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HOMESTEAD, FL-Going by the appraised value, the city of Homestead is actually getting a good deal by selling about 83.4 acres of surplus land for slightly more than $2 million, or $24,264 per acre (56 cents per sf).

In recent competitive bidding, Homestead-Miami Speedway submitted the highest bid for this tract of land that lies between the racetrack and the city’s sports complex and just south of the existing parking lot. Appraisers valued the land at $1.7 million, or roughly $20,000 per acre (46 cents per sf).

The Homestead City Council approved the bid Sept. 10 in a 5-2 vote with certain conditions, following negotiations between the company and City Manager Curt Ivy.

Closing on the sale is dependent on ratification by the Miami-Dade County Commission, which was expected to approve the matter yesterday, and a site inspection.

It is presumed racetrack officials wanted the land to accommodate additional customer seating, as part of a long-term plan to increase total capacity by up to 120,000 seats, Charles LaPradd, a city spokesman, tells GlobeSt.com. Since opening in 1995, the 1.5-mile oval racetrack has become home to the Winston Cup NASCAR Series.

Zoned under a planned urban district, the land had little or no other use than a parking lot, LaPradd adds.

“This 83 acres was always more or less intended for parking, that is why it is planned as open space parking,” LaPradd says. “The city has owned it for many years, and it needs to be cleared and filled.”

The city decided to seek bids on the property, LaPradd tells GlobeSt.com, when private investors expressed an interest in the baseball stadium at the sports complex, which had been used by the Cleveland Indians professional baseball club as a spring training facility. “From there we ordered the appraisals, and the bidding ensued,” he says.

Racetrack officials outbid two other bidders for the right to negotiate the sale contract. The other bidders were Miami-based All American Management Inc. and Homestead-based Redland Company Inc.

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