Art dealer and would-be developer Gary Nader has notified Miami Dade College that he will contest the outcome of a competition to build a cultural center and residential towers on college property along Biscayne Boulevard.
Nader’s team informed the college in a letter Friday that they will file a bid protest challenging a recommendation that the college’s board of trustees negotiate a development agreement with Related Group for the project at 520 Biscayne Blvd. Nader + Museu, which launched the competition last year by submitting an unsolicited proposal, also filed an emergency motion for a temporary injunction against the college Friday in Miami-Dade circuit court.
The motion, which college trustees were scheduled to discuss behind closed doors Tuesday, was not immediately available.
In his letter to the college, Nader’s attorney, Bill Riley, argued that committee members improperly changed the parameters of the competition mid-stream and made significant errors while evaluating the three competing proposals. He also said the college glossed over material conflicts of interest and improper contacts between the college’s own lawyer and Related Group.
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“Although Museu provided by far the most value to the college, the collusive efforts of consultants to the college and Related tainted the procurement process and Museu was irreparably harmed,” Riley wrote.
College purchasing director Roman Martinez declined to comment, citing the Florida statute that outlines how bid protests are handled.
Nader has until Aug. 1 to file a formal protest. Once that happens, it’s likely the case will go before an administrative law judge and the process of awarding the project will be halted until the bid protest is resolved.
Nader’s team had hinted for weeks that they would challenge the college’s process should they lose. Last month, after the college cleared a consultant and a Related Group executive of impropriety following revelations the two had met privately behind closed doors — the women said their daughters were friends and schoolmates and the contact was strictly casual — Riley said the competition had been thrown into question.
Nader + Museu was also the only development team that didn’t agree to sign a waiver foregoing the right to sue and file a bid protest.
Related Group has previously accused Nader of making “unwarranted and unsubstantiated” attacks in an attempt to “derail” the college’s competition.