The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Internal Revenue Service also looked into whether the city misled investors to improperly obtain about $12 million in tax-exempt bonds in 2002 and 2006 to build the garage. The Florida League of Cities, acting as a conduit, issued the bonds.
In 2010, the city hired legal experts to negotiate with regulators. The city reached a settlement with the IRS last August. The city also is close to reaching a settlement with the SEC this year. The SEC has the power to impose fines, penalties and interest.
Richman remains positive. He believes the parking garage has a good future. The rooftop, which has a capacity for about 500 people, has already hosted events. The SoMi Taste of the Town was held in July and the SoMi Talk of The Town was in November. Miami-Dade Parks Recreation and Open Spaces Department’s Edith Torres, who helped to organize the events, said both were successful.
“It would be nice for the organizers if there were more elevators but as far as I know that was not an issue for guests,” Torres said. “The venues downstairs allowed us to use their restrooms … We had Porta Potties. It was a great location.”
Stoddard also was optimistic and thanked Richman for his initiative. Commissioners will be sending Richman their ideas to improve the plan, as he hopes they will pass a resolution so that he can begin to work on a music festival that would “turn downtown South Miami into Aspen, Colorado.”
“The public sector needs to let the private sector find creative solutions. Let me put up banners and advertising. Don’t nickel dime me with permits,” Richman said. “Who wins? The community wins, the children win, and the city wins. The only one at risk is Mark Richman Properties. It’s a win, win situation for every body else.”