Written by Miami Today on January 7, 2010
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WATSON TALKS: Now that would-be Watson Island developer Flagstone Property Group has paid the City of Miami its half-million dollars in overdue rent, an attorney for the developer says, it’s time to negotiate. After considering killing the long-planned project, Miami commissioners agreed last month to allow the developer to buy more time by paying months in back rent from escrowed funds. As the deal stands, Feb. 1 is the cutoff to sign a ground lease to get building the planned luxury mega-yacht marina and hotel complex. Negotiations could lower rent payments and change deadlines. "We’re trying to work out something that everybody can live with," recognizing also today’s economic constraints, said Kevin Cowan, chair of law firm Shutts & Bowen’s Real Estate Department. There’s been no talk of specifics yet, he said, but "they have needs. We have needs. We’re all trying to work at this in a cooperative way."
SLOWDOWN: A million-plus-square-foot building at 1050 NW 14th St. to serve as Jackson Health System’s administrative headquarters may have to be financed by the county rather Industrial Development Authority bonds. "The way that things are shaking out… that’s going to be a county transaction," said James Wagner, authority executive director. "There are just a lot of legal issues." Michael Swerdlow, founder of the project’s developer, Swerdlow Group, went before the authority in late October seeking initial approval for $100 million in bonds provided by President Barack Obama’s stimulus plan for the proposed $160 million project, which Jackson administrators have yet to OK. The project is "still being evaluated but no decision has been made on it," said Jennifer Piedra, a spokesperson for Jackson Health System.
INLAND PORT: As Palm Beach looks to create an inland port, Miami-Dade officials are hoping it would be "economically self sustainable" rather than competition for state resources, said Kevin Lynskey, the Port of Miami’s assistant director for business initiatives, who has not been directly involved. The landlocked Port of Palm Beach envisions using at least 3,500 acres to expand warehousing and distribution offsite, potentially in partnership with the local port and Broward’s Port Everglades. Palm Beach officials voted last month to team with Florida Crystals Corp. in the deal, with sights set on its land south of Lake Okeechobee.
HEALTH HIRING: Steve Lufkin has been named general manager at Miami-based IVAX Diagnostics. Mr. Lufkin was president of MRI Ventures, a subsidiary of the Midwest Research Institute, and founded DxTech, a multinational medical diagnostic company, where he was responsible for all aspects of business, technology partnerships and fundraising, among other duties.
CORRECTION: We incorrectly stated last week that actor Shahrukh Khan is involved in the film "Kites" being edited by Miami Beach native Brett Ratner. Additionally, the production team for Mr. Khan’s film "Ra.One" is to be based in the Doubletree Grand Hotel in downtown Miami, not Coconut Grove as the article indicated.
CORRECTION: A story last week incorrectly identified the Georgia Institute of Technology, or simply Georgia Tech, as Georgia Tech University. Additionally, the story should have said the school played in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship game, not the Southeastern Conference game.