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Miami port parcel is ideal for proposed Cuba ferry

Miami port parcel is ideal for proposed Cuba ferry
By Tom Stieghorst / January 18, 2016

At this point, it is anybody’s guess who will be sailing to Cuba from
Miami this year.

The Cuban government has issued no approvals for cruise lines, and
several of the companies that have been selling cruises to Cuba have not
done anything to reserve berth space at PortMiami, according to a Miami
Herald report.

But one piece of nonsense ought to be easy to clear up. A proposal by
the city of Miami to build a terminal to accommodate a ferry service to
Havana ought to be pursued. Unlike cruises, several ferry licenses have
been granted by the Cuban government. Miami is the port that makes the
most sense for quick and comfortable ferry service to Cuba.

The hitch? Some Miami-Dade County commissioners want to stick with a
2011 master plan that calls for hotel and office development at the port.

The land to be used for either proposal is at the southeast corner of
the port adjacent to the headquarters of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. It
is the same parcel that was briefly considered as a stadium site for a
professional soccer team dreamed up by star player David Beckham.

That died, due in part to opposition from Royal Caribbean. The ferry
terminal is a much better idea on the face of it, and if it proves
itself it would at least fit with the port’s purpose.

Some at the county like the idea of developing the real estate because
the port is in significant debt and office rents and hotel revenues
could improve cash flow. But there are more convenient places to have
an office than at a working port. More importantly, the office and hotel
can be built anywhere, while the ferry terminal can’t.

The most fitting application for scarce port real estate is for maritime
uses. The county should investigate other ways of restoring the port’s
finances to firmer footing.

Source: Miami port parcel is ideal for proposed Cuba ferry: Travel
Weekly –
www.travelweekly.com/Cruise-Travel/Insights/Miami-port-parcel-is-ideal-for-proposed-Cuba-ferry

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