Written by Miami Today on February 21, 2002
EASY RYDER: Ryder System is taking its time searching for a new home, says spokesman David Bruce. The Doral-based transportation management company announced in November it would seek a new headquarters in Miami-Dade or South Broward County. Mr. Bruce said Jose Juncadella of Codina Realty Services is leading the search while accepting proposals from property owners. Mr. Bruce said the process could take as long as needed because Ryder "is in no hurry." Since 1996, the company has been leasing the entire Royal Palm Executive Center, a 117,200-square-foot building at Northwest 36th Street and 87th Avenue.
TAXING EFFORTS: Accounting students from Johnson & Wales University’s College of Business have partnered with the IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program to help anyone seeking free tax service. The students benefit too: they get training from IRS professionals and certification as well as real work experience. Details: (305) 892-7666, ext. 7174.
SPREADING BENEFITS: A proposed $16 million expansion of cruise terminals 3, 4 and 5 at the Port of Miami would benefit lines such as Norwegian and Carnival besides Royal Caribbean International, which has a 15-year contract to operate from those sites, says Port Director Charles Towsley. Miami-Dade commissioners just made Royal Caribbean construction manager for the expansion. Trenae Floyd, port public affairs officer, said ships "wishing to call or homeport at Miami when Royal Caribbean is not utilizing the terminals" would be able to do so.
MULTINATIONALS CATALOGUED: The 2002 Directory of Multinational Corporations in Miami-Dade, produced by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with Florida International University’s College of Business, is ready. It lists contacts and background on each company headquartered in one country that has affiliates or subsidiaries in other nations. More than half the listed corporations are US based with focus on Latin America. Details: (305) 577-5471.
HOURLY UPDATES ON ARGENTINA: The US Export Assistance Center has created an international marketing insight report to help US exporters navigate the fluid financial and economic situation in Argentina. The report, focused on payment processes for imports, is available at www.usatrade.gov or www.comerciousa.org/argentina. Information on the nation’s financial crisis is updated hourly. Details: (954) 356-6640, ext 0.
ROAD TO MOROCCO: The Florida Foreign Trade Association, Enterprise Florida and other groups plan a trade mission to Morocco. Participants will visit Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakech and Tangier from March 16-23. The $2,750 fee includes business appointments, air fare from Miami, hotel accommodations and networking events. Details: www.ffta.com or (305) 471-0737.
OPEN HOUSE: St. Thomas University professors and admissions staff are offering information about 25 undergraduates degree programs at an open house 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb. 23 in Convocation Hall, 16400 NW 32 Ave. A similar event for graduate students is scheduled at 6 p.m. Feb. 27 at the same location. Details: undergraduates, (305) 628-6546 or graduates, Orlando Barreto, (350) 628-6614.
BRICKELL TRAFFIC SUMMIT: A town hall meeting addressing Brickell traffic issues is scheduled for 11 a.m. Feb. 25 at the First Presbyterian Church, 609 Brickell Ave. Commissioner Johnny Winton is moderator. The agenda is to finalize traffic management initiatives discussed at an earlier meeting of city, county and state agencies. Details: Commander Frank Fernandez, Miami Police Dept., (305) 859-2701, or Daniel Ponce, Brickell Key Master Association, (305) 358-9892.
COUNTY E-VENDING: Trying to cut inefficient paperwork, Miami-Dade County’s departments of procurement management and information technology are developing a way to let prospective vendors sign up online. To be completed July 1, the project will also provide e-notification of county jobs and let would-be vendors download application packages. When this is done, the county will move to put the entire procurement process online within several years. Miami-Dade acquires more than $900 million in goods and services each year. "We want to be efficient, economical and simple in our methods and requirements," said Ted Lucas, director of Procurement Management. "If we’re going to ask companies to bid, we ought to make it as simple as possible."
TWIN PATHS: As the owners of 1060 Brickell Ave. continue to look for a financing partner for their twin-tower project, the president of Gotham Partners of New York – the company that bought the site in December – said he doesn’t anticipate re-selling. Still, Gotham President Bill Ackman added, "People have asked us ‘Instead of sharing the project, would you sell?’ The answer is yes, for the right price."
C’MON DOWN: After members of the Performing Arts Center Trust last week met with a third candidate to lead the under-construction center, they agreed Tuesday to invite him back for a second visit. Lawrence Simpson, president of Cuyahoga Community College’s Eastern campus, followed Michael Hardy of Louisville and Colin Jackson of Calgary in the trust’s search. Mr. Hardy and Mr. Jackson returned for second visits this week, and according to Performance Executive Search and Management Consulting, which is conducting the search, the group is trying to bring Mr. Simpson back in a week or two.
UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION: The Miami Heat has joined with South Florida Workforce to provide free entertainment for Miami-Dade and Monroe counties’ unemployed: Anyone receiving unemployment compensation can go to a one-stop career center and pick up a voucher for four Heat tickets. The program, which started Jan. 19 against the L.A. Lakers, runs through the April 16 game with the Charlotte Hornets. "We’re trying to keep in mind all the different ways Sept. 11 has impacted folks negatively. A lot of people have been laid off – that’s something everyone has top-of-mind," said Doris Howe, Heat spokeswoman. "We came up with the voucher because we wanted to find a way to give back, to help out our neighbors, to give them relief from pressure. It’s the least we can do."
CORRECTION: Leasing agreements at The Offices at CocoWalk in Coconut Grove were inaccurately described on page 21 last week. Rent will not include air conditioning fees, which are to be paid separately by tenants, said Carol Ellis-Cutler of Abood & Associates. In return, tenants will be able to control their own air conditioning units and office temperatures.