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Front Page » FYI Miami » Fyi Miami

Fyi Miami

Written by on August 20, 2004


Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead

of the news. Here are highlights from the most current edition.

COLONIAL ADDS BRANCH: Colonial Bank has taken over four Premier Community Bank offices in South Florida, including a new branch in Miami-Dade County, said Israel Velasco, president and CEO of Colonial’s South Florida Region. Jennifer Dioguardi will head the new office, at 8181 NW 154th St., Miami Lakes. "The PCB acquisition is just the latest phase of our expansion plans for South Florida," Mr. Velasco said. "Over the next five years, we plan to add another 15 locations in the five-county area that includes Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties." Details:

GREEN SPACE? A long-awaited ruling on the future of Brickell Park may come next month. A June 16 order reopening the case, on US District Court Judge Shelby Highsmith’s desk, is to be reviewed after he returns from vacation Sept. 13, said a clerk in his office. Resolution of the case is possible by the end of next month, the clerk said. The Brickell family deeded the 2.3 acres at 501 Brickell Ave. to the City of Miami in 1925 to be maintained as a park. After learning that the city wanted private development on the property, the family sued to preserve what the Brickell Area Association calls the last patch of green in the Brickell corridor.

HISTORIC WORK: The Coral Gables City Commission on Tuesday is to consider requiring 29 homeowners in the Country Club of Coral Gables historic district to get approval for alterations, additions or demolitions from the Historic Preservation Board or the Historic Resources Department. The 29 homes, along North and South Greenway drives next to Granada Golf Course, are not considered historically or architecturally significant among the group of 86 homes that ring the golf course.

HEALTHY SERVICE: Applications are due Friday for five three-year slots on the board of trustees of the Public Health Trust of Miami-Dade County, governing body for the Jackson Health System. Forms are available online at and at the county manager’s office, 111 NW First St. The trust’s nominating council will interview selected applicants and recommend unpaid appointees to the county commission. Details: (305) 375-2531.

GABLES ROLE: Mari Molina, former development director for CHARLEE Homes for Children, a Miami-Dade child-welfare agency, has been named executive director of Coral Gables’ Business Improvement District. She is to promote Coral Gables property owners and merchants through marketing, advocacy and partnerships with government and civic groups. The Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce organized the district in 1997 to stimulate downtown redevelopment. She replaces Silvia Mestre, who resigned in July to pursue an MBA at New York University.

NARANJA ON RISE: Twelve years after Hurricane Andrew leveled Naranja Lakes, county leaders and private developers plan to break ground on a project they hope will revive the rural community north of Homestead. They say ceremony Monday to launch Mandarin Lakes will mark the first concrete steps toward rebuilding Naranja. The project is a mini-village with planned office space, retail and 1,600 homes on 212 acres. The county will contribute about $20 million and expects to generate more than $200 million in private investment. Despite its scope, Mandarin Lakes is a small part of a far-reaching 30-year plan that envisions development of more than 1,200 acres.

NAP ADDITION: Barry University selected Terremark’s downtown NAP of the Americas – a high-tech facility that provides interconnection between global carriers, ISPs and other networks – to house its Internet router and servers. "We chose NAP because it gives us the opportunity to access an aggregation of the world’s leading research and educational institutions," said John Beaubrun, Barry vice provost. The university will get access to Terremark’s managed services such as data storage and network monitoring.

BANKERS HUDDLE: International bankers plan their three-day strategic conference on financial technology and marketing Monday-Wednesday (8/25). The Florida International Bankers Association and the Federation of Latin American Banks will host the meetings. Major firms such as Microsoft Corp. and HP Latin America will discuss technology trends in banking. The conference will be at InterContinental Miami, 100 Chopin Plaza. Details: (305) 579-0086.

HONG KONG LINK: A new cultural tradition is being stirred into Miami’s melting pot. The second annual Miami Hong Kong Dragon Boat Race and Festival will take place Oct. 30-31, organized by the Miami Overseas Chinese Association and the Miami Dragon Boat Club. Sponsors include Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Swire Property, the City of Miami and the Hong Kong’s Economic and Trade Office. Boat races will use the waters between Fourth and Fifth streets off Brickell Key. The free event will feature Asian entertainment and Asian and Latin food. Details: Adriana Oliva, (305) 633-0168.

GAMERS: The Miami-Dade Sports Commission has formally bid for the 2007 Sunshine State Games. If its bid for the Olympic-style festival succeeds, participants in 24 sports will compete at facilities offered by Florida International University, Miami-Dade County Parks and Recreation and the Miami-Dade County Fair Grounds and Expo Center. The program is owned and operated by the Florida Sports Foundation, Florida’s sports-promotion and development organization. Next year’s games will be June 15-19 in Broward County. Miami last hosted the games in 1990. Details:

IN WITH THE NEW: One of the restaurants listed in last week’s "Dining Out" feature had closed since our interview with local diners. A new restaurant, Caramelo, opened last week at the former location of Restorante La Bussola, 264 Giralda Ave., Coral Gables. Caramelo features Italian cuisine with a Latin flavor.

CORRECTION: In a July 22 advertorial, the address of Nova Southeastern University’s Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences was incorrect. The school is at 3301 College Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. The name of the school’s new Information Security major also was inaccurately listed.

CORRECTION: A story about a San Francisco firm’s purchase of Miami industrial properties reported inaccurate information about the construction schedule of one project. California-based AMB Property Corp. is developing the 438-acre Beacon Lakes site with the Codina Group. The project’s first building is scheduled to be ready by December 2005.

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