City officials meet to discuss convention center renovations
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- City officials met on Friday afternoon to discuss the costs and final plans for the Miami Beach Convention Center Project.
The city narrowed it down to two different companies to make the renovations at the Miami Beach Convention Center: South Beach ACE and Portman CMC in Atlanta.
It got a little heated on Friday Inside the Miami Beach City Hall as commissioners inched closer to choosing the final developer for the new convention center. "You're going to turn my mike off?" said Miami Beach Commissioner Jonah Wolfson.
"Yes," responded Miami Beach Mayor Matti Herrera Bower.
"Your respect for the public discourse is astounding."
It appears commissioners are divided on how soon to move forward in the decision-making process.
Bower said it is now time to move on. "My vision is that we need a convention center, right now. We're late. We need a hotel, which is what they are all looking for," said Bower.
She said there are a lot of factors that come into play when voting. "I think economics is very important, but I think the rest of the program is very important. In equality, everything is the same. Sometimes you have the lowest bidder to do something, and they don't do a good job. I don't think everything is about money."
The plans are similar, both call for major renovations to the convention center: a new hotel, public green space, parking and retail locations.
The Portman group would rebuild the Fillmore Theater and South Beach ACE would keep it true to its Jackie Gleason roots. Whose plan gets put in place is now up to the commissioners
The commissioners adjourned the Friday meeting around 5:30 p.m. and will reconvene on Wednesday at 6 p.m. to make a final decision.
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