Written by Miami Today on February 13, 2003
Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
of the news. Here are highlights from the most current edition.
DECLINING UNEMPLOYMENT: Miami closed out 2002 leading the nation in its decline in unemployment. In December, Miami’s unemployment fell 1.2 percentage points from the same month in 2001, when the figure was 8% jobless. That’s the biggest drop in the nation, followed by Orlando’s 1.1 percentage points. In November, too, Miami led the nation in slashing unemployment. But the news isn’t all good: the US Department of Labor reported last week that Miami’s big cut in jobless still left us fourth worst in the US at 6.8% jobless – down from 7% in November – behind only New York and San Jose, CA, at 7.5% each and the Portland, OR, and Vancouver, WA, area at 6.9%. In the one-year period, Miami’s non-farm employment rose 1.8%, third biggest percentage jump in the US.
RAIL’S ROAD: Miami Beach is to hold hearings on a proposed BayLink rapid transit line Feb. 13 and 14 in the city commission chambers. Following continued discussion at a city commission meeting Feb. 26, commissioners may act on a light-rail alternative in March.
DOWNTOWN DADELAND FUNDED: Gulfside Development of South Miami announced it got financing to build Downtown Dadeland, a $140 million re-urbanization project just South of the Dadeland Mall. Union Planters Bank is to lend Gulfside $105 million toward construction, with the balance from private equity partners. The mixed-use project is to include 416 condos and 115,000 square feet of retail space in seven low-rise buildings. The project, said Gulfside, is 70% pre-sold, with condo prices ranging from under $200,000 up to $500,000.
FULL BLOOM: With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, consider the flowers you may be giving your loved ones. Most likely, they made a stop at Miami International Airport. According to the Society of American Florists, 70% of cut flowers sold in the US are imported, the majority from Latin America. Of those flowers, 85% come through Miami, in temperature-controlled aircrafts, according to international transportation company UPS, which expects to transport about 7 million pounds of blossoms, worth an estimated $45 million by Friday.
EDGE OF THEIR SEATS: The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce has named finalists for its annual cutting edge award, honoring distinguished marketing growth and management. They are Alienware, Blackstone, Brightstar Corp., DBK Concepts, El Dorado Furniture, KOS Pharmaceuticals, Olympus MedSave, SFBC International, Swiss Watch International, Tradestation Group, U.S. Imaging Solutions and vFinance Inc. The chamber is to name winners at an April 17 lunch at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Brickell Key.