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Written by on January 10, 2002

GENERAL SALE: General Real Estate Corp. announced it has sold 30% of units at its newest single-family home development, Renaissance Estates II in West Kendall. The 68-home project, at Southwest 162nd Avenue and 64th Street features three-, four- and five-bedroom floor plans with prices ranging from $185,990 to $259,990. Construction is to start in March, when General Real executives say they expect to get building permits. Once started, the project should be take 18 months, the company reported.

CORAL BEAUTY: Miami commissioners are expected today to discuss increasing funds for a Coral Way beautification project by $25,000 to $100,000. More money, city staff said, is needed to cover the cost of expanding the original plan, which begins on Southwest 27th Avenue, to include First to 12th avenues. The project is to start in a month.

MAYORAL STAFFER: Manny Gonzalez, former executive director of Miami InternetCoast, a nonprofit created to promote information technology in South Florida, joined the staff of Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas two weeks ago. Mr. Gonzalez, who used to be the mayor’s international trade coordinator from 1997-2000, is now in charge of inter-government affairs for Mr. Penelas. His job is strengthening relations with other cities and Florida legislators, he said.

NEW FIRM: Chile-based Comunidad Informática announced plans to open in Miami some time this quarter at 168 SE First St. in the offices of NAP Partner Corp., a telecom and IT procurement network operation. Comunidad is an international IT human resources and outsourcing services provider specializing in computer training programs for multilingual professionals in the Hispanic market. The Miami International Trade Board has been working closely with NAP Partner for the past year to lure Comunidad here, said Harper Chilton, NAP board’s executive director.

SMALL ASSISTANCE: Small businesses that were economically impacted by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and subsequent federal actions must submit a completed application for assistance to the Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance Program by Jan. 21. As of early this month, 273 Florida businesses had been approved for low-interest SBA disaster loans totaling $20.2 million, with Miami-Dade County businesses accounting for $5.8 million. Applications and program information are available by calling the SBA. Details: (800) 350-2227 between 7 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays.

PET PROJECT: City Commissioner Johnny Winton will ask Miami commissioners today (1/10) to vote on a regulation requiring pet owners to "immediately remove and properly dispose of fecal matter when their dogs defecate on public and private properties." Those violating the law would be penalized, the proposed measure said.

RISING STAR: The Builders Association of South Florida named Lani Kahn Drody builder of the year. Ms. Drody is senior vice president of Lowell Homes and the first female to win the award. "Lani is one of South Florida’s rising stars in the building industry," said Michael Aliberti, executive director for the association. "Not only does she manage much of the day-to-day operations at Lowell but is an integral part of the industry, assisting with builder community service programs and other pertinent matters." Ms. Drody is a director for Miami Bridge Youth & Family Services, serves on the executive committee for the Builders Association of South Florida and was appointed by the mayor to the City of Coral Gables Property Advisory Board.

ETHICS POSTS: Gail Ash Dotson and Guillermo J. Grenier were named to the Miami-Dade County Commission on Ethics & Public Trust. Ms. Dotson is an associate with the law firm Fowler White Burnett Hurley Banick & Strickroot in Miami and is law development and alumni relations director at the University of Miami School of Law. Dr. Grenier is associate professor of sociology at FIU.

RETAIL NUMBERS: There were 23 sales of retail centers in Miami-Dade in 2001, a slightly more than 20% increase compared to the number of shopping center transactions in 2000, Sobel’s Retail Investment Report for January 2002 shows. Miami’s sales were among 64 such transactions in the tri-county area, including 19 in Palm Beach and 22 in Broward. Also, grocery-anchored centers accounted for one in four of the sales, Sobel’s reports, about the same as a year ago. In the Miami area, sale of the Kendall Mall for $52.9 million was the largest transaction in the year, Sobel’s reports, with the $35.5 million sale of the Shoppes of Dadeland ranking No. 2.

TECHNOLOGY LINKS ABROAD: Miami’s technology industry and its global links will be the focus of the next session of Miami Today’s International Roundtable at 7:30 a.m. Jan. 25 in the Miami City Club, 200 S Biscayne Blvd., 55th floor. The breakfast meeting is co-sponsored by Shorenstein Realty Services. Seating is limited and reservations required. Details: Techy Fernandez, (305) 358-2663.

LITERARY CRUISE: Stephen Lash, chairman of Christie’s in North America, is guest speaker at the Prologue Society at noon today (1/10) in Northern Trust Bank, 700 Brickell Ave. The society, sponsored by Northern Trust and Miami Today, is dedicated to the appreciation of history. Mr. Lash’s topic is the era of transatlantic ocean travel via great ocean liners, and the unspoken rivalry between nations that resulted in the construction of more and more opulent floating palaces. Details: (305) 789-1344.

DECO VOLUNTEERS: The Miami Design Preservation League is holding information and training sessions for Art Deco Weekend volunteers from 10 a.m.-noon Saturday at the Art Deco Museum, 1001 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach. Art Deco Weekend, being held this year under the banner "25 Sterling Years of Preservation, is Jan. 18-20. Details: (305) 672-2014 or mdpl.org.

ART DECO II: The 2002 Art Deco Weekend poster by M. Kungl will be unveiled at 7 p.m. Jan. 15 in the Art Deco Museum. The central image, said publicists, is the now demolished New Yorker Hotel, 1611 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, designed by Henry Hohauser in 1939. League Chairman Michael D. Kinerk said the "magnitude of the loss" of the hotel "provided the impetus needed to enact local legislation that would eventually protect all buildings in the Architectural Historic District" of Miami Beach.

HONORARY NETWORKER: The South Beach & Greater Miami Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is holding a networking reception to honor Miami-Dade Commissioner Bruno Barreiro for "outstanding contributions to the community" from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Jan. 23 in the Radisson Deauville, 6701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Details: (305) 534-1903.

MARKET FORECAST: Commercial Real Estate Women Miami is presenting a market overview and forecast at 11:30 a.m. Jan. 17 in the Hotel Soiftel, 5800 Blue Lagoon Drive. Hugh Kelly of Hugh Kelly Real Estate Economics is scheduled speaker. Cost is $55 at the door; $45 & $35 for members with reservations. Details: (305) 373-2184.

MEMBERSHIP MEET: Chamber South is holding its next general membership meeting at 7:30 a.m. Jan. 23 in the Miami Dadeland Marriott, 9090 S Dadeland Blvd. Details: (305) 661-1621, ext. 10.

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