Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 102656
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File Number: 102656 File Type: Report Status: Accepted
Version: 0 Reference: Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: COCONUT GROVE PLAYHOUSE Introduced: 11/8/2010
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 4/4/2011
Agenda Date: 4/4/2011 Agenda Item Number: 11C1
Notes: Title: REPORT RE: COCONUT GROVE PLAYHOUSE
Indexes: COCONUT GROVE PLAYHOUSE
Sponsors: Carlos A. Gimenez, Prime Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 4/4/2011 11C1 Accepted P
REPORT: In response to Commissioner Barreiro’s inquiry regarding whether the intent was to propose a lease that reflected 99 years as part of the foregoing items, and be further investigated to determine the years once the item passes, Mr. Michael Spring, Director of Cultural Affairs agreed and noted this was a draft agreement between Gable Stage and Coconut Grove Playhouse (Playhouse). He noted this was to indicate how serious the intent of Gable Stadium to relocate to Coconut Grove, but it was not the intent of staff to negotiate terms of 99 years. Mr. Spring explained that the operating management agreement negotiated was pursuant to the standard County operating agreement with standard renewal provisions. Commissioner Barreiro noted for the record, although Gable Stage was a great entity, he believed at this time a project of this magnitude should not be on the table. Commissioner Gimenez requested administration to begin a due diligence process by creating a series of action steps, and come back with more definitive plans of each step that should be submitted to this Board for approval to proceed. In response to Commissioner Gimenez comment on dedicated General Obligation Bonds (GOB) funds toward the Playhouse, Mr. Spring advised the two sources of devoted funds included $5 million issued from the 2005 Convention Developmental Tax Bonds and $15 million from Building Better Communities General Obligations Bonds (GOB) funds. Commissioner Gimenez noted the need to determine if this was a viable project, and whether the Playhouse could be restored or replaced by another building. In response to Commissioner Monestime’s comment, Mr. Spring advised that the property was owned by the Playhouse Inc., a not-for-profit corporation, and has offered the property to the Miami-Dade County, which was once owned by the State of Florida. He noted the property that was presently offered to the County included the entire property except for a small parcel that had a $600,000 mortgage, and was not needed for the project. He also noted that the small parcel would be used to address the outstanding debt that the Playhouse was holding. In response to Chairman Martinez comment, Mr. Spring agreed that every suggested action steps in this plan would be bought back to the Board with attached recommendations following performing due diligence on each suggested action. Hearing no questions or comments, the Commission proceeded to accept the foregoing report as presented.

Recreation & Cultural Affairs Committee 3/7/2011 8A Report Received P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Monica Rizo read into the record the title of the foregoing report. There being no objections or comments, the committee proceeded to accept the report.

County Attorney 2/8/2011 Referred Recreation & Cultural Affairs Committee 3/7/2011

Recreation & Cultural Affairs Committee 2/7/2011 8D Deferred to next committee meeting 3/7/2011 P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Monica Rizo read into the record the title of the foregoing report. Assistant County Manager Alex Munoz introduced the report on the Coconut Grove Playhouse (the Playhouse) proposed recovery plan, noting the foregoing report for today’s meeting was in response to Chairman Martinez’s request to have the proposed recovery plan reviewed in committee. Department Director Michael Spring, Miami-Dade County Cultural Affairs, presented a summary of the recommended course of action to reconstruct the Playhouse. He advised the proposed recovery plan resulted from a resolution sponsored by Commissioner Gimenez and approved by the Board directing a recommended course of action be developed for the reconstruction, management, and the operation of the Playhouse. He noted that the County Administration had worked collaboratively with the Board of Directors of the Playhouse and GableStage to develop the recovery plan before the Committee today. Mr. Spring advised that the proposed recovery plan provided an opportunity to reestablish the Playhouse, and its goal was to return great regional theater to Coconut Grove and unify the property ownership with the resources. He noted that the recommendation also called for the County to develop a Management and Operating Agreement with GableStage to have this non-profit organization operate and manage the new theater. He also noted the County had allocated $20 million in capital funds for the reconstruction project. Mr. Spring advised that the Playhouse’s Board of Directors offered to convey the property title to the County, and the proposed recovery plan recommended the County to conduct a thorough “due diligence” to ensure the title of the property was clear; and if conveyance could happen, the County would begin the reconstruction project. He referred the RCA Committee members to the County Manager’s memorandum regarding the foregoing item, noting the memorandum recapped the objectives and outlined action steps the County was required to take for its implementation. In response to Commissioner Sosa’s inquiry regarding whether the County was obligated to pay the building Code violation fines issued by the City of Miami, Mr. Spring advised the County Manager and City Manager had met and came to the agreement that the City would stop issuing Code violation citations for this property. He noted that the County needed to inquire on the City’s process to have existing citations dismissed, and the County had no intention of paying the outstanding fines. Commissioner Sosa requested that she be provided with a status report on the number of citations issued by the City of Miami for building Code violations at the Playhouse to include any outstanding balance owed on those citations and the amount already paid by the County. Chairman Souto asked that Assistant County Attorney Rizo review the feasibility of adopting legislation that would exempt a historical landmark building from citations for building Code violations. Following discussion regarding funding allocations for the Playhouse and its funding source, Commissioner Sosa expressed her concern in using Convention Development Tax (CDT) funds for the building renovations when there was such a need to renovate Miami Beach Convention Center (Convention Center). Commissioner Sosa asked Assistant County Manager Alex Munoz to prepare a complete analysis report for review by this Committee reflecting the total construction/renovation costs of the Playhouse to include the following information: 1. the cost of renovating the existing building and bringing it up to Code; 2. the party or parties responsible for the renovations, overrun costs, and operating costs; 3. the funding source; 4. whether the City of Miami would provide funding; 5. whether this was a private/public joint venture; and 6. the projected operating costs including security and taxes if required. In response to Commissioner Sosa’s inquiry, Mr. Spring advised the existing building would not be demolished; and there were no existing plans to rebuild the old structure. He stated the recommended recovery plan proposed a new 300-400 seat theater be developed on the site adjacent to the existing building for GableStage to operate. Commissioner Sosa expressed her interest in preserving the arts in Miami-Dade County without incurring excessive and unnecessary costs. She pointed out that already too many uncompleted projects for the arts existed, and that the Convention Center needed to be renovated to promote tourism in this County. Commissioner Sosa requested that the foregoing report be deferred until the next scheduled committee meeting of the RCA Committee in order to be able to review the report requested from Assistant County Manager Munoz. Following discussion on the need to support and promote the arts in Miami-Dade County, Chairman Souto thanked Mr. John Richard, President and CEO of the Adrienne Arscht Center, Mr. Michael Spring, and his staff for spearheading the welcome reception for the local performer, Mr. Andre Barela. There being no further comments, the committee proceeded to vote and defer the foregoing report.

County Attorney 1/20/2011 Referred Recreation & Cultural Affairs Committee 2/7/2011

Board of County Commissioners 1/20/2011 11C1 Deferred 2/7/2011 P
REPORT: The foregoing proposed resolution was deferred to the February, 7, 2011, meeting of the Recreation & Cultural Affairs Committee at 2:00 p.m.

County Manager 1/19/2011 Scrivener's Errors 1/20/2011
REPORT: This item is reprinted to correct the original date of the County Manager memo to October 12, 2010.

Recreation, Culture & Tourism Committee 11/8/2010 8E Report Received P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Monica Rizo read the foregoing report into the record Commissioner Gimenez noted that the foregoing item was a very comprehensive offering a good action plan. He asked that it be accepted and forwarded to the County Commission. He pointed out that Miami-Dade County was the only resource able to provide financial assistance to refurbish this facility inasmuch as $20 million had been earmarked to this project by the electorate through the Building Better Communities-General Obligation Bond (BBC-GOB) funds. In response to Commissioner Sosa‘s question regarding the ownership of the Coconut Grove Playhouse (Playhouse), Deputy Director Deborah Margol, Cultural Affairs Council, noted the Board of Directors of the Coconut Grove Playhouse Incorporated were the owners of the Playhouse. She also noted that the Playhouse had not received any assistance from the City of Miami or the County. She further noted $15 million in funding would be provided through BBC-GOB funds and the Convention Development Tax (CDT) funds, which totaled $20 million. Commissioner Heyman expressed her concerns regarding the City of Miami (City) having no engaged role with the Playhouse; however, it was involved with the land use plans. She questioned the City’s position in terms of assisting with this project although they were not financially responsible. Commissioner Gimenez explained the history of the Playhouse that was originally owned by the State of Florida and the role of the City was only to issue citations and monitor land use, but had no investment. He noted that he would like to review the restoration project with City officials to reach an agreement. He noted negotiations were underway to bring in a private interest to refurbish the facility, but the City was working in conjunction with the current Board of the Playhouse on that effort. He advised the County’s in-house expertise of knowledgeable professionals should be asked to participate in the review of the entire restoration project to have the Playhouse refurbished into a self-supporting community asset. He noted that there were several issues requiring research before being brought back before the County Commission to make a final decision Commissioner Heyman asked Assistant County Attorney Monica Rizo to investigate the amount of the outstanding code violations cited for liabilities at the Coconut Grove Playhouse, and to meet with City officials to determine whether they would either cease litigation or absorb those costs. She also asked Ms. Rizo to review this item to determine the feasibility of the State resuming ownership of the theater or creating a private/public partnership with the Playhouse’s Board of Directors to re-open the Playhouse. In response to Commissioner Jordan’s request for clarification on the issue of title transfer, Ms. Margol noted the Playhouse was currently owned by its non-profit Board of Directors and when all concerns were addressed and approved by the County Commission the title would transfer from Coconut Playhouse Incorporated to Miami-Dade County. Assistant County Attorney Geri Bonzon-Keenan advised that the foregoing report distributed at today’s (11/8) meeting needed to be added to the agenda as Agenda Item 8E. Vice Chairman Barreiro commented on the need to ensure that agenda items be submitted in a timely manner and not on the day of the committee meeting. Following further discussion, it was moved by Commissioner Sosa that the foregoing report referenced by Assistant County Attorney Bonzon-Keenan be added to today’s agenda as Agenda Item 8E. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Heyman, and upon being put to a vote, the vote passed 4-0 (Commissioners Souto and Sorenson were absent).

County Manager 11/8/2010 Referred Recreation, Culture & Tourism Committee 11/8/2010

Legislative Text

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