MIAMI-After months of controversy, the Miami-Dade County Commission is still deadlocked over the future of the abandoned Homestead Air Force base, which was closed after it was devastated by Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

Six of the commissioners voted Tuesday evening to proceed with a lawsuit against the Air Force in hopes of saving plans for a commercial airport on 1,800 acres of the base.

But the other six voted to drop the lawsuit, acquire 717 acres that the Air Force has offered the county and develop it into an eco-tourism site.

The county’s original plans to turn the property into a commercial airport were thwarted earlier this year when the Air Force declared portions of the abandoned base as environmentally sensitive.

The county sued, arguing that it had invested as much as $9 million over the past several years in advance of redeveloping the site as a commercial airport, based on a 1994 decision by the Air Force that declared 1,800 acres at the base suitable for commercial airport development.

But in May, a federal judge ruled against the county. The county has been trying to decide ever since whether to appeal the ruling, drop the lawsuit and proceed with other plans, or keep the lawsuit alive while pursuing other plans.

Meanwhile, the county’s economic development agency, the Beacon Council, has come up with an alternative plan called Destination Everglades. The plan calls for a hotel, conference and ecological research center that would take advantage of the property’s location-15 miles south of Downtown Miami near the Everglades, Biscayne National Park and the Florida Keys–in hopes of capturing some of the booming eco-tourism industry.

The commission considered two resolutions. Both would have adopted the Destination Everglades plan; but one would have dropped the lawsuit, while the other would have kept the lawsuit alive. The vote was 6-6 on both resolutions.

The commission is expected to try again Thursday. If the county wants to acquire the 717 acres offered by the Air Force, it must file a detailed application with the federal government by next Tuesday.

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

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • 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

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


GlobeSt. INDUSTRIAL 2022Event

This conference brings together the industry's most influential & knowledgeable industrial real estate executives

Get More Information


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2022 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.