Written by Miami Today 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.
EMPORIUM ENCORE: Less than a
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."
MADONNA’S HOME SOLD:ùMadonna’s
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,
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 PRECINCT: Miami
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,"
BASEBALL AUTOGRAPH: Gov. Jeb
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
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 MyCity.com 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.
CAMPAIGN SITE: MyCity.com also
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: BestGem.com 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:
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: elinkcommunications.com
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
AROUND THE GLOBE: Globecast,
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: globecastwtv.com.
MOVING OUT: BizProLink.com,
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: Fiera.com, 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.
DOWNTOWN TALK: "Main Street
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.
HAITIAN LIAISON: Miami-Dade
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.