Written by Miami Today on March 15, 2001
Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
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ROYAL VISIT: King of Spain Juan Carlos I and Queen Dona Sofia are to visit Miami April 1 to 2 and meet with community leaders and city officials. They are to visit Miami on the last leg of a goodwill mission to promote international trade between Spain and the US. Part of their itinerary includes a reception at the home of the consul general of Spain, a luncheon with business leaders from Spain at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables and a dinner at Vizcaya Museum & Gardens. Before hitting Miami, the royal couple will visit Washington, DC; Dallas; Jackson, MS, and St. Augustine.
ENTERPRISE BONDS: The state economic development agency Enterprise Florida announced Florida Development Finance Corp. bonds worth more than $5 million have been issued to four Florida firms, including Plastic Components Inc. of Miami, which got $1.05 million. The bonds are issued by the Enterprise affiliate to aid small to medium-sized manufacturers and nonprofits that have historically had access to the lowest possible tax-exempt financing costs. Plastic Components manufactures molded plastic products for the building industry and will use the bonds to refinance a loan to reduce overhead. Company officials say that will allow the firm to add 10 jobs. Details: (407) 316-4692.
PARK CEREMONY: Groundbreaking ceremonies for Ojus Park are scheduled at 10 a.m. March 16 at Northeast 189th Terrace and West Dixie Highway. Plans call for a new picnic shelter, a pedestrian walkway, added lighting, landscaping and renovations to the park’s recreation center, playground and rest rooms. County Commissioner Gwen Margolis, who is due to attend, said $500,000 in Quality Neighborhood Initiative Program funds will be used for the rehab.
NEXT FELEBAN MEET: The Florida International Bankers Association named Angel Gurria featured speaker for the 35th annual meeting of the Federation of Latin American Banks, or FELBAN, Nov. 4-6 at the Hotel Inter-Continental Miami. Mr. Gurria is former minister of finance for Mexico and was named finance minister of the year 2000 by Euromoney magazine. Details: (305) 579-0086.
NAVICARGO: Freight-forwarder Navicargo Inc. renewed use of 20,000 square feet and added the use of another 5,000 in the North River Commerce Center, 8860-90 NW 102nd St., Medley. Edward P. Lyden with Trammell Crow represented the tenant in the transaction. Terms and lease value were not released.
UNSKILLED FUTURE: The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s education group of committees is sponsoring a breakfast talk, "Fasten Your Seatbelt: The New Economy Demands a New Workforce," from 7:45-9:30 a.m. March 23 in the ballroom level of the Wyndham Miami Biscayne Bay Hotel, 1601 Biscayne Blvd. Lyle Wray, executive director of the Minnesota Citizens League, is scheduled speaker. Among his facts: 76 million US baby-boomers are retirement-bound with 66 million less-skilled workers waiting to take their place. Cost is $20. Details: (305) 373-9345.
SPORTS TRADE: The Organization of Women in International Trade has scheduled a presentation, "Sports Marketing: How it relates to golf in Latin America," from 6-8 p.m. April 11 in the Citi Club, 55th floor, First Union Financial Center, 200 S Biscayne Blvd. Elisa Gaudet, corporate sponsorship executive with Tour de las Americas, is scheduled speaker. Cost is $25; $20 for members. Details: (305) 447-9300.
CLEO AWARDS: The 43rd annual Cleo Awards — an international advertising, multimedia awards program — will be held May 22-26 in the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, officials said. An international panel will judge and give awards for advertising submissions from print, broadcast and cyberspace. Officials at The Cleo Awards say they have committed to holding the annual contest for the next five years on Miami Beach.
BUSINESS STRATEGIES: The Black Business Association is offering a financial services and banking seminar from 5:30-7:30 p.m. March 21 in the Kovens Conference Center on Florida International University’s Biscayne Bay Campus, 3000 NE 151st St., North Miami. Organizers say the session, "Strategies to help your business grow," will cover banking, bonding, investing, retirement, taxes, credit repair, business plans and other areas. Cost is $10; $5 for members. Details: (305) 835-6220.
CORRECTION: Our coverage March 8 of Mindy Pordes of New Residences Inc., "Luxury home purchase a click away on local company’s virtual sales floor" was incorrect — Ms. Pordes had said she and co-founder Gustavo Farfan do not plan to use Mr. Farfan’s association with Farfan & O’Brian Immoviliaria in Peru to market residential developments to buyers in Latin America.
ANOTHER TIME AROUND? Just-replaced Miami-Dade County manager Merrett Stierheim got a standing ovation from Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce trustees at an overflow lunch last week when he reflected on his second term in the job — the first was 1976-86. He noted that he also served twice at Miami’s city hall, as assistant city manager beginning in 1959 and four years ago as interim manager in a financial crisis. Now, he said, he plans to write his memoirs, "The Second Time Around Twice," based on that experience — but probably not at leisure. After his speech, Chamber President Philip Blumberg gave him a clock "to keep time — not in retirement, but in the third time around."
LAND BUY: Easton & Associates announced it has closed on 3.8 acres valued at $500,000 at 19400 SW 108th Ave. in Cutler Ridge with brokers Jim Armstrong and Tom Kimen representing the buyer, Hertz Equipment Rental. Mike Silver with CB Richard Ellis represented the seller, Walter Property Investments, in the transaction.
AN EXPRESSWAY "A": Fitch, a national bond rating firm, on Tuesday gave an A rating to the $90.5 million bond issue that the Miami-Dade County Expressway Authority plans to sell through syndication next week. The bonds will pay off in advance bonds issued last year at higher interest rates, saving money for the authority. All other bonds issued by the authority get the same A rating, said Fitch’s Cherian George.
NEAR THE TOP: Miami-Dade’s A rating is high but isn’t at the top of the Fitch scale, a AAA. Mr. George said no toll system in the nation rates AAA. At AA are the Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maine turnpikes — all extending throughout an entire state, he said, spreading risks. Orange County’s expressway rating is an A, Hillsborough County’s is an A-, Mr. George said. At the low end, the Santa Rosa Bridge in Santa Rosa County was downgraded in January, he said, from BBB- to BB -, below investment grade.
CLOSE QUARTERS: In reporting on the bond rating for the Miami-Dade County Expressway Authority, Fitch notes that plans to raise the toll on State Road 836 have been deferred from April to July "for operational convenience." The toll was raised from 25 to 50 cents in 1999 and rises to 75 cents in July. Fitch notes that despite these increases "the need for additional toll increases does exist."
OLYMPIC PROFITS: Florida 2012 in Tampa issued Olympic and Paralympic game revenue projections Tuesday of $3.16 billion against $2.49 billion in expenses, including $426 million to build structures that will add to Tampa’s inventory when the games are over. "When you combine Florida’s large venues, hotel and motel inventory and massive visitor base," said Ed Turanchik, Florida 2012 president and CEO, "with our low cost of labor and construction, you create an opportunity for generating significant profits and a permanent legacy for Olympic sports."