Miami commissioners last week unanimously created the Miami Economic Development
Financing Authority. The seven-member authority can issue low-interest rate bonds
to finance development in the city or in other cities after forming interlocal
agreements. Member will have expertise in banking or investment banking, accounting
and legal and real estate development. The law takes effect in 30 days.
Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
of the news. Here are highlights from the most current edition.
WATSON ISLAND CATCH:
Miami commissioners have included a fish market to a mega-yacht marina and mixed-use
development planned for Watson Island. The deadline for proposals is June 20.
Although about 50 companies have paid $300 to register with the city to participate,
about four seem to be working seriously on a proposal, said Dena Bianchino, assistant
city manager. A review committee and PriceWaterhouseCoopers are to check the backgrounds
and credit histories of competing companies and the financial aspects of their
proposals. The selected plan will require a public vote Nov. 6.
BI-NATIONAL CHOICE: Members of the Association of
Bi-National Chambers of Commerce in South Florida re-elected Lita Haeger, with
the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce Florida, to a one-year term presidency
for second consecutive year. Claudio Reidi, with the German American Business
Chamber of Florida Inc., became the five-year-old ABICC's executive director.
A ceremony at the Freedom Tower on May 19 will commemorate Cuban Independence
Day. Events organized by the Cuban American National Foundation will start at
6 p.m. in front of the tower, 600 Biscayne Blvd. The boulevard will be open to
pedestrian traffic only between 6 and 10 p.m. Free passes for Metrorail and Metrobus
will be available at different locations. Details: (305) 592-7768.
TRUST TALK POSTPONED: Miami commissioners postponed
discussing the Model City Homeownership Trust after holding a community meeting.
The trust would oversee efforts to redevelop the Model City area. Commissioner
Arthur Teele Jr. said neighbors were concerned redevelopment would force them
to leave the area because of rising property values. The trust would have seven
members with expertise in residential construction, architecture, zoning, law,
finance and community liaison, according to a city document. The 1998 city-led
project aims at building homes and providing financial aid to promote ownership
among low- and moderate-income families and to improve area infrastructure and
The Miami-Dade Empowerment Trust, a federally created economic development entity,
will hold its annual conference from 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. May 19 at the Wyndham Hotel,
1601 Biscayne Blvd. Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas is to give the keynote
address. Zone President/CEO Bryan Finnie will provide an overview of the zone,
its programs, financing priorities, accomplishments, plans for zone neighborhoods,
financing, tax credits and other incentives to retain and attract business. The
conference is free. Details: (305) 372-7620.
SPEAKING OF DENSITY:
Miami-Dade County's Planning and Zoning Department is launching workshops in which
residents can talk with planners about density issues. The aim is to help planners
make recommendations for the Comprehensive Development Master Plan update in 2002.
The sessions are 4-8 p.m. May 30 at 14100 NW 89th Ave.; May 31 at Caleb Community
Center, 5400 NW 22nd Ave.; June 6 at Ponce De Leon Middle School, 5801 Augusto
St., Coral Gables; June 7 at South Dade Government Center, 10710 SW 211th St.;
and June 12 at Felix Varela High School, 15255 SW 96th St. Details: (305) 375-2835
LEADING HISPANIC: Jose Cintron, Housing and Urban
Development state coordinator, will receive the South Beach & Greater Miami Hispanic
Chamber of Commerce's Excellence in Public Service Award during an installation
gala at 7:30 p.m. June 1 at the Radisson Deauville, 6701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach.
New chamber board members will be sworn in and County Manager Steve Shiver is
to speak. Tickets are $80. Reservations: (305) 534-1903.
DOWNTOWN FLOWER: The Wallflower Gallery, 10 NE Third
St., plans a fourth anniversary celebration May 19 with musical acts, presentations,
a slide show, art exhibits and a TV sitcom "sneak preview." Organizers
say the funds will be used to upgrade the gallery's sound system. Vegetarian appetizers
are to be served at 2 p.m. with the show starting at 3. Cost is $10. Details:
GABLES BREAKFAST: Philip Blumberg, president & CEO
of American Ventures Corp., is guest speaker today (5/17) when the Coral Gables
Chamber of Commerce holds its membership breakfast at 7:30 a.m. in the Country
Club Ballroom of the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave. Cost is $10; free for
members. Details: (305) 446-1657.
LUNCH TALK: The Florida chapter of the International
Advertising Association is sponsoring a talk today (5/17) on "Sports Marketing
in Latin America: Facts & Trends." at 12:15 p.m. Bankers Club, One Biscayne
Tower, 2 S Biscayne Blvd. Miguel Nido, president of Altenis, is to speak. Cost
is $40; $30 for members. Details: (305) 529-5006.
HAITIAN AWARDS: Harriet R. Michel, president of the
National Minority Supplier Development Council, is keynote speaker Friday when
the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce presents its Haitian business awards. The
session is from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Biscayne Bay Marriott, 1633 N Bayshore
Drive. Cost is $45. Details: (305) 350-7700.
AFTER HOURS: "Are you ready to acquire new business?"
a trade show and business card exchange organized by the Greater Miami
Chamber of Commerce is scheduled from 5:30-7:30 p.m. May 21 in the Doral
Golf Resort & Spa, 4400 NW 87th Ave. Committee sign-ups are on the agenda. Details:
A meeting and business card exchange organized by the Florida Association of British
Business is scheduled from 6:30-8:30 p.m. May 22 in Playwright's Irish Pub, 1265
Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Cost is $20; $18 for members. Details: (954) 565-3429.
REAL PRESENTATION: Motivational speaker Anne B. Freedman
has been recruited by Commercial Real Estate Women Miami to talk on "How
to market everything you've got using the power of the platform to profitably
penetrate new and existing marketplaces." The pitch with the long title is
part of a 5:30 p.m. networker May 22 in the Miami City Club, 55th floor, 200 S
Biscayne Blvd. Cost is $45; $35 for members with reservations. Add $10 at door.
Details: (305) 769-6608.
CHAMBERS MEET: The South Beach & Greater Miami Hispanic
Chamber of Commerce is holding an after-hours reception with the Miami Beach and
Coconut Grove chambers of commerce from 5:30-7:30 p.m. May 22 in the Chart House
Restaurant, 51 Chart House Drive, Coconut Grove. Details: (305) 534-1903.
MANAGERIAL TALK: The Building Owners & Managers Association
of Greater Miami is sponsoring a talk by Miami-Dade County City Manager Steve
Shiver starting at 11:30 a.m. May 23 in the Rusty Pelican, 3201 Rickenbacker Cswy.
Details: (305) 530-0083.
SEC ISSUES: The Association of Public Corporations
is presenting "A Review of Current Issues at the SEC" at 7 p.m. May
24 on the 2nd floor of Monty's Restaurant, 2550 S Bayshore Drive. Michael McAlevey,
deputy director of the division of corporate finances with the US Securities &
Exchange Commission, is featured speaker. Reservations are required. Cost is $25.
Details: (305) 663-7105.
TRADE TALK: The Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce
of Florida is presenting an update, "The Outlook for the FTAA," at 12:30
p.m. May 24 in the Hyatt Regency Miami, 400 SE Second Ave. Robert Petterson, vice
president for Caterpillar Inc., is to talk on the impact of the trade pact on
the private sector, lessons learned since Seattle and fast-tracking. Cost is $50;
$35 for members. Details: (305) 579-9030.
OPEN VIZCAYA: Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, 3251 S Miami
Ave., plans an open house May 26 starting with a 9:30 a.m. concert by harpist
Trudy Faust. Guitarist Armando Garcia, the Miami Steel & Percussion Orchestra
and the Nova Era Ensemble are also to perform during the day. Details: (305) 250-9133.
TROPICAL BALCONIES: The Miami Beach Botanical Garden
is holding a workshop on "Successfully Bringing Tropical Foliage into your
Balcony or Home" at 7:30 p.m. June 6 at 2000 Convention Center Drive, Miami
Beach. Local designer Mary Lacorazza is to give hints on how to buy plants, organic
ways to care and maintain them and the use of decorative containers. Cost is $5;
$3 for members. Details: (305) 673-7256.
LOCAL WRITE RITE: The Theatre League of South Florida
and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs are sponsoring a series
of play readings under the banner "Downstage Miami," designed to support
the cultivation of new work in the local community. First up is The Great Blasket
by Roger Martin, one of four playwrights picked by a regional panel to participate
in three workshops with such established playwrights as Edward Albee, John Guare
and Maria Irene Fornes. The Great Blasket will be read at 7:30 p.m. May 22 at
GableStage in the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave. Admission is free. Ahead
are readings of works by Martin Holtz, Dolores Sendler and Susan Westfall. Details:
Rem Cabrera, (305) 375-4634.