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Art dealer won't have to pay $2.3 million to contest Miami Dade College project award -- for now


Art dealer Gary Nader scored a small but significant victory in his battle with Miami Dade College Thursday when a circuit court judge ruled he doesn't have to immediately post a $2.3 million bond in order to dispute a recommendation that the college's board of trustees partner with a competitor to build a cultural center and condos on Biscayne Boulevard.

Nader + Museu I LLP informed the college last week that it intended to file a formal protest of Related Group's victory in a competitive process launched last year when Nader proposed to build a museum, theater, conference center and residential towers on a college parking lot next to the Freedom Tower. (For more background on the project click here and here.)

Meanwhile, Nader's GrayRobinson attorneys also filed an emergency motion for temporary injunctive relief after learning the college would require their client to post a bond worth 2 percent of the value of Related Group's planned cultural center, valued at $115 million.

Nader's attorneys argued that the price of the bond was prohibitive and unnecessary under the law given the public-private-partnership circumstances behind the project, and that the would-be development team may be required to past another $2.3 million bond should it want to contest the ultimate award of the project as well.

On Thursday, Judge Bronwyn C. Miller sided with Nader on what for now is a technical argument, agreeing that Nader should be allowed to move forward with the protest after posting an injunction bond of only $100,000. Whether Nader indeed must pay $2.3 million in order to dispute the college's decision should be considered down the road after a full evidentiary hearing, Miller ruled.