FYI Miami: April 24, 2014
UNHEALTHY JUMP: The cost of providing health insurance to the employees of the Miami Parking Authority nearly doubled last year. That’s what the parking agency’s insurance consultant reported recently in an overview of insurance. Phil Grose of the firm Frank H. Furman, Inc. told the Off-Street Parking Board it transitioned 2013 policy year group health insurance to Blue Cross in order to minimize a huge cost increase with United Health Care. The initial price quote from United was an 80% increase, he said. Furman negotiated the rate down to 49%, but was not satisfied. The authority switched to Blue Cross at a 19% increase, about $124,000. The new plan complies with the Affordable Care Act, Mr. Grose said.
FOREIGN LEADERSHIP: Several South Florida consulates have new consul generals. Franz Hall replaced Sandra Grant-Griffiths, who is now Jamaica’s ambassador to Mexico. Mr. Hall became consul general in October at the Jamaica Consulate Miami, which has jurisdiction extending as far west as Arizona and as far north as North Carolina. Last fall, Shinji Nagashima became the new consul general of the Consulate-General of Japan in Miami. Philippe Létrilliart became the new consul general of the French Consulate General in Miami in September, and Volkan Karagöz assumed office as consul general of the Consulate General of Turkey. In addition, in December, José Antonio Zabalgoitia became consul general of the Mexican Consulate General in Miami replacing Juan Miguel Gutiérrez Tinoco, who has retired from public service.
HOUSING PRICIER: The median sale prices of single-family homes and condos rose in Miami-Dade in March, with single-family homes rising 4.4% in a year to a median $235,000 and condo medians rising 19.8% in a year to $200,000, the Miami Association of Realtors reported Tuesday. Home prices now are up 28 straight months and condo prices up 33 straight months.
READY, SET, ACTION: Miami-Dade County’s Economic Development and PortMiami Committee moved forward an ordinance 5-0 to amend BU-2, IU-1 and IU-2 zoned property in the county for movie and television development. BU-2 are large properties intended for commercial developments such as malls and office parks that cater to urban areas. IU-1 and IU-2 refer to industrial light and heavy manufacturing districts, respectively. The ordinance will allow movie and television studios with indoor sound stages and studios as well as outdoor and backlots.