Miami Today http://www.miamitodaynews.com The Newspaper for the Future of Miami Wed, 27 Aug 2014 20:27:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Book publishers tell South Florida stories http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/08/27/book-publishers-tell-south-florida-stories/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/08/27/book-publishers-tell-south-florida-stories/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:07:47 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=23835 South Florida produces more than enough happenings to keep a book publisher busy for years. At the moment, there just aren’t that many local publishers to take on the stories, though over the years independent publishers have taken advantage of the area’s rich offerings and available infrastructure. But in an industry undergoing dramatic change from […]

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South Florida produces more than enough happenings to keep a book publisher busy for years. At the moment, there just aren’t that many local publishers to take on the stories, though over the years independent publishers have taken advantage of the area’s rich offerings and available infrastructure.

But in an industry undergoing dramatic change from the Big 5 publishers – Penguin Random House, Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster – to the little guy, the questions remains: why start publishing?

For Arva Parks, her nearly 25-year publishing venture Centennial Press is a natural extension of her love for Miami.

Authors and companies get very personal attention at Centennial Press. Typically, an organization approaches Ms. Parks with a concept or project, sometimes with an author attached. Ms. Parks will then facilitate the design, writing and publication, drawing on her extensive knowledge of Miami-area history and her personal archives.

“They just don’t send me a manuscript and get a book back,” Ms. Parks said. “I work with the companies. That’s what makes it unique as far as the local element. A lot of the people I end up working with, I know.”

At Centennial Press, though they are sometimes published internationally, the books are designed and created on a local scale. Mixed Media Graphics has designed several Centennial Press books, as has Tom Grabowski & Associates with designer Peter Zorn. Eladio Robertson of Global Print Services Inc. has printed most of the Centennial’s recent books, like “The Biltmore Hotel,” “Eat at Joe’s” and a Ransom Everglades book.

“The only time I have a bad day is when I don’t learn something new. The best thing someone can say to me is, ‘Jeez. I didn’t know that,’” Ms. Parks said.

With Centennial Press getting close to 25 years and close to a dozen titles, Ms. Parks has had plenty of opportunities to learn many new things about the city she lives in and works to promote.

On the distribution side, for Centennial Press publications there is often a natural audience built into each project. For Joe’s Stone Crab or Ransom Everglades, the community around the institution is the intended audience. But to widen the reach of smaller publishers, help from an independent bookstore never hurts.

“We’re very lucky that we have [Mitchell] Kaplan. Frequently he’ll take these books and put them in his stores. A lot of chains won’t do that. We’d have to go through a corporate distributor to get the books in some of the bigger bookstores,” Ms. Parks said.

Defining an independent publisher isn’t easy. Many small publishers take the form of a university press, and unaffiliated publishing houses use different pay models. Some are grant funded, some will be paid for by the author or the company heading the project, and still others will follow a more traditional model of paying for the project in its entirety and hoping to make back the money spent in sales.

“There really aren’t that many local publishers,” said Mitchell Kaplan, owner of Books & Books and chair of the Miami Book Fair International’s board of directors. “Not every town has a lot of book publishers. Book publishing just isn’t something that is widely prevalent.”

Much like starting a local bookstore, done out of a passion for books, book publishing is most likely done because “it’s something you feel like you just can’t say no to. Like any of the arts, it’s done out of a sense of passion. It’s very idiosyncratic, it takes one person to really to push it through,” Mr. Kaplan said.

There is space for a viable traditional publisher in Miami. But it would take capital and the ability to withstand losses associated with the difficult industry.

“The question isn’t what would work best. But the question becomes, is there a need for one in Miami and what would make there be that need? What would distinguish it from other publishing houses?” Mr. Kaplan said. “What would a publisher in Miami be doing that would make it be essential or different?”

The writing community here has grown tenfold from 25 to 30 year ago, Mr. Kaplan said. And if there’s someone familiar with the disparity between number of potential projects and lack of publishers, it’s a writer. Or in the case of Jai-Alai Books, a poet.

“There is definitely no lack of writers and potential book projects here,” said Scott Cunningham, founder of the O, Miami poetry foundation, and Jai-Alai Books. “There is an insane wealth of book projects… but actually opening a publishing house and operating it is a whole other story,” Mr. Cunningham said.

“I don’t envision that in anyone’s wildest dreams they believe if you go into business as a small publisher you’ll make money, because it’s so competitive. We don’t have the reach of the big houses, but we do have Florida. And we do have greater writers in this state,” said Michael Zealy, founder of the 3-year-old Midtown Publishing, which operates out of New York and South Florida.

“Books are expensive to make, and they’re hard to market and distribute. We’re just trying to figure out this stuff as we go,” Mr. Cunningham said. Jai-Alai’s recently published first book “Forager” offers a lyrical look at the edible flora around Greater Miami. “Forager” creates a different kind of map for locals who may have not looked at their neighborhood as one ripe for picking.

1,500 copies of Forager were printed. Over 152 pages, “Forager: A Subjective Guide to Miami’s Edible Plants” details 42 edibles plants readers can find in a Miami backyard. “I had always imagined that this first book would be a book of poetry but it kind of made sense to do this uber-Miami project,” Mr. Cunningham said.

While Jai-Alai is a local press, the intention isn’t to stick to only local writers. Instead of placing limitations on the press, Mr. Cunningham and his team are trying to establish a voice that feels authentic to and inspired by Miami.

“Just because a publishing house is located in Miami doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a local publisher,” said John Dufresne, creative writing professor at FIU and author of “Love Warps the Mind a Little” as well as many others. “As the big publishing houses consolidate and there are fewer opportunities and few publishing houses for special beginning writers, that slack is being taken up by small publishers.”

Like a lot of aspects of literature, taking a bet on publishing isn’t a definite way to make money.

“Part of it is a passion for stories, to just being really excited about literature and stories and good novels and getting that work out to the public. Because stories make a difference in our lives,” Mr. Dufrense said. “That’s why I teach it, because I love stories. And you’ve got to have a passion for it because you’re probably not going to make a lot of money as a publisher, unless you’re lucky.”

Jai-Alai’s next two books are collections of poetry that are to be released at the Miami Book Fair, and while both of the poets have ties to Miami, neither lives in Miami.

“I’ve wanted to publish books for the last 15 years, just because I love books and I love the form, the architecture of the book. It’s just an amazing piece of technology,” Mr. Cunningham said.

Jai-Alai is gearing up to take submissions via its website. Currently it’s publishing with money collected through donations and sales, and the press has applied for a Knight Arts Challenge grant.

“Miami is a very, very vibrant city; maybe the rest of the country doesn’t see that. But we have one of the biggest book fairs, a great independent bookstore,” Mr. Dufresne said. “It is a good time for someone locally to start a press.”

 

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Trade financing flows for small business http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/08/27/trade-financing-flows-small-business/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/08/27/trade-financing-flows-small-business/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:04:02 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=23833 With an extremely high percentage of small and medium-sized business in South Florida, it’s unsurprising that they account for a significant portion of the area’s export-import sector. Obtaining trade financing for a small and medium-sized exporter can be crucial in successfully growing their business. In today’s economic climate, trade financing has remained relatively consistent this […]

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With an extremely high percentage of small and medium-sized business in South Florida, it’s unsurprising that they account for a significant portion of the area’s export-import sector. Obtaining trade financing for a small and medium-sized exporter can be crucial in successfully growing their business. In today’s economic climate, trade financing has remained relatively consistent this year compared to last for small and medium-sized businesses.

Small and medium-sized business make up more than 96% of Florida exporters and account for 68% of Florida exports, the highest among all 50 states. On average small and medium-sized companies account for 33% of exports in the US, Enterprise Florida reports.

The US Small Business Administration’s core loan programs have been consistent this year compared to last, although year-to-date there have been slightly more deals this year, said Mary Hernandez, regional manager of the administration’s export solutions group for Florida, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

The bulk of activity in this region has been in South Florida, with Miami-Dade and Broward standing out.

In some ways, the economic downturn a couple of years back sent some lenders looking to the export-import sector.

“Bankers were looking to get out of the real estate side of business and into other avenues. I got a few more inquiries from banks at that point,” Ms. Hernandez said.

The Small Business Administration is always looking to attract new lenders for a range of financing deals. Loans can fall anywhere on a spectrum of $25,000 to $1 million deals. “Each lender has a different appetite,” she said.

Citibank, for example, was the administration’s export lender of the year in 2013. As a bigger bank it tends to work with bigger loan amounts, Ms. Hernandez said. “Lenders understand that this is a very large customer base,” she said.

Concept II Cosmetics, a Miami-based cosmetics company founded in 1988, is just one of the administration’s success stories. Concept II Cosmetics was a Small Business Exporter of the Year and took advantage of the Export Assistance Center. All of Concept II Cosmetics’ products are developed and produced in its 20,000-square-foot facility.

Florida has an extremely robust export sector, with more than 60,000 companies engaged in exporting. Florida accounted for 20% of all US exporters in 2011, and is second only to California, which counts 75,028 companies, Enterprise Florida reports. The state exports 49% of what is produce in the state, which is higher than any other state and the US’s 20% of total production.

The top merchandise export destinations for products originated in Florida are Brazil, Canada, Switzerland, Colombia and Venezuela.

What’s Florida exporting? Cars, aircraft engine and parts, telecommunications equipment, gold, fertilizer and computers and components.

Florida’s small business exports are across the board, Ms. Hernandez said.

“In merchandise, you’re talking about communication equipment, computers. I seeing clothing, cosmetics, medical and nutritional supplements, construction material, machinery,” she said. “It really is impressive the wide range of products and services that are being exported.”

In terms of merchandise trade, the Miami Customs District was the 12th busiest in the US, even considering a slight decline of 3.4% in total trade. Total merchandise trade, which includes exports and imports, was nearly $160 billion 2013, according to Enterprise Florida.

On the lending side, one big issue coming up is the refinancing of the US Export-Import Bank. The Florida Bankers Association is pushing for the bank’s refinancing.

“In Miami and South Florida the [Export-Import] Bank is mainly used in small businesses, and it’s important to our economy that trade financing continues,” said Alex Sanchez, president and CEO of the Florida Bankers Association.

“We’re telling people that small businesses in Miami and Florida greatly benefit from the [Export-Import] Bank,” Mr. Sanchez said. “We’re a country of small businesses, and small businesses are job creator.”

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Commercial, industrial loan pool grows http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/08/27/commercial-industrial-loan-pool-grows/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/08/27/commercial-industrial-loan-pool-grows/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:01:52 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=23831 As commercial and industrial lending continues to increase, some Miami bankers wonder if the industry might lending its way into trouble. They say competition has heated up as South Florida lenders, hurt by the residential real estate collapse several years ago, have been focusing more on the commercial and industrial realm, also making them more […]

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As commercial and industrial lending continues to increase, some Miami bankers wonder if the industry might lending its way into trouble.

They say competition has heated up as South Florida lenders, hurt by the residential real estate collapse several years ago, have been focusing more on the commercial and industrial realm, also making them more likely to take risks to win new business from those sectors.

“The only way banks can make money is if they’re lending,” said Veronica Flores, executive vice president and chief operating officer at First National Bank of South Miami.

“I’m starting to see where other banks are loosening their guidelines,” she added. “It’s a very competitive environment.”

Nationwide, commercial and industrial loans grew 12.6% in the second quarter, compared with 5.9% a year earlier, according to US Federal Reserve data released last month.

A January survey of senior bank loan officers by the Federal Reserve found that 14% of banks had relaxed their standards for commercial and industrial loans to borrowers of all sizes in the fourth quarter of last year and no loan officers reported tightening their standards, according to the Wall Street Journal.

With a lingering lackluster environment for residential mortgage lending, banks naturally are focusing more on the commercial sector.

The increase in loans to businesses is being fueled by banks sometimes loosening their lending standards and by companies seeking more money to increase spending on workers and equipment, bankers say.

“Banks are putting more into the commercial side,” Ms. Flores said, “because there’s much more money to be made now in commercial lending.”

But the lessons of the financial crisis, bankers say, should not be forgotten.

“Some banks are being very aggressive with their underwriting standards,” said Jose Vazquez, senior vice president and director of commercial banking in Florida for Popular Community Bank.

“I do caution those out there who are loosening their standards in having a short-term memory and the effect that could have on their business in the future,” Mr. Vazquez said. “We’re not doing that.”

Neither has First National Bank of South Miami loosened its commercial lending standards, Ms. Flores said.

“When values plummeted” in the real estate crash “a lot of banks were left with land and buildings worth half of their loan amounts,” she said. “What concerns me” with those loosening standards “is that it [the crash] didn’t happen that long ago.”

“That’s where we’re seeing a lot of aggressiveness” among banks seeking to make commercial loans to choice clients, Ms. Flores said.

All the while, Mr. Vazquez said, interest rates are at historical lows, so many companies are eager to lock in loans now before rates go up, which regulators and economists expect as the Fed tapers its bond-buying program. The Fed has said it plans to end the program in October, capping an era of loose monetary policy that has helped keep interest rates low.

“A lot of people are taking advantage of the economy and are locking in rates,” Mr. Vazquez added.

In Miami, part of the increase is being driven by commercial residential lending for the many high-rise condominium towers and apartment complexes being built or planned in the downtown area.

“There’s a lot of demand for multifamily housing,” Mr. Vazquez said. “Some banks are heavily into construction lending.”

Still, banks aren’t approaching commercial construction lending without some safety net in the form of greater financial contributions upfront from developers, who are relying more now on raising money in advance from pre-construction sales of units.

“Banks want to make sure developers are putting their money at risk before our own,” Ms. Flores said.

First National Bank of South Miami grew commercial lending by 27% in the first quarter compared with a year earlier, Ms. Flores said.

Several years ago, as other banks were holding back on lending in the aftermath of the financial crisis, First National Bank made a strategic decision to go after more business, especially commercial loans, Ms. Flores said.

“We’re seen an explosion” in commercial lending “in the medical community,” she added. “Doctors are building their own offices, instead of leasing them from other people.”

However, she added, First National avoids loan-to-value ratios (the amount of loan to the value of purchased assets) of more than 70%, although she has seen some banks lately going up to 80% to 85% ratios, raising concerns about excessive risk.

Popular Community Bank, with a local headquarters in Miami Lakes, also has been seeing increases in commercial lending.

“We’re seen a significant improvement from last year across all lines of business in the commercial area,” Mr. Vazquez said. “A lot of that is real estate driven, but we’re also seeing [an increase in] middle market and small business loans.”

 

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Car dealers roll to better days http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/08/27/car-dealers-roll-better-days/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/08/27/car-dealers-roll-better-days/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:59:31 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=23829 During the recession, with sales of new cars drastically reduced and manufacturers cutting back on production, auto dealerships had a rough ride. Closings and consolidations were rife. But experts say those that remain are now thriving. “With fewer dealerships and demand higher than it was, it’s the best of both worlds,” said Alex Kurkin, a […]

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During the recession, with sales of new cars drastically reduced and manufacturers cutting back on production, auto dealerships had a rough ride. Closings and consolidations were rife. But experts say those that remain are now thriving.

“With fewer dealerships and demand higher than it was, it’s the best of both worlds,” said Alex Kurkin, a partner in the law firm Kurkin Brandes who represents the Florida Automobile Dealers Association. “Those that survived our economic meltdown did so by streamlining everything.

They cut expenses to the bare bones, and also cut personnel across the board. But now that consumer confidence is better than it was, they are doing much better. There is a little less competition, and with a streamlined expense structure, they are much more efficient.”

Consolidation among dealerships is rare these days, he said, because owners aren’t motivated to sell right now.

“It’s a sellers’ market in terms of valuations,” Mr. Kurkin said, “but they have to balance that out with what they will they do with the proceeds. So unless they have estate-planning or succession issues, those who have well-managed dealerships are not motivated to sell.”

Proposals for new development, he said, meet opposition from existing dealers.

“It’s tough to put in new stores, as the market is saturated,” Mr. Kurkin said. “We don’t see much new construction other than the occasional remodeling to comply with new image requirements from the manufacturer.”

Colliers International’s 10-year-old CARS Group – CARS is an acronym for Colliers Automotive Retail Services – has seen a similar reversal, said Michael Fay, chairman and founding partner of Colliers International South Florida.

“We definitely went through a cycle of closings and some foreclosures,” he said. “Some manufacturers ended up implementing changes in their business plans and consolidating other business groups in the same family.

“But today they are in expansion mode. The auto industry has come back like gangbusters, which has been a wonderful part of our economic growth. Not only foreign but also US manufacturers are looking for new points and locations. Some are looking to improve their position: because of changes in demographics around areas that were once auto-dealership rows, they are going elsewhere.”

In one recent expansion, Mr. Fay said, Colliers International represented Williamson Cadillac Buick GMC, located at 7815 SW 104th St., in the $8.9 million acquisition of an adjacent property at 7700 SW 100th St.

The seller, A-1 Fargo Van & Storage, was represented by The Katsikos Group.

“We are delighted to have been able to acquire this property because of how our business has expanded over the last several years,” said G. Ed Williams II, chairman & CEO of Williamson Automotive Group Cadillac Buick GMC. He said the new site will be used for operational purposes.

Other expansions possibilities are opening up, Mr. Fay said, around large residential developments such as North Miami’s One Fifty One at Biscayne, formerly called Biscayne Landing.

“A lot of dealers are looking at that,” he said.

At the south end of the county, Mr. Fay said, dealers are migrating from US Highway 441 to new sites closer to the Interstate 95-Palmetto Expressway corridor.

 

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‘Art Basel’ of design world headed to Beach http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/08/27/art-basel-design-world-headed-beach/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/08/27/art-basel-design-world-headed-beach/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:57:15 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=23827 Maison & Objet, a high-end show coming to Miami Beach May 12-15, is the Art Basel of the design world, observers say. And, like the prestigious art event, it will spawn a web of smaller shows, parties and auxiliary events. “This is essentially a big happening in interior design,” said Max Sklar, Miami Beach director […]

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Maison & Objet, a high-end show coming to Miami Beach May 12-15, is the Art Basel of the design world, observers say. And, like the prestigious art event, it will spawn a web of smaller shows, parties and auxiliary events.

“This is essentially a big happening in interior design,” said Max Sklar, Miami Beach director of tourism, culture and economic development. “and we expect it to follow the same pattern we have seen with Art Basel, Swim Week and other major shows, with many side events springing up.”

“There will be nothing like it in the U.S.,” said Teresa Laughlin, principal of New York City-based TC Laughlin Public Relations Group, which represents Maison & Objet stateside.

Maison & Objet in Paris draws 80,000 visitors, 3,000 trade exhibitors and 3,500 journalists twice yearly, she said. Nearly half of visitors and exhibitors are international, according to the show’s website.

The Miami Beach Convention Center event, in its first year, is expected to bring in 6,000 visitors, about 200 exhibitors and 250 journalists, many of them international. A show in Singapore last year was similarly successful and will be repeated next March, according to the company’s website.

“The Miami Beach show will be, like the Paris show, a highly curated trade event, though the blend of both exhibitors and attendees will likely incorporate more people from Latin America,” she said. “In its first year, we are not expecting the usual 80,000 trade attendees that visit the Paris show twice a year! Soon, though…”

Exhibitors who want to break into the Latin American market, including many from New York City, are eager to book space, she added.

Miami Beach “quickly became the indisputable choice as the setting for a new show, having the power to draw great numbers of qualified visitors from North and Latin America,” according to a Maison & Objet release. “This thriving metropolis – a financial, economic and cultural center of global stature – has a geographical location and history that position it as a natural bridge between the Americas.”

Community involvement is a big part of the event, Ms. Laughlin said. Though details haven’t been firmed up yet, activities being considered include a gala opening May 12, followed by the next day by a Wallcast at the New World Symphony announcing winners of the designer-of-the-year and emerging talent contests.

On May 14, Miami’s Design District might get into the action, with galleries exhibiting items from the design show and other collaborative activities. The final day might see a gigantic feast staged on the convention center’s grand promenade, and other celebrations.

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Arsht Center seeks playhouse deal intermission http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/08/27/arsht-center-seeks-playhouse-deal-intermission/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/08/27/arsht-center-seeks-playhouse-deal-intermission/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:55:51 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=23820 Arsht Trust Chairman Mike Eidson wants Miami-Dade County to stop its process of choosing an architectural firm to design a renovated Coconut Grove Playhouse and wait until the end of September, when he expects the Adrienne Arsht Center will have a final report detailing an alternative plan for the historic theater. Mr. Eidson spoke for […]

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Arsht Trust Chairman Mike Eidson wants Miami-Dade County to stop its process of choosing an architectural firm to design a renovated Coconut Grove Playhouse and wait until the end of September, when he expects the Adrienne Arsht Center will have a final report detailing an alternative plan for the historic theater.

Mr. Eidson spoke for the first time publicly about the center’s proposal for the playhouse at a meeting hosted by the Coconut Grove Village Council on Friday evening. About 40 people gathered in Miami City Hall for his presentation.

He said it’s worth waiting for the complete feasibility study, which a group of leaders incorporated as the Coconut Grove Theater Foundation Inc. will provide for Mayor Carlos Gimenez with details on raising $25 million – augmenting $20 million the county has already reserved for a new theater – to tear down the existing building and rebuild the façade, have two theaters (one with 300 seats and the other holding up to 900 people) and a multi-story parking garage.

Mr. Eidson said the Arsht would operate the theater and raise the $25 million over a period of about three years from individuals, foundations and corporations.

“Our vision is to create a great theater on this property with a company that produces national quality theater,” he said. “The Coconut Grove Playhouse, built in 1926, once had some of the most exciting theater in the country and we can do that again.”

Mr. Eidson, an attorney who is president of the Coconut Grove Theater Foundation, said Miami is the only large city in the US that doesn’t have a flagship theater. He said he and other members of the foundation have been visiting regional theaters across the nation and can attest that “theater is alive and well.”

The former Coconut Grove Playhouse on Main Highway, which once seated 1,500 persons, was closed eight years ago when its board ran into financial difficulties. It has been vacant since.

A number of people who attended the meeting pointed out that the county is currently looking to choose architectural and consultant firms to develop recommendations for what can be built on the site. Mr. Eidson said it’s definitely worth the county’s while to stop its process for a few weeks and wait to see the foundation’s final study.

Others voiced apprehension about the historic building being totally razed, but Mr. Eidson said it’s the purpose that has to be restored and not necessarily the actual building.

“Inside, there are some components that engineers are going to say will have to be taken down,” Mr. Eidson said. “It’s dangerous to keep it. It would not be economically feasible. It cannot be preserved, and the only way is to build it over.”

Ron Nelson, chief of staff for Miami city Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, pointed out that the facility was a movie theater and does not have wings or other aspects a modern theater needs to operate efficiently. Even if the box frame of the facility was maintained, he said, interior aspects would have to be added.

A few people who attended voiced support for Mr. Eidson’s work with the newly-formed foundation.

Jerome Cohen, who described himself as a patron of the arts for the past 30 years, said he has never seen anyone with more purpose than Mike Eidson.

“I must endorse him in this effort,” Mr. Cohen said. “This is not in conflict with what’s happening.”

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FedEx may contend for county land deal http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/08/27/fedex-may-contend-county-land-deal/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/08/27/fedex-may-contend-county-land-deal/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:44:51 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=23818 Miami-Dade wants to develop 125 acres of county-owned land as either an upscale industrial park or a school campus. Already, FedEx has expressed interest in the South Miami-Dade property adjacent to the Homestead Air Reserve Base, said Commissioner Dennis Moss. “FedEx has shown a strong interest in wanting to develop a distribution facility there,” Mr. […]

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Miami-Dade wants to develop 125 acres of county-owned land as either an upscale industrial park or a school campus.

Already, FedEx has expressed interest in the South Miami-Dade property adjacent to the Homestead Air Reserve Base, said Commissioner Dennis Moss.

“FedEx has shown a strong interest in wanting to develop a distribution facility there,” Mr. Moss said. “They’d be a great anchor development at that particular location and would be somewhat of a magnet for other types of uses.”

FedEx didn’t confirm whether it’s interested in opening a facility at the site.

On Monday, Miami-Dade commissioners, sitting as the Finance Committee, gave preliminary approval for staff to request expressions of interest in the site.

“We want to gauge what kind of interest there is out there in trying to get the land developed,” said Mr. Moss, the item’s prime sponsor.

The vacant land is part of 600 acres the Air Force gave the county after Hurricane Andrew flatted South Miami-Dade. The handover was in part to help the county spur area economic development.

Plans are to develop the property to stimulate job growth.

“We want to create a certain environment at that particular location that would attract the more upscale industrial uses as opposed to the nitty-gritty uses like auto repair shops,” Mr. Moss said.

A school would also be a logical use near the Homestead base, he said.

The 125 acres are ready to develop. They have the needed zoning because Italy-based rail company AnsaldoBreda was to set up a headquarters there but pulled back.

Companies expressing interest are to list their relevant development experience, proposed site uses, rent they propose to pay the county and the number of jobs they plan to create.

 

 

 

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Classified Ads http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/08/27/classified-ads-127/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/08/27/classified-ads-127/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:00:49 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=23812 www.lumenessefilms.com. Solar Heat Rejection. Safety Hurricane Protection. Frosted Privacy film. 305-470-9393   CLASS A OFFICE FOR SALE $270K. 647 sf, incl 1 parking. Peabody RE 305-491-2609. www.investinbrickell.com

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www.lumenessefilms.com. Solar Heat Rejection. Safety Hurricane Protection. Frosted Privacy film. 305-470-9393

 

CLASS A OFFICE FOR SALE $270K. 647 sf, incl 1 parking. Peabody RE 305-491-2609. www.investinbrickell.com

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Filming in Miami: August 28, 2014 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/08/27/filming-miami-august-28-2014/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/08/27/filming-miami-august-28-2014/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:00:30 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=23810 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.  VENEVISION PRODUCTIONS LLC. Miami. Voltea Pa’ Que Te Enamores. City […]

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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. 

VENEVISION PRODUCTIONS LLC. Miami. Voltea Pa’ Que Te Enamores. City of Hialeah, Miami-Dade County Transit, Milander Park, Swale Parking.

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

UNIVISION COMMUNICATIONS INC. Miami. Despierta America. Collins Ave. /17th to 41st streets, Miami Beach citywide.

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

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

HG PRODEUCERS INC. Miami Beach. Stills for JMS. Crandon Park Beach.

MANASSEH JORDAN MINISTRIES. NY. Stills for Bullion Fitness. Haulover Beach Park.

P. STUDIO PRODUCTIONS INC. Miami Beach. Stills for IM Bikini. Countywide, Miami Beach citywide.

 

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Profile: Tamara Wendt http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/08/27/profile-tamara-wendt/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2014/08/27/profile-tamara-wendt/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 14:00:17 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=23805 The LAB offers a space in Wynwood for a spectrum of companies to work side by side, or office to desk, and learn from one another. The idea is to facilitate a newer and progressive work environment in Greater Miami where legacy companies can work alongside and help – and learn from – the startups […]

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The LAB offers a space in Wynwood for a spectrum of companies to work side by side, or office to desk, and learn from one another. The idea is to facilitate a newer and progressive work environment in Greater Miami where legacy companies can work alongside and help – and learn from – the startups in the area. 

In the past year and a half, the LAB has hosted everything from summer tech camps to educational programming to yoga classes. To pull it all off, however, there needs to be someone making sure all the moving parts fit together. 

Tamara Wendt, newly appointed managing director of co-working space the LAB Miami, comes from a background of non-profit work and makes sure everyone from prospective members to longtime tenants have what they need.

Miami Today Reporter Nina Lincoff interviewed Ms. Wendt at the LAB.

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