Written by Miami Today on February 17, 2011
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HERALD LAND DEVALUED: McClatchy Co., owner of the publication The Miami Herald, reported that 10 acres west of the newspaper building it had been under negotiation to sell for five years for $190 million is now valued at $49.6 million. The values of most properties and land in Miami-Dade have been drastically reduced in recent years, in many cases by more than 50%, as a result of the residential market meltdown. The California-based corporation announced Feb. 1 that the Omni area land deal along Biscayne Boulevard, in the works since 2005, was cancelled. Most recently the proposed developer of the site, Mark Siffin, had gotten a speedy approval from the Miami City Commission to build on the site a retail complex and a 1,600-space garage topped by two massive media towers. Under agreement terms, McClatchy is to receive a $7 million termination fee. The media giant has already pocketed about $16.5 million in nonrefundable deposits, which it has used to repay debt. The company has been struggling financially. Its reported net income from continuing operations was $15.8 million for the fourth quarter compared to $32.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2009.
CITY AUDITION: The City of Miami has posted the help wanted ad for a replacement for former Film Director Harry Gottlieb. The city’s website calls the position a "film industry coordinator" and pays $44,000 to $82,000 a year. Functions are heavily tied to the film industry in coordinating with other municipalities, promoting the city to the industry and even scouting locations for clients. It calls for an associate’s degree and four years of pertinent experience, though members of the industry have said they hope to someone with deep ties to the industry. Mr. Gottlieb was criticized as having little interest or experience with the industry and was let go at the beginning of the year. The city’s parks department has since been handling permitting.
ANOTHER FINS WIN?: The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s executive committee was to have met Tuesday, according to attorney and executive committee member Lee Sandler and hotel industry veteran Stu Blumberg, to decide whether the region’s largest business group would support a bill that would give local governments the ability to expand a tourist tax and use it to simultaneously fund improvements to the Miami Beach Convention Center and Sun Life Stadium. Miami Dolphins CEO Mike Dee pitched the plan to the chamber at a January trustee luncheon and it was most recently backed by the Greater Miami and the Beach Hotel Association.
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