By: Ismael Rodriguez
Hyatt Hotels Corp. and Miami officials are considering a deal to redevelop the Regency hotel in downtown and the convention complex adjacent to it, the 35-year-old James L. Knight Center.
The compact deal, which is being presented next week to Miami commissioners, would lend Hyatt 12 months to design the plan for a new hotel with meeting space and a mixed-use development at 400 SE Second Ave. And if the plan were approved, Hyatt, which faces a 45-year option to renew its existing lease in six-years time, would sign off on a new and 99-year agreement with the city and begin construction.
“It’s an underutilized facility and a very underutilized acreage,” City Manager Daniel Alfonso told the Miami Herald of the 4.5-acre site. “We’re trying to get the best value for the city.”
Hyatt currently controls the 612-room Hyatt Regency Miami on an amended lease created in 1979 as part of a $100 million public-private deal to also construct the city-controlled James L. Knight Center, which the city subsidized last year for about $400,000, according to an audit, and the Arthur Ashe Auditorium.
For the redevelopment deal to lift off, though, city commissioners and Hyatt Hotels Corp. also need approval from voters in a citywide referendum.