• It does not qualify for a waiver as it is not an integral part of a historical district (MiMo District is 35 blocks away (3.5 miles north).
Neither the Knight brothers, nor Knight-Ridder Newspapers, ever requested historical designation and resisted historic designation (during the previous adjacent Shrine building historical application review).
The Fontainebleau and Eden Roc Hotels, built in the same period, are prime examples of MiMo architecture, yet are not registered historic sites. The Maule Building (on 54th Street and Biscayne Blvd.) designed by architect Russell Pancoast was MiMo at its best, but it was demolished without an objection from the Miami Historic Preservation Board.
Historic designation of the Miami Herald Building could deprive the city of millions in needed tax revenues and jobs that a balanced, multi-use resort on that prime Miami site could produce.
Since other gaming companies will be competitive to Genting, Trump, Sands, Ceasars Palace and others would have an unfair advantage if Genting’s Herald property is eliminated as a possible casino site.
Lastly, but important, the designation as historical of a large press building like The Miami Herald, not usable for a resort mega project, would be confiscatory ($236 million), without due compensation, and would send an anti-business, anti-development message to other future business developers.
I am and have always been a supporter of the City of Miami’s Historic and, Environmental Preservation Program and MDC’s Dade Heritage Trust. But I feel that the designation of The Miami Herald Building as a Historical Building is overreach, unfair and would be a blow to our tourist economy.
I am sure that the Miami Historical Preservation Board, the City of Miami Commission and the Mayor of Miami will act with balance, prudence and fairness in this important decision.
Maurice Ferre is a former Miami mayor, Miami-Dade County commissioner and state legislator.