CONSUMER COSTS RISE: The consumer price index for the Miami/Fort Lauderdale region rose 3.2% in April from April 2002. That was far higher than the national increase of 2.2%. In April, it took $180.60 in this area to buy the same selection of goods that in 1982-84 would have cost $100. Even so, the goods cost less here in April than the national average of $183.80 for urban areas, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor reported.
LONG HOURS: Miami office workers reported that they have the longest working hours among counterparts in 12 cities, according to a recent survey. Miami workers average 8.85 hours per day. The shortest workday goes to the office worker in Los Angeles, clocking in at 7.99 hours per day. The poll, by IKON Office Solutions, surveyed 1,200 workers.
TENNIS, ANYONE? Architects Borges + Associates will design Four Seasons Tennis Club, a 4-acre outdoor sports facility planned for downtown's Brickell neighborhood just south of the Miami River, said principal Reinaldo Borges. The club is expected to open late this year along with Four Seasons Hotel and Tower, located seven blocks south of the planned facility, at SE 14th Street and Brickell Avenue. The $1 million club will feature eight tennis courts and an Olympics-size swimming pool but will probably be redeveloped once demand for housing in the area picks up again, Mr. Borges said.
BIG NUMBERS: The National Council of Teachers/Mathematics' annual meeting, said to be the world's largest gathering of educators, is coming to Greater Miami. The council booked the Miami Beach Convention Center April 25-28, 2012, and is expected to bring 15,000 teachers and $12.3 million to the local economy, said William D. Talbert III, president and CEO of the Miami Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau.
GROVENOR AGAIN: Miami commissioners are to consider today (5/22), for the fourth time, special permits for a proposed 151-unit, 31-story luxury condominium at 2610 Tigertail Ave. between the Grove Hill and SBS Tower buildings in Coconut Grove. Area residents have opposed the project, citing size and potential visual impact on South Bayshore Drive. Developer Ugo Colombo has threatened to drop out of the partnership if the high-rise doesn't win approval. Commission Chairman Johnny Winton, who represents the area, has said he will vote against the project because of neighbors' objections.
TIGHTENING BORDERS: Miami city commissioners are to vote today on a proposal to tighten borders of a proposed Little Haiti park. The area marked for acquisition has been from NE 59th to 67th streets and from NE Second Avenue to the Florida East Coast Railway tracks at NE Fourth Avenue. Chief Administrator Joe Arriola has proposed making NE 64th Terrace the northern boundary and cutting out properties east of Fourth Avenue between 62nd and 67th streets. By amending the borders, the city estimated 24 businesses employing 378 workers would be preserved. The city has earmarked $25 million for the park.
ARTS CENTER ON THE RISE: The rise of the two-building performing-arts center of Miami-Dade County and its future will be the topic May 28 at the Of Importance to Brickell luncheon series, sponsored by the Brickell Area Association and Miami Today. Michael Hardy, the center's president and CEO, will speak. The noon lunch is at JW Marriott hotel, 1109 Brickell Ave., in London rooms I and II. The lunch is $35 for association members, $40 for others. Details: Gloria Konsler, (305) 375-0080.
PERFORMING LOFTS: Miami designer and architect Bermello Ajamil & Partners has begun a six-story loft project near the Performing Arts Center. The 100-foot building at 35 NE 17th Street will offer 71 units ranging from 700 to 5,200 square feet. Ceiling heights range from 15 to 20 feet. Called Parc Lofts, the project is under development by Urban One Development LLC and managed by The Intrepid Real Estate Co.
AUDIT BOARD MEETING: The Citizens Independent Transportation Trust, created to monitor and audit spending of Miami-Dade County's transit surtax, will meet at 4 p.m. Friday in County Commission chambers. The trust is responsible for overseeing the county's 25-year, $17 billion spending plan that includes doubling the bus fleet and adding 90 miles of rail or rapid transit lines. Details: (305) 375-1545.
METROPOLIS RISING: Terra Archiplan says work is under way at Metropolis at Dadeland, a 25-story twin-tower development. The mixed-use project calls for 397 condominiums ranging in price from $150,000 to $395,000, said Pedro Martin of Terra. He said 95% of the units are sold. The project's sales center is at 9101 S Dadeland Blvd., near Dadeland Mall. Completion is slated for December 2004. Details: (305) 670-2266.
BISCAYNE BEAUTY: The public can see results of a recent planning session for development of Biscayne Boulevard from 7-8:30 p.m. today (5/22) at the American Legion Post, 6445 NE 7th Ave., Miami. The plan covers the corridor from Interstate 95 to NE 87th Street and includes the Upper Eastside and Edgewater communities.
PARK LOVERS: Bayfront Park Management Trust is looking for help to make the park more user-friendly. The goal is to put the park in use for more than 12 hours a day, seven days a week for an expected boom in downtown residents. The trust is working with consultant Daniel Biederman, who resuscitated Manhattan's Bryant Park. A public forum is in the works, and the trust is asking anyone interested in participating to e-mail Valerie Sanchez at email@example.com by May 27 to be put on a contact list.
SUPER BOWL COMING: The National Football League on Tuesday said Super Bowl XXXVII will probably be played at Pro Player Stadium in Miami in 2007. League owners are expected to give final approval Sept. 17. The event is expected to draw several hundred million dollars to the local economy and tens of thousands of visitors, said Kathleen Davis, president of Sports Management Research Institute in Weston.
STATE OF THE CITY: Coral Gables Mayor Don Slesnick is to give his state of the city address today (5/22) at the Biltmore Hotel. His 7:30 a.m. address will be during the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce's monthly meeting. The Good Morning Coral Gables Breakfast is free to Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce members, $25 for non-members and guests. Details: (305) 446-1657 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
COLLINS PLANS: Scott Robins Construction Inc. has been named general contractor for The Collins, a 239-unit residential project in North Beach. The building, formerly known as the Victorian and designed by Morris Lapidus, will be gutted, but the exterior will be preserved. Karlton Properties is the developer. Prices for units will range from $220,000 to $500,000.
BANKING REVOLUTION: Global changes are affecting international banking in Miami. The nature of those alterations will be the focus of the International Roundtable on June 19. Panelists are Bowman Brown, head of financial services practice at law firm Shutts & Bowen; Augustin Garcia, senior vice president of correspondent banking at Colonial Bank; Thomas P. Noonan, president and CEO of BAC Florida Bank and first vice president of the Florida International Bankers Association; and Peter R. Wallin, head of organization of Standard Bank Group. Colonial Bank and Miami Today will present the roundtable at a 7:30 a.m. breakfast at Colonial Bank, 1200 Brickell Ave., 10th floor. Details and reservations: Techy Fernandez, (305) 358-2663.
FUNDING FREE TRADE: K. Melissa Cloud of K. Melissa Cloud and Associates has been tapped to lead fund-raising efforts for Miami's November free-trade ministerial meetings and Americas Business Forum. Federal and local organizers have estimated costs of the meetings at $10 million-$11 million. Fund-raising efforts will be made locally, statewide and nationally. Ms. Cloud was a staff director of fund-raising and special events for the 1994 Summit of the Americas in Miami, where heads of state from 34 nations in the Western Hemisphere first considered creating the Free Trade Area of the Americas.
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