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Can we blame Loria for the parking garage retail-space debacle?


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Probably not, although some may try.

 

Following is a case study illustrating why government shouldn't ever have anything to do with business or get involved in any way with any deal to subsidize any sports team owner -- to include Loria.

 

Which is what the City of Miami did when it agreed to build the parking garages, a relatively small part (~20%) of the overall stadium deal.

 

Instantly, they found a way to get their fingers deeply into the pie. Not satisfied with just parking cars, something they might potentially understand, they just had to dictate what the local retail scene around the new stadium would look like.

 

The results?

 

After 2 years of trying to lease the parking garage retail spaces, exactly ZERO businesses have opened in the garages.

 

How much retail space is in the garages?

 

NW garage: 7,625 + 7,851 + 8,438

NE garage: 11,864 + 9,812

SW garage: 7,691

 

Total: 53,281 sq ft.

 

Estimated rental rate: $25/sq ft/yr, triple-net basis.

 

Miami Parking Authority gets 100% of lease proceeds, estimated to be about 1.3 million/year, if the space was actually occupied.

 

MPA wasted at least 40K trying to get the space rented, with no results other than puffery.

 

In August, 2011 MPA thought they had letters of interest for about 30,000 sq ft.

 

Then, Sluggers, the sports bar/restaurant next to Wrigley since 1985, which had expressed interest rejected the site after visiting and researching the area. Following that, many other potential entertainment, restaurant and retail tenants also said no.

 

Oops.

 

Some of the others which fell through (there are probably more we haven't heard of):

 

Lime Fresh Mexican Grill - signed lease, 625 sq ft, never built-out

100 Fires (cigar store) - signed lease, unknown sq ft, never built-out

Latin Corner Sports Bar & Grill - signed letter of intent for 3,000 sq ft for 10 years, never signed lease

Presidente Market & Café - contemplated 8,400 sq ft

The Tilted Kilt - Irish pub with full liquor license and semi-nekkid women - contemplated 8,500 sq ft

Sonic Beach - Sonic restaurant open 24-7 with full liquor license - contemplated 5,500 sq ft

Teriyaki Experience - full-service, seated restaurant with full liquor license

Pollo Tropical

Menchie's Frozen Yogurt

Navarro Discount Pharmacy

Perdomo Cigars

Guayaberas Etc

Gilbert's Bakery

Houlihan's American restaurant and bar

Muscle Maker Grill

Quiznos

Brooklyn Bagels

Fuddruckers

GNC

T.G.I. Friday's

Dave & Buster's

Subway

Shorty's Bar-B-Q

Havana Harry's

Chuck E. Cheese

CVS

Hurricane Grill & Wings

Los Ranchos Steakhouse

Edible Arrangements

Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza

 

That would make the MPA and their real estate agents at least oh-for-31.

 

The first two on the list apparently signed leases (one source disagrees on Lime Fresh) for small amounts of space, but nobody disagrees that they were never built-out and, for whatever reason(s) scrapped the deals. The next four were apparently at least somewhat seriously interested (square footage estimates of the potential leases were leaked/published,) but no lease for these potentially larger amounts of space was ever signed.

 

Businesses generally expect a suitable shell when renting, including stuff like paint-ready drywall and utilities ready to be turned on. The City of Miami apparently still plans to lease the space with no walls, no services and no allowances for tenant build-out. Ridiculous. Build-out to usual standards would cost about 3 million -- money the city hasn't spent -- so far.

 

In August, 2012, there were some indications that city officials or functionaries were involved with turning down specific tenants because they "didn't fit" into their "plan."

 

What plan is that? To quote Art Noriega, head dude at the MPA: “We want to make it more of an entertainment area than a grocery store area.�

 

The MPA demonstrates yet again that bureaucrats need to stay far, far, far away from anything to do with the private sector, they have no clue and they never will.

 

The best part of the city's total fustercluckage that is the leasing of the garage retail spaces is that Loria and the Marlins had absolutely nothing to do with it. It's strictly a matter of politicians and bureaucrats who think that they know best and therefore it will be done their way or not at all. So far, it's not at all.

 

Did it never occur to them that a few "low-end" fast-food operations like Subway or Quiznos or Pollo and a drug store or two and perhaps a bakery and maybe even a grocery store and an immigration attorney's office might be good for the neighborhood? Instead of nothing but "high-end" entertainment and restaurants that will do almost no business other than on 81 home dates because the area is low-to-middle income? That the locals won't be impressed by dancing girls, but might appreciate and patronize businesses which meet their needs?

 

Of course not. They know better than anyone else. And their superior knowledge has cost the City of Miami at least 1.3 million and counting. And that's a direct detriment to Miami taxpayers, not the tourists who pay the hotel bed-tax that pays for the stadium.

 

Zero. Spaces. Leased.

 

Close enough for government work.

 

:lol

 

-------

 

In the interest of not garbaging-up this post with links every other sentence, here are the links for some of the facts above:

 

http://www.miamitodaynews.com/news/110728/story3.shtml

http://www.miamitodaynews.com/news/110804/story6.shtml

http://www.miamitodaynews.com/news/120405/story7.shtml

http://therealdeal.com/miami/blog/2012/04/04/as-marlins-park-prepares-for-action-garage-retail-remains-silent/

http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/New-Ballpark-Garages-Not-Yet-Filled-With-Tenants-127902793.html

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/08/19/2959465/irish-pub-sub-shop-could-be-coming.html

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/03/08/3275127/miami-wants-marlins-to-pay-for.html

http://egov.ci.miami.fl.us/Legistarweb/Attachments/64135.pdf

 

I recommend reading all of them.

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I do agree with your statement that government should stay out of business.

 

Lets get one thing clear though...I still hate Loria. He has caused an endless amount of misery for the few fans that this team still has. I will not be supportive of Loria, regardless of what moves are made in the future. He has lied, and played the fans for fools way too many times.

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It was inspired by the article about the Marlins storing stuff in the empty space and the City wants to get paid. The shocker in that piece was that there is still not a single retail tenant. So, I dug around a bit because I had read about a signed lease or two maybe a year ago -- how could the space still be 100% vacant?

 

The answer is the incompetents employed by the city government. It defends Loria only to the extent that it's a fact that neither he nor anyone else with the Marlins had anything to do with or say about the leasing of the retail space.

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It was inspired by the article about the Marlins storing stuff in the empty space and the City wants to get paid. The shocker in that piece was that there is still not a single retail tenant. So, I dug around a bit because I had read about a signed lease or two maybe a year ago -- how could the space still be 100% vacant?

 

The answer is the incompetents employed by the city government. It defends Loria only to the extent that it's a fact that neither he nor anyone else with the Marlins had anything to do with or say about the leasing of the retail space.

 

So you have an opinion on this, but don't have any opinions on Loria? Do you own the parking garages?

Well we sure know he doesn't own the city. That means this thread doesn't matter!

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Loria or not, I really wish those spaces were occupied already. Judging by some of the names mentioned, it would really liven up the area, as it was originally intended to do. Damn, how the hell did this not happen by now?

 

This.

 

There is really nothing down there but Wendy's and Walgreens. It would be nice to be able to get to the area early, park, and hang out, shop, eat, etc.

 

Now there is really nothing to do until the gates open. What a shame they can't get anyone to lease, that was the vision for the area.

 

Expecting businesses to have to complete construction to start up is stupid, and probably the biggest reason why nobody wants to lease.

 

.

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We should really focus on the things that Loria is responsible for:

 

Fielding a competitive team: fail

Filling the stadium : fail

Middle of the pack payroll, as promised: fail

Sign Stanton to an extension: up until ths point, fail.

 

This is almost as bad as going over a list of obama's campaign promises....

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The parking garage fiasco you describe is related to the leasing of space in said garage...not the garage itself. We can't blame Loria for politicos mismanagement of leasing issues. We can blame Loria for the bigger cost of of the garage...a burden the community will have for decades. And it does seem like it would be in Loria's best financial interest to turn a blind eye to what his financial team saw going on...why should he care as it behooves his finances for folks to buy food at his concessions on stadium site over the ones he doesn't get a nickel from in the garage.

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We can blame Loria for the bigger cost of of the garage...a burden the community will have for decades. And it does seem like it would be in Loria's best financial interest to turn a blind eye to what his financial team saw going on...why should he care as it behooves his finances for folks to buy food at his concessions on stadium site over the ones he doesn't get a nickel from in the garage.

 

Offhand, I'd guess Loria would much rather see all of that space fully leased than sell a few more hot dogs because it isn't. Tons of empty space does not leave a good impression -- and their name is on the park for now.

 

If Loria had gone to them and said something like "let us handle it, we'll get it leased at, say, $20/ft and we'll pay $15/ft on anything we can't get leased within 12 months and pay that until it's leased," they'd have told him to get lost.

 

For all we know, he did try it. Maybe more than once. But, politicians and bureaucrats never give up their absolute power over anything voluntarily -- unless it's become an embarrassment. Another year of abject failure and they may want to be rid of the problem.

 

As for "the bigger cost of of the garage" themselves, well, of course he wanted someone else to pay any cost possible, it's nothing but standard rent-seeking -- that's what happens when government might grant money or other benefits. The city and county bear the full responsibility for actually doing it.

 

This whole parking garage retail-space thing is another illustration of why cities/counties/states should never build or pay for stadiums. Every one of them is always billed as being great for the location -- a "thriving" business community will arise around it, it will bring big revenue to the area, employment will boom, the whole area will be more "vibrant," etc., etc., the claimed benefits are endless.

 

It never works out that way. Why? Never mentioned is that the entertainment dollars drawn by a new stadium are mostly those that would otherwise have gone somewhere else nearby, which is also true of the businesses and employment. Mostly a zero-sum game, entertainment not being a driving force behind increased productivity -- the primary force behind increases in the standard of living.

 

It's not like the Marlins -- pure entertainment -- and the desired surrounding entertainment/bar/restaurant businesses are any kind of innovation that enables anyone to be more productive. It's just baseball and retail food and liquor. Not some agricultural breakthrough or the telegraph or radio or railroads or the internal combustion engine or an oil drilling innovation or a 5 nanometer chip innovation.

 

This instance is just more totally screwed up than most of the government-sponsored stadium tinkering done as they snap their fingers and expect to create a "thriving," "high-end" business community where none had ever before existed.

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As I've said often, government has no business financing or building stadiums. As I've also said, I'm glad it worked out as it did, otherwise the Marlins would probably be elsewhere.

 

But, if I had been on any city or county board that voted on this, I would have voted against it. Every time. My attitude on the deal would have been very simple.

 

Never mind the heat-rain-humidity vs. air conditioning-roof. If this is a viable baseball market, why couldn't the Marlins draw after winning the 2003 WS? If you can't draw, even after spending more in 2005, isn't it time to reconsider your approach? As in move to another city? We'll get a team in the next MLB expansion or two.

 

It would have pained me to say that, but there is no way any sports franchise should get a dime from taxpayers, local or tourist, never mind the obnoxious gun-to-the-head threat to move.

 

If you own a baseball team and you want a new stadium, pay for it yourself. If you can't afford it, maybe you shouldn't own a baseball team -- don't be looking for a handout from any taxpayer.

 

As it turns out, the hotel bed-tax thing was very slick and very well thought out. Who can object to tourists paying for 99% of it? Certainly no local politician.

 

But, I can. NO taxpayer should pay anything for what is essentially a private enterprise's asset (even though the county owns it.) County ownership is actually preferable to the team 40-50 years from now as it'll be the county paying for demolition.

 

The other people who should object are hotel employees. There would be more of them in M-D in the absence of the 6% bed tax. Not a lot, but more. The Marlins aren't responsible, the bed tax was 6% before and after the stadium deal (1% dedicated to sports.) But, it makes Miami less attractive to conventions, etc. In the absence of a deal, the bed tax obviously could have been reduced.

 

The economically illiterate local and national sports writers who have commented were almost uniformly a joke on this issue. I don't recall even one who pointed out that stadiums do next to nothing for the local economy. The promises of nirvana turn out to be false, reality turns out to be far, far below expectations and the taxpayers are, as always, on the hook.

 

Our deal is much better than most (thanks, tourists!) but it still should never have been done.

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We can blame Loria for the bigger cost of of the garage...a burden the community will have for decades. And it does seem like it would be in Loria's best financial interest to turn a blind eye to what his financial team saw going on...why should he care as it behooves his finances for folks to buy food at his concessions on stadium site over the ones he doesn't get a nickel from in the garage.

 

Offhand, I'd guess Loria would much rather see all of that space fully leased than sell a few more hot dogs because it isn't. Tons of empty space does not leave a good impression -- and their name is on the park for now.

 

If Loria had gone to them and said something like "let us handle it, we'll get it leased at, say, $20/ft and we'll pay $15/ft on anything we can't get leased within 12 months and pay that until it's leased," they'd have told him to get lost.

 

For all we know, he did try it. Maybe more than once. But, politicians and bureaucrats never give up their absolute power over anything voluntarily -- unless it's become an embarrassment. Another year of abject failure and they may want to be rid of the problem.

I'm surprised to see you throw in pure speculation, having insisted on sticking to facts. Loria might have come to the rescue and government would have turned him down, and "more than once"?

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