Secret negotiations are under way for the purchase of the property that once was the Miami Arena.
The first home of the Florida Panthers and Miami Heat, which was leveled in 2008, is now a green oasis in the heart of the inner city, a picnic and gathering area dubbed Grand Central Park.
Thing is, it too could be gone soon.
The owner of the five acres, Palm Beach County developer Glenn Straub, is negotiating a sale to the Boca Raton-based high-rise developer Falcone Group.
I’m told by someone familiar with the talks that Straub, who’s known to buy distressed properties then sell for a profit, is close to getting the $35 million he wants. He bought the arena in 2004 for $28 million.
After destroying the building, he entered in a soon-to-end three-year lease with Grand Central Park, a private/public partnership that created the low-cost, temporary green space. The space has about 90,000 square feet of what’s described as a pre-Columbian South Florida forest and has been a venue for open-air musical events.
“We know it’s become an important place for residents of Overtown and downtown neighborhood,” said the source. “But the property is zoned for 1,400 condos.”
Said Straub: “We buy, sell and trade land. That’s what we do.”
Falcone Group founder Art Falcone didn’t return a call for comment.
Falcone’s company already own more than 30 acres of downtown land that’s supposed to be used for the giant Miami World Center project.
Whatever happened to Sherry Rossbach?
The name doesn’t mean much to news junkies these days, but 10 years ago, it did.
And it popped back up this week with the assassination in Colombia of aging drug queenpin Griselda Blanco.
Rossbach was a secretary at the Miami-Dade County state attorney’s office through the 1990s and early 2000s. And she became — unwittingly, she claimed — one reason why “Black Widow” Blanco was a free woman when she was shot in the head Monday in Medellin. Rossbach allegedly had hours of phone sex with one of Blanco’s lieutenants while State Attorney Katherine Rundle’s office was prosecuting Blanco.
Partly because of the embarrassment caused by the phone sex revelations, prosecutors allowed Blanco to plead guilty to three murders (when she could have been responsible for as many as 40 in South Florida). Blanco was sentenced to 20 years and deported in 2004.
Rossbach claimed she was ordered by superiors to “flirt” with the jailed hit man, and was cleared of all wrongdoings before being canned.
Still comely, Rossbach is now a real-estate agent living with her three children in a $500,000 home in Weston, according to records.
She was divorced in 2004.
“Her husband, Steve, was pretty shook up about the Blanco thing,” said a friend of Rossbach’s. “He let the smoke clear then filed for divorce.”
Rossbach’s voice mail has been full since Monday’s killing and she hasn’t been picking up the phone.
Former Miami Dolphins wide receiver Chad Johnson got the face of soon-to-be-ex-wife Evelyn Lozada tattooed on his right calf.
Johnson, 34, who was cut by the Fins after being arrested for head-butting Lozada Aug. 11 in Davie, tweeted a photo of the ink earlier this week.
Not such a good idea. Reality TV star Lozada filed for divorce after the incident and swore there’s no reconciliation in the works.