Written by Miami Today on November 7, 2002
SMOOTH MOVE: Local law firm Astigarraga Davis moved offices last week from 201 S Biscayne Blvd. across the river to new digs on the 16th floor of 701 Brickell Tower. Founding partner Ed Mullins said the firm, which started in January 2000, quickly expanded out of its former space, doubling from eight persons to 16. The growth spurt was so bad, he said, they had to work out of portions of separate floors of their old building. But being able to share the same floor isn’t the best part of the move. "The view is just incredible," he said. The firm practices in international litigation and arbitration, creditors’ rights, fraud prosecution and class action defense.
BARGAINING FOR A HOME: William Talbert III, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, says the bureau has compiled proposals from Miami Beach office buildings where the bureau could move its headquarters by April 2004. The bureau is also negotiating with the City of Miami to jointly build an $11.7 million Watson Island Regional Aviation & Visitors Center. He said the bureau, at 701 Brickell Ave., will analyze the proposals and the city’s offer and see which makes more economic sense. The bureau’s board plans to decide by mid-November.
AVIATION AID: Miami-Dade commissioners approved hiring consultants to determine the economic impact of the county’s four airports and weight demand for new routes. The $84,000 economic impact study will help establish how many jobs could be lost if a major carrier like American Airline cuts operations or in case of a disaster. The current impact is estimated at $13 billion. The $620,547 route analysis will help determine demand for new routes to Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
THANKING GIs: France’s Consul General Christopher Bouchard will hold a ceremony Nov. 10 honoring Americans who fought for the liberation of France during WWII. It begins at 10 a.m. at the JFK Memorial, 301 N Biscayne Blvd. Veterans will receive a thank you certificate at the same time that the Third Annual Armistice Day Parade takes place in France. The region of Normandy awards American veterans the certificate to commemorate the participation of allied soldiers who took part in the Normandy landing and helped liberate France from the Nazi occupation.
HOME STARTS, SUPPLY FALL: New home starts have tumbled but low interest rates, international demand and resilient consumer confidence continue to prop up Miami-Dade County’s housing market, according to a report by Bradley F. Hunter, director of consulting for market research firm Metrostudy. The county saw 1,168 single-family home starts in the third quarter, down 21% from 1,417 in the same period last year as supply falls below demand, his report stated. Single-family home inventory in Miami-Dade fell 9.1% for the period. In Broward, home starts dropped 42% to 1,029 in the third quarter while Palm Beach saw an increase in of 19% to 2,562, the report stated.
SMALL BUSINESS, BIG IMPACT: The US Small Business Administration’s South Florida district is accepting nominations for Small Business Person of the Year and other awards recognizing small businesses’ contributions to the economy. Winners of the 24-county South Florida district will go onto compete with North Florida winners and have a shot at competing for Southeastern US and ultimately national honors. Criteria for nominee business owners include staying power, sales growth, innovation and contribution to their communities. Any individual or organization can nominate a candidate, but requests must be postmarked by Dec. 6. Details: Thaddeus Hosley, (305) 536-5521, ext. 167, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
GARAGE GURU: The new head of planning and development for the Miami Parking Authority sees garages becoming part of the city’s downtown renaissance. Newly hired Mark Trowbridge wants Miami to become more parking friendly and has a sunny vision for the authority’s facilities: "We really see it as a place not to park your car but to begin your day." The semi-autonomous authority has operated more than 45 years, managing about 17,000 parking spaces and receiving no property tax support. "We’ve got some major projects in the works and are on schedule to come to fruition during my tenure," he said. That includes rebuilding the Northwest Third Street garage and employing a mixed-use approach with ground-floor tenants. Previously he directed development for Switchboard of Miami, a family counseling non-profit.
TENNIS ANYONE?: The Miami Parking Authority’s new head of planning and development moonlights as a professional tennis umpire and worked the first two weeks of the US Open in Flushing, NY. "It was the most exciting and exhilarating experience at the same time," Mark Trowbridge said. "When 100,000 avid fans, mostly from New York, think you made a bad call, they have no problem telling you." On Dec. 7, he gets to call the shots during a charity tour match up between Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick in Miami. "I call them as I see them. It’s a game of good sportsmanship."
RYDER PICKS MUSTO: Miami-based Ryder System Inc. this week named Paula Musto vice president of corporate communications. She had been vice president of university relations for the University of Miami, and earlier was director of communications for Miami-Dade County and director of corporate communications for Eastern Airlines.
TERRORISM’S FALLOUT: How global terrorism has affected Greater Miami’s business environment, travel and confidence is the topic of an International Roundtable at 5 p.m. today (11/7) at sponsoring JW Marriott, 1109 Brickell Ave. Panelists are Stuart Blumberg, CEO of the Greater Miami and the Beaches Hotel Association; Bernardo Pastor, partner with White & Case; Jack Lowell, chairman of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce; and Timothy Murphy, president of the South Florida Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. To reserve: (305) 358-2663.