Written by Miami Today on April 10, 2003
Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
of the news. Here are highlights from the most current edition.
ADDED BENEFIT: The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau announced luring a mega conference to Greater Miami. The International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans conference, booked for Oct. 16-23, 2008, at the Miami Beach Convention Center, is expected to draw 6,000 visitors, fill 5,000 hotel rooms on peak days and add $8 million to the local economy through hospitality, retail and other service sales, the bureau said. "This shows Miami is growing its stature as a destination for meetings and conventions, many of which could go anywhere in the US or the world," said bureau President William D. Talbert III.
MOVE UPS: Veteran UPS manager Stephen Flowers Tuesday was named the new president of UPS’s Americas Region, a Miami-headquartered division including more than 50 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean. The 41-year-old native of Canada succeeds Jovita Carranza, who was promoted to vice president of UPS air operations in Louisville, KY. Mr. Flowers has been based in Paris since 2000, overseeing the company’s operations in West Europe, where he helped increase export volume in 2002 by nearly 15%.
TRADE AGAIN: Gov. Jeb Bush is leading an international trade mission for the second time this year. Almost a month after returning from a mission to Spain, his office is planning a trade and development mission Sept. 15-17 to the Dominican Republic. The Caribbean island of 8.6 million inhabitants is Florida’s third-largest trading partner, according to Enterprise Florida, the state’s non-profit economic development agency, which is helping stage the mission. Details: (407) 316-4716.
BUSINESS SURVEY: The Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County’s economic development agency, is asking local businesses for their outlook for the year. The yearly e-mail survey, part of the group’s Business Priority Program, gathers data on companies, identifies employment growth obstacles and solutions and recognizes local contributions to Miami-Dade. The Doug Williams Group, a Miami consulting firm, will help conduct and interpret the survey, to be presented April 30 at the council’s mid-year outlook meeting. Details (305) 579-1338.
APPOINTED: Gov. Jeb Bush has appointed Nancy B. Hogan, of Miami, managing broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate, to the Florida Real Estate Commission. Her term runs to Oct. 31, 2006. Also returned to service was Cathleen C. Vogel of Miami, government affairs specialist with Squire, Sanders and Dempsey, who was reappointed by the governor to the Florida Inland Navigation District for a term ending Jan. 9, 2007. Both selections require Senate confirmation.
AVIATION REVIEW: Miami-Dade commissioners Tuesday created a committee to draft the framework of an aviation authority to govern day-to-day operation of the county’s four airports. The 13-member group would have three months for a draft, which then would go before commission committees and finally the 13-member commission for action. The same legislation was voted down a month ago by six commissioners, but Chairwoman Barbara Carey-Shuler resuscitated it this week. Mayor Alex Penelas said he had contacted some of those commissioners to explain that voting to create a committee did not mean voting for an aviation authority. Some commissioners decided to support the chairwoman’s initiative but made it clear they opposed giving up aviation oversight power to an authority stripped of elected officials.
CRUISING FOR A HOME: Start-up Oceania Cruises is in the process of locating its headquarters in Miami-Dade County. The group last year applied for county and state tax breaks in order to make South Florida its home. Oceania will feature two 684-passenger luxury ships, the Regatta and the Insignia, and offer cruises on the Baltic, the Mediterranean and in the Americas. The company plans to invest $1.5 million in its office here and create in the next three years 120 full-time jobs with an average salary of $50,000, according to the Beacon Council.
NAPPING: Miami-based Terremark Worldwide announced this week signing 18 new customers into its NAP of the Americas data center in downtown Miami. The company, which develops and operates Tier-1 Network Access Points, or NAPs, said the new customers, all signed on in the past six weeks, include the US State Department’s Diplomatic Telecommunications Service Program Office.
BAYWALK: The Miami City Commission is expected to accept a grant today (4/10) at City Hall from the Florida Land and Water Conservation Fund for a piece of the planned Bay Walk System on Watson Island. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is to give the city $200,000 for a public boat ramp where benches, lighting and restrooms are planned. The area has been conceptually designed by city landscape architect Enrique NuÒez along a frontage of about 900 feet in between the Miami Yacht Club and the Miami Outboard Club on the north end of the manmade isle behind the new Parrot Jungle Island. "It’s one of the most beautiful vantage points we have," he said.
FREE TRADE COUNTDOWN: The International Roundtable will feature a countdown to the Free Trade Area of the Americas at its April 24 meeting. Expert panelists will look at how this community is seeking to secure the trade area’s secretariat and how it must battle other regions to do so. The free session, sponsored by the Beacon Council and Miami Today, will be at 5 p.m. at the Sheraton Biscayne Bay Hotel, 495 Brickell Ave. Reservations required. Details: Techy Fernandez, (305) 358-2663.
COOL SALES: Within three days, 34 units of the $56 million, 36-story ICE loft tower were sold, generating sales of $18.3 million, according to the building’s design firm oppenheimarchitecture+design. Sonoma Cos. is developing ICE – which offers 100 bi-level lofts with 18-foot high ceilings framed to the floor with massive full-length glass windows – to be built at 701 NE 31st St. along Miami’s Biscayne corridor, with Majestic Properties handling sales and marketing. Sales prices reached $470 per square foot, with units beginning at $400,000 and reaching $1.9 million. Of the seven penthouse units, six are sold.
ALPHA SUPPORT: Harvey "Jack" Eads, former Coral Gables city manager for more than 13 years, has taken a job with the Alpha-1 Foundation, a not-for-profit disease management corporation. Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency is a genetic disorder causing life-threatening liver and lung disease. It is estimated that 100,000 Americans are missing the protective protein. Mr. Eads has been working for the organization since Feb. 24 as COO. "This is probably the best kept secret in Dade County," he said of Alpha-1, based in Coconut Grove and founded by three Alphas in 1995. He left the Coral Gables post in 2001.
WOMEN DEVELOPERS: Miami’s real estate boom, taken from the point of view of a woman developer, will be the topic of discussion at a noon luncheon April 22 hosted by Women in International Trade and Commercial Real Estate Women. On the panel will be Silvia Coltrane, a developer of Azure in Bal Harbour, and Lissette Calderon, president of NEO Lofts. The event will be at the Hotel Sofitel at 5800 Blue Lagoon Drive in Miami. Tickets are $35 for members, $45 for others. WIT-Miami is a networking and informational organization that promotes international trade and commerce and is one of 30 chapters of the Organization of Women in International Trade with about 5,200 members worldwide. Details: firstname.lastname@example.org.