Shutts & Bowen LLP is pleased to announce that the City of Miami has selected the law firm to act as its outside real estate counsel on a proposed transaction for the development of a soccer stadium and mixed-use project to be located on 73 acres of City land. The proposed stadium complex would be named Freedom Park and would be the future home of David Beckham’s Major League Soccer (MLS) team, Inter Miami CF.
Shutts partners Angela de Cespedes and Marc Sarnoff led the Shutts legal team for the project, assisted by Florentino “Tino” Gonzalez, a partner and Co-Chair of the firm’s Real Estate Practice Group, and Alexander I. Tachmes, a partner of the Real Estate Practice Group who has extensive experience handling complex public-private transactions and has lectured widely on the topic. Sixteen other Florida-based, national and international law firms also bid for the City’s outside counsel contract, and Shutts has assembled a legal team to negotiate real estate issues and conduct legal review of contract documents regarding the development, construction, and long term leasing of the City-owned property.
On Wednesday, June 5, David Beckham’s Miami Freedom Park, LLC – which includes Jorge Mas and other partners – filed a draft lease agreement with the City of Miami to enter into a long-term lease for the International Links Melreese Country Club. The agreement outlined the proposed plans for the Freedom Park project, consisting of the development of 73 acres of the club’s public golf course, including a 25,000-seat Major League Soccer stadium, restaurant, retail and entertainment space, 58-acre public park, hotel, tech hub, office park and commercial campus.
“Shutts is honored to have been selected by the City of Miami to lend our experience to this negotiation,” said de Cespedes. "Since our firm's founding in 1910, Shutts & Bowen has represented hundreds of clients in many of Miami's most significant transactions and we will draw on that experience to protect the city's interests,” added Sarnoff.
Shutts touts a deep bench of experienced real estate and government law attorneys who have been applying innovative legal strategies for the benefit of their clients throughout the state of Florida. For more than 100 years, the firm’s real estate practice has had a hand in shaping the development of Florida from the city of Miami’s inception and has handled complex legal issues related to real estate-based projects, including residential and condominium developments, office buildings, shopping centers, industrial parks, hotels and resorts, golf courses, hospitals and manufacturing plants. Shutts also brings knowledge and experience in finance, corporate law, litigation, tax and more than 30 additional practice areas.
De Cespedes, a litigation partner and a member of the firm’s Business Ligation Practice Group, is a highly experienced litigator who represents professional sports leagues and teams, as well as their stadiums and facilities. With a focus on complex tort and business litigation, clients enlist her to manage crisis situations and liaison with government agencies and other third parties to circumvent litigation, minimize risk, avoid unjustified public perception and defend them against allegations involving business disputes, premises liability, products liability, trade secrets, and employment issues. Her practice includes the representation of hotel owners, developers and operators; social media companies; software companies; educational institutions; and apparel brands.
Sarnoff practices land use and government relations law and is a partner and member of the firm’s Real Estate Practice Group. A Florida Supreme Court Certified Mediator and former Chair and City of Miami Commissioner, Chairman of Omni CRA, Grove Bid and the Downtown Development Authority, he is a proven advocate for business investment and helped shape Miami’s emergence as a hub for technology, entertainment and culture during his time in office.
Gonzalez has a multifaceted commercial real estate practice. He has overseen large and complex multi-state real estate transactions involving interaction with local, corporate and institutional counsel throughout the country and coordination of related opinions, as well as corporate and title requirements. He has represented developers on numerous acquisitions, construction loans, securitized loans and leasing matters.
Tachmes, who is Chair of the Land Use and Government Relations Practice Group, concentrates his practice on governmental matters, including land use and zoning, public-private transactions, competitive bidding and lobbying, and commercial real estate transactions, including hospitality matters.
About Shutts & Bowen LLP
Shutts & Bowen, established in 1910, is a full-service business law firm with approximately 300 lawyers in offices in Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Sarasota, Tallahassee, Tampa, and West Palm Beach. Learn more about Shutts & Bowen at www.shutts.com.