Written by Miami Today on July 7, 2005
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COUNTY REVAMP PLAN: Joe Martinez, chairman of the Miami-Dade County Commission, is proposing a revamp of county government today (7/7) with the stated purpose of improving effectiveness. According to the proposed ordinance, the aim is to "improve service delivery, managerial and legislative decision-making and public trust in county government." The plan would cover strategic planning; business planning; allocation of county resources; managerial accountability and performance; performance measurement, monitoring and reporting; and a performance-based program review. Mr. Martinez refused to comment.
CULTURAL RESOLUTION: A Miami construction company is to learn today (7/7) whether the Miami-Dade County Commission is to award a contract to build a $36 million arts center. The Tower Group submitted the only complete bid received by the county’s Department of Cultural Affairs to construct the South Miami-Dade Cultural Center but came in over budget. Cost savings of $2 million have been negotiated with the contractor. The commission is also to consider waiving competitive bidding and bid-protest procedures for the project.
TRUMP TOWERS ON TAP: The Sunny Isles Beach City Commission is to vote July 14 on a site plan for Trump Towers I, II and III, oceanfront high-rises being developed by Donald Trump, Michael and Gil Dezer of Dezer Development and Jorge Perez of The Related Group of Florida. "Should the project get approved, it would pretty much complete the oceanfront development of the south end of the city," said Mayor Norman Edelcup. The towers, which would stand 45 stories and consist of about 300 units each, would be on Collins Avenue.
MOVER WON’T MOVE: All Metromover loops will be closed Saturday and Sunday for an upgrade of the system’s computers, said Tarnell Carroll, Miami-Dade County Transit Department public information officer. Free shuttle buses are to run along the Metromover route until 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Details: (305) 770-3131 or (305) 891-3131.
DIAGNOSIS: PAL Laboratories Inc., a company of the Pharmed Group, expects to produce nearly 2 billion dosages per year and generate close to $75 million in revenue in the next two years in the company’s new $20 million, 47,000-square-foot facility. "By the time this facility is done, it will be the second-largest pharmaceutical manufacturer in Miami-Dade County," said Roger Lopez, PAL president. Designed to produce nutritional supplements and over-the-counter medication, PAL will produce generic tablets and capsules for major pharmaceutical companies. According to Mr. Lopez, when running at full capacity, the Doral facility will have the potential to make 5 billion dosages and gross $250 million a year.
AVIALL LEASE: One company is to take almost a third of the space available at the Executive Airport Commerce Center in Fort Lauderdale. Aviall Services Inc. is to lease 43,621 of the 140,000 square feet at 3200 W Prospect Road from landlord EastGroup Properties in a deal brokered by Colliers International. The Dallas company – which provides aftermarket supply-chain management services for the aerospace, defense and marine industries – has premises in Hollywood and Orlando.
TWO LIBRARIES OPEN: The Fairlawn Branch Library, 6376 SW Eighth St., re-opened and a branch opened last month in Sunny Isles Beach. The Fairlawn building, 4,000 square feet, is five blocks east of the prior location, 6869 SW Eighth St. The new site holds more than 40,000 items. The 7,500-square-foot Sunny Isles Beach library, 18070 Collins Ave., is on the ground floor of city hall. The new branch is a partnership of Miami-Dade County and Sunny Isles Beach.
HAITI FLIGHTS DECREASING: During the next two months, American Airlines plans to cut in half its daily service between Miami International Airport and Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The carrier will drop July 15 one of four non-stop flights on the route. A second Miami-to-Port-au-Prince flight will be canceled Aug. 23. Daily service will continue between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and the Haitian capital. The airline said Tuesday that it would accommodate passengers holding reservations on canceled flights.
APARTMENTS SALE: The sale of three apartment buildings in the South Beach Art Deco area was completed last month. Jay Levy, sales associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate in Miami Beach, brokered the transaction for properties sold by Jesus Bravo and Barbara Ortiz for $5.2 million to real estate, development and management firm Cobalt Capital Cos. The buildings, 1550, 1560 and 1568 Pennsylvania Ave., are to be renamed Tri South Beach.
BANK OPENS IN GROVE: Biscayne Bank, which company officials say is the first new bank approved by the state to open in Miami-Dade County in more than a year, opened this week at 3121 Commodore Plaza, Coconut Grove. Organizers raised capital of $10.5 million. Officials plan to invest mostly in South Florida residential and commercial real estate mortgages. The chairman is Thomas Lumpkin and chief executive officer is Lorie Yarchin. Details: www.biscaynebank.com.
TRAIN PROJECTS: Deerfield Beach design firm Du Pont-O’Neal & Associates plans to restore the historic US presidential train US No. 1 and the Dorothy Walker Bush Great Floridian 2000 Commemorative Train. Federal and state grants and the Dorothy Walker Bush Foundation are financing renovations, said Chip Du Pont, president of the firm. Florida East Coast Railway’s Hialeah Yard is housing the project, expected for completion in January. Officials are not sure where the trains will be permanently housed. A train tour of 28 Florida cities will follow.
LOBBYING FOR FUNDS: Doral and Miami Gardens officials want their cities to get funds from the half-percent sales tax for transportation issues. The two municipalities are not part of the financing plan because collection of the tax began in January 2003, before either became cities. Both were incorporated in May 2003. "We are the only cities in the county that get no transportation dollars, and this is unfair," said Doral Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez. Miami Gardens City Manager Danny Crew said city officials negotiated for a time with county commissioners about the tax. "After the (General Obligation Bond) issue took over the county commission," Mr. Crew said, "it’s time to get back to the negotiating table."
DORAL LOOKS TO PARKS: Doral is considering issuing $20 million to $30 million in bonds to rebuild its parks and add new ones. The city council Thursday authorized the city manager to hire Recreational Design and Construction Inc. to remodel Doral Park and Doral Meadows Park. Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez said a bond issue is an alternative to raising taxes. "My concern is not to have to raise taxes to do that."
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