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Developers and community activists differ on major Miami project

With the prominence of the Miami-based market and the number of people trying their hand at construction and commercial real estate transactions, it can be difficult to sift through all the different issues that arise when considering this business. Commercial real estate can be complicated, especially when it is a large project and there are potentially hundreds of millions of dollars at stake. What can be even more difficult is when there is a factional dispute regarding the intentions of the project and whether it is even going to come to pass.

The Miami Worldcenter is meant to be a bastion of apartments, condominiums and stores aimed at high-end clientele. The complex is set to cost approximately $1.7 billion and is promoted as a project that will spark growth not just for the wealthy, but for those who are going to benefit from its presence with more jobs. However, there have been disagreements with unions and others who see it as a clear indication of misplaced financing. They believe that the money would be better spent on upgrading city infrastructure.

The problem for activists isn’t just the project itself, but the tax subsidies and breaks that the companies building the project will receive. These breaks will extend to 2030 and exclude the land’s value. The value of the tax rebates is expected to double in 12 years. Those in charge of the project say that they will offset the benefits they are receiving by paying higher wages to workers. In addition, there will be around 10,000 jobs for construction workers. There will be fines for the developers if they do not live up to their part of the bargain. Critics are chafing at the assertions and unions are waiting to see if the project lives up to its billing.

Construction is often rife with legal pitfalls for the developers, the city and the communities. Those who fail to understand how these contracts work when it comes to commercial real estate transactions are often left puzzled by the litany of issues that can arise. When there is a disagreement with a large project, a key is to have sound legal advice from start to finish. Independent of whether litigation is necessary, that legal help can be achieved by contacting and speaking to an experienced legal professional.

Source: Miami Herald, “Subsidies put Miami Worldcenter under a microscope,” David Smiley, June 14, 2015

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