South Miami

South Miami

South Miami settles dispute with YMCA over Downrite Park

 

SPECIAL TO THE MIAMI HERALD

The city of South Miami has reached a settlement with the YMCA of Greater Miami handing complete control of Downrite Park back to the city.

“I don’t think it could have ended up any better for South Miami,” City Manager Steven Alexander said. “It didn’t cost us any money and the city got back full control and free rein.”

South Miami sued the YMCA in January 2013, saying the Y failed to construct a new community center as part of its lease agreement for the park. But the YMCA said the city failed to uphold its end of the agreement — to obtain financing for the community center from the Florida League of Cities.

The 10-acre park, also known as South Miami Park, is at 4300 SW 58th Ave.

The City Commission vote unanimously to allow Alexander to execute the settlement at its April 15 meeting.

“I want to thank you both (Alexander and City Attorney Thomas Pepe) for pulling this off,” Mayor Philip Stoddard said at the meeting. “I’m impressed that you reached the desirable outcome, ultimately, without taking it to court. It was a clean deal.”

Each party agreed to the settlement, terminating the YMCA’s lease, waiving the city’s claim for rent, maintenance, and other lease expenses, and the city and the YMCA’s claims for damages. Each party agreed to execute mutual releases of all claims either may have against each other “from the beginning of the date of the signing of the release,” according to the settlement.

“We are pleased to be able to resolve the case and move on with ... the business of the YMCA, which is providing services to citizens of Miami-Dade County,” said Michael C. Foster, the YMCA’s attorney. “We are not in the business of litigation.”

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