MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The future of the Miami-Dade County Fair is still up in the air, but residents are now getting a closer look at the new sites where it could be relocated.
The Miami-Dade County Fair and Exposition may not have to move far if everyone can agree on one of two new sites being proposed.
One possible site is just west of Dolphin Mall and Florida's Turnpike. It's about 130 acres of land owned by the Florida Department of Transportation.
"(It has) great transportation access, because it's right off the turnpike, and it's also a state-owned property, which helps Florida International University, potentially, if an arrangement can be struck with FDOT," said Michael Spring, senior adviser to Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
The second site sits on the western end of 836, near 137th Avenue. It's all privately-owned land.
"Once we were are able to get with the engineers and architecture firm, we're able to get with the business and the financial folks," said Bob Hohenstein, the youth fair president. "Then we can take a look at it and see what the good and the or the bad is on those two sites."
In November, 65 percent of voters in Miami-Dade County said yes to allow Florida International University to build on public land, where the fair is now located. But FIU has to pay for the fair's moving costs.
And in the standing contract between the fair and the county, the fair must end up in an equal or better location.
"It's a large amount of property that needs to be identified and secured for a relocated fair and that comes often with a price tag attached to it," Spring said.
Folks at FIU said they can do it for $50 million.
Officials at the fair said an independent report paid for by the county, FIU and the fair estimated the costs at more than $200 million.
"I think it's a matter of everybody sitting around the table and having a reasonable discussion about what that contract means and a reasonable discussion about where this is going to go and a reasonable discussion about how much money it's going to take," FIU attorney Richard Perez said.
The County Commission said it wants the decision to move quickly.
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