Written by Miami Today on January 25, 2001
FYI Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead of the news. Here are highlights from the most current edition.
ONE MIAMI FIX: The Miami city commission will reconsider a major-use special permit granted last month to One Miami for a mixed-use project at 205 Biscayne Blvd. Miami One Centre, headed by Ned Seigel and Morris Stoltz, owns the land and the Related Group of Florida, headed by Jorge Perez, will go before the city commission Jan. 25 to see if the permit is still applicable. The project had to be substantially modified after representatives for neighboring Hotel Inter-Continental Miami, 100 Chopin Plaza; Miami Center, 201 Biscayne Blvd., and the First Union building on Biscayne teamed up to persuade the developer to come up with a less intrusive design. Commissioners told One Miami officials last month they needed to work something out.
COBB AT DOLPHIN: The Dolphin Mall announced a summer opening is planned for a 19-screen Cobb Theatres cinema megaplex at the 1.4 million-square-foot shopping center. Plans call for Cobb to build and operate an 85,000-square-foot facility in a location formerly planned for use by Regal Cinemas, which Cobb bought in 1997. The mall is to open March 1 with about 150 stores but executives expect nearly 200 retail outlets to be open for business in the mall by the summer. Robert Cobb, Cobb theaters president, called the chain’s new home in the Dolphin as "beginning the next chapter in the history of Cobb Theatres." He said the company expects to employ up to 150 at the complex.
LANCHILE ADDITION: LanChile announced the introduction of a daily nonstop from Miami to Guayaquil, Ecuador on a Boeing 767-300 aircraft with introductory rates offered through Jan. 21.
WORTH KNOWING: The Miami Beach Commission on the Status of Women is seeking nominations for its 2001 Women Worth Knowing Awards. Four women will be feted as part of Women’s History Month. Qualifications include residency in Miami Beach or business involvement or ownership of a Beach-based business for at least two years. The deadline for nominations is Feb. 1. Details: (305) 673-7782.
INTERNATIONAL LAW: Miami Today’s International Roundtable will focus on the globe-spanning activities of Miami’s legal community at a 7:30 a.m. breakfast session Feb. 16 in the Mandarin Oriental on Brickell Key. The free program is sponsored by the hotel and the law firm Gunster Yoakley Valdes-Fauli & Stewart. Reservations required. Details: Jody Bray, (305) 358-2663.
ATLAS SLUGGED: Demolition began last week on the former Eastern Airlines headquarters building at Miami International Airport to pave the way for development of a facility for Atlas Air that will bring 500 new jobs to the community and may lead to as many as 800, airport officials said. Demolition is to take 90 days. The Atlas facility will be capable of housing three Boeing 747 freighters in the hangar and four on the apron. Construction is to begin in September and be complete in October 2002.
MIAMI TO PARIS TO MIAMI: Miami International Airport officials say they are making plans with the Beacon Council to attend the Paris Air Show together again in June, as they did last year, to seek to lure aviation businesses to Miami. Airport officials said they expect to have contact with several hundred potential business links for the community at the world-renowned show.
TAGGING UP: A second office to issue identification tags to persons working at Miami International Airport is to open within 30 days, says Nelson Oramas, assistant aviation director for security and facilities management. The office, in the airport’s west cargo area, will be open initially two to three days a week to renew identifications, he said. He expects to renew 50 to 60 a day. The main identification area at the heliport, he said, handles up to 150 identifications daily for persons who work on airport property — about 45,000 persons in all.
CAREER DECISION: Faced with a choice between creating an urban development group at his new law firm or preparing for an election battle to be mayor of Miami Beach for two more years, "the decision in that respect was easy," said Neisen Kasdin, who last week announced that he would not seek re-election. Instead, he’ll head a 10- to 12-lawyer urban development group at Gunster Yoakley & Stewart, which he joined in April. Group specialties will include brownfields development, special assessment districts, eminent domain, environmental concerns and infill development. He had served two terms as mayor, he said, but "it’s not my career."
TARGETING REGIONALISM: Mr. Kasdin may be leaving the mayor’s office but not public life. He’s spearheading a regionalism initiative that’s a joint project of the Urban Land Institute of South Florida Council and the Collins Center. The session, with a focus on the local officials of Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties, will be held Feb. 9 at the National Car Rental Center in Sunrise. He expects the session to help shape the tri-county agenda on regionalism.
DOUBLE LUXURY: As outgoing mayor, Mr. Kasdin welcomed developers Friday night at the unveiling of The Setai, an Asian-theme, ultra-luxury resort hotel and 40-story oceanfront condominium development at 101 20th St., Miami Beach. How luxurious? J. Steven Manolis, CEO of Manolis & Co., which is marketing the hotel, said the 87 rooms will have 700 square feet each and cost guests twice the rates of the Mandarin Oriental, the world-acclaimed five-star hotel that just opened on Brickell Key.
SYMBIOTIC LIVING: How can a small hotel offer ultra-luxury service? Mr. Manolis said it’s piggybacking on the condo tower next door, offering condo owners who wish to furnish their units in the Asian style of the hotel the opportunity to add their units to the hotel’s inventory when they’re away and split the revenues.
BIG SMILES: At least two persons attending The Setai’s opening said they were happy that Mayor Neisen Kasdin won’t seek another term. "I’m doing it," said Commissioner Nancy Liebman, who is prevented by term limits from running for a commission seat again and now will jump into the mayoral race. "I would like very much to be the first lady mayor of Miami Beach." And Ana Kasdin, the mayor’s first lady, looks forward to more time together as a family: "It’s the happiest day of my life."
LOOKING NORTH: If Ms. Liebman becomes mayor, look for a northern focus. In a booming city with hotels and condos continuing to rise, she sees North Beach lagging behind and needing special attention.
MARINER LANDS BERTH: Jonathan Mariner, who came aboard with the Florida Marlins expansion baseball team before a single pitch had been tossed and disembarked as executive vice president and CFO last October after the cruise industry torpedoed a plan he floated to build a baseball stadium by taxing cruise passengers, has a new berth. He was hired last week by Charter Schools USA of Fort Lauderdale as COO. He’d been a Charter Schools investor and director for more than two years. Charter now has five schools but plans more than 50 within five years.
BLACK & DECKER: Black & Decker Corp. named M. Anthony Burns a director. Mr. Burns is chairman and former president & CEO of Miami-based Ryder System Inc. He has been a Ryder director since 1979 and become Ryder’s board chairman in 1985, stepping aside as president in 1999 and as CEO in November. The appointment of Mr. Burns to the Black & Decker board came on the heels of a resignation as director of 93-year-old Alonzo G. Decker Jr., who began working at the age of 14 for the corporation, which was founded by his father and S. Duncan Black.