FYI Miami: June 19, 2014
FOR REAL: It was a very brief statement but it was substantial: Miami city officials confirmed June 12 that Island Gardens’ developer Flagstone has finally commenced work on the mega resort on Watson Island, 13 years after it was first approved. Representatives for Flagstone Island Gardens LLC said early last week that marine mitigation work began May 31, constituting the start of construction for the long-awaited project, and that it meant Flagstone had met a June 2 deadline. The island property is owned by the city and leased to Flagstone, which was approved by voters in 2001. Commission Chair Wifredo “Willy” Gort directed Deputy City Manager Alice Bravo to answer a question from the audience about the project’s status. Ms. Bravo said yes, mitigation work has indeed begun, “which is the first phase of the marina work.” Island Gardens is planned as a multi-million dollar resort destination with dual hotels, high-end retail and a mega-yacht marina. The developer expects full completion of the project by December 2017.
BIG CHANGE: A major rebuilding at the Upper School of Ransom Everglades School, 3575 Main Highway in Coconut Grove, earned final approval of Miami commissioners, who approved a special area plan and development agreement for the historic prep school. The master plan includes demolition of campus buildings, the addition of three others, including a state-of-the-art STEM building for the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, added green space, and preservation of tree canopies and historic buildings. Founded in 1903, Ransom Everglades is a coeducational college preparatory school for grades 6-12. The Middle School at 2045 S. Bayshore Drive has 456 students. The Upper School has 608. School representatives said they’re working with police and a neighboring school to alleviate traffic congestion. The new campus layout is expected to increase internal circulation up to 60%.
ACCELERATOR PRIZES: The US Small Business Administration is launching a $2.5 million competition for accelerators and other entrepreneurial ecosystem models to compete for prizes of $50,000 each. To award the prizes, expert judges will consider an applicant’s stated mission, founding team members and business goals, among other components. The deadline to apply is Aug. 2. Special consideration will go to accelerator models that support manufacturing. Growth accelerators include accelerators, incubators, co-working startup communities, shared tinker-spaces or other models. To apply: sba.gov or challenge.gov.