NEW CRUISE: Oceania Cruise Lines will drop anchor at Port of Miami next month. The luxury line's lease at the port was approved by the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners last week, giving dockage rights for next month through March and from November 2004 to March 2005. The lease is expected to generate $260,000 for the seaport. Oceania will pay the county $13.24 per passenger and a fee of 17 cents per registered ton.
Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
of the news. Here are highlights from the most current edition.
LOFTY BEGINNING: Work on a Little Havana residential project is to start this week. Altos de Miami will have 15 stories of loft apartments from 650 to 1,700 square feet for $125,000 to $250,000. The project, developed by B Developments, is part of several Little Havana residential developments targeting middle-income Brickell workers. Altos de Miami is at 1 Glen Royal, between West Flagler Street and Northwest 22nd Avenue.
BEACON BONANZA: The Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County's economic-development group, said it will create more than 1,800 jobs and bring $200 million in capital investment to the county as a result of projects it completed in its fiscal year that ended in September. Companies it has recruited will occupy more than 1.7 million square feet of offices, officials said.
HOMER: Roscoe Warren remains Homestead mayor, defeating Jim Tranthem and Nicholas Cappetta Oct. 7. Appointed in 2001, he got 870 votes to Mr. Tranthem's 567 and Mr. Cappetta's 50. Just 1,487 of Homestead's 9,000 registered voters showed up. The city's population is about 34,000. IMAGE BOOSTERS: To help bolster the community's perception of the Performing Arts Center of Greater Miami, the three groups responsible for the facility have hired a public-relations firm. Coral Gables-based Thorp & Co. is scheduling media tours of the center's construction site and acting as a liaison. The Performing Arts Center is scheduled to open in the 2005-06 season.
EXPORT HONORS: The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce's International Services Network program honored 12 companies Friday for success in exporting services over the past year. Fortune House International Realty, real-estate group DRSre PA and Project Development International won in the "New to Export" category, and Coldwell Banker Real Estate won for "Export Performance." Pronto Wash, E-volution and Tecnonexo got "Special Recognition," while Concepcion Rojas and Santos LLP, Baptist Health International Medical Center, Carib Telecon and the Realtor Association of Greater Miami and the Beaches were cited for "Best Services Export Practices." Enterprise Florida was named "Outstanding Partner."
A REAL COUPLE: Moe Veissi, owner of Miami's Veissi & Associates, was named Realtor of the Year while his wife, Matey, garnered the Realtor Achievement Award at the Florida Association of Realtors' 87th annual convention and trade expo in Hollywood. Mr. Veissi is former association president and past chairman of the Realtor Association of Greater Miami & the Beaches and served two terms as economic development chairman for the City of Coral Gables. "What I want you to know," he said when accepting the award, "is the year could never have been accomplished had it not been for all the people who supported me." Ms. Veissi is chairman of the Florida Real Estate Commission and has served as board chairman for the Realtor Association of Greater Miami & the Beaches.
PENELAS HONORED: Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas will be honored by the Community Partnership for Homeless at a fundraising gala Friday. Mr. Penelas, who helped found the organization, will receive the Alvah H. Chapman Jr. Humanitarian Award. The 10-year-old partnership operates two homeless centers that take in singles and families for seven to 90 days to help them get back on their feet. It receives 80% of its funds from the Dade County Homeless Trust and operates on about $7 million a year.
OFFICE COMPLEX SOLD: Barrow Street CREC Crosspointe has sold the Crosspointe at Golden Glades, an eight-building, 190,684-square-foot office complex next to Golden Glades Interchange, for about $12.4 million. Jeremy Larkin, president of NAI Miami who represented buyer Golden Glades Associates, said significant tenants in the building - which is 79% leased - include IDS Telecom, Precision Response Corporation, ATI College of Health and the Miami-Dade School Board. The buyer has allocated $1 million for improvements over the next two years, he said. It will be renamed Golden Glades Office Park.
BUILDING BEACHES: Mandarin Oriental on Brickell Key has built a 20,000-square-foot private white-sand beach next to its swimming pool. The three-day project required 13 truckloads, or 26 tons, of sand to be hauled from a lake near Orlando, said spokeswoman Alexandra Wensley. "We had to pull the only known permit issued by the City of Miami to build a beach."
ZONING APPROVED: Jade Beach officials said they've received zoning approval for the property, a tower of 248 luxury waterfront condominium units on Sunny Isles Beach. The $240 million project is being developed at 17001 Collins Ave. by Fortune International. Sales are to begin within two months for the 53-story condo, which is on 2.5 acres with 300 feet of direct oceanfront.
ATRIUM ADDITION OK: Developer VenAventura has won approval from the City of Aventura to add 70 units and several floors to its condo project at 3331 NE 188th St. In exchange for the right to build 192 two- and three-bedroom units in two 11-story towers, the company agreed to donate to the city 1.6 acres next to the project. City officials have said they plan to use the land for a middle school. Construction is expected to start early next year and take around 18 months, officials said.
GROCER LEASE: Greensboro, NC, grocer Fresh Market has signed a lease for 22,000 square feet in the former Pan Am hangar at Grove Harbour Marina in Coconut Grove, said broker Monette Klein-O'Grady.
COSTA RICA LINK: American Airlines will begin non-stop flights between Miami International Airport and Liberia, Costa Rica, on Jan. 31, officials said. The flights will operate three times per week on 142-seat Boeing 737-800s. "Liberia, on Costa Rica's Pacific coast, is conveniently located to many tourist destinations," said Peter Dolara, American's senior vice president for Miami, the Caribbean and Latin America. American now serves San Jose, Costa Rica, with three daily flights from Miami and one daily from Dallas/Fort Worth.
FLASH FROZEN: Southeast Frozen Foods has leased 300,000 square feet in Beacon Station Business Park from Lincoln Property Co. as a site to distribute dry foods. The multimillion-dollar lease at 9350 NW 108th Ave. was negotiated in about three weeks.
KEYES ADDS OFFICE: The Keyes Co./Realtors has opened in the Doral area at 10305 NW 41st St. - "an easy choice to make as we continue to expand and grow in Florida," said President Michael Pappas. "Doral continues to experience growth and is now in a ripe season for the re-selling of property." Keyes has opened offices in the past year in Miami Beach, Plantation, Boca Mizner, Brickell/Coconut Grove, South West Broward and Miami Lakes.
CREDIT-WORTHY: Dade County Credit Union has purchased 2.5 acres at Kendall Drive and SW 110th Avenue to build a 30,000- to 40,000-square-foot branch and offices. The $3.36 million purchase from Emmanuel Corp. was $32 per square foot, according to Nick Wigoda of Colliers International, who, along with Steven Wasserman, represented the Airport West credit union in the deal.