As two visions come forward for one piece of land at Fort Lauderdale's Lockhart Stadium, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce's Government Affairs Committee was provided with some insight on what city commissioners are planning going forward.
Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor Ben Sorensen sat in during Tuesday's meeting and provided several pieces of information, regarding the dueling plans from Miami Beckham United and FXE Futbol, LLC. Vice Mayor Sorensen expressed excitement for the plans to develop on the 64-acre property that has become what many refer to as a wasteland in Fort Lauderdale's uptown. Chamber President & CEO Dan Lindblade says he's "cautiously optimistic" about the proposals, following the collapse of previous plans aiming to revitalize the site.
Both FXE Futbol and David Beckham's group are looking to take over the defunct property, but their ideas on what should be built have differerences. Beckham's group has proposed a state-of-the-art soccer training facility to go along with a mulit-purpose sports stadium and a sports-centric destinations on the site. The grounds would serve as a training center for Inter Miami FC, Beckham's future MLS franchise, which is scheduled to begin playing in MIami-Dade County in 2020.
On the other hand, FXE Futbol would like to invest $100 million to create a sports entertainment facility. It would include renovating the stadium and surround it with restaurants, shops, a Top Golf attractioin and several multi-purpose fields.
During Tuesday's Government Affairs meeting in the Chamber Board Room, Vice Mayor Sorensen was asked about what the city commission is looking for in a potential deal. He insisted that there should be "public use of public land," but added "some degree of commercial development is fine, but in limited nature."
The parks bond with Fort Lauderdale's March 12th ballot was also raised during the meeting, since potential funds are being allocated for the revitalization of Lockhart Stadium. Vice Mayor Sorensen said the bond item is "directly related" to the 64-acre property. Sorensen says $25 million had been allocated for improvements at Lockhart Stadium, if Fort Lauderdale voters approve the parks bond. If a deal is struck with either FXE Futbol or Miami Beckham United, the Vice Mayor believes Fort Lauderdale taxpayers would save all, if not most, of that $25 million.
For weeks, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce has been advocating the passing of not only the parks bond, but also the police and public safety bond item. As far as how long before Fort Lauderdale commissioners will take a position on the two proposals for Lockhart Stadium, is yet to be determined.