MIAMI-Locally based Florida Gaming Corp. has completed part one of a two-phase acquisition to buy 11 acres from Miami-Dade County for $16.7 million. In turn, the parent of Miami Jai-Alai will sell a half-acre right of way to be used by Metro Rail for just over $1 million, the South Florida Business Journal reports.

“Rather than getting into a condemnation contest, we agreed to trade the property as part of a down payment on the property across the street,” Bennett Collett, chairman and CEO of Florida Gaming, told the newspaper in an earlier interview. The previous down payment was to include nearly $1.6 million cash in addition to the right-of-way for the overhead light-rail system.

The first phase includes the purchase of 2.3 acres from Miami-Dade by Florida Gaming for nearly $3.4 million, according to a company news release. Both parties will pursue a permanent closing of NW 37th Avenue that will connect the existing jai-alai fronton to the newly acquired property.

Closing of the second phase for the remaining 8.7 acres is set to take place by July 1, 2010. Click here for the complete story by the South Florida Business Journal.

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