Miami Today http://www.miamitodaynews.com The Newspaper for the Future of Miami Thu, 02 Jul 2015 22:17:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.5 More funds flow for Tri-Rail downtown link http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/06/30/more-funds-flow-for-tri-rail-downtown-link/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/06/30/more-funds-flow-for-tri-rail-downtown-link/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 03:15:44 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=28143 A link to bring Tri-Rail passenger service to downtown Miami is a “no-brainer,” supporters said as the proposal garnered another promise of cash last week. Miami city commissioners met as the board of the Omni Redevelopment District Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) on a proposal to help bring Tri-Rail to All Aboard Florida’s MiamiCentral station, now […]

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A link to bring Tri-Rail passenger service to downtown Miami is a “no-brainer,” supporters said as the proposal garnered another promise of cash last week.

Miami city commissioners met as the board of the Omni Redevelopment District Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) on a proposal to help bring Tri-Rail to All Aboard Florida’s MiamiCentral station, now under construction.

The commissioners unanimously authorized a two-year grant of up to $1,875,000 a year to the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority to help extend direct Tri-Rail service into downtown.

As part of the development of MiamiCentral – a privately funded multi-modal transportation hub under construction by All Aboard Florida – the addition of two train platforms would allow for connection of the current Tri-Rail passenger service west of I-95 ending at the airport to downtown, as well as provide facilities needed to support the planned coastal link that will ultimately take Tri-Rail north along the Florida East Coast (FEC) Railway corridor to Jupiter.

Barry Johnson, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, told commissioners he supports the link to downtown.

“Transportation is the number one challenge facing the community,” Mr. Johnson said.

In a fast-growing metropolis like Miami, he said, it is vital to have ways to get people in and out of the city.

Although there is no silver bullet to do the job, the Tri-Rail extension into downtown is a “key” part to the puzzle, he said.

“It’s probably the biggest no-brainer in the history of the Earth,” said Mr. Johnson.

Joe Pena, who works in the president’s office of Miami Dade College, attended to lend the college’s support to the Tri-Rail link.

The college’s employees and students rely on public transportation, he said, and the 30,000 who frequent the Wolfson campus downtown battle growing traffic congestion.

To add weekday trains to the north would make travel more convenient and less time-consuming for faculty and students, Mr. Pena said.

A downtown Tri-Rail link would also bring patrons to events at the college, including the popular annual book fair, he said.

Mr. Pena said public-private partnerships can help to stretch the value of a dollar, and to support the Tri-Rail extension would mean reaping its benefits for years to come.

The supportive resolution lists justification for the expenditure, and those items are echoed in specific goals in the 2009 Omni CRA Redevelopment Plan, including:

•To provide employment opportunities and upward mobility for residents by the creation of jobs within the community.

•To create economic magnets to draw more businesses to the Omni area to compliment established activities in the area.

•The maximizing of conditions for residents to continue to live in the area.

•To eliminate conditions that contribute to blight, encourage the restoration of historic buildings, and “enhance the area’s visual attractiveness to businesses and residents by creating opportunities for new development through improvements to the public realm.”

It further notes that state law says the promotion of regional transportation and specified transportation improvement projects is a goal of CRAs.

The Omni CRA vote comes on the heels of other funding commitments.

In May, the city’s Downtown Development Authority agreed to spend $1.3 million over the next three years to support the Tri-Rail extension.

The Miami-Dade County Commission’s Transit and Mobility Services Committee approved $13.9 million in funding to bring Tri-Rail to MiamiCentral.

The full cost to make the Tri-Rail link to MiamiCentral is about $69 million, a combination of city, county and state funding. The Miami City Commission has yet to vote on a final Tri-Rail link funding package but is expected to this month.

All Aboard Florida, the private rail line planned to operate between Miami and Orlando owned by Florida East Coast Railway, offered the regional transportation authority the opportunity to run tracks and Tri-Rail trains into the vast station it is building downtown.

Tri-Rail runs on the CSX line’s tracks now, while the planned All Aboard Florida trains are to run on FEC tracks.

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Military Museum takes heavy state fire http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/06/30/military-museum-takes-heavy-state-fire/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/06/30/military-museum-takes-heavy-state-fire/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 03:10:33 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=28141 The South Florida Military Museum suffered another setback last week when Gov. Rick Scott vetoed $1 million in state funding that would have allowed it to finally open its doors, said Anthony Atwood, a Navy veteran who has led the fight to open the museum since 2007. Work will continue on equipping the historic building […]

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The South Florida Military Museum suffered another setback last week when Gov. Rick Scott vetoed $1 million in state funding that would have allowed it to finally open its doors, said Anthony Atwood, a Navy veteran who has led the fight to open the museum since 2007.

Work will continue on equipping the historic building that will house the museum with basic utilities, Mr. Atwood said. It was built in 1941 as the operations center for a Navy blimp base in Richmond Heights but was moved to its current location on the grounds of Zoo Miami in 2010. Mr. Atwood said workers will be installing plumbing, electrical wiring and air conditioning with funds from Miami-Dade County until summer’s end.

State funding would have allowed the museum to open its first floor later this year, a milestone that Mr. Atwood said is critical. If his museum were open, he said, he would be able to attract donations, volunteers and investments much more easily.

“Once you’re open you’re basically home free,” Mr. Atwood said. “But banks don’t invest in gambles, and what we have isn’t a museum. It’s a half-finished construction project.”

The military museum was one of 450 items Gov. Scott slashed on his way to cutting $461 million out of the state budget. In his veto message, he said that the museum, and 14 other cultural projects he grouped with it, “did not go through the established competitive review process where projects of this type are ranked and recommended based on measurable outcomes.”

Gov. Scott approved $500,000 in state funding for the military museum in 2013 and $1 million in 2014.

Without funding, further progress on the museum has been stalled. Mr. Atwood said the building won’t be ready to host exhibits or the Florida Conference of Historians, which the museum was tentatively set to hold in 2016. Memorials that military families were planning to put up in honor of loved ones who died while serving are also on hold.

Mr. Atwood said that although renovations are running on a shoestring budget, halting work midway through construction may make the $7 million project more expensive in the long run as construction bids expire and prices rise. On the other hand, if the museum were to open, he estimated that its operation costs would be as low as one tenth of construction costs. Mr. Atwood said he doesn’t know where funding might come from in the future.

“Of course we don’t know where we go from here, but we will go on,” Mr. Atwood said. “It’s just something to move around.”

The museum is to highlight the importance of South Florida in military history and the role the military played in spurring South Florida’s development. Mr. Atwood said that having a dedicated military museum in Miami will help local residents remember their roots and honor veterans’ service.

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Anti-poverty tech training for kids in parks http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/06/30/anti-poverty-tech-training-for-kids-in-parks/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/06/30/anti-poverty-tech-training-for-kids-in-parks/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 03:05:39 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=28147 It’s not your typical kids’ summer camp, but Miami leaders are hoping its uniqueness bodes well for the future of the city and its children. City commissioners have approved a plan to spend more than $102,000 to fund a specialized technology program at five city parks. The money will come from anti-poverty funds set aside […]

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It’s not your typical kids’ summer camp, but Miami leaders are hoping its uniqueness bodes well for the future of the city and its children.

City commissioners have approved a plan to spend more than $102,000 to fund a specialized technology program at five city parks.

The money will come from anti-poverty funds set aside by the commission in the current year’s budget. Each of the five commissioners had a portion of the fund to spend as they chose, with backing from fellow commissioners.

The latest allocation was the product of Commissioner Francis Suarez.

He said the city’s anti-poverty initiative should be targeting these general areas: the elderly and impoverished, job training, and the area’s youth.

“I think everyone agrees that technology is important for our future,” said Mr. Suarez.

“We have to start exposing children to technology at the elementary school level,” he said.

Mr. Suarez, who has often mentioned his infant child at meetings, said his son – who is now 16 months old – is already grabbing at his cell phone and trying to interact with it.

“They’re teaching us,” responded commission Chairman Wifredo “Willy” Gort.

“Yes. They are teaching us,” Mr. Suarez continued, saying it’s important to get children involved in technology at a young age.

For now, the focus is on tech training for middle schoolers via Venture Hive LLC and its specially-tailored Tech Entrepreneurship Camp.

The camp begins this week and continues to mid-August. It will allow children to be exposed to tech, from simple tinkering to learning how to code, said Susan Amat, founder of Venture Hive. The camp will teach participants problem-solving and allow them to build a product, she said.

The camp program is designed to show the youngsters “who they can become,” said Ms. Amat.

Along with courses on computer coding, the camp will incorporate some traditional physical exercise.

“It’s very exciting, and we’re hopeful it will be a lasting impression for the kids,” she said.

The commission agreed to allocate about $94,000 from Mr. Suarez’s anti-poverty funds to support about 132 children in four parks in his District Four.

Session participants will be students attending the Shenandoah, West End, Robert King and Coral Gate summer camps, selected though a written application designed to gauge their entrepreneurial interest and commitment.

Mr. Suarez thanked the city’s Parks Department for its role in the tech camp program. He said the program will expose the children to business concepts, too.

“That’s very important, to translate that activity into dollars and cents,” Mr. Suarez said.

In support of the training program, City Manager Daniel Alfonso wrote to commissioners: “The City of Miami is on the verge of becoming the next big tech hub. In order to do so, it must continue to provide opportunities and challenges to students in order to stretch their talent and allow them to envision a future of accomplishment.”

He said Venture Hive’s program represents a new career and technical education opportunity that introduces middle school students to important workforce skills in the fields of technology and entrepreneurship.

“The pairing of a coding curriculum with entrepreneurial training offers an improved opportunity for participating students to engage in group learning, focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, and possibly form business entities,” wrote Mr. Alfonso.

The computer-oriented curriculum will allow students to learn the fundamentals of app development while the entrepreneurial training will address the essentials of successful business development, opening up entrepreneurship to students and enabling them to actually start new ventures.

The program will also offer guidance, encouragement and access to a dedicated group of coaches as needed.

Commissioner Marc Sarnoff was equally impressed with the tech camp program and chose to allocate the remainder of his anti-poverty funds – $8,437 – to pay for the program at Virrick Park in the West Grove.

The Venture Hive team is comprised of technology and economic development experts with experience that includes developing top models in entrepreneurship education as well as talent development and recruitment.

Venture Hive provides accelerator, incubation, university and high school training and educational services to numerous clients including the Miami Downtown Development Authority, Miami-Dade County, Microsoft, the US State Department, the World Bank, Miami-Dade County Public Schools and the Knight Foundation.

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Sports stars ‘retire’ to business careers http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/06/30/sports-stars-retire-to-business-careers/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/06/30/sports-stars-retire-to-business-careers/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 03:01:09 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=28139 Former Miami Heat player Ray Allen dribbled his skills off the courts this past National Basketball Association season and dove straight into Miami’s business community. Like other professional athletes who have turned to Miami for post-career business ventures, Mr. Allen plans on launching his this September. With Grown, Mr. Allen introduces a healthy twist to […]

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Former Miami Heat player Ray Allen dribbled his skills off the courts this past National Basketball Association season and dove straight into Miami’s business community. Like other professional athletes who have turned to Miami for post-career business ventures, Mr. Allen plans on launching his this September.

With Grown, Mr. Allen introduces a healthy twist to Miami’s fast-food scene. The restaurant will offer quality and nutritional food with the same convenience found at traditional fast-food eateries, said Michael Rose, a managing partner at Rose Capital Advisors, who has worked with Mr. Allen on the venture.

Grown is to open this fall at 8211 South Dixie Highway.

“This is something that he’s very focused on right now,” Mr. Rose said. “Whether he plays another year or not, he’s made his home in Miami.”

Mr. Allen joins athletes like professional tennis player Venus Williams, who started her own interior design company in South Florida, and retired Heat player Alonzo Mourning, who founded the Mourning Family Foundation in Miami.

Professional athletes follow unique career paths – they become experts in their fields, but age swiftly pushes them to early retirement. They face a major career transition as early as age 30.

“It’s no secret that there has been a lot of talk of athletes, either personally or through people they shouldn’t have trusted, who have mismanaged their businesses, their finances or their foundations,” Mr. Rose said.

He encourages athletes to begin thinking about second-career plans before retirement and find individuals they can trust to help them move forward.

The University of Miami is stepping in to assist the pros with that second-career transition.

UM’s business school has launched an Executive MBA for Athletes, an 18-month program designed to accommodate both retired and current professional athletes. A 40-student class comprised of both retired and current NFL players is now in its third two-week class period, said Michael Lythcott, who helps run the program.

Former NFL players Takeo Spikes and Chris Redman and current players Torrey Smith and Santana Moss are among athletes enrolled in the program.

The program, which is as rigorous as the traditional MBA curriculum, includes internship and job shadowing opportunities, online classes and enrichment trips, and is scheduled around the current players’ NFL schedules, Mr. Lythcott said.

For some of these players, it’s their first time back in a classroom in 10 years.

“It allows us to have current and former players together,” he said. “Being in a cohort of similar people works really well. The class discussions are all geared for their life.”

Ben Moss, a realtor with One Sotheby’s International Realty, said Miami is a haven for both retired athletes and those during off-season. Not only do they buy real estate here, but it’s an attractive spot for those looking to start their own business. National Football League star Jonathan Vilma, for example, is the owner of Brother Jimmy’s in South Florida, a popular barbecue joint with a location at Mary Brickell Village. Many like Mr. Mourning have also become involved with philanthropic initiatives within the community.

“Hopefully,” Mr. Rose said, “we are seeing a trend that athletes can do good, have a second career, make an impact and reach positive outcomes.”

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Island mega-marina’s fluid situation http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/06/30/island-mega-marinas-fluid-situation/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/06/30/island-mega-marinas-fluid-situation/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 03:00:56 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=28137 The city and county are working together to get water and sewer lines to mega resort and marina Island Gardens, under construction on city-owned Watson Island. Last week, without fanfare or a word of discussion, Miami commissioners approved an agreement with Miami-Dade County to bring public water and sewer service to 1050 MacArthur Causeway for […]

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The city and county are working together to get water and sewer lines to mega resort and marina Island Gardens, under construction on city-owned Watson Island.

Last week, without fanfare or a word of discussion, Miami commissioners approved an agreement with Miami-Dade County to bring public water and sewer service to 1050 MacArthur Causeway for Flagstone Island Gardens LLC.

The move authorizes the city manager to negotiate and execute an agreement for water and sanitary sewerage facilities among Miami-Dade County, the City of Miami and Flagstone Island Gardens LLC.

The vote was 3 to 1, with Francis Suarez out of the room at the time of the vote. Frank Carollo cast the only ‘no’ vote without comment.

Mr. Carollo has been a critic of Flagstone and has voted and spoken against extending lease agreements because more than a decade had passed since the original agreement with little to no work on the project.

The June 25 resolution says Flagstone Island Gardens LLC has leases on the property and has requested a tri-party agreement in order to get water and sanitary sewer services. The county has agreed to provide the services for the development.

The city owns the 6.5-acre site on Watson Island and voters approved leasing the land to Flagstone for the development back in 2001.

Numerous delays, including the economic slide and port tunnel dredging, have for years held back Flagstone’s plans.

After 13 years of little to no work, Flagstone announced it had begun marine mitigation at the site May 22, 2014, which represented a formal commencement of work on the project, city officials confirmed.

A new seawall has been built, along with dredging for the marina.

The work has been accomplished amid litigation, Miami Beach elected leaders bad mouthing the project and community meetings where the developer’s lobbyist has defended the project in the face of critics. Some people simply don’t want it and say it’s too much development for the island, and will cripple traffic headed to Miami Beach and its offshore islands on the MacArthur Causeway.

But Island Gardens is finally moving forward at a brisk pace, Brian May, representative for Flagstone, told directors of Miami’s Downtown Development Authority two weeks ago. He said a pier and docks could be open as early as Sept. 1, with the entire project finished in time for Art Basel 2017.

The development is eventually to comprise a deep harbor for mega-yachts, a residential component, two hotels, 12 to 15 restaurants, floating docks, a small shopping mall including a fish market, and a 100-foot public promenade, Mr. May added.

The developer, Mr. May said, is dredging 13 acres of bay bottom to gain enough clearance for the big boats and in September will begin the utilities. “We’re in negotiations with a unique anchor tenant and two hotel flags,” he said.

He said the developer has invested millions to this point and the majority of the lawsuits against it have been dismissed.

“This will be the first-ever super marina in North America,” Mr. May said, “and it sits at the doorstep of downtown Miami.”

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Firm to monitor Miami Worldcenter hiring http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/06/30/firm-to-monitor-miami-worldcenter-hiring/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/06/30/firm-to-monitor-miami-worldcenter-hiring/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 03:00:50 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=28135 The Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency has hired a $430,000-a-year consultant to monitor minority job creation at Miami Worldcenter. The developer will pay the bill, said Clarence Woods III, CRA executive director. The mammoth mixed-use property in Park West is to get tax breaks as high as $6.889 million a year through 2030. Those […]

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The Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency has hired a $430,000-a-year consultant to monitor minority job creation at Miami Worldcenter. The developer will pay the bill, said Clarence Woods III, CRA executive director.

The mammoth mixed-use property in Park West is to get tax breaks as high as $6.889 million a year through 2030. Those breaks are tied to Worldcenter’s pledge to be a “direct pipeline to thousands of jobs and opportunities for small businesses,” said an agreement signed when the project was OK’d last year.

“To my knowledge this is the first time [monitoring] is being done,” Commissioner Francis Suarez said then.

“As mandated, we sent out a request for qualifications” for a company to serve as watchdog, Mr. Woods told CRA directors Monday. Six companies bid, he added, and Harold A. Johnson Consulting Group Inc. won.

Job creation has been a goal of many inner-city projects, Mr. Woods said. “We always hope that’s happening, but unless someone complains, we have had no way of knowing.”

“Does this company work for us or for Miami Worldcenter?” asked Frank Carollo, CRA director and Miami commissioner. Mr. Woods replied that the consultants will work for the agency.

“That’s good, because they’re loyal to whoever pays,” Mr. Carollo said. “I think this is quite pricey, but we’re getting reimbursed.”

According to last year’s agreement, construction workers will get at least $12.83 and electrical journeymen $30.11 hourly, and workers who have committed minor crimes won’t be disqualified by their records. Developers promised to hire neighborhood residents for 30% of unskilled and 10% of skilled jobs. If they can’t find qualified residents, they next must hire from low-income ZIP codes, then the county at large.

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Looking to define trends in Miami’s shifting condo market http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/06/30/looking-to-define-trends-in-miamis-shifting-condo-market/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/06/30/looking-to-define-trends-in-miamis-shifting-condo-market/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 03:00:43 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=28112 You can’t spot a trend on day one. A deviation becomes a trend only if it lasts awhile. Otherwise, it’s just an anomaly, a blip on history’s radar. That’s what economists said last week when we tried to assess a jobs record in Miami’s financial sector of 78,500, up 800 in just one month. Wait […]

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You can’t spot a trend on day one. A deviation becomes a trend only if it lasts awhile. Otherwise, it’s just an anomaly, a blip on history’s radar.

That’s what economists said last week when we tried to assess a jobs record in Miami’s financial sector of 78,500, up 800 in just one month. Wait three months to see if it lasts or it’s just a blip, they said.

We’ll heed their advice as we assess our reports last week on a dip in downtown and Brickell condos under construction and a flattening of condo resale prices in those ultra-hot areas to decide if the condo rush has peaked.

Whatever is happening to condos isn’t affecting single-family homes, and it might never leap from condos to homes.

Several pieces of puzzle, however, are clear:

•Condo price and demand do not soar forever skyward without bumps. Some developers in our last condo boom a decade ago argued that a new Miami paradigm would bring only ups, never downs. They were quite wrong, as they learned painfully. Miami’s is a cyclical market.

•In condos we are not the masters of our fates. Most buyers aren’t Miamians moving from the suburbs or trading up. They hail from out of town or out of the US, and even as our economy gains – witness those financial jobs and others – that’s not true for some foreign buyers. Those at the ultra top always prosper, but how many $6 million and up condo buyers exist?

•Every condo we’ve built will be sold and occupied – at the right price. Within a few years we absorbed 24,000 condos left on the market by the great recession. But many sold low and then were rented at affordable rates. Then those purchases became bargains as the values soared.

So, what shift in the condo market is either the blip of today or the trend of the future?

As we reported, in Brickell and downtown 6% fewer condos are rising than a year ago. Hard as that is to believe as we drive under cranes in traffic-jammed construction zones, less is in the pipeline.

A report by Dodge Data & Analytics shows a change broader than just downtown and longer lasting. Future residential construction contracts throughout South Florida are down 19% from May 2014, Dodge reports, while nonresidential contracts rose 44%.

Word on the street is that one veteran developer sees a peak and is selling off all residential holdings.

The new construction market is hard to grasp. Many units and projects that have been announced are unlikely to rise even if sales remain strong and if signs we’re seeing are only a blip.

Developers have formally scuttled only one project of 330 units, we noted last week, but in Brickell alone where 1,317 units have opened in the past two years and 3,614 are under construction, about 5,000 more have been announced but aren’t yet started.

Knowing how many new units have truly sold is tricky. Many companies count sales when they collect receipts. But with condo developments, not every sale that’s claimed is paid for, and no central repository tallies new condo sales.

It’s easier to tally resales, for which a report from the Miami Association of Realtors is revealing.

Condo and townhome resales in Miami-Dade fell 2.6% in May from May 2014. Cash sales – telltale signs of foreign buyers – fell 7%. Pending condo sales dropped 10.1%. New resale listings dipped 7.1%. The mean sale price was off 6.7%. Resale condos took 7.5% longer to sell. The percentage of the list price received fell .2%. Listings for sale rose 11.6%. The months’ supply on the market rose 17.5%.

Every single indicator eroded – no disaster, not the bottom falling out or anything like it, just a slowdown in a hot market. Blip or trend?

But it was not a change in the housing market overall, just in condos.

Miami Association of Realtors single-family home figures showed a 5% May gain in closed sales, no change in time on the market, a 0.7% gain in percentage of original list price sellers received, a 1.1% drop in listings and a 6.9% drop in months’ supply on sale.

So while 9.1-month supply of resale condos is for sale, the supply of single-family resale homes is only 5.1 months. That looks like a sellers’ market for homes and a buyers’ market developing for resale condos.

Looks like, that is, assuming a trend and not a blip.

Even in a condo buyers’ market, those who own and live in them feel no pain. Pain only comes at sale time. Those most likely to feel that pain are investors, not residents – but most buyers of new condos are investors.

If so, the change in super-hot Brickell and downtown might concern buyers. Resale condos there have soared from $240 per square foot in 2011 as the overhang in construction from the last boom was being absorbed to $430 per foot today, a huge gain. But the pace of gain has slowed to zero, from a 27% jump in 2012 to 22% in 2013 to 16% in 2014 – and absolutely no gain in 2015’s first five months.

Is five months long enough to establish a flat line?

Every Miami real estate cycle has differed. Banks aren’t on the hook in a big decline – only because so many sales were cash and others required 50% or more from buyers. Buyers can lose, banks seem safe.

If this really is the end of the condo feeding frenzy, it comes as Miami’s economy is gaining, not fizzling. That makes any slowing or decline in condos a quantity and price correction, not a collapse.

Even that is far from certain. The economists are cautious.

But the signs tell us that if you’re looking for a condo to live in, this might be a good time to start thinking of making a sensible purchase. Some sellers are likely to be mighty anxious to please you.

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Jeremy Mikolajczak: Making Miami Dade College’s museum prominent http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/06/30/jeremy-mikolajczak-making-miami-dade-colleges-museum-prominent/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/06/30/jeremy-mikolajczak-making-miami-dade-colleges-museum-prominent/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 03:00:28 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=28119 Having grown up in the Midwest and worked for several museums there, Jeremy Mikolajczak was thrilled to arrive in Miami almost four years ago and become the first executive director and chief curator of the Miami Dade College Museum of Art & Design. It’s wasn’t just escaping the long, harsh winters back home (although that […]

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Having grown up in the Midwest and worked for several museums there, Jeremy Mikolajczak was thrilled to arrive in Miami almost four years ago and become the first executive director and chief curator of the Miami Dade College Museum of Art & Design. It’s wasn’t just escaping the long, harsh winters back home (although that is a benefit) that he loves about living in South Florida.

Mr. Mikolajczak is taken with this city’s vitality, what he feels is a collective effort to build its prominence as a major cultural entity within the US, the diversity and numerous areas to explore that satisfy his status as a “constant wanderer.”

More than all of that, he feels honored to be involved in the stewardship and presentation of the historic Freedom Tower where Miami Dade College established the museum in 2012. It was a particularly humbling experience for him to engage with the Cuban community and their relationship to the historic building with the 2014 opening of the Cuban Exile Experience & Cuban Diaspora Cultural Legacy Gallery. He recalls the large number of visitors, back for the first time since the 1960s, walking in with an artifact to donate and telling the importance of the object and how it came from Cuba to Miami.

Miami Today reporter Susan Danseyar interviewed Mr. Mikolajczak in the museum. 

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Filming in Miami: July 2, 2015 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/06/30/filming-in-miami-july-2-2015/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/06/30/filming-in-miami-july-2-2015/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 03:00:27 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=28114 These film permits were issued last week by the Miami-Dade County Department of Regulatory & Economic Resources’ Office of Film and 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.  NOISEWORKS MEDIA. Coral Gables. Pasteur […]

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These film permits were issued last week by the Miami-Dade County Department of Regulatory & Economic Resources’ Office of Film and 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. 

NOISEWORKS MEDIA. Coral Gables. Pasteur Medical. Rock Ridge Park.

FLORIDA FILM PRODUCTION OFFICE INC. Winter Garden. Hornitos Tequila. Crandon Park Beach.

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

HIGH NOON PRODUCTIONS LLC. Denver. Quinceanera. Countywide, Miami Beach citywide, Unincorporated Miami-Dade County.

PILGRIM STUDIOS. California. UNTITLED DANCING MIAMI SERIES. Unincorporated Miami-Dade County.

UGLY BROTHER STUDIOS. California. Family Takeover. City of Hialeah.

WAKA TV. Ireland. Vogue Williams Wild Girl. Training & Treatment Center.

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

LEMANS CORPORATION. Wisconsin. “Drift #4.” Parcel B.

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

MKM PRODUCTIONS. Miami Beach. Stills for editorial/catalog shoots. Miami Beach citywide.

VISUAL APPROACH PHOTOGRAPHY LLC. Plantation. Stills for Swimwear Shoot. Hobie Beach.

BLINDLIGHT STUDIO INC. Miami. Stills for editorial shoot. Sunny Isles Beach.

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How urgent are urgent care facilities? http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/06/30/how-urgent-are-urgent-care-facilities/ http://www.miamitodaynews.com/2015/06/30/how-urgent-are-urgent-care-facilities/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 03:00:21 +0000 http://www.miamitodaynews.com/?p=28145 Urgent care facilities that offer walk-in care for everything from scraped knees to diagnostic tests are a hit with consumers, but one major hospital system hopes a contrarian move will pay off for the institution and its patients. With 17 urgent-care facilities and 14 diagnostic centers from Pinecrest to Coral Springs, Baptist Health South Florida […]

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Urgent care facilities that offer walk-in care for everything from scraped knees to diagnostic tests are a hit with consumers, but one major hospital system hopes a contrarian move will pay off for the institution and its patients.

With 17 urgent-care facilities and 14 diagnostic centers from Pinecrest to Coral Springs, Baptist Health South Florida took the field early and shows no signs of slowing down.

“Our urgent care and diagnostic centers help our community get the care they need quickly and close to home, drastically decreasing ER [emergency room] visits and hospital stays,” said Patricia Rosello, CEO of Baptist Outpatient Services, a division of Baptist Health South Florida. “They’re designed to be convenient and accessible, with extended hours close to where our patients live. We know our patients value this, and we are continuing to grow these services in order to meet the needs of the communities we serve.”

On the public-sector side, Jackson Health Systems plans to open eight to 12 urgent care facilities in the next few years to fulfill one of the goals of the $830 million Jackson Miracle-Building Bond approved by voters in November 2013.

The hospital system has signed a $3 million long-term lease for a 4,025-square-foot site at the Shoppes at Arch Creek in North Miami, and is negotiating a lease for a similar space in Country Walk Plaza, 13707 SW 152nd St., according to a release.

“The industry as a whole is looking for ways to deliver care differently,” said Doug Wolfe, a healthcare attorney and shareholder at the Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton law firm. “These urgent care centers are a driving force because it’s cheaper to go there than the emergency room.”

Many health plans are shifting more costs to the insured person, he added. “Patients now have a greater financial stake because of larger deductibles and co-pays. They’re more aware of costs and interested in getting what they want out of the healthcare system.”

Free-standing facilities that include diagnostic equipment offer a one-stop advantage over the traditional doctor’s office, and flexible hours, too, he said. “You don’t need to set an appointment, and we’re seeing a trend toward making it easier for people to get healthcare when and where they need it.”

“When you look at the growing presence of urgent care centers, you need to ask why,” said Steven Sonenreich, president and CEO at Mount Sinai Medical Center Miami Beach. “In our opinion, people want access to primary-care medicine, so we’re developing the strongest primary-care network in the market.”

Over the next five to seven years, the system will build about 30 primary care centers, mostly outside of Miami Beach, where there is still a proliferation of primary care doctors, many of whom have their offices in two buildings on Mount Sinai’s campus, he said.

Many of the centers will offer extended and flexible hours to be more in line with people’s schedules, Mr. Sonenreich said.

The system has taken the position that primary care is better for the patient than having access to a free-standing clinic, where they may be seen only occasionally. “The most important thing is the relationship,” he said. “The best diagnostic tool has always been the history and physical, getting the patients to talk about themselves. It’s not all high-tech; it’s about what the physician can learn with his eyes, ears and hands. We think high-quality access to primary care is superior to what people can get at an urgent-care center.”

Nevertheless, there are times when medical need is literally urgent. Mount Sinai Medical Center Miami Beach has the only emergency department on the island and is in the midst of a major expansion.

The emergency department was built in 1972 to accommodate 25,000 cases annually, and is now seeing more than 50,000 visits per year, Mr. Sonenreich said. The new facility will have the capacity to serve 100,000 patients per year.

“We’re positioned for the future of Miami Beach, a tourist destination that receives 5 million visitors each year,” he said. “A first-class emergency department is a very important safety net for them and for our residents.”

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