North Miami Seals Wildcat Deal

The North Miami City Council has approved a lease that gives us possession of the Wildcat Center, a state-of-the-art community center and athletic complex previously owned by Johnson & Wales University (JWU).

Located at 1600 NE 126 Street, the facility is five years old and 35,000 square feet in size. We can use it for badly needed recreation, meeting, and office space. This is a huge victory!

The Wildcat Center became available when JWU closed its doors a few months ago. New owners parceled up the land and quickly sold it off in pieces. I saw the chance to get for our city a game changer for kids and adults. But if we did not act quickly to get Wildcat, the land would have been sold to someone else and a huge opportunity would have been missed.

The lease will be held by Wildcat Investment, LLC, owned by North Miami resident and developer Jimmy Tate. The full term of the lease is 15 years at about $1 million a year. In year three we have the option to buy it for $11 million.

With today’s construction costs, we could never afford to build something similar for that price. This deal allows us to immediately activate the space, without waiting the years-long process of design, permitting, and construction.

My special thanks go to Mayor Philippe Bien-Aime and Councilman Alix Desulme who steadfastly supported this effort. And our biggest hero is North Miami resident and developer Jimmy Tate. He stepped forward to arrange the deal that has made this all a reality.

Take a bow, North Miami! Our parks and community programs just became infinitely stronger.

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