancy at any time and retake control of the park with 180 days notice.
According to city documents, the conservancy would be governed by a board of 10 to 15 directors. They would be appointed by the mayor, the city commission, the city manager, a non-profit called Friends of Museum Park, and also appointed by the sitting conservancy board. The Miami Foundation is currently working to establish the conservancy.