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Front Page » Top Stories » Fyi Miami

Fyi Miami

Written by on June 29, 2000

FYI Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead of the news. Here are highlights from the most current edition.


month after closing its doors at 1100 Brickell Plaza, Brickell Emporium

owner Jules Mazer announced he is negotiating with BAP Development

for space at Summit Brickell Grand, a $51 million mixed-use project

on South Miami Avenue between 10th and 11th streets. The restaurant

would occupy 4,000 square feet fronting Southwest 10th Street west

of Firehouse IV restaurant. "When I read about the impending

closing, I knew it would be a perfect fit," said BAP principal

Willy Bermello. "Life without corned beef hash, fried eggs

and bagels with a cafecito cubano would not have been the same."


Brickell Avenue estate is under contract to The Burgundians, an

international music group, for $7.5 million in cash. Closing is

July 12. Group members say they’ll use the property as a headquarters,

including rehearsal and production space for their upcoming TV series

as well as for living quarters. Madonna was represented by New York

attorney Larry Schatz and the Burgundians by attorney Caryl Lashley,

based in the Bahamas.


The $8.425 million sale of Villa Tranquilla on Sunset Isle I is

said by selling agent Esther Percal of Esslinger Wooten Maxwell

Realtors to set a record for single-family home sales on Miami Beach.

The 11,000-square-foot home has seven bedrooms, 7´ baths and sits

on an acre and a half on with 450 feet of waterfront. Audrey Ross

of Ross & Associates was listing agent.

UP ON DOWNTOWN: The Curtis &

Kimball Co., a land-use and natural resource planning company, has

been chosen by the Downtown Development Authority to prepare a Downtown

Development of Regional Impact Project Update. The project’s goal

is to develop and enhance the central business district by 2005.

Team members include Carlton Fields, legal counsel; Keith & Schnars,

transportation and environmental consultant, and Lambert Advisory,

economic consultant.

OMNI PARK: The Community Redevelopment

Agency plans $2.9 million in renovations to Margaret Pace Park,

on the bay in the Omni area. Omni district tax increment funds and

a shore-line stabilization grant from the Florida Inland Navigation

District will help pay for the first phase, estimated to cost $1.89

million. Officials say renovations will include tennis courts, soccer

fields, open-air pavilions and a walking path.


The Bayfront Park Management Trust had a surplus of about

$345,000 through May 31 for the first eight months of the fiscal

year, according to Emery Sheer, the trust’s accountant. Although

slight deficits are projected for summer, Commissioner Joe Sanchez,

who chairs the trust, said he is optimistic about the trust’s future,

noting the contrast with last year’s deficit. "We are,"

he said, "on the right track to recovery."


Jay Constantz, executive director of the Bayfront Park Management

Trust, said the trust will accept applications from nonprofits wanting

to organize benefit cruises aboard the gambling ship Casino Princesa,

operated by Bayside Ventures. The company’s contract offers two

charitable cruises annually for nonprofits. In addition, the trust

can profit from ticket sales for four annual cruises.

GRAVY TRAIN: Commissioner Joe

Sanchez, chairman of the Bayfront Park Management Trust, is telling

event organizers not to expect fee waivers in the future. "The

gravy station here at Bayfront Park is out of business," he

said. "I’m not waiving anybody’s fees." He said park officials

will help nonprofits seek sponsors to help fund events.


police are considering moving a downtown Miami precinct housed at

63 NW Ninth St. to Bayfront Park, said Jay Constantz, executive

director of Bayfront Park Management Trust. Downtown bicycle patrols

would work out of two offices at the Tina Hills Pavilion. "It

would be an asset to the park to have the police on site,"

he said.


Bush signed the Community Improvement Authority Act into law despite

opposition from county officials. The bill, supported by the Florida

Marlins and City of Miami elected officials, allows the creation

of a trust to coordinate building a baseball stadium in downtown


ZONE FACTS: The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce is

holding a luncheon presentation, "The Miami-Dade Empowerment

Zone," from noon-1:30 p.m. July 12 at its board of governors

& trustees meeting in the Wyndham Miami Biscayne Bay Hotel. Bryan

K. Finnie, president & CEO of the Miami-Dade Empowerment Trust and

this week featured in Miami Today’s profile, and Samuel W. Gentry,

executive vice president for Colonial Bank and a vice chairman for

the trust’s executive committee, are to speak. Cost is $50; $35

with reservations by July 7. Details: (305) 577-5469.

REACHING OUT: The Greater Miami

Chamber of Commerce will send a letter this week to Spanish-language

radio stations, saying its members wish to voice diverse views on

local issues to balance one-sided commentary saturating air waves,

said Philip Blumberg, chair for the chamber. Mr. Blumberg says the

message is the first organized effort to reach AM and FM frequencies

since the idea was suggested at the chamber’s annual goals conference

June 2-4.

TRAINING ON MOVE: Making stops

at police stations in Miami-Dade is Florida’s first Mobile Officers

Safety Training Unit courtesy of the Law Enforcement Officers, or

LEO, Charitable Foundation, said LEO Foundation Executive Director

Ron Levitt. The custom-built unit, says a LEO newsletter, has computerized

firearms simulation and video technology. Housed in a large tractor

trailer, promoters say it’s an interim measure until funding is

found for a permanent home in the empowerment zone.


Miami-based was officially launched Wednesday.

The site, promoters say, is a community portal of on-line city guides

for more than 50,000 hometowns. MyCity features information in areas

such as local government, neighborhood organizations, parks, clubs,

events and real estate. Details: (305) 531-7139.


announced plans to launch MyCampaign — a free Internet service

for candidates for public office and elected officials. MyCampaign

will let individuals in large and small towns set up websites for

their campaigns free of charge, promoters say. The service was co-developed

with GDB & Partners.

WEB GEM: is a Miami-based

company that says it’s designed to help users get wholesale prices

for diamonds, wedding rings, earrings, bracelets and brooches. Details:

(305) 579-2378.

LINKING UP: Washington, DC-based

eLink Communications, a telecommunications service provider, announced

plans to expand the company into Miami, Dallas and Chicago. William

Warnke, a former MCI and MCIWorldcom executive, will oversee the

office here. Details:

WIRELESS PANEL: The Miami Internet

Alliance will present a panel discussion, "Wireless Internet

Opportunities in Latin America," at 6 p.m. June 29 in the Biltmore

Hotel’s Country Club Courtyard & Ballroom. The discussion, which

is followed by a reception, will feature speakers Carlos Baradello,

vice president & general manager of Motorola; Diego Medone, senior

vice president of business development of MovilGo; Vasu Reddy, president

& CEO of Delray Technologies, and David Brillembourg, vice president

of business development for Starmedia Mobile. Details: (305) 448-6111


an end-to-end transmission provider and production service for traditional

and new broadcast media, announced plans to expand its digital segment

for foreign broadcaster on Telstar 5 from 14 programming channels.

New channels serviced through this technique are in places such

as Syria and Saudi Arabia, promoters say. Details:


which owns and manages several industry-specific dot-com sites,

announced plans to relocate from Boca Raton to Ft. Lauderdale. The

company has been housed in a 1,800-square-foot facility in Boca

since January 1999. BizProLink will soon move into a 10,000-square-foot

building at 2101 W Commercial Blvd. Details: (561) 367-8900.

NEXT STEP: NEXTLINK, a broadband communications company,

signed a lease to expand into an additional 960 square feet at 200

SE First St. The company had occupied 3,225 square feet in the building.

Details: (305) 538-8558.

PIRACY UP: The US software industry

lost $3.5 billion in 1999 due to software piracy and that number

is up from $2.9 billion in 1998, according to Business Software

Alliance. Also in 1998, software piracy cost the US $4.5 billion

in lost wages and $1 billion in lost tax revenue, analysts claim.

DISCOVER PARTNER:, an e-commerce provider for

Latin American and US Hispanic communities, will become the e-commerce

channel providers for Discovery On-line in Spanish and Portuguese,

promoters say. Details: (305) 398-5250.

CASH FORCES: Chamber South is

presenting a seminar, "Cash Flow: The Driving Force Behind

Your Business" from noon-1:30 p.m. July 7 in its South Miami

Conference Center, 6410 SW 80th St. Cost, including lunch, is $20.

Details: (305) 661-1621.

REGIONAL BUY: The Florida Regional

Purchasing Council is holding its 15th annual trade fair, billed

as the largest minority networking event in South Florida, today

(6/29) and Friday in the Broward County Convention Center, Ft. Lauderdale.

Workshops, seminars on landing minority contracts and related topics,

and more than 200 booths and exhibits are offered over two days.

Details: (305) 260-9901.


Social," a networker for downtowners on ways to revitalize

the central business district, is being held from 5-7 p.m. July

6 in Giovana’s Caffe, 154 SE First St. The session was organized

by Downtown Miami Main Street. Details: (305) 577-8171.

SWIMMING SHOW: The Swimwear Association of Florida is

holding its "Swimwear & Beachwear" trade show July 15-19

in The Miami International Merchandise Mart & Radisson Center, 777

NW 72nd Ave. Among highlights, say organizers, is a 6 p.m. party

July 17 at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. Details: (305) 261-2900.

BANK POST: Coconut Grove Bank has elected Charles D.

Umberger president. Mr. Umberger is the bank’s executive vice president

and chief operating officer. He joined the financial institution

in 1998. His promotion, says Gus Harrison, chairman of the board,

"is part of our overall plan to grow this bank into the future."

Mr. Umberger, a 20-year veteran of Florida banking, is also a director

for the Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce.

KEY BUS ROUTE: Miami-Dade Transit

this week announced the start of service to Key Largo on the "Dade-Monroe

Express," which made its first run Sunday. It operates every

two hours daily from 6 a.m.-9 p.m. from the Wal-Mart Supercenter

in Florida City along US 1 to Key Largo at Mile Marker 98, connecting

to Metrobus routes 35, 70 and Busway MAX at the Dadeland South station.

Details: (305) 770-3131.


Mayor Alex Penelas named Emiline C. Alexis protocol officer and

liaison to the Haitian American community. Ms. Alexis had been president

and CEO of Interamerican Sanitation Services and before that owned

and managed Em-Al Enterprises Inc. She is also a past executive

director for the G.W. Carver YMCA of Greater Miami and assistant

membership director of the Bankers Club of Miami.

VOLUNTEER SEARCH: Vizcaya Museum & Gardens is seeking

volunteers to participate in its next docent training program starting

Sept. 25. Classes are held Mondays and Thursdays for six weeks.

Details: Michele McDonald, (305) 250-9133, ext. 2249.

First Bank