Written by Miami Today on October 28, 2004
Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
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URBAN SALE: Washington, DC-based Starwood Urban pulled out of the South Florida real estate scene Tuesday when a deal closed on its $54.1 million sale of 10 buildings in Coral Gables and Miami Beach to SSR Realty; Gables Beach Ltd., a Terranova Corp. affiliate; and "a Madison Marquette affiliate." A media advisory says Gables Beach would "serve as the managing member of the acquiring entities as well as assume all management and leasing responsibilities for the entire portfolio." The deal involves eight buildings with 78,751 square feet along Coral Gables’ Miracle Mile and two office buildings in Miami Beach at 1674 and 1688 Meridian Ave. totaling 118,985 square feet. Details: (305) 358-8700.
EXPANDING AIRPORT WORLD: Avborne Accessory Group is expanding by more than 39,700 square feet into World Distribution Center, 2950 NW 75th Ave. The five-year lease gives Avborne, an aircraft parts and servicing firm, about 130,000 square feet in the Airport West market, said Ron Berger of CB Richard Ellis. His company represented landlord AJA Properties No. 6 Ltd. in the transaction. He said Avborne executives were looking for more space with high ceilings "as close as possible" to their facility at Northwest 26th Street and 75th Avenue, near the Palmetto Expressway. "The deal was put together in about two weeks," he said. He valued the transaction at more than $1.2 million. Avborne is the fourth tenant at World Distribution Center, he said, where leases now total about 190,000 square feet.
BANKING EVOLVES: Citing a cycle of seven good years followed by seven bad years, past president Marcos Kerbel said at the Florida International Bankers Association’s 25th-anniversary dinner at the Biltmore on Friday that 2005 is destined to start a seven-year span of good years – for more than cyclical reasons. The international banking community, on the decline here, is due to grow again because of Latin American resurgence, a potential Free Trade Area of the Americas and legislation that could create an international insurance mecca here. That, he said, would mark the evolution of Miami from an international banking hub to an international financial, trade and cultural center.
PIG TALES: When Florida Attorney General Charles Crist relayed an anecdote about a pig to members of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 21, he invited them to guess the porker’s name. Naturally, a few wags at the Biltmore Hotel suggested the attorney general’s name, to which he snorted, "No, there were too many things named Charley this year." It seemed to strike a chord with the hurricane-harried audience.
CARD-IOLOGY: Insiders were wondering how long it would take Miami Dade College President Eduardo PadrÛn to invite a prominent Republican to speak. Last Thursday, he gave a lunch at the Biltmore for billionaire George Soros that turned out to be a plug for John Kerry. Republicans called for equal time, and invitations quickly flew this week to a Wednesday-morning talk at the college by President Bush’s chief of staff, Andrew Card, to present his contrasting views. Immediately thereafter, the college announced that Democratic VP candidate John Edwards would speak on the college’s Kendall campus that afternoon.
PRICES ON PAR: Consumer prices in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area rose 2.6% in August from August 2003, according to a report released this week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor. That matches exactly the average change in prices for all US cities. The decline of prices from June to August in the Miami area, 0.3%, was slightly larger than the 0.2% national figure.
SAND FOR ARBOLEYA: The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce will recognize Carlos Arboleya, retired vice chairman of Bank of America, with its highest honor, the Sand in My Shoes Award, at a Feb. 24 dinner at Hotel InterContinental Miami. The award is presented annually to a community leader who made significant contributions to the area. Last year’s winner was former chamber president William O. Cullom. Tickets start at $325. Details: (305) 350-7700.
TOURISM TODAY: The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau is to hold its annual meeting at 4 p.m. today (10/28) at American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd. R. Donahue Peebles, chairman of the bureau’s board, and William Talbert, the bureau’s president and CEO, are to discuss the state of the tourism industry and how tourism officials are responding to current challenges. Mr. Peebles and Mr. Talbert will join industry officials in a question-and-answer session after the meeting. Details: (305) 539-3084.
MANUFACTURING FOCUS: The role of manufacturing in Miami’s international linkages will be the subject of Miami Today’s International Roundtable on Nov. 10, sponsored by the City of Coral Gables Development Department. The 5 p.m. session at the Hyatt Coral Gables, 50 Alhambra Plaza, is free. RSVP is required. Details: Victor Guedez, (305) 358-2663.
DREDGING CEREMONY: Advocates, lawmakers and business owners were expected at Moby Marine, 3630 NW North River Dr., Wednesday (10/27) to celebrate the start of the $72 million Miami River dredging, expected to take two to five years. Federal, state and local permits were pulled to begin the project.
ARTS ROLES: The Miami Beach Cultural Arts Council is looking for Beach residents to fill four vacant seats on the council, created in 1997 to develop and promote performing and visual arts. Applications are available at www.miamibeachfl.gov. Deadline is Dec. 3. Details: (305) 673-7577.
DEERING LEADER: The Deering Estate Foundation, 16701 SW 72nd Ave., appointed Barbara K. Norland executive director. She had spent eight years as corporate partnership manager at Homestead Miami Speedway. The 442-acre park offers historical tours, guided canoe trips, camps, orchid classes, bird walks, educational programs and teacher training and research opportunities. Details: (305) 233-5858 or www.deeringestate.com.
TOWERING TEAM: Construction veterans Paul V. Facchina Sr. and A.S. McGaughan have formed Facchina-McGaughan LLC, a general contracting firm that will operate primarily in Washington, DC, and South Florida. They bought assets of AMEC Construction Management’s Southeastern division to create the company. Terra International of Miami selected Facchina-McGaughan as general contractor for Quantum on the Bay, a two-tower, 51- and 44-story project on 1.53 acres on Biscayne Bay fronting Margaret Pace Park.
MOVING TO BROWARD: Kaba Benzing America Inc. will move its North American headquarters from Miami Lakes to Miramar Park of Commerce in December. The German software provider of workforce-management solutions is moving to a 17,400-square-foot office with 65 workers. "This move allows us to further expand our professional-services and support infrastructure to better serve our growing customer base across North America," said President John Edwards.