Written by Miami Today on August 10, 2006
Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
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CAR-RENTAL HUB: Bids for a $216 million contract to build a car-rental hub at Miami International Airport along with a bridge and connector are due Aug. 30. The hub is the first phase of the $1.3 billion Miami Intermodel Center due to open in 2011. The project includes the $188.5 million car-rental hub, a $13.1 million connector station for a people-mover system to link the center with the airport and a $14.4 million bridge. The center is to connect millions of travelers to all available modes of ground transportation. Details: www.dot.state.fl.us/cc-admin/2006′lettings/2006′lettings.htm.
PARKING BOARD CHAIRWOMAN: The Miami Parking Authority board last week named three-year member Jami Reyes chairwoman, several days after predecessor Oscar Rivero resigned. She is a partner in marketing and public-affairs firm Gordon Reyes & Co. and serves on the board of the Latin Builders Association and the Miami Homeland Defense/Neighborhood Improvement Bond Oversight Board. The authority plans to launch a search this week to fill the empty fifth seat on the volunteer board. Candidates must reside or have a principal place of business in Miami. The board meets monthly and has powers similar to those of corporate boards.
DO-GOODER DUO: The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce will honor Leonard and Jayne Abess with the Sand in My Shoes award, a 25-year tradition commemorating contributions of community leaders. The Abesses are the second couple to receive the honor jointly. "Leonard and Jayne Abess, who are both native Miamians, are successful in their own business right. But both have chosen to be so involved in the community in so many ways, we thought it appropriate to honor them," said Hank Klein, chairman-elect of the chamber. "The whole essence of the award is to thank people who have given of themselves unselfishly to benefit this community." Mr. Abess is chairman, chief executive officer and president of City National Bank of Florida. Mrs. Abess is chairwoman emeritus of Goodwill Industries of South Florida and vice president of community relations for City National Bank of Florida. The award will be presented at a Nov. 2 dinner at the Radisson Hotel Miami.
MARINA APPRECIATION: Miami’s three municipal marinas will celebrate the fifth annual National Marina Day on Saturday with open houses, refreshments and informational literature. The three are Miamarina at Bayside, 401 Biscayne Blvd.; Marine Stadium Marina, 3501 Rickenbacker Causeway; and Dinner Key Marina, 3400 Pan American Drive. Details: (305) 579-6950.
LEADERSHIP MIAMI: The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Miami program is accepting applications for its 28th class. The opening conference is Oct. 27-28. The program allows participants to meet Miami leaders and share intensive learning focusing on community issues and leadership skills through seven sessions. Details: 305-577-5445 or 305-577-5458.
LOAN TRAINING: Miami’s ACCESS Program and the US Small Business Administration will offer online training for small-business owners in obtaining financing through small-business loans. The training is 11 a.m.-noon and 3-4 p.m. Aug. 30. Pre-registration before Aug. 24 is advised. The class is free. To register, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
REPAIR HELP: Miami’s Department of Community Development is making home-repair loans to low- to moderate-income city homeowners under Miami’s Single Family Rehabilitation Program, which provides up to $35,000 for roofing, electrical, plumbing or structural improvements. Approved homeowners select an approved licensed contractor via bids. The city inspects all work. Contractors are paid after work gains city and homeowner approval. Deadline to apply is Aug. 18. Details: (305) 416-2080.
IN THE KNOW: Bill Johnson, acting director of the Port of Miami, got to show the port to a special guest July 31 – President George W. Bush. Mr. Johnson said he found the president exceedingly well-informed on a number of local issues, including the proposed Phase III federal dredging project, the proposed port tunnel and the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts, which received its temporary certificate of occupancy Friday. Mr. Johnson was knowledgeable on those topics because he oversees the arts center. But Mr. Bush did notice the "acting" in Mr. Johnson’s title and gently ribbed him about it, Mr. Johnson said. "He asked if I was just playing a role, and I said, ‘No sir, but I am being tested.’"
NEW SHIPPING: As of Monday, the CKYH Alliance (COSCO, "K" Line, Yang Ming Line and Hanjin Shipping) began new service with its vessel Barcelona Bridge. The service will provide direct call in Miami from Asia and the industry’s shortest transit time, 22 days, from Shanghai to Savannah. The stevedore for the service will be APM Terminals. The port rotation will be Hong Kong – Yantian – Shanghai – Ningbo – Savannah – Charleston – Norfolk – Miami. "K" Line (Europe) Ltd. is the European subsidiary of global Japanese shipping and logistics company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd., known as "K" Line.
FULL PORT PARTNERS: With completion of three seminars on security, cruise industry hospitality and cargo traffic improvement, a partnership/collaboration agreement between the Ports of Naples and Miami is official, according to Nevio Boccanera, executive director of the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce Southeast. "The Port of Napoli appreciated this very much, because it is growing and will become a very important port." The collaboration stemmed from a sister port agreement the parties signed in April 2005. The agreement, he added, enabled the sister ports to "exchange know-how, practical experiences and operational methodologies."
COMMUNITY GRANTS: Miami-Dade County officials and the Alliance for Human Services have released a second request for proposals from community organizations for District Responsive Grants. Grants of $17,000 to $87,750 are available in eight county districts. Proposals are due Monday. Details: www.miamidade.gov.
SMALL-BUSINESS SESSION: The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce will host a strategy session Aug. 22 for small businesses looking to reduce costs and find expansion opportunities. Sponsored by Business Strategy Partners Inc., the conference is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at chamber headquarters. To register, contact Ivette Canales at (305) 577-5458 or email@example.com.
PACKAGING TRADE PACTS: The redirected focus of Florida FTAA Inc. to "work to establish an association of free-trade agreements" with headquarters in Miami "to serve as the natural precursor or building block for a Free Trade Area of the Americas" is "now in the policy shop of the United States government," said Brian C. Dean, the organization’s new executive director. Mr. Dean told the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce board of governors and trustees at a lunch last week that the headquarters clearly would be here. "Miami is the only serious contender I would argue." He cited a new strain of populism in the Western Hemisphere that has sidetracked efforts to develop a single region-wide free-trade area.
SEOUL TO MIAMI: Korean Air Cargo launched weekly nonstop service between Seoul and Miami in July with chartered aircraft and on Aug. 22 will begin flying its own planes twice a week. The cargo service marks an effort to improve transportation of goods between the US and Asia by reducing travel time compared to former hubs New York, Chicago and Atlanta. Major cargo on the Seoul-Miami route includes cell phones, electronic appliances, textiles and marine products.
STUDENTS DEFY GRAVITY: Four University of Miami freshman engineering students flew aboard NASA’s DC-9 reduced-gravity aircraft this week in Houston as part of the Microgravity University program, which gives undergraduates an opportunity to design, build and fly an experiment in microgravity conditions. Mark Huber, Tyler Hawkins, Joseph Dussling and Tim McNaught spent their freshman year designing and building their experiment, Gas and Particulate Flow in a Liquid Medium in Microgravity, one of 50 proposals accepted by NASA. This marks the second time UM has been accepted into the program.
ArTECH GAINS BACKING: Corus Bank will provide a $130 million construction loan for ArTech, a nine-story, 232-unit luxury condominium developed by Fortune International and Shefaor Development. "Corus is very pleased to be working with ArTech, which will be a landmark property for Aventura," said Brian Brodeur, a bank senior vice president. Construction began this year, with completion of the waterfront project designed by Carlos Ott slated for late 2007. The bank is a subsidiary of Corus Bankshares Inc., which provides financing for hotel, office and apartment projects.
NEW COMMERCIAL PLAYER: Sperry Van Ness, one of the nation’s largest commercial real estate investment brokerages, has expanded in the South Florida commercial real estate market by aligning with the Doran Jason Group of Florida Inc. The move is part of the firm’s national expansion, growing from nine markets to more than 100 in about four years. "The Doran Jason Group is one of South Florida’s premier commercial real estate firms, and we are proud they are joining Sperry Van Ness," said Rod Santomassimo, regional manager.
PARK FOUNDATION SEAT: South Florida developer Edward W. Easton is to join First Lady Laura Bush, retired US Army Gen. Tommy Franks and other prominent Americans on the National Park Foundation. "It is a tremendous honor for me to be given this opportunity to be part of the National Park Foundation," he said. "From Everglades National Park in South Florida to Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska, our country is blessed with some of the most beautiful and pristine natural resources in the world." His six-year term begins in September.
WAREHOUSE DEAL: N.R. Investment Group of Miami Gardens bought a 39,888-square-foot warehouse, North Dade Plaza, 13095 NW 19th Ave. in Opa-locka, from Friedkin Opa-Locka Partnership of Miami for $2.6 million, or $65.18 per square foot. Within the last 12 months, sales of warehouses have averaged slightly more than $40 per square foot. North Dade Plaza is a Class C warehouse near Interstate 95 and Florida’s Turnpike as well as Palmetto Expressway and Interstate 75. The sale was handled by C.B. Richard Ellis’ private client group.
TRIPLE PLAY: Atlantic Broadband has added phone service for Miami-Dade residents. The company says the launch makes it the first company in the county to offer three forms of broadband technology – video, Internet and phone service. The company has invested $19 million on Atlantic Broadband Phone Service, which will cost customers $34.95 a month when packaged with video or Internet or $49.95 as a standalone. Atlantic Broadband says it has more than 90,000 subscribers in Florida.