(Carl Cronan is editor of Real Estate Florida.)

|

MIAMI-A ruling this week by the Florida Supreme Court in a caseoriginating from the Panhandle has implications stretching to theother end of the state, including plans for the Florida Marlins'new baseball stadium. The decision in Strand v. EscambiaCounty basically states that voter referendums are not requiredfor the use of taxpayer money in community redevelopmentprojects.

|

The rulingis good news to end a week in which Florida commercial real estatecould use a boost after turmoil in the capital markets. The rulingreverses another one by the same court last year that had negatedhow tax increment financing districts could be used to pay downbond debt on projects.

|

Ron Weaver, a real estate attorney and shareholder of StearnsWeaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson PA in Tampa, saysthe ruling lifts a "black cloud" from TIFs over the past year andrestores financing rules that have been in place as far back as1980. "Half a billion dollars worth of financings and refinancingswere at stake," Weaver tells GlobeSt.com.

|

The biggest current project affected by the Stranddecision is the $515-million plan to build the new Marlins stadiumon the former Orange Bowl site in Miami. The redevelopment is partof a $3-billion package in proposed overall infrastructureimprovements citywide.

|

Local auto dealer Norman Braman had cited the prior ruling amongothers in an attempt to block construction of the stadium. AMiami-Dade Circuit Court judge had already dismissed six otherarguments by Braman's legal team and awaited the state SupremeCourt's decision to rule on the last one.

|

Sanford Bohrer, an attorney with Holland & Knight LLP whorepresents the Marlins, says Thursday's ruling proves a vote is notneeded to build the stadium. "It really underscores that everythingproposed here is entirely lawful," Bohrer told the DailyBusiness Review, a publication related to GlobeSt.com.

|

The Marlins, which joined Major League Baseball in 1993, havepushed for their own stadium for the past decade. It now shares aFort Lauderdale stadium with the National Football League's MiamiDolphins and has endured dismal attendance this season.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.