Written by Miami Today on August 11, 2005
Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
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MIAMI AVENUE POTENTIAL: An 110,000-square-foot site west of Brickell Avenue in Miami zoned for multifamily use and owned by New York developer Millennium Partners is still on the market. The property, on the south side of the Miami River and on the east side of South Miami Avenue, is immediately north of another Millennium project, Brickell Tennis Club, 601 S. Miami Ave. Darryl Robinson, vice president of Transwestern, a commercial real estate firm handling the listing, said the owners have potential buyers but no deal has been struck. Millennium Partners in October completed the sale of a 5.5-acre site on South Miami Avenue to be home to Brickell CitiCentre.
MUSEUM AT THE TOWER: The developer who acquired the Freedom Tower in Miami is establishing a foundation to oversee its transformation into a museum and has appointed a principal. Terra Group CEO Pedro Martin has formed the Freedom Square Foundation and named Emilio Vazquez executive director. Mr. Vazquez is charged with recruiting board members and selecting an operator for the former home of the Miami Daily News and the Cuban Assistance Center. Mr. Martin is planning a 62-story, 680-unit Luis Revuelta-designed project next door in the 600 block of Biscayne Boulevard. Details: www.freedomsquare.org or (305) 372-9640.
BLOCKBUSTER BOOM: A Miami Beach location scout hopes to sell the rights to several seconds of action this Sunday. A filmmaker or other entrepreneur can capture the implosion of a Biscayne Boulevard hotel – for a price. Location Resources President Christina LaBuzetta said destruction of the Howard Johnson next to the Interstate 395 overpass by Controlled Demolition could be accompanied by pyrotechnics. The price is negotiable. Details: email@example.com or (305) 604-8888.
WAREHOUSING HOT, COLD: Miami warehouse users leased or purchased 4.8 million square feet of space in the second quarter, second-highest in the US behind eastern metropolitan Los Angeles at 5.5 million, says real estate services firm Colliers International. Users in Fort Lauderdale added 2 million square feet. "All drivers of the US industrial market are going strong," said Russ Moore, Colliers vice president, "with a subsequent greater need for warehouse space." More recently, Clear Freight, a forwarding company, leased 32,000 square feet at 9700 NW 17th St., according to broker Alliance Companies Inc., and NMB Freight leased 21,000 square feet of refrigerated space at the International Flower exchange building, 2980 NW 74th Ave.
SELLING GLOBALLY: Nova Southeastern University is bringing its business school’s executive director for executive education to Miami-Dade on Tuesday for a $395 seminar to teach international sales and purchasing. Vince Daniels, author of "The Global Chameleon – How to Excel in International Sales," will lead the seminar, set for 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Nova’s Miami Student Educational Center, 8585 SW 12th Ave. If you miss it, it’ll be offered again Sept. 8 in Fort Lauderdale. Details: (954) 262-5161.
OFFICE RENTS TO SOAR? Downtown Miami office rental rates face inflationary increases until 2008, real estate organization Jones Lang LaSalle forecasts, with moderate increases in suburban rental rates in the period. The company forecasts a downtown office vacancy rate of 12.5% for 2008, down from 12.9% at the end of last year, while a suburban vacancy forecast of 10.7% would also be a decline from 11.1% at year’s end 2004. Both downtown and suburban Fort Lauderdale markets are projected to have 9.6% vacancies in 2008 with strong rate increases.
GROVE OPENINGS: Nearly 25% of Coconut Grove’s Class A office space was vacant at the end of June, as was more than 17% of its Class B space, giving the community a nearly 20% office vacancy in its 1 million-plus square feet of space, CB Richard Ellis reports. The largest transaction in the area recently was an expansion of Spanish Broadcasting Systems in 57,800 square feet in SBS Tower, 2601 S. Bayshore Drive, leaving the tower with 54,615 square feet vacant. "Expect vacancies to decrease," Ellis says, "as space made available by some tenant migration to Coral Gables becomes quickly absorbed."
COLOMBIA MISSION: A delegation from Miami-Dade County is in Colombia through Saturday to promote international trade, tourism and economic development. Colombia was the county’s third-largest trade partner last year with $1.8 billion in exports and $1.7 billion in imports, said County Commission Chairman Joe Martinez, who was to be on the four-day mission. Delegates were to visit Pereira in the Risaralda region to meet with representatives of the Pereira Chamber of Commerce and tour the city and Pereira Technological University.
DOWNTOWN’S BOOM: The German American Business Chamber will look at Downtown Miami’s real estate explosion in a seminar Aug. 25 and try to determine whether it has peaked. Speakers will be Ron Shuffield, president of Esslinger Wooten Maxwell Realtors, and Michael Lewis, publisher and editor of Miami Today. Tickets for the 5:30 p.m. seminar at the Four Seasons Hotel, 1435 Brickell, Ave., cost $50. Details and reservations: (305) 371-6145.
TERREMARK DEAL: Terremark Worldwide has bought Belgian hosting provider Dedigate NV. Coconut Grove-based Terremark paid $1.6 million in common shares to acquire outstanding stock in the European business. Dedigate has annual revenue of about $7 million and is projected to generate revenues exceeding $10 million during the next year.
CROWNED AGAIN: Singer-actress Vanessa Williams, a former Miss America, is to be honored next year at a party to mark the 25th anniversary of a Miami nonprofit group supporting emerging artists. The National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts has named Ms. Williams, once a beneficiary of the foundation, to receive the Alumni Award – an honor she’s to receive at An Affair of the Arts on Jan. 14 at the city’s Bayfront Park. Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor with the New World Symphony, is to receive the sixth annual Arison Award. Gala tickets are $600 to $1,000. Details: firstname.lastname@example.org or (305) 377-1140.
CURTAIN RISING: The City of Coral Gables is to name an operator for the Museum Parking Garage by fall, a senior official said. "We asked for permission to pursue that avenue," said City Manager David Brown. The city targeted a 4,200-square-foot space at the garage in the 200 block of Aragon Avenue for live performances but now is looking to use it for an arts cinema after there were no responses to a request for proposals. "If we have an operator, we should be in a position to select someone in September or October," said Mr. Brown, "at which point we’ll bring the proposal back for city approval."
CENTURY MARK: U.S. Century Bank held an opening celebration for its 10th location, at 848 Brickell Ave., Tuesday with promise of more to come. Chairman Ramon Rasco said he expects five more locations in Miami-Dade County within a year. The next is likely to be within three months in Aventura followed by one in downtown Miami possibly by the end of the year. Several branches, he said, may take as much as a year in the construction process.
ON GUARD FOR FENCING: The Miami-Dade County Sports Commission and the US Fencing Association are to sign a contract in a couple of weeks for the 2007 USFA national championships. The event, expected to take place at Miami Beach Convention Center, could bring 7,500 fencers and their families to Greater Miami for about 10 days in the summer. The 2006 nationals are scheduled for Atlanta.
HURRICANE READINESS: Six University of Miami buildings on the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science campus on Virginia Key and eight buildings on the School of Medicine campus in Miami’s Civic Center area will be retrofitted for protection against wind and floods using $2.5 million from the US Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency. The university is part of a pilot effort in the federal agency’s Disaster Resistant Universities program begun in 1999.
CORRECTION: An Aug. 4 article inaccurately described financing arrangements for Florida International University’s hospitality school in Tianjin, the Republic of China’s third-largest city. The Chinese government is to pay for development of the school, which is to be run by FIU.