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MDC to add entrance facility

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Posted: Sunday, September 30, 2018 2:49 pm | Updated: 2:49 pm, Mon Oct 1, 2018.

Homestead City Manager George Gretsas announced a new college building is in the works at the City’s budget presentation on September 12.

Miami-Dade College (MDC) agreed to exercise its option to land across from City Hall. The College must replace an existing building on the site with a “more significant and attractive building”, according minutes of the CRA discussion on July 27, 2016.

The Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) first proposed the land swap as an expansion of an earlier City/College partnership designed to benefit business education. A building at 301 Civic Court was labeled the Carrie P. Meek Center for entrepreneurial studies to encourage innovative aero-space programming.

Discussing future changes, Gretsas and City staff realized there were additional benefits to reusing that space. What the City needed was a complement to the new City Hall; what the College was missing was an appealing entrance to its campus.

Option terms were finalized in 2016. Its terms set the existing building for demolition and replacement with a three-story state of the art facility.

The City would have the chance to review and approve building plans and would assist with necessary rezoning.

A deed restriction limited the structure’s use to an entrepreneurial education center for ten years. At the end of ten years, the College would have unrestricted use of the land.

The College was given two years to raise funds for the project. When the option was exercised, the College was required to See MDC close the transaction within 120 days and complete construction within eighteen months. 

The CRA discussion contemplated generous term extensions.

College President Dr. Jeanne Jacobs attended that CRA meeting. She said at the time the building would be a wonderful addition to the campus, bringing a real student center and educational purposes to that location.

The attending CRA Board approved the option unanimously. The appraised value of the land and building at that time was set at $239,427.

The College exercised its option prior to the September 12, 2018 Council meeting. It was announced that the City architects for the police station and City Hall were chosen to design the space in order to harmonize with the scale of existing City buildings.

A rendering of the completed building shows a substantial white three story edifice with open parking on the first level.

Based on the terms of the agreement, the new College entrance should be added to Homestead’s redevelopment by the fall of 2020.

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