Written by Miami Today on May 27, 2004
Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
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TRIPLE CROWN: The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce has added three sessions to its agenda for its annual members meeting June 3-5 at Sheraton Bal Harbour. The new opening session – The Miami Triple Crown: The Race to Greatness – will feature county commission chairwoman Barbara Carey-Schuler speaking on the proposed Miami-Dade Aviation Authority, County Manager George Burgess on the proposed General Obligation Bond and Florida FTAA Inc. President Jorge Arrizurieta on the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas. Two sessions June 5 will feature discussions on the chamber’s role in addressing challenges facing the business community and advice for companies looking for brand recognition.
901 SALE BEGINS: The 1,000 condominium units planned for 901 Brickell Ave. are to go on sale today (5/27) with price tags from $170,000 to more than $1 million. The units are part of the Plaza on Brickell, a mixed-use project by the Related Group of Florida. The Plaza is to include 35,000 square feet of retail space. Construction is to start in December and be completed in mid-2006. The Related Group expects to sell about 750 units within days of going to market. Details: (305) 960-1966 or www.theplazaonbrickell.com.
RELATED PLANS: The Related Group is in the early planning stages for a mixed-use development at 550 Brickell Ave. The company envisions 600 condominiums and about 20,000 square feet of retail space, said Senior Vice President John Chappelear. A six-story building sits on the 1.5-acre site.
FISHERIES FINISHED? The developer of River House Lofts wants Miami commissioners to revoke the historic status of the East Coast Fisheries building so it can be razed for an $80 million mixed-use development. Peter Swartz has said the 1926 Mediterranean Revival structure at 40 SW North River Drive is beyond repair and he will replicate the building, one of the last remaining from Miami River’s commercial-fishing heyday. A hearing on the issue is due at today’s (5/27) planning and zoning meeting at City Hall.
BEYOND INFINITY: Developers of Infinity at Brickell are changing their project at 40 SW 13th St. Pending approval from Miami commissioners at a planning and zoning hearing today (5/27), developers want to increase units to 459 from 433, add two floors but lower the condo’s height, increase parking from 585 spaces to 590 and add 13,400 square feet of office space. Because of market demands, 13 planned two-bedroom units have been changed to one-bedroom units, according to attorney Adrienne Pardo in a letter requesting the changes. The project is to cost $89.8 million and employ 840 construction workers, according to city documents, and add $1.27 million in annual tax revenues.
VILLA MAGNA: Tibor Hollo’s Villa Magna is to go before Miami commissioners today (5/27) for zoning changes that would allow 1,208 units at 1201 Brickell Bay Drive. Two towers could have as many as 999 residential units, 209 hotel rooms, 34,975 square feet of retail space and 1,474 parking spaces if approved after the hearing at City Hall. The project is to cost about $246 million and employ 325 workers during construction, according to city documents, and add $9.5 million in tax revenue annually. It also would create 105 permanent jobs, according to planners.
MASTER PLANNERS: The City of Miami may hire Duany Plater-Zyberk and Co. for $1.7 million to consult on its master plan. In his March State of the City speech, Mayor Manny Diaz called for an overhaul of the zoning code. The initiative would consolidate existing plans and studies and focus on economic development, historic preservation, arts and culture, transportation, parks, planning and zoning. A presentation of the plan is on the agenda for the City Commission meeting today (5/27) at City Hall.
MUSEUM PARK MIAMI: Cooper Robertson & Partners is the preferred consultant for the planned Museum Park Miami at Bicentennial Park. If Miami commissioners approve today (5/27), city officials will negotiate a contract Cooper Robertson, which an evaluation committee selected from 10 applicants. The Miami Museum of Science & Space Transit Planetarium and the Miami Art Museum plan new buildings in the 29-acre downtown park. A 2001 bond referendum reserved $10 million for infrastructure and $3.5 million for each museum.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE: Cooper Robertson is composed of landscape architect Civitas, community planner Spillis Candella DMJM, garden designer Fernando Caruncho & Associates, local landscape architect Savino & Miller, marine engineer Coastal Systems International, traffic and parking engineer David Plummer & Associates, economic consultant Hamilton Rabinovitz & Alschuler and cost estimator Construction Management Services. If negotiations don’t work out with Cooper Robertson, the city might tap second-ranked EDAW, whose summer educational program in 2002 mapped out a new design for the Civic Center area.
MAYFAIR SALE: Lodgian Inc., an independent owner and operator of full-service hotels, has sold Mayfair House Hotel in Coconut Grove to Falor Companies for $14.7 million. The 179-room Mayfair, 3000 Florida Ave., is part of the Mayfair in the Grove complex.
SWEDISH CHAMBER HEAD: The Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce has named Jonas Haeger chairman for two years. The Argentina native owns Surgical Team Inc., a marketing, information and booking company for surgeons with international patients. The 250-member chamber serving Miami companies with Swedish business interests is at 1 SE Third Ave., Suite 1210. Details: (305) 371-2029 or www.sacc-usa.org/florida.
CHAMBER DRIVE: The new Biscayne Corridor Chamber of Commerce has started its membership drive with a goal of 150 members by June 30. Memberships start at $250. The chamber’s next gathering will be a networking event 6-8 p.m. June 16 at Schnitzel House, 1085 NE 79th St., Miami. Details: www.biscaynebiz.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ORCHIDS: The Urban Environmental League of Greater Miami handed out orchids at its annual meeting May 20. Winning flowery kudos were the Upper Eastside Miami Council for work as a proactive grassroots neighborhood organization, the Miami River Greenway for positive development, attorney Henry "Hank" Adorno as advocate of the year, developer Armando Codina for returning bayfront land behind American Airlines Arena to the public, developer Martin Margulies for creating the $2.5 million Overtown Youth Center and developer Tony Goldman for revitalizing old buildings in Miami Beach and across the US.
SAILING IN: Windjammer S/V Legacy has returned to the Port of Miami, its only mainland homeport, for its third season of sailing to the Caribbean. The 294-foot staysail schooner carries 122 passengers and embarks on weekly cruises to several islands.
CLARIFYING THE MISSPOKEN: The senior economic development adviser to Miami Mayor Manny Diaz said recently that city officials "misspoke" when they said parking would be free at a tax-subsidized garage in the Midtown Miami project. Otto Boudet-Murias was not quoting a specific official when he made the comment, as was stated in a May 13 photo caption that accompanied a story about Midtown Miami.
GEOGRAPHICALLY SPEAKING: The southern border of the former Buena Vista railyards – now the site of the Midtown Miami project – was incorrectly described in the May 13 article. The property is bordered on the south by Northeast 29th Street.