Written by Miami Today on December 18, 2003
Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
of the news. Here are highlights from the most current edition.
DORAL OFFICE PARK IN WORKS: Construction of a 13-acre condo office park just west of Northwest 107th Avenue is expected to begin in March, according to Colliers International broker Mimi Chao. She said Beacon at Doral is a joint project of Canadian Alderwoods Groups and C&S Development, a subsidiary of the Codina Group. According to promotional materials from C&S, the condo park will contain 48 office units of 1,309 square feet and 48 office-flex units of 2,618 square feet. Prices are quoted at just more than $312,000 for interior office units to close to $493,000 for corner office-flex units. "As long as interest rates remain low," Ms. Chao said, "they will sell."
TRUST ADDS 2: Miami-Dade County’s transit-spending watchdog group was to get two new members at its Wednesday meeting – Harold Braynon, appointed by Commissioner Dorrin Rolle, and Herminio Lorenzo, appointed by Commissioner Natacha Seijas. Ms. Seijas made her appointment more than a year after voters approved creation of the group, the Citizens’ Independent Transportation Trust, to oversee the voter-mandated half-cent transit surtax. With the added appointments, the trust is three members short. Four have quit since the trust began meeting in May, and it has never had all 15 members serving at one time.
HAPPY PARKING: The Miami Parking Authority is giving residents and visitors to Miami a free hour of parking for the holidays. Through Dec. 26, drivers will get an extra hour at the parking meter after it expires before getting a parking ticket. One hour of parking costs $1 at the 7,800 Miami Parking Authority meters.
GO-GO FOR ’04: Miami-Dade residents should expect constant economic growth next year, according to John Cordrey, senior vice president of research and strategic planning at the Beacon Council, the county’s economic development organization. In a memo describing anticipated changes, he called 2003 the year the economy stopped declining. He found encouragement in expanding tourism and the increased value of merchandise trade handled though Miami’s US Customs District. He listed professional and business services, education, health care, construction and government as the areas with the most new job offerings.
NEW JOBS: Miami’s jobless will have more opportunites for employment next year, according to a Manpower Inc. employment-outlook survey. Officials from 37% of companies surveyed said they plan to hire new workers beginning next month. Three percent of companies said they plan to reduce staff. Construction, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, finance, insurance, real estate and education companies said they would offer the most new jobs. Transportation and public utility companies plan to cut jobs.
MONTERREY LINK: Miami is strengthening its Mexico connection with a new daily non-stop flight from Miami International Airport to Monterrey. From Monterrey, passengers can connect to six other Mexican cities via Mexico’s Aviacsa Airlines. The flight will leave Miami daily at 4:14 p.m.
HEART STARTS: Miami International Airport installed 24 defibrillators this month throughout the airport. The heart-starting equipment was funded by a state grant aimed at improving emergency medical services.
SCULPTOR’S STRUCTURE: Swire Properties’ 10th building on Brickell Key will be named after Cuban sculptor Manuel Carbonell. The 84-year-old artist, Miami Mayor Manny Diaz and others were to attend the groundbreaking of the Carbonell last week at 681 Brickell Key Drive. Carbonell will be a 284-unit, 40-story residential condominium. Swire, which has invested more than $600 million in Brickell Key, reported it has contracts for 70 % of the units.
M-DC TEAMS WITH PERU: Miami-Dade College will enter a partnership with one of Peru’s top universities to increase opportunities for Peruvian students to study in the US. Under the new program, students at Peruvian University of Applied Sciences will be eligible to complete associate’s degrees in science, business administration and technology at M-DC. The partnership is one of several the college has with schools abroad.
BEACON AWARDS: Area businesses that have made an economic impact in Miami-Dade County will be honored at the Beacon Council’s second Beacon Awards on Jan. 29. As the county’s economic-development agency, the Beacon Council will recognize businesses that have had contributed to job growth, business expansion, corporate citizenship and leadership. The event will be at JW Marriott Hotel at 6:30 p.m. To register, visit www.beaconcouncil.com or call (305) 579-1382.
LOCAL PRODUCT FOR TROOPS: Coral Gables-based Stiefel Laboratories is donating a lotion it manufactures to local National Guard troops in Iraq. The pharmaceutical company gave the lotion to the families of all 550 troops in the First Battalion of the 124th Infantry to include in care packages they send to Iraq. Many soldiers are suffering from skin problems due to the dry and dusty climate. The company plans similar donations for troops from other areas.
COSCAN SCHOLARSHIPS: South Florida developer Coscan Homes will award its first scholarship next spring under a program for engineering and real estate students at Florida International University. The Coscan Homes Scholars Program in Construction Management and Real Estate offers four-year scholarships to two students in the FIU College of Engineering’s construction management program and one undergraduate enrolled in the College of Business Administration’s Jerome Bain Real Estate Institute. It awards $1,000 a year to each.
MONEY GROWS ON TREES: Miami’s 17th annual Festival of the Trees gala earned Florida International University interior-design students $12,000 in scholarships. More than 650 designers and architects judged 10 non-traditional holiday trees. A Steelcase Inc.-sponsored tree took top prize. The tree, built by RKTL Associates, was made from boxes filled with magazine covers, maple syrup and wood shavings. Nuri Feria of Design Perceptions took second place with her tree made of metal mesh armature and 3,000 melted glass spheres. The trees will be on display at Brickell Plaza, 801 Brickell Ave., 9 a.m.-9 p.m. daily through Dec. 28.
IM-PRESSED: The Miami-Dade County Commission honored Miami Today for its 20 years of service to the community at its meeting Tuesday. Commissioners said the weekly business and civic newspaper has captured the good and bad of the commission over the years while playing a pivotal role in the community. Chairwoman Barbara Carey-Shuler, who has frequented the newspaper’s pages, said Miami Today is the paper "you cannot not read."
CORRECTION: A headline published last week inaccurately identified a Miami neighborhood. The headline should have read, "New developments could bring renewed life to Little Havana." The area was correctly identified in the story.
FIGURES UNFARE: Long-term ridership figures on Metrorail, Metromover and Metrobus were incorrectly reported as monthly ridership in a Dec. 11 article. The average monthly ridership on Metrorail is 1.4 million, on Metromover 450,000 and on Metrobus 9 million, said Miami-Dade Transit spokesman Manny Palmeiro.
WRONG SITE: A Dec. 11 article listed the wrong location for a meeting of the executive committees of the Beacon Council and the Broward Alliance. The Jan. 9 meeting of the economic development agencies, which is not open to the public, will be at Don Shula’s Hotel and Golf Club in Miami Lakes. The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County also may join the meeting.