Days after Miami-Dade College announced Related Group and Nader + Museu LLP as the two finalists to develop a condo tower and cultural arts center on a prime 2.6-acre plot in Downtown Miami, and the two sides are clashing.
Art collector Gary Nader took a swipe at Related Group CEO Jorge Perez, calling him "the worst thing that happened to culture in this town," according to the Miami Herald.
"He puts his name on a museum that is empty. He hasn't done anything for that museum," said Nader, criticizing the $20 million in art Pérez donated to PAMM in addition to a $20 million cash gift as insufficient. "He's the worst thing that happened to culture in this town because most of the important people in that museum walked away when he put his name there. And now he's trying to stop us."
Quite the superlative right hook, Mr. Nader. This feels personal.
Perez responded by calling Nader's comments "irresponsible and uncalled for," criticizing the Herald for publishing them.
"I'm not going to sit here getting into a punching match with Mr. Nader. It's beneath me," said Pérez, who defended PAMM’s success. "You should let the facts speak for themselves. It's been 40 years I've been in this community doing things that I think are correct. To make statements like that are just not right. It's journalism not fit for you guys."
You can't blame the Herald here as quotes like this draw eyeballs. As long as Nader wasn't baited, it's their duty to publish explosive words by someone who also happens to be in the news cycle.
Props to Perez for taking the high road.
The upcoming negotiations with these two and Miami-Dade College could get interesting.