Miami Today http://www.miamitodaynews.com The Newspaper for the Future of Miami Wed, 24 Sep 2014 18:19:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Schools seek sites to meet downtown pupil flood http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/09/24/schools-seek-sites-meet-downtown-pupil-flood/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/09/24/schools-seek-sites-meet-downtown-pupil-flood/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 14:00:58 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=24284 As downtown’s population grows, the leadership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools is considering several options to respond to the new demand, school board member Rachel Regalado told Miami’s Downtown Development Authority last week. One plan is to renovate Booker T. Washington High School at 1200 NW Sixth Ave. Another is to create a school at […]

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As downtown’s population grows, the leadership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools is considering several options to respond to the new demand, school board member Rachel Regalado told Miami’s Downtown Development Authority last week.

One plan is to renovate Booker T. Washington High School at 1200 NW Sixth Ave. Another is to create a school at Temple Israel, 137 NE 19th St.

There are problems with both plans, she said. Booker T. Washington is an older school that has what she called “a trademark issue” in that it is in an economically challenged area. The Temple Israel campus is spacious, which would allow for outdoor activities, but it probably would be a charter school that would admit children from throughout the county.

“We are trying to get residential seats in magnet schools,” she said, meaning that a certain number of seats would be reserved for students who live in the magnet school’s surrounding area.

Often, she said, families buy homes because they are near magnet schools, only to find out that their children can’t attend them unless they win a seat in a lottery. They resort to private schools when they would have preferred the public school, she added.

“We need data to prove we need options for downtown,” Ms. Regalado told the authority, “and you need to push back to secure a number of seats for residents if a magnet school is built.”

“We’re expanding our relationships with condo associations,” said board member Nitin Motwani, who is managing principal of Miami World Center and managing director of the Encore Housing Opportunities Fund. “That’s the way to reach out. We all know intuitively that we need schools, but we need facts.”

“This has been discussed at our last two board retreats,” said Alyce Robertson, authority executive director. She introduced Lisa Martinez, whom the authority has hired to study the issue and come up with recommendations.

“Put together a questionnaire,” Mr. Motwani told Ms. Regalado, “and we’ll send it to management companies and condo associations” She agreed to do so.

“Thousands of units are coming online,” said Jay Solowsky, the authority’s outside counsel. “It’s an exploding population.”

The consensus was that gathering data would be a good first step.

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Port tunnel traffic grows http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/09/24/port-tunnel-traffic-grows/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/09/24/port-tunnel-traffic-grows/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 14:00:53 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=24287 The PortMiami Tunnel was over 30 years in the making. Now finally open, it appears to be delivering on its promise of reduced downtown traffic. A review of vehicular flow through the tunnel between Aug. 3 and 31 shows a slight but steady increase day-to-day. The highest volume day in August was Friday, Aug. 22, […]

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The PortMiami Tunnel was over 30 years in the making. Now finally open, it appears to be delivering on its promise of reduced downtown traffic. A review of vehicular flow through the tunnel between Aug. 3 and 31 shows a slight but steady increase day-to-day.

The highest volume day in August was Friday, Aug. 22, with over 10,000 vehicles. Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays see the most traffic week-to-week. A monthly profile provided by Australian asset management company Transfield Services shows that on those high-traffic days, over 7,000 vehicles use the tunnel.

The PortMiami Tunnel officially opened to vehicles Aug. 3 following a slightly problem-filled summer. A ceremonial opening in May preceded problems like a leaking force main, which drains the tunnel under the bay of rainwater and spillage. But during August, the tunnel saw routine daily traffic.

The tunnel is the result of a public-private partnership between the Florida Department of Transportation, Miami-Dade County, the City of Miami, the port and Bouygues Civil Works Florida, a subsidiary of Paris-based Bouygues, which handled the tunnel’s construction.

On opening day, over 4,000 vehicles used the tunnel. Some days, eastbound lanes see more traffic and on others westbound lanes. On 24 days during August there was a higher vehicle count headed west, but only five days where there was a higher count eastbound.

PortMiami is happy with the upwardly trending traffic volume through the tunnel. “We have already noticed a significant improvement in traffic flow,” said Andria Muniz-Amador, a spokesperson for PortMiami.

MAT Concessionaire was the consortium that oversaw the tunnel’s construction and continues to oversee its operation. The tunnel project was geared to help relieve traffic in downtown Miami, which each weekday sees nearly 16,000 vehicles traveling to and from the port. Truck traffic contributes nearly 30% of that number, according to an Americas Traffic Study. The idea was that the tunnel, which directly connects the port to highways via a Watson Island exit and I-395, would relieve congestion downtown.

“As you drive into the port using the port bridge, the improvement in traffic flow through downtown Miami, especially on Fifth Street passing the Miami Dade College is smooth,” Ms. Muniz-Amador said. “Fewer container trucks, less congestion.”

The Miami Downtown Development Authority says it has noticed significant improvement in traffic through downtown. There was a huge difference the day after the tunnel opened, said Alyce Roberston, authority executive director.

On Monday mornings the traffic southbound on Biscayne Boulevard was clogged from Northeast Fifth Street to I-395 because of the number of ships in the port, Ms. Robertson said. On the Monday after the tunnel opened it flowed with no problem, she said, but only future monthly traffic volumes will reveal whether the tunnel continues to deliver on the promise of reduced congestion.

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FIU grad Oxford bound with Frost scholars http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/09/24/fiu-grad-oxford-bound-frost-scholars/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/09/24/fiu-grad-oxford-bound-frost-scholars/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 14:00:44 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=24275 A recent Florida International University graduate is among 10 students heading to England this month to study at Oxford University, compliments of the newly created Frost Scholarship at Oxford. The scholarship program, endowed by the Phillip and Patricia Frost Philanthropic Foundation for the next five years, gives 10 graduates of state universities in Florida the […]

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A recent Florida International University graduate is among 10 students heading to England this month to study at Oxford University, compliments of the newly created Frost Scholarship at Oxford.

The scholarship program, endowed by the Phillip and Patricia Frost Philanthropic Foundation for the next five years, gives 10 graduates of state universities in Florida the opportunity to get a master’s degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics – known collectively as STEM – at one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious universities.

Jose F. Orta, who this summer graduated with bachelor’s degrees in biology and chemistry from FIU’s College of Arts & Sciences, will pursue a master’s degree in integrated immunology at Oxford, focusing his research on cancer or HIV.

“It will be a great experience,” he said. “Oxford is one of the top universities in the entire world to do biomedical research.”

As an FIU undergraduate, Mr. Orta worked as a research assistant in the lab of Professor Rita Mukhopadhyay for two years, investigating the role of sand flies in the transmission of the leishmania parasite.

Leishmaniasis, an infection that causes ulcers, fever, and an enlarged spleen and liver, flourishes in tropical and subtropical areas, he said, and is exacerbated by poverty and malnutrition.

With the encouragement of Dr. Mukhopadhyay, Mr. Orta presented his research at a number of international conferences and was also listed as co-author of a paper published in the journal “Diseases.”

“Dr. Mukhopadhyay has given me a lot of help in my career path,” he said.

Born in Cuba, Mr. Orta attended schools in Venezuela, where his family lived before immigrating to the US in 2007. He spent a year at Miami Dade College perfecting his English before transferring to FIU, where he was president of the university’s chapter of Medlife, a nonprofit committed to bringing medicine, education and development to low-income families, primarily in Latin America.

The Frost Scholarship at Oxford, announced about a year ago, covers tuition, fees and living expenses for Frost Scholars, who are chosen through a rigorous process that involves getting accepted by Oxford and then vetted by the State University System of Florida Board of Governors, said Patricia Frost, who sits on the board.

“We chose to select students who would be getting a master’s in STEM-related fields,” she said. “Our hope is that this will enhance Florida’s already high quality of education.”

The Frost Scholarship program’s narrower focus distinguishes it from Oxford’s Rhodes Scholarship program, with which it is sometimes compared.

“This is the first time Oxford has worked with a state university program,” said Ms. Frost, a retired educator who was the principal of West Laboratory Elementary School adjacent to the University of Miami campus.

She and her husband, Phillip Frost, founder and former chair and CEO of IVAX Corp., a Miami-based multinational pharmaceuticals company, and chair of the board of TEVA Pharmaceuticals, are well known locally for their philanthropy, which includes support of such institutions as the Patricia & Phillip Frost Museum of Science, the Phillip & Patricia Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, and the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at FIU.

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Brickell grows west with 372-unit project http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/09/24/brickell-grows-west-372-unit-project/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/09/24/brickell-grows-west-372-unit-project/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 14:00:32 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=24272 The neighborhood known as Brickell in Miami continues to grow westward, with more and more residential towers adding to the financial district. Last week the city’s Urban Development Review Board gave conditional approval to Broadstone at Brickell, a proposed residential project at 267 SW 11th St., along Southwest Third Avenue and extending northward to Southwest […]

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The neighborhood known as Brickell in Miami continues to grow westward, with more and more residential towers adding to the financial district.

Last week the city’s Urban Development Review Board gave conditional approval to Broadstone at Brickell, a proposed residential project at 267 SW 11th St., along Southwest Third Avenue and extending northward to Southwest 10th Street.

The location is very close to I-95 and about two blocks from the Brickell Metrorail station.

The development includes a 24-story, 253-foot residential building, and a seven-story, 520-space garage.

The development firm Alliance Residential plans 372 units in the building, offering studio units, 1- and 2-bedroom apartments and townhouses.

Amenities are to include a pool, fitness area, theater and a pet grooming spa.

The design from Dorsky + Yue International LLC features aluminum guardrails and a “graphic” vinyl mesh screening on the garage.

The developer was asking for permission to extend parking beyond the second level and to be allowed to build 13% less parking than required.

The board approved the project with these conditions:

nConsider a larger loading area.

nInvestigate a different material for the screening on the garage.

nCome up with a tree remediation plan.

Board member Gerald C. Marston was the first to question whether the design of the loading zone was large enough to maneuver trucks.

He also questioned the durability of the vinyl panels meant to be an artistic touch for the garage. He asked how the panels would hold up in South Florida’s weather, and who would be responsible for maintaining the screening panels.

An attorney representing Alliance Residential said the city’s Public Works Department reviewed the proposed loading zone and was “comfortable” with the space allotted.

The loading area would include a dockmaster’s office, and the building owner would control the schedule for tenants moving in and out, and scheduled trash collection, the attorney said.

The zoning requires five loading spaces or bays, three at 10 by 20 feet and two at 12 by 35 feet. The developer also asked for a waiver to allow all five loading spaces to be 10 by 20 feet.

Mr. Marston asked how larger trucks would be accommodated.

Board member Anthony E. Tzamtzis said he had reservations about using the vinyl panels to dress up the garage, saying the panels would fade over time and have a tendency to get moldy or tear.

“I’d prefer to see more durable materials,” Mr. Tzamtzis said.

Mr. Marston commended the attempt to use artistic panels to make the parking garage look good but said he continued to be concerned about the durability of the material and the commitment to maintain the “vibrant color” of the panels.

The artistic panels on the garage would be large printed graphics, and designed to allow for ventilation of the garage, and the building’s owner would be responsible for maintenance, said the attorney for the developer.

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Profile: Nino Pernetti http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/09/24/profile-nino-pernetti/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/09/24/profile-nino-pernetti/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 14:00:29 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=24256 Antonio Banderas, Mario Andretti, Oprah, Sylvester Stallone, Paul Newman, Frank Sinatra. How would you like to count those as just a few of your dinner guests? Nino Pernetti’s landmark Coral Gables restaurant Caffe Abbracci has served as a focal point for Greater Miami business, culture and society for 25 years. Few will argue with the […]

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Antonio Banderas, Mario Andretti, Oprah, Sylvester Stallone, Paul Newman, Frank Sinatra. How would you like to count those as just a few of your dinner guests?

Nino Pernetti’s landmark Coral Gables restaurant Caffe Abbracci has served as a focal point for Greater Miami business, culture and society for 25 years. Few will argue with the following: it’s Mr. Pernetti that keeps locals and visitors coming back. A commitment to quality ingredients, consistent service and a family atmosphere has made Abbracci an institution, and there’s some truth to the statement that you haven’t arrived in Miami until Mr. Pernetti knows your name.

When Caffe Abbracci opened in July 1989 an article in the Miami Herald closed with this: “Pernetti stands at the entrance, in his element, as friends and customers arrive to admire his creation. In his collarless Armani suit and slicked-back hair, he looks as if he just emerged from Miami Vice. He is smiling, smiling, offering kisses. And hugs.” 25 years later much has changed in Miami. But outlasting even Miami Vice, Abbracci has remained a constant. And so has Mr. Pernetti, offering kisses and hugs every time you walk in.

 Miami Today reporter Nina Lincoff interviewed  Mr. Pernetti in his restaurant.

To read the full article and the rest of the Miami Today issue, subscribe to e-MIAMI TODAY, an exact replica of the printed edition.

 

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647-unit Edgewater tower gets OK http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/09/24/647-unit-edgewater-tower-gets-ok/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/09/24/647-unit-edgewater-tower-gets-ok/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 14:00:26 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=24278 The Melo Group plans to bring hundreds of condos to the waterfront in theEdgewater neighborhood. Aria on the Bay will begin construction in early 2015 and bring 647 units to the high-profile site at 1770 N Bayshore Drive. The city’s Urban Development Review Board approved the project Sept. 17. Iris Escarra, an attorney representing the […]

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The Melo Group plans to bring hundreds of condos to the waterfront in theEdgewater neighborhood.

Aria on the Bay will begin construction in early 2015 and bring 647 units to the high-profile site at 1770 N Bayshore Drive.

The city’s Urban Development Review Board approved the project Sept. 17.

Iris Escarra, an attorney representing the developers, told the board a similar project had been planned for the site and was approved via a special use permit in 2006 under the former zoning code.

It was necessary to approve the new plan, which has several changes, she said. They requested an amendment to the original special use permit.

Aria on the Bay is to have 50 floors, including 40,000 square feet of commercial space. The parking garage is to have 843 spaces, down from the original 1,035.

The architecture, interior design as well as the landscaping of the residential tower will be handled by Arquitectonica, led by Bernardo Fort-Brescia.

The loading area has been concealed in the newest plan, said Mr. Fort-Brescia.

Because the site is in a flood zone, the development needs to be elevated 11 feet, he said, which shows up as broad steps from Bayshore Drive to the first floor.

Aria on the Bay is “the first real dense residential development north of downtown,” Mr. Fort-Brescia said.

The tower is to feature 1- to 4-bedroom “grand residences” with private elevators, 9-foot high ceilings, and terraces up to 11 feet deep.

Planned amenities include a sunrise pool, sunset pool, children’s pool, gym, spa, theater/media and entertainment rooms, business center, conference rooms, outdoor fire-pit with custom seating, and a hot tub overlooking Biscayne Bay.

The tower is to rise right across the street from the city’s Margaret Pace Park.

The developers anticipate completion in summer 2017.

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If Marlins’ owners can’t sell rights, pray they can sell team http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/09/24/marlins-owners-cant-sell-rights-pray-can-sell-team/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/09/24/marlins-owners-cant-sell-rights-pray-can-sell-team/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 14:00:22 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=24263 The Atlanta Braves, still more than two years from moving into a $622 million suburban ballpark, last week announced a 25-year deal that will see the 41,500-seat stadium branded SunTrust Park. Meanwhile, the Miami Marlins today finish their third year in their new 37,442-seat stadium, financed by taxpayers to the tune of $3 billion, with […]

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The Atlanta Braves, still more than two years from moving into a $622 million suburban ballpark, last week announced a 25-year deal that will see the 41,500-seat stadium branded SunTrust Park.

Meanwhile, the Miami Marlins today finish their third year in their new 37,442-seat stadium, financed by taxpayers to the tune of $3 billion, with the name still Marlins Park because they’ve been unable to sell the naming rights.

The Braves for years branded themselves America’s Team. If the Marlins were lucky enough to have any brand at all, they’d be Nobody’s Team.

It wasn’t supposed to be that way. When a mayor and county manager got nine of 13 commissioners to spend billions – although none of them ever uttered the word “billion” – it was agreed that a covered stadium near downtown would jumpstart ticket sales as team owners finally paid enough player salaries to compete.

Those three factors – playing indoors, near downtown and with a well-paid team – were going to turn Miamians into cash customers as the stadium uplifted a shopworn Little Havana area.

What happened was almost the reverse.

Team owners, who had pleaded poverty until a giveaway handed them all revenues from a ballpark that the county owns, were revealed afterwards to be making the biggest profits in baseball by not spending on players. Rewarded in a new stadium with income streams they’d never gotten in their former home, the owners kept on not spending and pocketed even larger annual sums.

Disillusioned fans continued to shun games – the team today is 27th in the league in ticket sales, a tiny gain from 29th when they had no roof and were smack in the middle of nowhere playing in a football stadium.

It’s true that games are no longer rained out, a change owners claimed was crucial to build sales. So the average has risen from 19,007 tickets per game in 2011 to 21,347 as of Sunday.

Was that gain worth $3 billion in public funds? Nobody but the Marlins owners will say so. Commissioners who voted for the ballpark say they were hoodwinked – though if they’d read the deal before they voted they might have seen through it.

The neighborhood, meanwhile, hasn’t prospered. The city, which built 53,000 square feet of retail into stadium garages as an income-producer, still hasn’t leased most of the space in three years. The largest tenant, a medical facility, isn’t there because of baseball.

The stadium, true, is better. Team owners always said they had to have a stadium built only for baseball rather than one used for football – though they now use the stadium for soccer and football too. It was intentionally built that way, Marlins executives have admitted.

Not a single promise leading to the ballpark deal was kept. Even a pledge to open a youth baseball academy in the county before the stadium was finished remains a dream. Major League Baseball has yet to even pin down a site.

So the team’s stadium is still called Marlins Park, with no naming rights income. Nobody wants to be linked by name to a shameful giveaway.

It’s not that naming rights here can’t be sold. Florida International University, whose football team isn’t doing any better than the Marlins have done in baseball, last month signed a three-year stadium naming rights sale to Ocean Bank.

The difference: Florida International University has credibility and mountains of local goodwill. Football aside, nobody says a discouraging word about FIU. The Marlins are on the opposite side of the goodwill ledger, for every good reason.

So FIU will have Ocean Bank Field at FIU Stadium and the Braves will be playing for a quarter century in SunTrust Park.

Meanwhile, until the Marlins are sold they will play their 81 yearly home games in NoTrust Park.

For the sake of baseball fans and the taxpayers, pray that a team sale comes quickly. It can’t be too soon.

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Classified Ads http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/09/24/classified-ads-131/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/09/24/classified-ads-131/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 14:00:09 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=24261 Engineer III, HNTB Corp, Miami, Florida. ITS and Traffic Engineering. Send resume to D. Harden, 715 Kirk Drive, Kansas City, Missouri 64105; refer to Job # 0814-10690 EOE. Auto For Sale. Brand new 2013 Mercedes Benz E350 in Miami. Only 9,000 miles perfect condition. $46,740 call 281-352-8850 Administrative Assistant. Duties include: Appointment coordination, Event and […]

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Engineer III, HNTB Corp, Miami, Florida. ITS and Traffic Engineering. Send resume to D. Harden, 715 Kirk Drive, Kansas City, Missouri 64105; refer to Job # 0814-10690 EOE.

Auto For Sale. Brand new 2013 Mercedes Benz E350 in Miami. Only 9,000 miles perfect condition. $46,740 call 281-352-8850

Administrative Assistant. Duties include: Appointment coordination, Event and meeting planning, Make travel arrangements, Record, monitor expenses, send your resume and salary expectations to: josod14@gmail.com

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Filming in Miami: September 25, 2014 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/09/24/filming-miami-september-25-2014/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/09/24/filming-miami-september-25-2014/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 14:00:07 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=24265 These film permits were issued last week by the Miami-Dade County Mayor’s Office of Film & Entertainment, (305) 375-3288; the Miami Mayor’s Office of Film, Arts & Entertainment, (305) 860-3823; and the Miami Beach Office of Arts, Culture and Entertainment-Film and Print Division, (305) 673-7070.  BOARD OF DIRECTORS FILMS INC. Miami. KFC “festive Feast-Buckets.” Swale […]

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These film permits were issued last week by the Miami-Dade County Mayor’s Office of Film & Entertainment, (305) 375-3288; the Miami Mayor’s Office of Film, Arts & Entertainment, (305) 860-3823; and the Miami Beach Office of Arts, Culture and Entertainment-Film and Print Division, (305) 673-7070. 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS FILMS INC. Miami. KFC “festive Feast-Buckets.” Swale Parking.

YELLO BUTTERFLY PROJECT. Miami. Texting While Driving PSA. Metromover, Riverwalk Station.

SNYDER PICKERILL MEDIA GROUP LLC. Chicago. Miami-Dade Courthouse. Dade County Courthouse.

VENEVISION PRODUCTIONS LLC. Miami. Voltea Pa’ Que Te Enamores. Swale Parking.

SOUTH BEACH TOW PRODUCTIONS INC. LA. South Beach Tow. Miami Beach citywide, Haulover Beach Park.

TELEMUNDO STUDIOS/NBC UNIVERSAL MEDIA LLC. Miami. Dueños del Paraiso. Ocean Ter. /73rd to 75th streets, Opa-locka West, Unincorporated Miami-Dade County – Driving Shots.

CINEMAT INC. Miami. Every Witch Way 3. Village of Palmetto Bay.

MULTI IMAGE GROUP. Boca Raton. Communication Towers B-Roll. Miami-Dade County Transit.

AMERICA CV NETWORK LLC. Hialeah Gardens. America Noticias. Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner’s Office.

FLAMA MEDIA NETWORK LLC. NY. Left Unattended. Miami Beach citywide.

BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. England. Nature’s Weirdest Events. Countywide, Cultural Center Plaza, Miami Beach citywide, Open Space Park, Stephen P. Clark Building/Government Center.

BOZA AGENCY. Miami. Owner. Miami-Dade County Transit.

TURKEL BRANDS. Coconut Grove. Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau “Its So Miami.” Sunny Isles Beach.

THE BOLLOCKS PRODUCTION LLC. North Carolina. Stills for UK Editorial. Crandon Park Beach.

INLINE PHOTOGRAPHY. Miami Gardens. Stills for Inline Photography. Crandon Park Beach, Crandon Park Gardens, Miami Beach citywide, Unincorporated Miami-Dade County.

TROPICAL PRODUCTIONS INC. Wellington. Stills for Catalog #1. Miami Beach citywide.

SPIKE PRODUCTIONS CORP. Biscayne Park. Stills for PC Kids and Klinger. Countywide, Miami Beach citywide.

SELECT SERVICES INC. Miami. Stills for Next. Countywide, Miami Beach citywide.

ROUTE 7 PRODUCTIONS. Miami Beach. Stills for LEONISA S.A. Crandon Park Beach, Miami Beach citywide.

GO SCOUT INC. Miami Beach. Stills for Roamans Catalog. Crandon Park Beach, Miami Beach citywide, Sunset Islands.

P. STUDIOS PRODUCTIONS INC. Miami Beach. Stills for SEAT. Countywide, Miami Beach citywide.

PRO ONE PRODUCTIONS INC. Miami Beach. Stills for Fashion. Countywide, Miami Beach citywide.

SUNRISE PRODUCTION RENTALS LLC. Miami Beach. Stills for Pro Towels. Crandon Park Beach.

N HOUSE PRODUCTIONS. Miami. Stills for Next. Countywide, Miami Beach citywide.

HEARST MAGAZINES. NY. Stills for Dec-Jan Cover Shoot. Crandon Park Beach.

DANNY CARDOZO & CO LLC. Miami. Stills for Yanbal/Unique. Crandon Park Beach.

DON DIAZ (PHOTOGRAPHER). San Diego. Stills for CYZONE print catalog. Miami Springs (trees on golf course, deer run).

SOUTH MIAMI MIDDLE SCHOOL BROADCAST MAGNET. Miami. Student Project: Smeared Family. Old Channel 6 Tower.

 

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Downtown expo center work set to begin http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/09/24/downtown-expo-center-work-set-begin/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/09/24/downtown-expo-center-work-set-begin/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 14:00:05 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=24270 MDM Development Group plans to have shovels in the ground by year’s end to begin giving new life to the old Miami Arena site at 700 N Miami Ave. The now-barren parcel would become home to a sprawling convention center and hotel – Miami World Expo Center – with developers shooting for a December 2017 […]

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MDM Development Group plans to have shovels in the ground by year’s end to begin giving new life to the old Miami Arena site at 700 N Miami Ave.

The now-barren parcel would become home to a sprawling convention center and hotel – Miami World Expo Center – with developers shooting for a December 2017 completion.

The city’s Urban Development Review Board granted several waivers last week to allow the expo center and hotel to move forward. On Sept. 11 the city commission gave preliminary approval to new zoning language devoted to large projects of this nature.

The developer had requested several exceptions including a smaller setback of just 10 feet along Northwest First Avenue, lot coverage over the allowed 80% up to 90%, and a 25% reduction in required parking spaces.

The land is hugged by two major proposed developments: All Aboard Florida’s rail station on the west and Miami Worldcenter on the east.

“This building and project are unlike any other,” Tony Recio, an attorney for MDM, told the review board.

Everything is designed around the development’s centerpiece: a 100,000-square-foot first-floor open space with a 40-foot ceiling. It will include a fully integrated 1,800-room Marriott hotel.

The complete expo center plan will go before the Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals in early October and before city commissioners in mid October, he said.

“We have worked with the planning staff, and the city, for a long time to deliver this dream,” Mr. Recio said.

The project offers the city a unique opportunity, said architect Igor Reyes from Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates Inc.

“It catapults us into the international convention business,” he said. “And we contribute to Miami Worldcenter.”

Mr. Reyes took the review board through a PowerPoint illustrating how designers worked to create a complex layering of uses, space, amenities and more, and fitting it all into an area that’s roughly two city blocks.

Access is stacked, some services are stacked, the hotel buildings are stacked, parking is stacked, said Mr. Reyes. “We’ve been very efficient with space.”

Looking westward from Miami Worldcenter’s property, the completed expo center and hotel will have as its eastern base a 129-foot-tall glass wall, which will allow natural light into the convention center, said Mr. Reyes. It will also allow light to bathe the 60,000-square-foot grand ballroom.

On the very top is a pool deck, described by Mr. Reyes as grandiose and tropical, with a restaurant and outdoor seating.

Hugging the northwest section of the expo center is the hotel – four curved glass towers of varying heights, the tallest about 635 feet.

“This is unique to Miami… it won’t happen twice,” Mr. Reyes said. “Simply, it is a once-in-a-lifetime project.”

Board member Neil Hall said he was extremely excited by what the expo center proposes.

“It’s a big deal for Miami,” he said, and has the potential to transform the neighboring Overtown area as well.

Approval from the review board was conditioned on the developer improving the design and articulation of the rooftop pool, and providing a more detailed landscaping plan.

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