Miami Today http://www.miamitodaynews.com The Newspaper for the Future of Miami Wed, 25 Mar 2015 18:24:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Design District expands north http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/design-district-expands-north/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/design-district-expands-north/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 14:15:32 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=27194 Miami’s Design District continues to grow its drawing appeal and now its boundaries. City commissioners recently gave final approval to three zoning matters that green light expansion of the Design District to the north. Residents of the adjacent Brentwood and Buena Vista residential neighborhoods welcomed the change, in large part because it will bring more […]

The post Design District expands north appeared first on Miami Today.

]]>
Miami’s Design District continues to grow its drawing appeal and now its boundaries.

City commissioners recently gave final approval to three zoning matters that green light expansion of the Design District to the north.

Residents of the adjacent Brentwood and Buena Vista residential neighborhoods welcomed the change, in large part because it will bring more parking and green space to the area.

A firm called 4201 NE 2nd Avenue LLC joined Miami Design District Associates LLC in requesting that the footprint of the Design District be expanded to the north.

Commissioners who approved the expansion applauded the expansive work to redevelop the blocks north of I-195 into a luxury retail destination.

Keon Hardemon, vice chair of the commission, said he appreciates all the work to bring “positive” change to the area.

“I appreciate what’s happening there,” he said.

The commission approved three resolutions to: amend the future land use designation of the added property; amend the original Special Area Plan under the Miami 21 zoning code for the district; and approve a new development agreement for the area.

This amends the previously approved “Miami Design District Retail Street Special Area Plan” by adding properties at approximately 220 NE 43rd St. The block was home to a church for decades.

The purpose of a Special Area Plan is to allow parcels greater than nine abutting acres to be master planned to provide greater integration of public and private improvements and infrastructure, and “greater flexibility so as to result in higher or specialized quality building and Streetscape design.”

City commissioners approved the original Special Area Plan for the district in July 2012, with general boundaries of Northeast 43rd Street to the north, North Federal Highway and Biscayne Boulevard to the east, Northeast 38th Street to the south and Northeast Miami Court and North Miami Avenue to the west.

The addition of the two new properties will increase total proposed residential units, and the amount of retail space and open space in the overall Design District.

Approval of the expansion will:

  • Add 80,976 square feet (1.86 acres) split among two added parcels for a total combined lot area of 995,668 square feet (22.92 acres).
  • Increase the commercial space by 70,000 square feet for a total of 1,444,689.
  • Add 82 residential units for a total of 643.
  • Increase the parking spaces by 304 spaces above ground and below grade to total 4,056.
  • Increase civic space by 4,049 square feet to total 45,784 square feet.
  • Increase open space by 5,264 square feet to total 46,830.

Planning Director Francisco Garcia told commissioners the applicants had a dialog with neighboring property owners and deserved to be commended for reaching out to the community.

“They worked closely with the Brentwood neighborhood immediately the north, with Buena Vista East, as well as Design District stakeholders,” said Mr. Garcia.

The Planning and Zoning Department recommended the changes.

A staff analysis said the expansion would benefit the area by creating an enhanced program of residential units, commercial uses, as well as civic and open space for the public, “generating public benefits within the development, resulting in higher or specialized quality building and streetscape design.”

The expansion keeps the intent to provide mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented retail uses within an urban development, meeting the Miami 21 development concept in the interaction with the surrounding areas of Miami, the analysis says.

The project was deemed “critically important” to the economic revitalization and enhancement of the Design District, staff said, and consequently a positive impact to the city in general by creating recurring and nonrecurring financial benefits as well as temporary and permanent jobs.

Javier E. Fernandez, an attorney representing both applicants, said the planned public space will provide abutting neighbors with a needed recreational amenity and complement linear park improvements proposed by Miami Design District Associates for portions of Northeast 42nd Street.

Mr. Fernandez said all the added improvements “will provide a rational terminus of the commercial district and an appropriate transition to the abutting residential neighborhoods to the north and guard against future commercial encroachment.”

The post Design District expands north appeared first on Miami Today.

]]>
http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/design-district-expands-north/feed/ 0
Big-bus contract stalled http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/big-bus-contract-stalled/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/big-bus-contract-stalled/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 14:10:51 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=27196 The Miami-Dade County Commission has stalled a contract to buy more than 60 buses to add to the county’s fleet. Recently, elected officials and residents have pushed for more mass transit options to alleviate road congestion. While commissioners too have been onboard with that push, some on the dais raised concerns with the buses in […]

The post Big-bus contract stalled appeared first on Miami Today.

]]>
The Miami-Dade County Commission has stalled a contract to buy more than 60 buses to add to the county’s fleet.

Recently, elected officials and residents have pushed for more mass transit options to alleviate road congestion. While commissioners too have been onboard with that push, some on the dais raised concerns with the buses in line for purchase.

A contract pending approval would allow the county to buy 64 articulated buses, far larger than the standard transit buses seen on most county arteries. Specifically, articulated buses are the same type of bus as the Kendall Cruiser that runs on Southwest 88th Street and the I-95 Express buses connecting Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

These 60-foot long buses can carry 100 passengers, 60 of them seated.

Some commissioners said these buses are too big, add to traffic congestion, and travel empty during off-peak hours.

“These buses are scary,” said Xavier Suarez. “In my district, you would not want to have any of those big articulated buses.”

Supporters of the bus purchase had a different take. They said the buses in line for purchase are the result of a past commission vote that directed staff to do exactly what it’s doing – seek out a contract to buy larger buses.

“This dais… actually directed you and your predecessor to start looking at less vehicles for mass transit on heavy routes and this was the option – to get a bigger bus so you have one less bus instead of six [buses] following along on critical areas,” Sally Heyman told Miami-Dade Transit Director Ysela Llort at a recent public meeting.

In addition, the county commission, sitting as the majority of the Miami-Dade Metropolitan Planning Organization, recently voted to prioritize three thoroughfares for bus rapid transit: Kendall Drive; an east-west corridor, including the Dolphin Expressway; and Northwest 27th Avenue.

The 64 buses up for purchase are to service bus rapid transit specifically on Northwest 27th Avenue, one of the corridors the MPO prioritized, as well as on Biscayne Boulevard and the busway in South Miami-Dade.

Ms. Llort told the commission that the buses are needed because ridership in those corridors is so high that sometimes buses leave riders at the bus stop because they’re full. In addition, she added, bigger buses make more financial sense. Not only is their collective long-term cost less than buying smaller buses, but the county is in line to get state funding to buy the big buses.

The county commission in the past has approved an agreement between the county and the state department of transportation that provides for state funds to buy the buses, Deputy Mayor Alina Hudak told commissioners.

“Those buses that have already been funded through the [joint participation agreement] that we already have in place, it would really be a shame that we don’t have that capability,” Ms. Hudak told the commission. “Obviously, the decision to buy these types of buses is done by the professionals. Clearly, they believe that there’s a need for, and ridership figures indicate that there is a need for these particular corridors.”

The 64 buses would cost about $71.4 million over five years, according to a staff memo to the commission. State money would fund half the cost of 62 of the buses, with the other half funded by the county via a countywide half-percent sales surtax that funds the People’s Transportation Plan. A federal grant would purchase the other two buses.

Ms. Llort said operating and maintenance costs for these buses is about 30% less per seat than for the standard-size buses because the cost of labor is lower for the articulated buses. 

“I don’t buy the math that Ysela [Llort] gave us because the math assumes that the seats are being used,” Commissioners Suarez responded. “If the buses cost less per seat, that doesn’t really mean anything if they’re empty.”

Mr. Suarez argued that riders prefer smaller buses such as the municipally run trolleys in Miami, Miami Beach and Coral Gables.

The commission deferred the bus purchase March 3. At its following meeting March 17, staff deferred the legislation seeking the contract authorization to no date certain.

Some commissioners said they understand their colleagues’ concerns about the bigger buses.

Then again, said Jose “Pepe” Diaz, “We can’t tell administration, ‘We’re going to go this route’ and at the last second switch it out again.”

The post Big-bus contract stalled appeared first on Miami Today.

]]>
http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/big-bus-contract-stalled/feed/ 0
‘Sky’s the limit’ in South Beach http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/skys-the-limit-in-south-beach/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/skys-the-limit-in-south-beach/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 14:05:30 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=27204 By all accounts, South Beach is teeming with tourists, shoppers and happily-situated condo owners from all over the world, but the robust economy in this part of Miami also brings traffic, crowds and rising prices that don’t suit everyone’s needs. All the markets of Greater Miami are creating their own identities and South Beach – […]

The post ‘Sky’s the limit’ in South Beach appeared first on Miami Today.

]]>
By all accounts, South Beach is teeming with tourists, shoppers and happily-situated condo owners from all over the world, but the robust economy in this part of Miami also brings traffic, crowds and rising prices that don’t suit everyone’s needs.

All the markets of Greater Miami are creating their own identities and South Beach – once known as a hip, fun place to go on vacation – has transitioned “from a party place to a community where people want to live,” said Daniel de la Vega, a resident and president for ONE Sotheby’s International Realty.

“In many ways, South Beach is like a small European community with a marina, luxurious condos, beautiful parks, restaurants and walkability,” he said. “People are calling it the Monaco of the US.”

Consequently, the population is very international, Mr. de la Vega said, with buyers coming from South America and Europe.

South Beach has some of the most expensive condo real estate in all of Miami-Dade and prices seem to be going up, Mr. de la Vega said. “The sky’s the limit,” he said, adding he doesn’t see this trend ending any time soon. “When we had the downturn, South Beach was the last to go down in prices and recovered the fastest,” he said. “Fluctuations in price are the least here. There’s nothing else like it.”

When Miami was named last year for the second year in a row by Christie’s International Real Estate report as one of the top 10 luxury housing markets in the world, brokers pointed out that homebuyers get more for their money here. The city’s average square foot price for luxury homes was $559 in 2013 compared with $4,683 in London (the highest on the list) and $829 in San Francisco (the lowest of the 10 markets profiled).

Mr. de la Vega said prices for South Beach condos were factored into the average price per square foot and remain favorable compared with other metropolitan cities in the world.

South Beach is known for its luxury retail, particularly on Lincoln Road, which residents and tourists support. But the transformation to a shopper’s paradise has left its mark, with some long-established organizations saying the rent is too high for them to remain in South Beach.

Rising prices for condos and retail rents work together, so it’s difficult to say one caused the other, said Andrea Heuson, professor of finance at the University of Miami, whose areas of expertise include real estate and international finance.

A resident of South Florida, she remembers when Lincoln Road was a quiet spot for little shops and South Beach was much less crowded.

“The season [for tourists] used to be between New Year’s and Easter,” Ms. Heuson said. “Now, with events like Art Basel and so many more condos and shopping opportunities, we have people coming from Thanksgiving to Memorial Day.”

Ms. Heuson said the retail landscape began its big change about 10 years ago when leasing agent and developer Michael Comras had a vision to transform Lincoln Road from a street with privately-owned little shops into a retail destination with national and international stores.

“He and his partners succeeded beyond their wildest dreams,” Ms. Heuson said.

Yet, she believes, it’s a matter of opinion whether the transformation was a success.

With rents so high, a number of stores have been priced out and moved away from the pedestrian mall and onto nearby streets like Alton Road.

It’s a changing landscape, Ms. Heuson said, with questions remaining as to how high prices can climb.

ArtCenter South Florida, established by ceramist Ellie Schneiderman, celebrated its grand opening on Lincoln Road in 1984 to address workspace and community needs of visual artists. With Community Development Block Grant funds from the City of Miami Beach, ArtCenter artists took up residence in 21 storefronts on what was then a nearly abandoned and dilapidated Lincoln Road.

Some say Ms. Schneiderman ushered in a movement that eventually brought performing arts entertainment to Lincoln Road including the New World Symphony, the Miami City Ballet and numerous art galleries, cafes and clubs. Today, the much-loved Van Dyke Café, which served food downstairs and held live jazz each night upstairs, is closed. David’s Café II and Zeke’s Roadhouse are gone as well.

ArtCenter South Florida sold one of its two remaining buildings and is looking for a larger one.

Although the organization has not ruled out South Beach, it’s not likely it will find a space there that’s affordable and suitable, said Executive Director Maria Del Valle.

She said ArtCenter South Florida sold for $88 million its building at 800 Lincoln Road, which it purchased 30 years ago for $700,000, and will be basing all of its operations in its smaller building at 924 Lincoln Road in May.

Currently, Ms. Del Valle, said Art Center’s facility committee is evaluating options.

But she has not seen any buildings that are suitable for the organization’s needs, which include between 40,000 and 50,000 square feet for exhibition space, a print shop and studios for artists, as well as having parking for visitors.

“People [headed for ArtCenter] don’t go to Lincoln Road on the weekends because of the crowds and difficulty finding a parking space,” Ms. Del Valle said. “For the audience we get, Lincoln Road does not seem to be the best environment now.”

Ms. Del Valle said ArtCenter is blessed to own property and might be able to use proceeds from the sale that remain after purchasing another building to build its endowment to help its artists and programming.

In the three years she’s been executive director of ArtCenter, Ms. Del Valle said, she’s seen a number of changes on Lincoln Road.

In addition to the small shops moving out, she said some national chains have also been priced out of the market. ArtCenter owned a third building, which it sold some 19 years ago, where subsequent tenants such as Pottery Barn just left after the rents became too high.

“We’re defining our program needs because that will have an effect on what kind of building we will buy,” Ms. Del Valle said. “We’re looking at our best option, but the prices here are crazy.”

Ms. Heuson said it’s unlikely retail prices and rents will continue to rise.

“A rising tide lifts the boats, but there are a lot of boats out there,” she said. “In the next two years, a lot of new luxury retail is coming online and no one knows what that will do to the landscape.”

The post ‘Sky’s the limit’ in South Beach appeared first on Miami Today.

]]>
http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/skys-the-limit-in-south-beach/feed/ 0
Major conventions in question http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/major-conventions-in-question/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/major-conventions-in-question/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 14:01:25 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=27206 Last week at the cavernous Miami Beach Convention Center, Cruise Shipping Miami – a four-day conference with global pull – folded the tables and chairs and dismantled the acres of displays as it put the finishing touches on another successful event. But in 2016 the premier annual event of the worldwide cruise industry is taking […]

The post Major conventions in question appeared first on Miami Today.

]]>
Last week at the cavernous Miami Beach Convention Center, Cruise Shipping Miami – a four-day conference with global pull – folded the tables and chairs and dismantled the acres of displays as it put the finishing touches on another successful event.

But in 2016 the premier annual event of the worldwide cruise industry is taking the show and its more than 900 exhibiting companies to Fort Lauderdale.

That’s because the convention center is getting a long overdue rebuild.

How that massive renovation will impact long-time exhibitors like Cruise Shipping Miami and the Miami International Boat Show is clear in the short-term, but less clear for the long-term future.

The events calendar for the Miami Beach Convention Center is peppered with shows and conferences and conventions through the first weeks of December when Art Basel 2015 unfolds. The grid of months is void of any events after that, as the city is expected to dive into the million-dollar facelift in a major way with the start of 2016.

The Miami International Boat Show is arguably one of the biggest exhibitors to lease the convention center.

The boat show and the convention center have been partners for more than 45 years, but next February when the annual show opens it will be on Virginia Key, on the land and water adjacent to iconic Miami Marine Stadium.

With knowledge of the major rebuild of the convention center, the group that puts on the boat show, the National Marine Manufacturers’ Association, began looking elsewhere for a main staging area.

And they need a lot of room – more than 1 million square feet, in fact. The boat show is internationally famous and draws 100,000 attendees to the Miami area every year.

The Virginia Key site is owned by the City of Miami. City commissioners approved a license to the manufacturers’ association to host the show there and agreed to spend up to $16 million to develop a flex park next to the closed concrete stadium.

The agreement allows the association to use the site for the 2016 boat show and leaves the door open for future shows there.

“I have great faith in the City of Miami’s administration, who wholeheartedly supported this move,” said boat show manager Cathy Rick-Joule. “They’re providing a strong infrastructure we can tap into.”

Ms. Rick-Joule said she’s confident the boat show will be at Virginia Key for at least two years. Beyond that, the future gets murky.

Will the boat show ever return to the convention center?

“It really depends on what type of space they create. That’s a big question for us,” said Ms. Rick-Joule.

The boat show began in 1941, owned by a different entity. The very first show was held under a big tent on Dinner Key, and moved to other area locations for many years.

The boat show has been at the Miami Beach Convention Center since 1969. The manufacturers’ association purchased the show in 1984.

“It’s been a great experience,” Ms. Rick-Joule said of the years of working with the city and convention center staff.

Like a home show or auto show, the boat show is a major player and considered the “bread and butter” of any convention facility, she explained.

The association has had a very good working relationship with the convention center for years, being considerate of each other’s needs and striving to maintain open communication, she said.

The convention center staff was quick to keep the association involved in any changes, including a major renovation in the mid-1980s.

“The convention center was very mindful of us as a partner,” she said. “They considered our needs on the extension. We worked hand-in-hand.”

The rebuilding was phased out over about five years, and the convention center worked with the association to figure out the new configurations needed to house the exhibits while major portions of the structure were being worked on, she said.

“Before every important piece of business we were included… We had a great relationship with them,” Ms. Rick-Joule said. “We did move around. But we worked around it and we never missed a year.”

Leading up to the coming renovation, the association continued to have a voice in planning, Ms. Rick-Joule said.

The initial plan was to see the renovation phased in over a number of years, she said. The association was working in tandem with architects on what space was needed.

Those talks and plans were held under the administration of former Miami Beach Mayor Matti Herrera Bower.

The focus was on renovating the center in phases with the goal of not losing any business, Ms. Rick-Joule said.

A change in administration occurred and the plan switched to reducing the length of reconstruction to two years.

“Of course that impacts the viability of a lot of businesses (as) there’s no space for them,” she said.

In order to keep the boat show at the center for 2016 and 2017, the association would have had to downsize the event by more than 70%, she said.

Talk about a challenge. She noted that the boat show typically uses all three levels of the center. “We literally use almost every square foot of the convention center,” she said.

The boat show has always been a multi-venue event and will continue to have boats at the Sea Isle Marina near the Venetian Causeway and at Miamarina at Bayside.

“We’re not sure how things will play out. Up to now, they considered us a real partner, they solicited our opinion and advice. We hope that continues,” she said.

“They’re keeping us in the plans,” said Ms. Rick-Joule, noting that boat show officials have been able to meet with architects. “We’ve talked door sizes and access points. We still have an on-going dialog.”

The post Major conventions in question appeared first on Miami Today.

]]>
http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/major-conventions-in-question/feed/ 0
Development authority’s ‘Santa list’ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/development-authoritys-santa-list/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/development-authoritys-santa-list/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 14:00:56 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=27198 Spurred by a report that the City of Miami is in the process of initiating a general obligation bond issue, directors of Miami’s Downtown Development Authority drew up a wish list of projects they would like to see at least partially funded. “This is the Santa list,” Alyce Robertson, authority executive director, said at Friday’s […]

The post Development authority’s ‘Santa list’ appeared first on Miami Today.

]]>
Spurred by a report that the City of Miami is in the process of initiating a general obligation bond issue, directors of Miami’s Downtown Development Authority drew up a wish list of projects they would like to see at least partially funded.

“This is the Santa list,” Alyce Robertson, authority executive director, said at Friday’s authority board meeting.

The rationale: “downtown has grown exponentially over the past decade, and now boasts 80,000 residents and a daytime population of 220,000, with thousands of additional residents, workers and visitors projected in the years ahead,” according to authority documents.

Among the priorities:

•Flagler Street improvements from the Dade County Courthouse to the Miami River. This is the second phase of renovations; the first phase, improving the street from the courthouse to Biscayne Boulevard, is to kick off soon.

•Biscayne Green, creation of a “grand promenade” from Northeast Fifth Street to Biscayne Boulevard Way. The project includes a “road diet,” which reduces driving lanes while adding medians, landscaping, seating, and other amenities.

•Baywalk and Riverwalk, along the eastern and southern edge of downtown. Part of Miami 21, the plan creates “a scenic multimodal path that expands mobility options for pedestrians and bicyclists,” according to authority documents.

•Improvements to South Miami Avenue. An attempt to connect Flagler Street, the Miami River and Brickell, dubbed “Reconnecting the River,” would widen sidewalks, enhance safety with crosswalks and add street trees and lighting.

•Citywide urban parks. The authority aims to convert vacant lots to pocket parks or dog parks.

•Streetscape improvements and green infrastructure. The authority seeks to add seating, trees and other improvements to create target “iconic streets and grand entrances.”

•Museum Park upgrades. These would turn land in the former Bicentennial Park beside two new museums into a community-oriented park.

•The Underline. The authority supports a public-private partnership to turn land under the Metrorail line from the Dadeland South station north to the Miami River into a linear park, with drinking fountains, street furniture and landscaping.

•Pedestrian priority zone. This project would lower speed limits, lengthen walk times at crosswalks and add traffic-calming devices to improve pedestrian safety.

•Miami Streetcar. The authority supports a streetcar to run along Miami Avenue and surrounding streets.

•Baylink Light Rail. This project would link Miami and Miami Beach by rail via the MacArthur Causeway.

•Downtown bike commuter centers. The aim is to provide storage lockers for bikes, as well as showers and lockers for those who want to bike to work.

•Tri-Rail Coastal Link. The authority wants to help secure funding for rail service into downtown from points north, including Broward and Palm Beach counties.

•Waterborne public transportation. This initiative supports construction of a central docking station downtown for a water taxi or similar service to connect Miami and Miami Beach.

The post Development authority’s ‘Santa list’ appeared first on Miami Today.

]]>
http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/development-authoritys-santa-list/feed/ 2
FYI Miami: March 26, 2015 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/fyi-miami-march-26-2015/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/fyi-miami-march-26-2015/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 14:00:48 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=27180 NEW LINKS TAKING WING: Twice-weekly Aerolineas Argentinas flights linking Miami and Córdoba, Argentina’s second-largest city, are among a cluster of new flights planned through Miami International Airport. The new service on Saturdays and Sundays begins July 4. Other new flights include service by both Aeromexico and American Airlines to Monterrey, Mexico, to begin soon; Thomas […]

The post FYI Miami: March 26, 2015 appeared first on Miami Today.

]]>
NEW LINKS TAKING WING: Twice-weekly Aerolineas Argentinas flights linking Miami and Córdoba, Argentina’s second-largest city, are among a cluster of new flights planned through Miami International Airport. The new service on Saturdays and Sundays begins July 4. Other new flights include service by both Aeromexico and American Airlines to Monterrey, Mexico, to begin soon; Thomas Cook Airlines direct service linking Miami and Manchester, England, starting in May; American Airlines flights to Frankfurt, Germany, starting in May; and links between Miami and Vienna via Austrian Airlines starting in October.

RECREATION ON KEY: A new recreation business is opening on Virginia Key after Miami commissioners approved a five-year lease of a city-owned site at 3801 Rickenbacker Causeway. Virginia Key Outdoor Center LLC was deemed the top proposer for the recreational support facility. Minimum rent the first year is $750 a month and 5% of gross revenues up to $500,000 and 10% of gross revenues in excess of $500,000. For the second year, the monthly rent rises to $1,000 and 10% of gross revenues up to 500,000 and 12% of gross revenues in excess of $500,000. Operations are to include bicycles, canoes, kayaks, paddleboard with instruction, equipment rentals and guided tours. Ancillary uses may include support services, sales of related merchandise, and snacks and refreshments. Prohibited are motorized boats, motor bikes, jet skis and jet packs. The city is providing two pre-fabricated buildings joined by an elevated deck totaling 2,056 square feet and an outdoor storage area, and an area for parking.

A NEW CRA? The Miami River Commission is considering asking Miami-Dade County to include river improvements as a beneficiary of a proposed Orange Sports Complex Community Redevelopment Agency, or CRA. County commissioners have deferred action calling for a study of the new CRA, bounded by the river, Flagler Street and Northwest 22nd Avenue. County officials floated the idea of a CRA as a way to fund land buys for a soccer stadium for David Beckham’s Major League Soccer team and the University of Miami, adjacent to Marlins stadium in Little Havana. The idea included CRA funding to extend the Metromover from downtown west toward the ballpark. River commission officials may want to get a share of funding from the proposed CRA for such river improvement projects as the public riverwalk.

The post FYI Miami: March 26, 2015 appeared first on Miami Today.

]]>
http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/fyi-miami-march-26-2015/feed/ 0
Classifieds http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/classifieds-5/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/classifieds-5/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 14:00:39 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=27166

Related Posts:

The post Classifieds appeared first on Miami Today.

]]>
legal-ads

The post Classifieds appeared first on Miami Today.

]]>
http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/classifieds-5/feed/ 0
Filming in Miami: March 26, 2015 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/filming-in-miami-march-26-2015/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/filming-in-miami-march-26-2015/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 14:00:38 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=27168 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.  TELEMUNDO STUDIOS/NBC UNIVERSAL MEDIA LLC. Miami. Dueños del Paraiso. Swale […]

The post Filming in Miami: March 26, 2015 appeared first on Miami Today.

]]>
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. 

TELEMUNDO STUDIOS/NBC UNIVERSAL MEDIA LLC. Miami. Dueños del Paraiso. Swale Parking.

44 BLUE PRODUCTIONS INC. California. Tentatively Rock and a Hard Place. Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.

20TH CENTURY FOX TELEVISION STUDIOS. LA. UTH Pilot. Miami-Dade County Children Courthouse, Water and Sewage Lot.

TVM PRODUTIONS INC. Fort Lauderdale. Graceland. 140 Building – Metro Flagler Building.

JARRETT CREATIVE. NY. Boss Nails. Countywide, Miami Beach citywide.

2 MARKET MEDIA. NY. Whatever It Takes. Heritage Park, Sunny Isles Beach Park.

2DO PRODUCTIONS LLC.  Miami Beach. S.O.S. 2: Women Overboard. City of Miami Aerials, City of Miami Springs, I-395/MacArthur Causeway, I-95, Miami International Airport, Ocean Dr./5th St. to 15 St., Port of Miami, Port of Miami Terminal J, Rickenbacker Causeway, Star Island, William Powell Bridge Turnaround.

SAMURAI SNACKS PRODUCTIONS. Miami Lakes. Dear Music. Opa-locka West.

BELEN FILMS. Miami. The Pelegris. Crandon Park Beach.

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

DOLPHINSB PRODUCTIONS LLC. Coral Gables. South Beach: Sugar. Miami-Dade County Children Courthouse, West Lot Garage.

SEASON PRODUCTIONS. Miami. David Guetta/Under Pressure. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department, Parcel B, Port of Miami – Old Port Bridge.

THE PRODUCTION FACTORY LLC. Miami Beach. New Look – Video. Countywide, Miami Beach citywide, NW 58th St. Landfill.

VOSSEN WHEELS. Miami. Vossen Wheel Promo Shoot. Port of Miami Terminal J.

PARAGON PRODUCTIONS SERVICES. Miami Beach. Stills for 3 People. Miami Beach citywide.

2D PHOTO PRODUCTIONS. NY. Stills for Aerie Swim 2015. Crandon Park Beach, Haulover Beach Park.

FIRST OPTION PRODUCTIONS INC. Miami Beach. Stills for Winners Canada. Countywide, Miami Beach citywide.

THE PRODUCTION FACTORY LLC. Miami Beach. Stills for new look. Countywide, Miami Beach citywide, NW 58th St. Landfill.

GRAYSON HOFFMAN PHOTOGRAPHY INC. Miami. Stills for photo shoot. Countywide.

SIX DEGREES PRODUCTION. Miami Beach. Stills for Fashion Spring Catalog. Miami Beach citywide.

MKM PRODUCTIONS. Miami Beach. Stills for British Fashion. Countywide, Miami Beach citywide.

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

TROPICAL PRODUCTION MIAMI. Wellington. Stills for Fabulous Mag. Countywide.

THE PRODUCTION FACTORY LLC. Miami Beach. Stills for JDW Locations. Countywide, Crandon Park Beach, Haulover Trail Park, Haulover Beach Park, Miami Beach citywide, NW 58th St. Landfill.

THE PRODUCTION FACTORY LLC. Miami Beach. Stills for Photolink. Countywide, Haulover Beach Park, Miami Beach citywide.

STILLMAX. Miami. Stills for editorial. Countywide, Miami Beach citywide.

THE PRODUCTION FACTORY LLC. Miami Beach. Stills for Nationwide. Countywide.

SELECT SERVICES INC. Miami. Stills for Outside Magazine. Countywide.

DAVID SEGUI PRODUCTION SERVICES. Miami Beach. Stills for Next Directory. Countywide, Crandon Park, Crandon Park Beach.

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

SWANN-NIEMANN INC. Pennsylvania. Stills for Cato late summer. Countywide, Miami Beach citywide.

SHOOTERZ LLC. Michigan. Stills for Vera Bradley. Miami-Dade County Main Library, Orange Peel Park.

The post Filming in Miami: March 26, 2015 appeared first on Miami Today.

]]>
http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/filming-in-miami-march-26-2015/feed/ 0
Profile: Stephanie Berman-Eisenberg http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/profile-stephanie-berman-eisenberg/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/profile-stephanie-berman-eisenberg/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 14:00:25 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=27172 As president and CEO of Carrfour Supportive Housing, Stephanie Berman-Eisenberg notes a lot of misconceptions about the homeless and hopes this population will receive more empathy. Homelessness can occur for a number of reasons, she said, including job loss, caring for a severely sick child or being a veteran and returning home with no job […]

The post Profile: Stephanie Berman-Eisenberg appeared first on Miami Today.

]]>
As president and CEO of Carrfour Supportive Housing, Stephanie Berman-Eisenberg notes a lot of misconceptions about the homeless and hopes this population will receive more empathy. Homelessness can occur for a number of reasons, she said, including job loss, caring for a severely sick child or being a veteran and returning home with no job or place to live.

Carrfour – “crossroads” in French – competes in the world of for-profit affordable housing developers. The organization distinguishes itself, however, by providing services that Ms. Berman-Eisenberg said are critical to helping families turn lives around and stay housed, including case management, appointment and training services, recovery support, life skills training and parenting support.

Established in 1993, Carrfour was born out of the Miami Greater Chamber of Commerce when members noted the local attention to the homeless situation, mainly for emergency shelters. A group of chamber members asked what happens after a quick emergency fix. The idea of Carrfour is to create permanent solutions for those leaving homelessness. 

Miami Today reporter Susan Danseyar interviewed Ms. Berman-Eisenberg in her office.

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.

The post Profile: Stephanie Berman-Eisenberg appeared first on Miami Today.

]]>
http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/profile-stephanie-berman-eisenberg/feed/ 0
Tourist taxes add-on a creative way to finance vital transit http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/tourist-taxes-add-on-a-creative-way-to-finance-vital-transit/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/tourist-taxes-add-on-a-creative-way-to-finance-vital-transit/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 14:00:25 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=27170 If Miami-Dade commissioners succeed in a creative drive to increase two of our three tourism taxes by one percentage point each, they can amass more than $60 million a year to build mass transit. Anyone who tries to get around this county knows how vital this is, because bonding this guaranteed revenue could provide several […]

The post Tourist taxes add-on a creative way to finance vital transit appeared first on Miami Today.

]]>
If Miami-Dade commissioners succeed in a creative drive to increase two of our three tourism taxes by one percentage point each, they can amass more than $60 million a year to build mass transit.

Anyone who tries to get around this county knows how vital this is, because bonding this guaranteed revenue could provide several billion dollars to start building transit immediately.

If you missed this paper last week, here’s what happened: commissioners unanimously asked the legislature for an OK to raise our Tourist Development and Convention Development taxes by one percentage point apiece to build transit.

Esteban Bovo Jr.’s measure notes that visitors, like all of us, face near gridlock at times and driving difficulties at all times in a county where more and more cars jam the roads but capacity doesn’t grow and mass transit is skimpy.

If the legislature allows it – which Mr. Bovo said will be a “very prolonged dance” and a long-shot – the added tax could then be requested of voters, who would get the final yes-or-no say.

While voters are usually a stumbling block in adding a tax, they shouldn’t be if Tallahassee lets them have a say-so. First, voters should realize that the transit we all need hangs in the balance. Second, visitors, not local residents, would pay most of the tax.

Those collections are hefty. Had the transit taxes been in place in February, the percentage point addition to the Convention Development Tax would have netted transit $2.75 million that month and the addition to the Tourist Development Tax would have netted $2.5 million. Without factoring in seasonal fluctuations, that would amass $63 million a year for transit.

The Convention Development Tax in February was 7% higher than February 2014 and the Tourist Development Tax was up nearly 11%, according to the tax collector’s office, and Convention Development Tax receipts rose 57% in five years as tourism has shot higher. So you can forecast rising funds ahead to repay transit bonds.

Tourist taxes could be a perfect road to vital transportation. But potential pitfalls lurk.

One is the visitor industry, which relies on those taxes and is very protective of them. In general, we agree with that protection of our number-one industry. We’d never want funds drained off to the wrong uses.

But today very little is more important to our economic development – and we include the visitor industry in that development – than the ability to get around.

Moreover, the proposal wouldn’t divert a penny from current tourist and convention development tax collections. They would continue to go just where they go now, and would in fact rise at the same rate as would an add-on tax targeted to transit.

The only negative – and it is real – is that visitors’ hotel and restaurant bills would rise. If 1% or 2% added tax gave competitive advantages to other destinations, we could lose some visitors.

On the other hand, we’re already more expensive in many ways than most competitors and have lost the lower end of the market by now. Real losses are likely to be minimal.

Another pitfall: commissioners could do what they did with our transit sales tax a dozen years ago – hijack taxes intended to build transit or other money that could help build transit and use the funds elsewhere. The current tax for new transit was diverted that way.

Indeed, Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava tried last week to amend the measure to permit tourism taxes to go for system operation. Commissioners Juan Zapata and Rebeca Sosa warned that state legislators would be unlikely to buy that, but Chairman Jean Monestime told the commission that if Tallahassee approves the measure, the commission will get another shot at adding operating costs as a permitted use of the new tax.

That should never happen, because it would undermine the aim to maximize system size if funds were watered down to also run the system. It would also make it hard or impossible to bond a revenue stream if commissioners could tap that stream at will for operating funds.

The question to voters should guarantee that an independent trust would dole out new transit tax receipts and would bar commissioners from committing a penny without prior trust approval. We were guaranteed such a firewall in 2002 but commissioners – some of whom remain in office – grabbed the money before the trust was created, and it was never independent.

One concern is that establishments in Surfside and Bal Harbour don’t pay either tax and that those in Miami Beach don’t fund the Tourist Development Tax because that city has its own tourist tax. Funding transit without everyone paying a share is inequitable, particularly since a key aim is to run transit from the mainland up the beach. Some payment from these communities for beneficial transit upgrades is logical.

Commissioners last week added the new taxes for transit to their Tallahassee priority list and asked their lobbyists to make it real.

The objective is admirable. It would allow the county to craft legislation to guarantee new transit while also guaranteeing that whatever money remains from our current transportation tax adds to the infrastructure pot rather than going to operations.

It would also give the county a chance to allow three communities shielded from tourist taxes to pay too and not be free riders.

This fund use would clearly benefit visitors and all of us, helping everyone get around Greater Miami with less pain.

By building in the proper safeguards, this tax plan could be a big winner – once the legislature gives us a green light to speed up travels in Miami-Dade.

The post Tourist taxes add-on a creative way to finance vital transit appeared first on Miami Today.

]]>
http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/03/25/tourist-taxes-add-on-a-creative-way-to-finance-vital-transit/feed/ 2