Wal-Mart at Midtown Miami is ready to build. The site prep is finished, the foundation is in and an application with the city for vertical construction of the 203,000-square-foot store at 3055 N. Miami Avenue was submitted June 23.
However, construction is being held up because Wal-Mart doesn't actually own all the land that's needed for the store.
Wal-Mart owns 4.6 acres on Northeast 31st Street in Miami, but doesn't own the frontage on North Miami Avenue or Northeast 1st Avenue. The frontages on these two streets, no more than a sidewalk's width, are owned by Midtown Miami Community Development District and Midtown Opportunities.
The South Florida Business Journal reports Wal-Mart has an agreement with Midtown, the owner of the strip of land on North Miami Avenue but does not have a formal agreement with the owner of the property on Northeast 1st Avenue, Midtown Opportunities.
This issue holding up construction is that Wal-Mart must provide a unity of title, proving that all three properties are in agreement, and will not be issued the necessary permits to begin the store's vertical build.
“It is our understanding that additional permits will not be issued by the city until a fully executed unity of title is presented to the city,” Craig Wrathell, Midtown Miami CDD manager, wrote. “To date, the CDD, which owns affected property adjacent to the Wal-Mart property, has not yet become a party to a fully-executed unity of title.”
Wal-Mart's plans to build in urban Miami were delayed by legal challenges from community activist Grant Stern, but those challenges were overturned in January, after which Wal-Mart begin site prep.
The CDD had $89 million in bond debt outstanding on September 30, 2015 that is secured by the CDD’s assets, including its real estate. As of the board's meeting last Tuesday, there was no Wal-Mart deal on the agenda.