Sports network, e-firm sign for base in Miami Beach
By Marilyn Bowden
Panamerican Sports Network, a 24-hour cable network targeting Latin American and US Hispanic markets, and TechSpace, providers of services for Internet startups, have signed leases for a total of more than 95,000 square feet at 420 Lincoln Road.
Both operations are new to Miami-Dade County.
Alexander Johnson, senior vice president of productions and general manager for Panamerican Sports Network, said his company could add 150 to 200 jobs to the local economy. Now broadcast in Spanish and Portuguese, the network may be available to South Florida viewers sometime next year.
Pablo Cejas, chairman & CEO of PLC Investments, said the cable network signed up for about 55,000 square feet.
PLC is renovating the historic property, built in 1940 by Moses Ginsberg, a founder of Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach.
"They have a straight lease for a little over 40,000 square feet," he said, "and are assuming a lease that belonged to Post Edge for about 15,000 square feet.
"That makes them the largest entertainment company on Miami Beach and our anchor tenant."
The ability to hire locally was "60% of the reason" South Florida was chosen over Los Angeles and New York, Mr. Johnson said.
"Miami gave us the broadest cross-section of people from Latin America," he said. "There's a strong Portuguese population. There are a lot of people from Argentina, which is a big market for us, as well as from Chile and Mexico."
Mr. Johnson said the network broadcasts to South America on two channels, Spanish and Portuguese.
A third channel directed toward the domestic Hispanic market will be unveiled early in 2001, he said.
"The domestic channel will be focusing on sports with a more American spin," he said, "such as US and Caribbean baseball, American football and basketball."
The new headquarters will be a working production facility, Mr. Johnson said, with entry from Lincoln Road. The firm has been temporarily operating since February in Hollywood.
"We will generate some programming here," he said. "We will also handle post-production and will beam in programs and redirect them elsewhere."
The new quarters will also house the network's Internet base and some sales and marketing functions, he said.
New York's TechSpace has leased 39,262 square feet in the same complex with an entrance at 1619 Drexel Ave., said Deanna Lobinsky of Abood & Associates, leasing agent from the property. The space was formerly occupied by Barnett Bank.
Chris Wittmann. Techspace executive vice president, said the company is best described as a cross between an incubator and executive suites. Both concepts offer shared support staff and common areas.
"It's not an incubator in the sense that we don't exchange equity for rent or services," he said.
When the firm opens in Miami early next year, he said, emerging Internet companies will be able to lease space for one to about 35 employees for periods of three months to a year.
The 3-year-old company has similar operations in New York, San Francisco and Boston, he said, and is building in Austin. Sites in London, Seattle and Chicago are being planned.
Panamerican Sports Network: PSN.com; TechSpace: (212) 331-1100.