FYI Miami: February 6, 2014
BRANCHING OUT: Florida Community Bank on Friday completed its acquisition of Great Florida Bank, more than doubling Florida Community’s branch network in South Florida and bringing the bank’s assets to about $5 billion and branch locations to more than 60. Florida Community Bank, based in Weston, is a banking subsidiary of Bond Street Holdings Inc. that has had exponential growth through a series of acquisitions in the past few years, with Great Florida Bank becoming the largest of those additions. Miami Lakes-based Great Florida was founded in 2004 and quickly grew to 28 branch locations before regulators five years ago ordered the bank to raise additional capital.
CHUGGING AHEAD: Port Miami’s rail service, the Florida East Coast Railway, has ordered 24 new locomotives from GE Transportation to traverse the rail system’s 351-mile mainline route from Miami to Jacksonville. Port Miami’s rail use resumed last year after the railroad rebuilt tracks leading in across Biscayne Boulevard. The railroad plans to increase the frequency of trains into the port and tonnage hauled as the port moves toward handling an anticipated cargo increase coming with the opening of an enlarged Panama Canal. “These locomotives will provide the fuel-efficient power we need to support the current operations and future growth of the railroad,” said the line’s Fran Chinnici, senior VP of mechanical, engineering and purchasing.
HISTORYMIAMI HOMECOMING IN APRIL: HistoryMiami is in the process of moving across the Cultural Center Plaza at 101 W Flagler St. from its current location into the former Miami Art Museum space as well. The Miami International Map Fair will use the second floor of the new space Feb. 8-9, and while there are currently no museum exhibits in the new space, in April two exhibits will call the space home. “Folk Life” and “Facing History” will both be in the new museum, marking the beginning of a new life for the institution. The exhibits will showcase artifacts from the museum’s current collection. The space became available when the Miami Art Museum moved into its new home in Museum Park on Biscayne Boulevard.
SOLID HOTEL RANKINGS: Miami-Dade hotels ranked third in the nation in December in the three key statistical categories, according to the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. County hotels were third in revenue per available room, $167.48, up 13% from the prior December. The hotels were also third in average daily room rate at $214.29, up 9%, and in average daily occupancy at 78.2%, up 3.6%. New York City topped ranking in all categories with Hawaii’s Oahu Island second.