Former Miami Arena site has new owner

The original home of the Miami Heat has a new owner.

The developers of Miami World Center have added the nearly five acres of land, which is currently being used as a park, to their holdings. The site of the old Miami Arena is just west of the approximately 20 acres of land planned for the mixed-use development by Boca Raton builder Art Falcone and partner Nitin Motwani.

Glenn Straub’s Arena Ventures sold the four-acre site at 700 N. Miami Ave. to Old Arena LLC, which lists the principal’s address as the office for the Falcone Group in Boca Raton. The sale price is recorded as $35 million, although Straub’s company provided a $24 million mortgage as part of the deal.

Miami World Center principals, Art Falcone and Nitin Motwani, declined through a publicist to comment on any acquisition or plans for the Miami World Center. The land they already own is bounded by North Miami Avenue, Northeast Second Avenue and Northeast Sixth and 11th streets.

Las Vegas Sands had expressed interest in the Miami World Center site for a casino resort and exhibition space, if the state Legislature approved destination casino gambling in Florida.

Brad Knoefler said Monday he still has a lease on the old Arena site for another two years to keep Grand Central Park. Knoefler has met with a representative of Falcone, but the plans are still top secret.

“It’s very, very cagey,” Knoefler said. “There are no architectural drawings for anything.”

Miami Herald staff writer Charles Rabin contributed to this report