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Front Page » FYI Miami » Fyi Miami

Fyi Miami

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Written by on December 5, 2002

AIRPORT DEAL CONTINUES: The Miami-Dade County Commission on Tuesday approved a five-year extension of a general management contract with Dade Aviation Consultants. The group began managing the Miami International Airport expansion, now estimated at $4.8 billion, in 1992. County Aviation Director Angela Gittens said a new term in the renewed contract called for annual performance evaluations. Mark Massman, the firm’s manager, told commissioners that reports of his company paying salaries to no-show employees were unfounded. Some commissioners said they voted for the extension because they trusted Ms. Gittens’ recommendation.

NATIONAL ROLE: The US Senate has confirmed Coral Gables attorney Armando J. Bucelo Jr. as a director of the Securities Investor Protection Corp., to which he was appointed by President George W. Bush, the first Floridian ever to receive a presidential appointment to the seven-member board. The corporation maintains a reserve fund to help investors at failed brokerage firms. Last summer he was named to the board of the National Housing Development Corp., and in 1999 Gov. Jeb Bush appointed him to the trustees of Miami-Dade Community College. He has headed his own law firm 20 years.

CAR PARTS: Volkswagen/Interamericana Transport has added 29,056 more feet of industrial space at Lightspeed @Beacon Tradeport, 1200 NW 25th Street. Codina Realty Services announced Monday the renewal of Interamericana’s long-term lease of a total of 95,000 square feet there. A Codina spokeswoman said the distribution company needs the added space to cope with existing growth. An Interamericana human resources official said there are no plans to add staff now. Interamericana is the factory-appointed importer for all Volkswagen and Audi products for the Caribbean and parts of Latin America.

BURGER AND WAY: Florida legislators will be asked to rename a section of Red Road, or Northwest 57th Avenue, between Northwest Seventh Street and Perimeter Road as Whopper Way. Miami-Dade County commissioners put in their "special order" as a tribute to Burger King Corp.’s economic and social contributions to the county. The fast-food giant is moving its headquarters from South Dade to a 231,000-square-foot building in the Blue Lagoon area. The group plans to move by late 2002.

TRI-COUNTY FARES: County Commissioners Tuesday OK’d an agreement between Miami-Dade Transit and the Tri-County Commuter Rail Authority to buy a fare-collection system to be used throughout Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties and on the Tri-Rail service. The system is planned to make regional travel seamless and cost effective. A magnetic fare card system should be introduced in Miami-Dade in about 11/2 years, said Danny Alvarez, with the county’s transportation department. Miami-Dade’s share in the $64.55 million cost will be $50.3 million, including equipment and system application for Metrobus, Metrorail and regional integration, he said. The newly approved sales tax will fund part of the cost.

CORAL WAY SALE: State Street Investment is new owner of Coral Plaza Office Building, 2100 Coral Way. The Argentine investment group paid $5.9 million for the 50,347-square-foot building, said Lee Sabel, an associate with CB Richard Ellis. He represented the seller, Coral Plaza 2100 of Deerfield Beach. He said the 19-year-old building is 98% occupied and was on the market 30 days before State Street made its offer. At about $20 per square foot, major tenants include WSUA Broadcasting, Latino Broadcasting and Arravanti Inc.

director. "Our new location near Nova Southeastern University will help our research efforts considerably."

SECURING THE HOMELAND: County Manager Steve Shiver on Tuesday created a Homeland Security Division, put Assistant County Manager Samuel Williams in charge of it and gave an aide, Kimberly Redmon, more direct responsibility for police, fire, corrections and the medical examiner’s office. The new division is to manage state and federal terrorism grant funding, train and equip the county’s first responders, protect the county’s infrastructure and improve intelligence gathering.

EUROPE HO: Venture capitalists, bankers and accountants will examine issues related to companies wishing to set up a marketing presence in Europe as the Bankers Club and Beacon Council, Miami-Dade’s economic development agency, hold a seminar from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Dec. 6. The event at the Bankers Club, 1 Biscayne Tower, is sponsored by Switzerland+, a Swiss business recruitment agency, and will feature presentations by Ernst & Young, Arthur D. Little and the SWX Swiss Stock Exchange. Details: (212) 599-5700, ext. 1034.

HISPANIC BUSINESS HONORS: The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce will host its 19th annual Top 100 Hispanic Businesses in Florida awards luncheon at noon Dec. 13 at the Renaissance Miami Biscayne Bay Hotel, 1601 Biscayne Blvd. The top 100 ranking is based on annual revenue and specific awards will go to the top 10 private firms, the top five public firms and the five fastest-growing Hispanic businesses in the state. Details: 305-577-5466

AFRICAN CHAMBERS: Four African national chambers of commerce have been admitted as members of the Association of Bi-National Chambers of Commerce in Florida. The Nigerian-American, the Cameroon-American, the Ivorian-American and the Ghana-America chambers of commerce recently joined, said Lita Haeger, association president and CEO. She said the Nigerian chamber first approached her association; the motivation of its president, Sam Jack, helped bring in the other three. The only other African country among the association’s 38 members is South Africa, Ms. Haeger said. Ms. Haeger said these four new chambers are the first for their nations in the US.

ID THEFT: This state is second in the US in identity thefts, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Extra money has been earmarked in the state budget to combat the statistics. One of five Florida households has been victimized by ID theft. Florida banks report more than $400 million in losses this past year due to fraud, said Mike Fields, senior vice president of government relations for Bank of America and president-elect of the Florida Bankers Association. More than $1 million in fraudulent checks are passed daily, 13 per second, he said. The FBI receives 500,000 ID theft cases a year and the Federal Trade Commission reports that by 2005, 1.5 million people a year will be ID theft victims.

HALL MONITORS: Noting that Miami-Dade County municipalities have public works directors who monitor the state of streets, State Rep. Dan Gelber recommended to the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce goals conference that each city hall designate a staff member to monitor the public schools within that city – and also assess whether the schools are prepared to handle a city’s growth.

DESIGNER ADDITION: The Miami city editor for Metropolitan Home has joined Dacra Companies as a member of its Miami Design District marketing and development team. Nisi Berryman will focus on attracting interior designers to the district and work with existing showrooms to strengthen their business. Ms. Berryman has helped launch the Holly Hunt Miami showroom and was the director of the Tui Pranich showroom at Dania’s Design Center of the Americas, or DCOTA. Ms. Berryman is also on the board of DASH, the Design and Architecture Senior High. A resident of Miami Beach, she is a graduate of Louisiana State University, with a bachelor’s degree in art history and painting.

MOVED OUT: Credit Suisse First Boston, a global investment banking firm, has found new digs at 1111 Brickell Ave., leaving behind an empty 36th floor in downtown’s One Biscayne Tower. Meanwhile, Insignia/ESG is trying to find someone to fill the space, offering all 24,344 square feet as a sub-lease through Aug. 31, 2007. The floor comes equipped with furniture at $23.90 a square foot. Also available are 19 parking spaces at current market price plus the city surcharge. A representative with CS First Boston would not comment

BUSING OUT: Greyhound Lines is moving its bus terminal from 16560 NE Sixth Ave., North Miami Beach, a mile and a half west to a new intermodal facility at the Golden Glades Interchange, where it will link with Tri-Rail, Metro-Dade Transit and Broward County Transit. The line will run 16 northbound and 19 southbound buses daily from the new site, 1600 NW Seventh Ave.

GOING HOME: Charles M. Auslander, who since 1999 was district administrator for the embattled Florida Department of Children and Families, has rejoined Greenberg Traurig as a shareholder in the law firm’s national appellate department. He held the same role before joining the state agency and after working as a federal assistant public defender for the Southern District of Florida.

WINDY DEDICATION: Miami-Dade County has named a government building after a Coral Gables resident who pioneered the creation of the scale by which hurricanes are rated. The Permitting and Inspection Center at 11805 SW 26th St., also called Coral Way, now bears the name of Herbert S. Saffir, whose Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is used worldwide to measure hurricanes in categories from 1 to 5. An internationally acclaimed structural engineer, he has lived in Coral Gables since 1947 and his work has led to better building codes and more resistant structures. Mr. Saffir and Robert Simpson, who was then the head of the National Hurricane Center, developed the scale in the early-1970s. "I think this is a very great honor," Mr. Saffir said.

HISPANIC BUSINESS HONORS: The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce will host its 19th annual Top 100 Hispanic Businesses in Florida awards luncheon at noon Dec. 13 at the Renaissance Miami Biscayne Bay Hotel, 1601 Biscayne Blvd. The top 100 ranking is based on annual revenue and specific awards will go to the top 10 private firms, the top five public firms and the five fastest-growing Hispanic businesses in the state. Details: 305-577-5466

TASTE OF BARBADOS: The Barbados-USA Chamber of Commerce will host a gathering at the Consulate General of Barbados from 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, co-sponsored by the Barbados Investment and Development Corp. "A Taste of Barbados" will be at 150 Alhambra Circle, Suite 1000, Coral Gables. Business attire. RSVP: (305) 442-2269.

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