Written by Miami Today on February 10, 2005
Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
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AIRPORT SHOPPING: Retailing at Miami International Airport is to undergo more studies even as requests for proposals seek new retail operators. The Miami-Dade County commission last week voted 9-0 to direct County Manager George Burgess to conduct and update studies on airport retail. The retail program has been a battleground since a 1995 study proposed replacing unheralded shops with upscale, brand-name retailers. Former aviation director Angela Gittens had been heading the program. Commissioner Rebeca Sosa sponsored the order for new studies.
UPSIZE: NAMBIES United, a Coconut Grove group fighting large houses with generic designs by building a smaller house with a design unique to its neighborhood, is adding 1,000 square feet to its home. The group switched from architect George Reed’s 2,000-square-foot plans to Mateu Architects’ 3,000-square-foot design for its home at 1670 Onaway Dr. to dilute fixed costs. Land and pre-construction costs were $600,000, spokesman Andy Parrish said, creating a difference of $100 a square foot. "It’s a compromise to a certain degree on size but not on design."
SECOND HOME? NAMBIES may have switched to Mateu Architect’s design, but some members remain interested in Mr. Reed’s. "It’s definitely buildable," Mr. Parrish said, adding that the group is looking for land that fits the project. And if the 16-person group, which raised $250,000 to buy its first house, had more resources, he said, it would build more of the 12 designs it selected as finalists in a contest last year.
TAXING INVESTMENTS: Flagler Development Co. will roll over at least $41 million in tax deferrals from a sale last year into property investment in Miami-Dade County. The Jacksonville company announced Monday that it had bought Doral Concourse, an office building close to Miami International Airport, and is looking at other acquisitions, some in the county, to offset the balance of $80 million it made from the sale of a project called Section 8. "We’re looking across the state, and that includes possibilities within Miami-Dade," said Rosemary Jackson, director of marketing. "It’s too early to say because we haven’t reached the contract stage."
NEW HOME: Camillus House has a new batch of residences to shelter homeless residents. Opening ceremonies for Brownsville Christian Center, 4700 NW 32nd Ave., will be Wednesday (2/16). The $4.5 million project completed by Miami Supportive Housing includes 74 units at the former Christian Hospital. "Camillus House has one goal and one goal only, which is to end chronic homelessness in the Miami. And today, we made that goal come true for 74 people," said Paul R. Ahr, president of Camillus House. The center currently has 41 tenants. Details: (305) 374-1065.
GROWING AND GOING: Groundbreaking on the Ponce De Leon, a mixed-use residential, retail and office development at 1607 Ponce de Leon Blvd. in Coral Gables, was this week. It will have 50 residential units, 10,000 square feet of office space and 9,000 square feet for retail. Construction is to be finished by early summer 2006. "We opened our sales center in July and are almost sold out," said Charles Treister, a co-developer in the project.
TOWER TWO: New York-based Intell Management has unveiled plans for a 46-story tower at Avenue, a 570-unit, mixed-use condominium with groundbreaking scheduled for March at 1060 Brickell Ave. Work began in September on the project’s other building, a 34-story tower. The development includes 24,000 square feet of retail and a 12-story parking garage. Details: www.avenuemiami.com.
DOWNTOWN CONVERSION: More than 100 apartments are being built in the former Pan American Bank Building at 150 SE Third Ave. downtown and are targeted for summer completion, said Dan Rothschild, who moved to Miami to head Philadelphia Management and Co.’s operations. "The plan is currently under construction, but we will give more details in three or four weeks." The Philadelphia company plans a mixed-used development for the 53-year-old, 152,000-square-foot building.
ARTCENTER SHUFFLE: Jeremy Chestler, who has joined ArtCenter/South Florida as managing director, says he wants to make the Lincoln Road facility more inclusive and raise attendance through a forum program. He said he envisions more aggressive fundraising through events, grants and corporate sponsorship. Recent initiatives have included a partnership with South Beach-based Wave Group Developments, which sponsored the Art and the City exhibition that closes Feb. 13. Executive Director Dina Bianchino, who joined just over a year ago, has resigned "for personal reasons." Mr. Chestler, a former Museum of Contemporary Art employee, is joined by South African curator Claire Breukel.
UM DEAN MOVES ON: University of Miami Medical School Dean John G. Clarkson has been named executive director of the American Board of Ophthalmology, effective in January 2006. Dr. Clarkson, also senior vice president for medical affairs, said he will stay on until a replacement is named. He was formerly director of the university’s Palmer Eye Institute and chairman of its department of ophthalmology.
PICTURE US: Three local film offices and the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau are putting together "Black Book, Miami in the Spotlight." Targeting film producers and directors, the book shows shooting locations around Miami-Dade. The film industry contributed more than $208 million to the county’s economy in 2004, the bureau said. Still shoots accounted for $87 million, television $49 million, commercials $45 million and feature films nearly $27 million. "The book is an overview of the most beautiful shooting locations," said Rolando Aedo, bureau vice president of marketing and tourism. "Things are looking a lot better for us and production is coming back. We are glad to report that we are returning to pre-9/11 levels."
TRAVELING MUSIC FESTIVAL: The New York Music Festival, a traveling show that showcases art and film as well as music, is visiting Miami for the second time. "There are three primary reasons that drew us to Miami," said spokeswoman Annalisa San Juan. "One of our panelists is a filmmaker based here, so he had been asking us to come. Then the University of Miami has been very encouraging and provided us interns. Also, we know there is huge growth in art and music here." The fair will also visit Las Vegas, London, Los Angeles and Sydney. The show, scheduled today (2/10) through Sunday in Coconut Grove, will cost $63,000, said Ms. San Juan. Professional hopefuls can have demo tapes reviewed by experts. Details: www.newyorkmusicfest.com.
HOUSE MUSIC: Realtor Gregg Norris will hang up his keys to perform in one of four barbershop quartets that will serenade sweethearts on Valentine’s Day Monday to raise funds for a charity that brings music to schools. For $60 and more, a quartet will perform two songs. The Miami Chapter of the Barbershop Society has taught harmony at Robert Morgan Education Center, 18180 SW 122nd Ave. "We’re a non-profit, doing workshops in schools," he said. "We’ve visited about five high and middle schools recently." Details: www.miamians.org.
FAMILY BUSINESS: The Eugenio Pino Global Entrepreneurship Center at Florida International University is presenting a lecture series on research, family business, innovation and entrepreneurship. At 10 a.m. Feb. 18, Howard Leonhardt, founder of Bioheart, will lecture on Bootstrapping Entrepreneurship. At 11:30 a.m. March 1, the series focuses on NAFTA and family-owned firms in North America." Details: (305) 348-7156.
CORRECTION: A caption accompanying a story last week stated that profits from "Once There was a Country: Revisiting Haiti" would go to victims of the republic’s 2004 flooding. Monies raised actually would fund health-care charities in Haiti rather than the victims.