Written by Miami Today on July 29, 2004
Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
of the news. Here are highlights from the most current edition.
THREE-DIGIT AID: Come November, Miami-Dade residents may have to never open a telephone directory again to contact civil service. County Manager George Burgess says a short, easy-to-remember number will provide access to all county departments, from animal services to local government. By dialing 311, residents will be able to access the county administration’s 3,000-plus phone numbers. The new number is part of an effort to provide more businesslike efficiency to residents, he said. It might also help reduce the number of non-emergency calls to 911.
AVENTURA CONDOS: A residential project in Aventura is expected to add 45 condominiums by early 2006. Condos at 3030 Aventura will start at $460,000 and reach $1.4 million, developers say. The project is a venture of 3030 Associates Ltd., a partnership of Lauris Boulanger, Mark Rousso and Jose Norberto Saal. It will sit on 1.27 acres 3030 Associates purchased for $3.87 million from T&T Custom Marine and Land Acquisitions.
CONDO CONVERSION: SunVest Resort Communities and Hamilton Investment Group LLC will convert a 200-unit rental property into a condominium. The joint venture recently bought the 15-story The Alexan at 2665 Douglas Road for $31 million. The building is to become Da Vinci at Coral Gables on Sept. 3. Units from 764 to 1,678 square feet are for sale from $160,000 to $400,000. Details: (305) 446-468 or www.davincicondominiums.com.
TOURIST GRANTS: Gov. Jeb Bush provided the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau and Miami-Dade County Parks & Recreation Department with Cultural Heritage Nature Tourism Grants last week. The grants – $3,500 and $3,000, respectively – can be used for community tourism education, regional image development or multi-county marketing. The grants are for the fiscal year that began July 1.
DOMINICAN LINKS: A Sept.16 trade mission to the Dominican Republic will link Miami-Dade businesses to counterparts on the Spanish-speaking island. The Dominican Republic, the county’s second-largest trading partner, conducts about $4.1 billion in trade with Miami-Dade County each year. Its main imports from Miami-Dade are clothing and motor vehicles, and its exports include medical instruments. County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa is to lead the mission. The trip is a joint effort of county officials and promotional groups including the Jay Malina International Trade Consortium, Enterprise Florida, the Miami-Dade Sister Cities Program and the Dominican International Chamber of Commerce. To register: (305) 643-2866 or (305) 375-5280.
TRANSPORTER AND TRANSPORTATION: Filming of action sequel "The Transporter 2" starts this week on Watson Island and around downtown, according to Robert Parente, director of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz’ Office on Arts, Film and Entertainment. The film, starring Jason Statham and Matthew Modine, is the first to qualify for the new Entertainment Industry Financial Incentive. Sea Side Films Florida is to spend about $14 million filming in Florida – half of which would support in-state workers. The fund will reimburse filmmakers 15% on qualified Florida expenditures with a maximum of $2 million on motion pictures. "There may be some road closings," Mr. Parente said, "but we will balance the city’s needs and the filmmaker’s needs."
DINING BONANZA: The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau will run the Miami Spice Restaurant Month program for the third consecutive year in August and September, offering a low fixed price for lunches and dinners at 40 restaurants. In addition, Taste of the Nation, a national culinary benefit, and American Express have special programs that will donate a portion of proceeds from sales at certain restaurants to help fight hunger. Diners can reserve at select restaurants on the Miami Spice website. Details: www.miamirestaurantmonth.com.
COUNTY ON HOLD: The Miami-Dade County commission and its committees will break next month from business. The next full commission meeting is set for Sept. 9.
TOP PARTNER: Canada is Florida’s top source for inbound tourism and foreign direct investment and the No. 2 destination of Florida exports, according to an independent analysis of the economic relations between Canada and Florida. InfoAmericas, a regional market-consulting group, did the study. The economic relationship sustains about 75,000 jobs in Florida and contributes $7.2 billion a year to the state’s economy, according to the report, disseminated by the Canadian consulate general. "We are witnessing a thriving economic partnership," said Anthony Knill, consul general here. "Canada is Florida’s leading international economic partner." Details: www.miami.gc.ca.
SPRINGS VISIT: The Government on the Go bus, a mobile county administration office, is to visit Miami Springs on Friday. Services there will include issuance of parking permits, dog licenses and transit tokens and processing of passport applications. The bus will park in front of City Hall, 201 Westward Drive, 9 a.m.-noon, then move to Miami Springs Senior Center, 343 Payne Drive, 12:30-2:30 p.m.
SUMMER SCIENCE: Miami Dade College is running an environmental-sciences summer program for high-school students and recent graduates. The free six-week program, funded through a grant from the South Florida Water Management District, teaches 40 students about the environment through class time and hands-on experience at locations such as the Everglades. Students who complete the course will receive four college credits and be encouraged to apply for the college’s new environmental-sciences program. Program tracks include assessment safety, conversation ecology, watershed management and hazardous materials. Details: www.mdc.edu.
ROAD PROJECT REVISE: Inaccurate information was reported July 15 about plans to re-advertise a Miami road-construction project. Street improvements are planned in the following areas: Flagler Street from Second Avenue to Biscayne Boulevard; First Street from Northwest First Avenue to Biscayne Boulevard; First Street from Southwest First Court to Southeast Third Avenue; and Third Avenue from Southeast Fourth Street to Northeast First Street. Also, city officials plan to require that all work be done at night when they re-advertise for bidders for the project.
MISSING: An item last week on Miami-Dade County’s proposed General Obligation Bond issue omitted the word "billion" when describing the $2.75 billion issue.