Written by Miami Today on June 3, 2004
Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
of the news. Here are highlights from the most current edition.
MIDTOWN LOAN: Miami-Dade County commissioners on Tuesday are to consider becoming co-applicant with the City of Miami for a $2 million Economic Development Administration grant for the $1.2 billion Midtown Miami project at the former Buena Vista rail yards. The funds would be used to finance infrastructure for the 56-acre mixed-use development. In May, the city and the county approved dedicating $170 million in revenues from a special taxing district surrounding the project for a parking garage and other infrastructure. County documents estimate total cost of infrastructure for the site at $103 million.
NAP TAXES: Owners of Miami’s NAP of the Americas, a net-access point in downtown Miami, have worked out a payment plan on overdue tangible property tax from 2002 and 2003. According to the Miami-Dade County’s Tax Collector’s Office, Terremark Worldwide Inc. has made two of five installments on its payment plan to cover $970,990 in late payments. The next payment is due June 30.
STRONG SALES: Restaurant sales in Miami-Dade County for the first four months of the year grew an average 14.6% from the year-ago period, according to the Florida Department of Revenue. Restaurant sales in April increased 15.4% from April 2003. For the four months, the increase generated about $1.1 billion in sales.
BARRELS OF FUN: CruisesOnly, an online booking service for cruise tickets, is pumping up business for Norwegian Cruise Lines by giving a card for free gasoline to passengers taking a Western Caribbean cruise from Miami Oct 16-Dec. 18 and Jan. 1-29. The better your booking, the more free gas you’ll get. The line is offering a $50 gas card for booking an oceanview stateroom and a $75 card for a balcony stateroom. For the big bonanza, a $150 gas card, you’ll need to book a suite. All the cards require booking by June 30 at www.cruisesonly.com.
CHILE LINKS: The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce will host more than 20 Chilean companies looking to do business in Florida. The June 20-21 event will include one-on-one business meetings with potential local business partners. Details: Marina Fogli, (305) 577-5464 or email@example.com.
LEADING THE WAY: The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce is accepting applications for its Leadership Miami class, designed to cultivate leaders in the county. The program is in its 25th year. Each class accepts 115 participants. About 6,000 have graduated. Civic involvement is a major thrust. Details: Liane Ventura at (305) 373-9345 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CHAMBER PLANS EXPO: The newly incorporated Jamaica-USA Chamber of Commerce will hold the first of a series of business expos next week designed to boost trade between South Florida and the Caribbean nation. The event Tuesday and Wednesday (6/9) will link US businesses with potential Jamaican partners in a networking conference set for the Empire Lounge at 6029 Miramar Parkway. The group plans monthly events in Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Details: (305) 573-3235.
PROTECTING THE BAY: The Biscayne Bay Regional Restoration Coordination Team is to hold a public forum June 11 to build a plan to protect the bay’s ecosystems. The 9 a.m.-4 p.m. meeting will be at 9001 NW 58th St., the Miami field district office of South Florida Water Management. Details: (305) 348-1662 or (786) 385-0076.
ALL ABOARD: More than 800 members of the American Public Transportation Association are to meet Monday through Wednesday (6/9) in Miami. The group includes rail-systems operators, manufacturers and suppliers who will meet at the Radisson Hotel. They will discuss funding, emergency preparedness and federal support among other issues. Miami-Dade Transit and the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority are the local hosts. Details: email@example.com.
POWERING UP: The University of Miami has added two members to its board of trustees – Paul DiMare and Lewis Hay. Mr. DiMare is president of agricultural companies DiMare Brothers Inc. and DiMare Homestead. Mr. Hay is chairman, president and CEO of Florida Power & Light.
LOCK ON THE JOB: A former adjunct professor at Kansas State University will head Miami-Dade County’s Corrections and Rehabilitation Department, which oversees prisons. County Manager George Burgess appointed Tom Allison director of the department, pending approval by commissioners Tuesday. Mr. Allison has headed corrections departments in Alachua and Orange counties, where he served for more than a decade. He is due to take over the Miami job June 14. Charles McRay, a 27-year Department of Corrections employee, will be deputy director.
CANYON LOAN: Developers for Miami Beach spa-style community Canyon Ranch Living have secured a $155 million construction loan with Hypo Real Estate Capital Corp. The project is under development by Philip Wolman and Eric Sheppard, principals of WSG Development Co. A June groundbreaking is scheduled for the first of two towers including a hotel and wellness facility on 6 oceanfront acres on Collins Avenue incorporating the redevelopment of the Carillon hotel.
FORE! Crandon Golf Course on Key Biscayne has a new $5.7 million clubhouse. The 20,576-square-foot building offers a lobby, cocktail lounge, reception area for visitors, golf shop, locker room with showers and 205-person restaurant with indoor and covered outdoor seating. The 18-hole course is the home of the PGA Championship Tour’s Royal Caribbean Classic.