Written by Miami Today on January 19, 2012
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ELECTION TESTS: To ensure that the Jan. 31 presidential preference primary runs smoothly, the Miami-Dade County Elections Department was to test its voting equipment Wednesday. To replicate Election Day conditions, ballots were to be cast and counted based on a predetermined outcome to ensure that the equipment is properly transmitting results. "This is just one of many measures that are taken during the preparation of an election to ensure that voting equipment is ready for use," Supervisor of Elections Penelope Townsley said in a statement.
PLAYHOUSE PASSES: In a move that could get long-sought renovations underway, the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissions is to consider Feb. 7 an item that would allow it to assume control of the historic Coconut Grove Playhouse. According to Jorge Luis Lopez, an attorney representing the playhouse, the state has asked the county to work to expedite renovations on the theater. It asked that the county transfer ownership to the state, the former owner of the playhouse, should delays continue. Before the county can assume control of the playhouse and begin renovations it must agree to appropriate $20 million in existing designated funds toward the project and settle outstanding title issues.
GABLES BUILDING ACQUIRED: Altis LCC, a real estate firm specializing in acquisition, management and operation, closed a $5.9 million acquisition of a 50,000-square-foot office building at 475 Biltmore Way in Coral Gables. The mixed-use building includes a ground floor of retail and medical offices. The building, which underwent a $3 million renovation last year, was owned by Biltmore LLC. The tenants include the Miami-Dade County Credit Union and several medical groups, including two large asthma and allergy groups and a plastic surgery institute.
HOME PORT: MSC Cruises plans to make Port Miami its homeport in fall 2013, moving from Port Everglades near Fort Lauderdale, port officials announced this week. Miami-Dade County commissioners are expected this month to approve the move to the county-owned seaport. The initial term of the MSC agreement is three years. "We are very excited to join the impressive roster of cruise lines operating out of Port Miami and look forward to sharing MSC Cruises’ unique style of Mediterranean elegance, international cuisine and white-gloved service with more and more guests," CEO and President Richard Sasso said in a statement. MSC is a privately-owned Italian cruise line with 11 ships. The line plans to put a 12th vessel into service in May.
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