South Florida

Beckham Stadium Could Impact Property Owners in Little Havana

Some property owners say they won't sell and it looks like that spelled trouble for David Beckham building a soccer stadium in South Florida. However, Beckham's on the block with a whole new plan.

"I feel like it's a pain in the neck," said Violeta Jimenez, who has lived in her Little Havana home for the past 36 years. She doesn't like the idea of finding a new one.

"I was planning to live here until the day that I die and that's going to be about 20 years from now," Jimenez said.

Her home is one of six private properties, including an apartment complex and daycare, standing in the way of David Beckham's proposed stadium. His group wants to build in the area just west of Marlins Park.

It's a $200 million development that local residents think will bring new jobs. Longtime homeowner Jimenez said she'll sell if the price is right.

"I have to have the money to buy another house like this one, and the houses are very, very expensive," she said.

If not, the mayor said Beckham's people can build around the properties. A hard concept to picture in the small space, and something Jimenez doesn't want to picture. She lived through the construction of Marlins Park.

"I don't want to think about that cause when they built that stadium it was a nightmare for me," she said.

Beckham's group wants the deal done within the next month when the Major League Soccer Board meets on Dec. 5.

The group released the following statement on the situation:

"Miami Beckham United has a great deal of respect for the hard working property owners and residents of Little Havana, which is why we intend to make offers to buy their properties for prices well above fair market appraised value. Because some of the land owners are demanding unreasonable prices, Mayor Regalado suggested we look at the possibility of building our stadium around these properties -- and we will. We want to be a part of this community and are open to all suggestions within reason to get this stadium built for the residents of Miami."

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