But whereas the Marlins deal spurred, in part, an historic recall of local pols, Miami Beach residents have lauded city leaders for their vision to see the project through controversy after controversy.
At times it seemed Miami Beach would not get this far in its quest for an improved convention center district.
The project has lurched on, despite the ouster the former city manager who envisioned it. It was temporarily delayed by the sudden resignation, and then the arrest on public corruption charges, of the lead city administrator handling the convention center bids. More recently the project has been up against the concentrated efforts by one commissioner to kill the whole thing, and complaints about the city’s selection process.
Commissioner Jonah Wolfson has led a petition to change the city’s charter to make the convention center deal more difficult to pass voter approval. Miami Beach’s current laws require a simple majority to approve the lease of certain land within the convention center site. Wolfson wants to change the approval rate to require a super-majority, and for a referendum to apply to the entire district.
It took another turn Wednesday night, as Tobin lectured the commission about his impressions about ACE team members from listening to the negotiation tapes. He described the team as litigious and aggressive.
“There’s this aggressiveness, that, I’m warning you now, is going to be a handful,” Tobin said.
He also questioned the amount of fees that ACE proposes to charge – though Morales on Wednesday said that both teams had agreed to similar terms.
“I think that Portman would make a much better partner,” Tobin said.
Tobin wrapped up his presentation to extended applause by residents and developers who packed the commission chamber.
This story has been corrected with regards to Tishman’s affiliation with One World Trade Center.
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