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RENT? WHAT RENT?
 WE DON’T PAY NO STINK’EN RENT OR TAXES!
AN ONLY IN MIAMI,BITCHES! STORY IN 
5 PARTS

FEBRUARY 17, 2012

Almost lost in all of the other allegations and concerns about the efforts to turn over the Miami Marine Stadium to the “Friends Of Marine Stadium,” led by Don Worth and his pals, is the whole question of financing for this endeavor.

Now lets be clear, there HAS been a lot of talk about the financing of the renovation of the stadium itself, and how and where the millions that that will cost will come from.

No, what I’m talking about is how these folks are hoping to leverage the surrounding property in a way that will generate some operating revenue and possibly provide a taste of the action for all the folks who figure that the best way to do good for the community, is to make sure that they well for themselves.

That’s where the restaurant in the photograph above, that many old timers might remember as the Bayside Hut, comes in.  

Before we get to the plans that the “Friends” have for this place, let me tell you a classic story about how stupid the City of Miami is when it comes to the oversight of it’s property, and how this dinky little restaurant that sits between the Marine Stadium and the City of Miami Marine Marina serves as a poster child for many of the sins of incompetence, mismanagement and cronyism practiced by the Regalado administration.

PART I

Back in 1994, the City of Miami entered into a “Revocable Permit” agreement with two guys named Rolf Gerstner and Claude Laroche, and their corporation, Bayside Seafood Restaurant, Inc. to operate what became known as the  Bayside Hut.  Here’s that permit. 

The next three document examples are only the front pages.  
To read the actual document click on any of them.

By 1997, these guys were in deep debt to the City to the tune of  $45,202.80. In order to try and clean the mess up, the City renegotiated an amendment to the “Revocable Permit”.  Here it is.

In 2001, the restaurant suffered severe damage from a fire, and that was followed by another amendment to the “Revocable Permit.”  This time  the deal deferred their rent and all other fees owed to the City for a period from August 2001 through May 31, 2002.

And that’s where the paper trail ends.  

From 2001 to today, there’s never been any other formal or documentable record of the City revisiting this permit, or in memoralizing - that’s a legal term for generating documents to cover your ass - having to do with all the subsequent twists and turns that took place since 2001.

In fact, on Wednesday, after making one of my pointed requests for any more documents regarding this issue, I got the following response from Assistant City Attorney Victoria Mendez:

       “I can only provide what we have Sir...they are looking 
       for anything in response to your request.”

“They” might as well go looking up Angel Zayon’s ass for Luis Cabrera’s medication, because while some documents did and do exist, the Regalado administration, with their usual blindness to reality has never come to understand that by the time I start asking the City for documents, I usually already know the story AND also have acquired the documents I need by other means. 

PART II

On October 24, 2008, a corporation named Bluegreen Bay Corporation was formed by Veronica Lacasa and Carlos Lacasa, with a business address of 3501 Rickenbacker Causeway.  Acting as the registered Agent of this corporation was Carlos’s father, Armando Lacasa.  (Remember the address. There will be a test:-))

For those of you who are young, or new to Miami, Armando Lacasa, back in 1979 became a member of the Miami City Commission.  He wasn’t elected, but rather, he was selected after an arduous process requiring 31 ballots being cast by the other 4 City Commissioners.

Lacasa was replacing Manolo Reboso, who in 1972 had become the first Cuban City Commissioner.   I don’t know why or how he left office, but because this is Miami, Bitches!, I suspect it was under some sort of cloud.

Manolo during his tenure as a City Commissioner was roundly accused of padding the city payroll with his pals.  Among the first to benefit was Watergate burglar Bernard Barker, who was hired as a $12,444 building inspector.

So, for those who think that the level of corruption, cronyism and ignorance that is evident today is a new thing for Miami, remember that even in the “good old days” Miami was just as stupid and corrupt as it is today, which is just one more reason why everyone should give real pause to creating a strong Mayor form of government because the past is always going to be a prologue to the future of Miami, and when the sea level rises, these same weasels will be the first in the boats heading for another place they can infest.

Political crooks breed like cockroaches in Miami, and there’s no reason to expect that a new gene pool of enlightened, educated, public spirited individuals is being groomed for a future of leadership in Miami. if anything, the best and brightest are leaving town in record numbers.

Anyway, back to the story at hand.  Somehow - because the City claims there aren’t any documents to support any of this - the Lacasa’s became either the sub “permittees” to the original “permittees, Rolf Gerstner and Claude Laroche, or they took over as the principles.

This is kind of important, because the “Revocable Permit” was entered into between the City and Rolf Gerstner and Claude Laroche,and not the Lacasas, another fact you need to remember.

As a sidebar to what was becoming a crowd trying to milk money out of the Bayside Hut, a new player showed up at around the same time as the Lacasa’s, under the name of Prestige Restaurants And Entertainment Inc.

Their deal was that they rented the “nightclub” part of the building from Bayside Restaurant/Bluegreen Bay Corporation to stage large parties and dances.

In April of 2009, Prestige sold $25,000 of advance tickets to a big event, only to be barred from entering the property that night.

It was, as you can imagine, a clusterfuck.  Prestige ended up suing everybody in State Court, which ended up in Federal Court.  Here‘s the best overview of the entire mess, with all the colorful allegations of racism, etc..

Are you still hanging with me?  Don’t go away yet.  This gets even better.

PART III


In 2009, Bayside Seafood Restaurant, Inc. - the corporation owned by Rolf Gerstner and Claude Laroche - the guys who had the deal with the city, filed their last corporate renewal with the State of Florida.

What this means in legal terms, is that the corporation that had the only legal right to claim that they were the “Permittee” allowed to do business with the city, ceased to exist as a legal entity.

They stayed that way until last month when they filed for reinstatement.http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1346&dat=19771014&id=51xNAAAAIBAJ&sjid=0voDAAAAIBAJ&pg=7143,3718559http://fl.findacase.com/research/wfrmDocViewer.aspx/xq/fac.20100222_0000214.SFL.htm/qxshapeimage_13_link_0shapeimage_13_link_1

What this means is that in 2010 and 2011, the two years that this litigation made its way through the State and Federal Court system, the named defendant, Bayside Seafood Restaurant, Inc., wasn’t a legal entity, and Bluegreen Bay Corporation, who was operating on the basis of their own private deal with Bayside Seafood, wasn’t a signatory to any documents with the City of Miami related to their being a legitimate “permittee.”


One has to wonder whether the decision to allow their corporate status to expire wasn’t part of some larger legal strategy by Rolf Gerstner and Claude Laroche to inoculate themselves against a possible defeat in court?


But, it’s Miami, Bitches!, and who in the City of Miami ever bothers to read the documents, connect the dots, or pay attention to anything other than doing the illegal bidding of His Ignorance, Tomas Regalado and the morons around him?


As I said, in the matter of the Federal appeal, the case was won by the City, and City Attorney Julie Bru was so pleased that she included the case in her 2011 Annual Report.

While the federal portion of this case was won by the City, the original claims made by Prestige are supposedly now back in State Court.


At the same timeall of this was going on in the courts, back at the restaurant, other things were going on.


The Lacasas were not happy with the City.  They felt that nobody knew where they were, and consequently, nobody was coming to the restaurant, and they were also unhappy with the quality of support services that they were receiving from the City. 


So, in some way or fashion, the Lacasas told the City that they didn’t want to pay anymore rent until the City corrected the problems, and most importantly, arranged to plant a sign out along Rickenbacker Causeway.


How do I know this?  Simple.  While Ms. Mendez was telling me she could only provide me with the documents that they had, I went to my archive of City documents and in the documents that I have, I discovered an email string that detailed a portion of this issue.


Here are 2 of those emails.

Notice the reference to the Mayor and Luis Cabrera.  Once again, City Manager, Johnny “The Doormat” Martinez, gets ignored when there’s a need for real dealings to take place.


In the below email, Alice Bravo is referencing that she arranged with the county - who are the ones that own the section of land from the fence to the road - to allow the City to put up a sign that would let folks know where the restaurant was.

Of course, it’s now 8 months later and no sign ever appeared, but the odds were that Alice was probably just blowing smoke up their asses, to try and pacify the Lacasas.


From the City’s financial records, that didn’t work, because the Lacasas didn’t pay any rent for the entire 2011 calendar year.


THAT’S RIGHT! NO RENT WAS PAID FOR THE 2011 CALENDAR YEAR, AND HERE’S THE PROOF.


    Again, click on the document to take you to a larger

copy that you can read.

Now, if I was a TV Pitchman trying to hustle you on a product, I’d say at this point, “Now That’s A Pretty Good Deal, Right?....BUT WAIT!  I GOT A BETTER DEAL!!!!!!

PART IV

Not only hasn’t Bayside Seafood Restaurant Inc./Blugreen Bay Corporation paid any rent for at least the last year, but they also haven’t paid any property taxes in Christ knows how many years - if perhaps ever.

Remember how I told you above to remember the address?  Well that address, 3501 Rickenbacker Causeway, is the single folio address for all of the Miami Marine Stadium/Miami Marine Marina and Bayside Seafood Restaurant, Inc. property, and because it’s all inclusive as 1 piece of City property, the taxes “are totally exempt.”
Some rocket scientist in the City, either by intent, or ignorance, managed to fold the restaurant property into the tax exempt property that houses the City’s Marina and the Marine Stadium.

Consequently, nobody at the County Property Appraiser’s Office ever bothered to wonder if maybe the restaurant that so many public officials and employees over the years had visited might just be taxable property.

If you’re not clear on on why the restaurant should not be tax exempt, just think back to late last year when the City of Miami was notified that they would have to pay property taxes on the Marlin’s Baseball Stadium Parking Lots because they leased them to the Marlins for commercial use.

That’s the same deal here.

PART V

So, how does this tie in with the folks at the “Friends of Marine Stadium?”

Well, I was told that within the small circle of those supporting the takeover of the Marine Stadium property, along with the handful of top City officials who’ve been doing their sneaky deeds behind closed doors, most, if not ALL of this information was common knowledge, and that part of the plan was to use this information of non-payment of rent and taxes as the way to evict everyone out of the restaurant, and then, to use the historical precedent of a restaurant being on the property, to tear the building down and put up a fancy, state of the art restaurant with a big name chef that they would hope would become a cash cow.

Of course, none of this has been discussed publicly, because like so much of this Marine Stadium deal, the whole scheme has been one predicated on a giant game of Okey-Doke and Three-Card Monty, in an effort to present a facade of  public spirited concern for the much lamented decline of the Marine Stadium, until these folks managed to actually get their hands on all the property and rights that they could bullshit the City Commission into giving them, aided by none other than His Ignorance, The Mayor, who in this case is far from ignorant on what he’s doing.  Regalado is out to screw the citizens and taxpayers of Miami by giving away this property, pure and simple!

But, while this should be a primary focus of the City Commission and all the folks who continue to question what is really going on with this stadium deal, let us not forget that the City of Miami owns a piece of property being operated as both a restaurant and a weekend party/event space that hasn’t paid a dime of rent in at least a year, and that also hasn’t paid property taxes, perhaps going all the way back to 1994. 

Is this sweet, or is it one of my best It’s Miami, Bitches! stories, ever!?!
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