Written by Miami Today on March 24, 2005
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GOING, GOING …: Fisher Auctions, 1111 Brickell Ave., which sold Miami Arena, received authority Tuesday from the Miami Sports and Exhibition Authority to auction off an adjacent warehouse and parking lot, appraised at $3.2 million. "First we need do an environmental study, survey and title search so that whoever buys the property knows what they are getting into," Assistant City Attorney Olga Ramirez-Seijas said. After the study, there will be five to six weeks of marketing at a cost of $23,000 and an expected closing 50 or 60 days after marketing begins. Proceeds will go to the authority, she said. "The use of the funds may be restricted by the source of funds with which the properties were purchased."
BIDDER SURFACES: A potential buyer for the warehouse and parking lot has surfaced. "I think one potential buyer will be the owner of the arena, Glenn Straub, who has already made contact," City Manager Joe Arriola said. Mr. Straub has angered Mr. Arriola by threatening legal action over development rights for nearby land. "If he buys it, do we like him now?" asked City Commissioner Tomas Regalado.
NO FLEAS, PLEASE: Mr. Straub offered the sports authority $14,000 – a $6,000 discount for money the authority owes him in rent – for $20,000 worth of equipment the authority left behind when it left its office in Miami Arena, authority financial assistant Bridgette Saleeby said. The board agreed Tuesday. Said Mr. Regalado: "We either do that or go to a flea market."
STICKER SHOCK: A change in decal companies has set back a Coral Gables plan to allow drivers to pay for parking by phone. Once slated to begin in January, the new target is mid-May, said Gables Parking Director William Carlson. The decal bumper stickers will identify cars in the phone payment system. "Mint Inc. changed companies from which they were buying the decals because the money was not in line with what was going to be done," he said. "We plan to introduce the decal at the end of April and launch the program in May." Mint, a Toronto company that provides an electronic payment system through cell phones, magnetic cards and radio frequency transponders, signed a one-year deal to pilot the public parking program.
OFFICE TOWER SOLD: A Massachusetts company has sold its second South Florida property in two months and is waiting to close on five more. Brookwood Coral Gables Investors sold the Ponce de Leon Building to Greenstreet Capital Partners of California for $27.1 million. The 13-story, 160,808-square-foot office tower is 85% leased. "This is the second significant asset we’ve sold in 60 days," said senior managing director Tom Brown. "Our last was Flamingo Market Place in Pembroke Pines." The group is offloading Bay View Center, Miami Service Center, the Park Center, River Bridge Shopping Center and 999 Ponce de Leon but is retaining New World Tower and 9350 S. Dixie Highway.
WHAT’S UP DOWNTOWN: Whether a building boom in Miami can be sustained is to be discussed March 30 at the Downtown Bay Forum. Former Miami mayor Maurice Ferre, Downtown Development Authority director Dana Nottingham, county transit chief Roosevelt Bradley and developer Pedro Martin are to form the panel considering whether there will be enough buyers for 50,000 condo units anticipated in the next two years. The lunch discussion is to start at 11:30 am at the Marriott hotel, 1633 N. Bayshore Dr., in the heart of one of the city’s rejuvenated areas, Omni. Details: (305) 757-3633.
GOING PRIVATE: Christina M. Cuervo has resigned as assistant city manager in Miami Beach to work for developer Tom Daly of the Development Group of Florida. In her resignation letter, Ms. Cuervo, who worked for the city for more than six years, said she accepted the position so she could continue to contribute to the community and further her career. Construction in Progress Director Tim Hemstreet has been named acting assistant city manager.
MOUNTIES, NORTH AND SOUTH: Canada’s mounted police unit has paid its respects to its Miami-Dade County counterpart, presenting a plaque in what’s being hailed a symbol of strengthening ties with the largest trading partner of the US. "The cooperation exhibited between our Royal Mounted Police, its local counterpart, the Miami-Dade Mounted Police Department, and Canada’s Cruise British Columbia, which facilitated the opportunity, is yet another shining example of the two countries’ continuing bond of collaboration and enduring friendship," said Canada’s consul general in Miami, Anthony Knill. Canada acquired full consulate status here Nov. 15.
MUSEUM FUNDING: A resolution to grant $700,000 to the Miami Art Museum of Dade County, which plans to build a new home in city-owned Bicentennial Park, is to go before the Miami City Commission today (3/24). The funding would come from the Homeland Defense Improvement Bond voters approved in November 2001. The museum requested funds for community planning, to hire consultants specializing in art museum planning, financial feasibility studies and project management to total $1.4 million.
CONDO-CONVERSION FORUM: The Builders Association of South Florida is to discuss condo conversion at a quarterly high-rise council forum on April 26 at the Tower Club at 1 Financial Plaza, Fort Lauderdale. Commentators are to include Jay Massirman, executive vice president at CB Richard Ellis; Barbara Salk, vice president and senior project director at the Related Group of Florida; and Arthur Slaven, senior vice president at Centrum Properties. Katrina Campins, a real estate professional and contestant on NBC’s "The Apprentice," is to be moderator. Details: (305) 556-6304.
INDUSTRIAL BUY: Seagis Property Group, a Philadelphia company that owns and operates industrial buildings, has bought a 175,000-square-foot distribution facility at 3000 NW 125th St. in Gratigny Central Industrial Park for $8.1 million from a private investor. The building is fully leased with three tenants who use it for warehouse space, industrial and light manufacturing, said principal John Begier. Seagis is to do some light cosmetic changes to keep the building leased, he said, and transform the 1981 building into a modern first-class industrial facility.
LOOKING TO BUY MORE: Seagis, which owns industrial buildings along the Eastern Seaboard, plans to buy more industrial sites in South Florida. Company principals Charles C. Lee and Mr. Begier have raised $250 million to buy East Coast properties. The company is looking to buy in South Florida because it’s a mecca for cargo with solid transportation options, Mr. Begier said, and lacks available land for commercial development. "We feel good about owning land in this region."
KOREAN FIRMS VISIT: Eleven small to midsize Korean companies are coming to Miami seeking to sell products to factories in Florida. The mission, sponsored by the Korean Trade Investment Promotion Center, will meet April 11 at InterContinental Hotel Miami Airport West, 2505 NW 87th Ave. "Some of these companies are already familiar with the American market, but they are very interested in selling to Latin America and the Caribbean," said Jong-Soo Ok, deputy director of the Korea Trade Center in Miami. Details: (305) 374-4648 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CORRECTION: A story about the Nasdaq-100 Open published March 17 on Page 2 reported an inaccurate statistic. The 600,000 figure refers to attendance at the Grand Slam event rather than economic impact.