Written by Miami Today on October 13, 2011
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GARAGE FUNDS: Miami is to add $2.5 million to the $73 million previously approved contract price for the Marlins stadium parking project if Miami commissioners approve the allocation today (10/13). The excess funds are to pay for structural deficiencies in the four parking garages "caused by design errors or omissions," according to the legislation. The city is to be reimbursed those funds associated with the structural repairs by designer Timothy Haahs & Associates’ professional liability insurance.
TICKET TAKE: Miami commissioners are to today (10/13) discuss amending the city’s ticket surcharge to increase its income from event sales at city-owned venues. Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones also wants to look into the feasibility of collecting a ticket surcharge at venues citywide, not just locations owned by the city. The ticket surcharge was increased in 2005, the first surcharge change since 1988. The surcharge varies with admission prices, ranging from $0.75 to $2 per ticket.
BONDING HEARTBURN: The inability of Mount Sinai Medical Center, 4300 Alton Road, Miami Beach, to sell the four buildings of the Miami Heart Institute totaling more than 700,000 square feet, plus related debt and expenses, remains a credit concern, Fitch Ratings says in assessing Mount Sinai’s bonds. "The property has been for sale since late 2007 but given the severely troubled commercial real estate market in South Florida, a sale without a substantial discount seems unlikely," Fitch reports. Mount Sinai acquired the heart institute, 4701 N Meridian Ave., in 2000 for $184 million using bridge financing, and Fitch says the deal was "refinanced with the proceeds from the medical center’s 2001 bond financing."
BOND RATING UP: Despite concerns, Fitch upgraded Mount Sinai’s $251 in outstanding debt in long-term bonds to BBB- from BB+, though it shifted the outlook on the bonds to stable from positive. The rating upgrade, Fitch said, reflects sustained improvement in the hospital’s profitability and liquidity ratios. Fitch cites particularly Mount Sinai’s "effective expense reduction strategies implemented over the past three fiscal years by the medical center’s management team." Despite competitive pressures from other hospitals, Fitch reports, Mount Sinai’s market share improved modestly in fiscal 2011 from fiscal 2010.
LAW FIRMS RENEW: Two law firms have renewed leases at Southeast Financial Center, 200 S Biscayne Boulevard. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius renewed for 33,589 square feet on the 52nd and 53rd floors, and Bercow, Radell & Fernandez for 5,800 square feet on the eighth floor. Lease durations and rates were not announced.
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