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Miami Herald's Complicated Parking Lot Sale Drags On

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Normally, the sale of a parking lot shouldn't be newsworthy, but when it combines the real estate boom in downtown Miami and the decline of the printed press, it's worth taking note.

The Miami Herald this morning reported the complicated sale of its parking lot to developers could drag on for another year.

The deal dates back to 2005, when the Herald, then owned by Knight Ridder, agreed to sell ten acres of its parking lot to a group led by developer Pedro Martinez. Since then, the Herald has been bought up by McClatchy (which apparently still has the daily up for sale, not that anyone it interested), and Martinez reached a deal to flip the sale to Mark Siffen. Five years have passed. The downtown real estate bubble has burst. The Herald's parent company needs the money to pay down debt now more than ever, and still the deal hasn't been completed.

Siffin had until December 31 to close the deal but has extended the

deadline to January 19 in exchange for raising the termination fee to

$7 million. There's also an option that Siffin can pay McClatchy a

nonrefundable $6 million to extend the deadline yet another year to

January 2011.

Siffin had planned to build in the lot a parking garage for the Arsht Center and a

big-box shopping center. With Fifth & Alton a short trip

across the causeway, and the Shops at Midtown a few block north, Miamians could

soon have the option of hitting up three big-box centers in a single

trip without trudging to the suburbs. Truly the American

dream.

[Herald: Miami Herald Land Deal Extended]

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