(Photo: The Next Miami) 

                                                         (Photo: The Next Miami) 

After 15 years, Miami is finally trying to take back the Island Gardens property on Watson Island from a lessee who never built what was promised.

At a special meeting last week, commissioners unanimously voted to direct the city manager to issue a notice of default to Turkish developer Flagstone.

Flagstone representatives said they could cure any default or sue the city. A lender would also have priority over the city, they said.

The city has lost millions in undervalued rent for the property since agreeing to lease the land 15 years ago, according to commissioner Ken Russell, who pushed for the vote. Flagstone was supposed to have built a mixed-use property including hotel and retail.

If a new RFP was issued for the property today, Russell said it should include a a multi-modal transit hub that connects and finances the Baylink and water taxis.

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