Food News

Goodbye Scotty's Landing: Miami Ups Rent Request By Tens of Thousands on Waterfront Properties

The City of Miami committee that was chosen to select the likely tenants of two city-owned waterfront properties in Coconut Grove has made its decision, the waterfront is worth its weight in cash.

The sites of local favorite Scotty's Landing and nearby Chart House restaurants, both owned by the city, are being offered at much higher rents than originally proposed. According to a report by Miami Today, a group called David One, LLC won the bid to take over Scotty's Landing, despite the demand of supporters to "Keep Scott in Scotty's." The group, represented at the committee meeting by Matt Johnson of Monty's South Beach and Jimmy Flanigan of Flanigan's restaurant chain, plans to transform the restaurant into a tiki-hut and the 4.5 acres of the adjoining boatyard into a boating store, expanded marina and public park.

"The team (David One) is solid from top to bottom," committee member and director of the city's Public Facilities Department Henry Torre said during deliberations, which lasted for about two hours. "I feel it would provide the city with security going forward."

Five Bids in for Scotty's Landing Replacement

In addition to the $5.5 million David One has pledged to renovate the property, the five-member committee suggested a steep $840,000 a year for rent, $120,000 more than what had originally been agreed upon.

"It is a very unique property, and therefore much harder to correctly appraise," said local realtor Michael Hanna. "That site, with its extremely large size, a 4.5 acre marina and restaurant, has no equal in this city. Looking at other waterfront properties in the Grove you can say, however, that the $70,000 a month the city is asking for is on definitely on the higher end of the scale."

In comparison, a 12-bedroom home in Star Island is listed for $39,000 a month, though short-term leases of some properties there have been known to meet or exceed $70,000.

Scotty's Landing owner Scott Wessel had pledged to pay an additional $107,000 a year and renovate the second floor of the restaurant. That falls far short of proposals by competitors David One's pledge. Supporters, who attended last Wednesday's meeting, do have one last possibility for a favorable outcome, however. Wessel's bid is the runner-up, so if David One backs out due to the increase in rent, the city will start negotiations with Wessel after the aforementioned committee approves.

Texas-based Landry's, which currently runs the Chart House, was the only group that put in a bid for the Chart House site. Their proposed bid of $340,000 a year for the much smaller 1.34-acre site is nearly $100K less than the $400 to $425K the city is requesting. Either way, the restaurant is facing a massive increase from the $107,409.25 Landry's paid in rent over 12 months from September 2010-11.

Should Landry's not be able to fork up the loot, the committee will start the bidding process all over again. Landry's $500,000 bid, the minimum the state was accepting, to take over Scotty's suggests they shouldn't have a problem coming up with $400K for Chart House.

If these numbers are boggling your mind - consider a good lunch at one of these restaurants can fetch the owner a cool $10,000 is gross receipts.

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Kareem Shaker
Contact: Kareem Shaker