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Front Page » FYI Miami » Fyi Miami

Fyi Miami

www.miamitodaynews.com
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Written by on February 27, 2003

FYI

Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead

of the news. Here are highlights from the most current edition.

FOUR FOR FORUM: Mayor Manny Diaz is to present to the Miami City Commission today (2/27) an agreement among four area municipalities regarding the Nov. 8 Americas Business Forum, a gathering of trade ministers from 34 Western Hemisphere nations. The forum is tied to ministerial meetings that are part of the negotiations of the Free Trade Area of the Americas. The cities of Miami, Miami Beach and Coral Gables with Miami-Dade County plan to jointly support the events with cash and in-kind services.

GOOD NEIGHBORS: The two tower, 896-unit One Miami project will share amenities with its next-door neighbor Hotel Inter-Continental. Future residents of the downtown project at the mouth of the Miami River will be able to use the hotel’s luxury offerings, such as its Indigo Restaurant & Bar and Blue Water CafÈ, the health and fitness center, jogging track, pool, sun deck and shops. A secured guest elevator will link the buildings. One Miami, developed by the Related Group, is the first major residential project in the city’s core in decades.

CLOUDS OVER HOMESTEAD: County and private developers eager to commercialize the former Homestead Air Force Base are still waiting for a suit to be resolved. Although the federal government on Feb. 14 again outlined the Air Force’s intention to transfer the 595 acres to Miami-Dade County to be used for economic development, Diana M. Gonzalez, project coordinator for the Homestead re-use plan and president of the Consulting Group of South Florida Inc., said that won’t happen until a suit by the Homestead Air Base Development Initiative is resolved. "If we take a property with a lawsuit," she said, "were taking something with a cloud over it, and we feel that is not in the best interests of the county."

NEW UM TRUSTEES: The University of Miami Board of Trustees elected new members E. Roe Stamps IV, founding partner of Summit partners, and Hilarie Bass, shareholder and national chair of the litigation department at Greenberg Traurig law firm. Mr. Stamps and his wife, Penny, recently gave $500,000 to the School of Music to establish the Stamps Family Distinguished Visitors Series. Ms. Bass, who holds a doctorate from the University of Miami, has been active in the School of Law Alumni Association.

STATE OF THE BEACH: Miami Beach Mayor David Dermer will deliver the State of the City address at 10 a.m. March 26 at City Commission Chambers on the third floor of Miami Beach City Hall, 1700 Convention Center Drive. "Some of the things we’re pleased with that I will certainly highlight are improvements in our bond rating and recent crime levels, which fell by 40% last year," he said. He said he will also highlight streetscape and park improvements and announce a number of initiatives for 2003. He declined to say whether the county’s proposed BayLink transit plan between the mainland and Miami Beach will come up but noted the city commission is expected to vote on the plan March 10.

GOING FOR GOLD: The resale prices of homes in the Miami area rose twice as fast as the state average last month, increasing 22% over the January 2002 level – but the number of homes sold declined 3%. Statewide, prices rose 11% in the one-year period while sales increased 13% from a year earlier. In Broward County, prices rose 16%, sales 10%. The median sale price in Miami last month was $197,900, in Broward $200,300. In Miami, realtors sold 760 homes, in Broward 908.

GOING UP: Costs of a marketbasket of goods and services that make up the Consumer Price Index rose slightly in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale region from October to December 2002 while they were dipping slightly in much of the nation. The index rose here from 177 to 177.9. Nationally, it fell from 181.3 to 180.9. The items in the basket, measured by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, would have cost $100 in 1982-84 but today would cost $177.90.

GOOD EATING: The Florida International University School of Management and Hospitality is to present a distinguished hospitality award to Joseph P. Micatrotto, chairman and CEO of Minneapolis-based BUCA Inc., at 11:30 a.m. Sunday at a tribute brunch at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival. The corporation owns and operates 95 Southern Italian-themed restaurants.You have until 9:30 a.m. March 5 to vote on the Internet for a favorite design for a Florida quarter. According to Gov. Jeb Bush’s Office, the "Gateway to Discovery" design is in the lead. In second place is the "Everglades" design, "St. Augustine: Oldest City in the World" is third, "America’s Spaceport" is fourth and "Fishing Capital of the World" last. To vote, log onto www.myflorida.com. Residents and visitors alike may help choose the design that will grace the back of the state quarter. So far, more than 184,000 Floridians have voted and more than 8,000 people living outside the state. The US Mint is expected to circulate the Florida quarter in Spring 2004.

GOING FOR GOLD: The resale prices of homes in the Miami area rose twice as fast as the state average last month, increasing 22% over the January 2002 level – but the number of homes sold declined 3%. Statewide, prices rose 11% in the one-year period while sales increased 13% from a year earlier. In Broward County, prices rose 16%, sales 10%. The median sale price in Miami last month was $197,900, in Broward $200,300. In Miami, realtors sold 760 homes, in Broward 908.

ON-TIME TRAVEL: United Airlines, filing for bankruptcy protection in December, ranks first in the industry in domestic on-time performance in 2002, according to the US Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer report. Pete McDonald, executive vice president of operations, said his firm "in a single year vaulted from eighth place to first place in on-time arrivals." American Airlines ranks second and Continental Airlines third.

AMERICAN EN ESPANOL: American Airlines this month launches AA.com(r) en EspaÒol. Latin American and Caribbean clients will be able to access American Airlines travel info at www.aa.com/espanol. The website is aimed at providing better service to the Spanish-speaking world, said Peter Dolara, senior vice president of American for Miami, the Caribbean and Latin America. American Airlines is the largest carrier operating at Miami International. About 8.7 million passengers last year boarded American Airlines in Miami, said spokeswoman Martha Pantin.

POOLING FUNDS: Upon hearing that Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation Department was closing the Helen Sands pool at South Dade Park through the summer for lack of funds, County Commissioner Katy Sorenson transferred $25,000 from her office’s budget to the park’s. "It’s a shame that our parks are lacking the necessary funds to fully support amenities like our community pools," she said. "The South Dade community deserves year-round access to this great facility." Her donation, she said, should keep the pool open through the summer.

TALK OF VENEZUELA: Mike Zellner, editor-in-chief of Latin Trade, a business magazine, will speak March 19 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Miami on the current leadership and position of Venezuela. Women in Trade-Miami are hosting the noon luncheon titled "Outlook Venezuela: The Bottom Line on the Ch·vez Government." Tickets are $35 for member, $45 for others. Details: daisy.pagan@ey.com.

ROYAL HISTORY: Her Royal Highness Princess Michael of Kent, wife of Queen Elizabeth II’s first cousin, will talk about a much more notorious queen, Catherine de Medici, at a meeting of the Prologue Society at noon March 4 at Northern Trust Bank, 700 Brickell Ave. The princess, born in Bohemia, is a historian who focuses on legendary figures in European history from the 16th-19th centuries. She’s written two best-selling histories and is a popular lecturer throughout the world. The society is sponsored by Northern Trust and Miami Today. Attendance is limited to members and their guests. Details: (305) 789-1344.

HISPANIC CHAMBER DRIVE: The South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Miami Beach plans to hold its 2003 membership drive April 10. The campaign takes place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Almanara restaurant at the Radisson Mart Plaza Hotel, 711 NW 72nd Ave. Chamber President Liliam Lopez said the event is for anyone interested in doing business with the Hispanic community. With more than 400 members, the chamber offers free technical assistance for small businesses, workshops and trade missions with partner chambers. Details: (305) 534-1903.

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