FYI Miami: July 24, 2014
NATURAL GAS BIDS: Applications for a coveted contract to set up a compressed natural gas program for Miami-Dade County are due Sept. 11. Plans are for commissioners to select a company in March 2015. The county wants to save by converting buses as well as heavy-duty trucks used by the Public Works and Waste Management and the Water and Sewer Department to compressed natural gas (CNG). The solicitation calls for a contractor to institute a sweeping program not only supply CNG-powered vehicles but also upgrade existing infrastructure. Plans are for the county to earn revenue from the program by opening the CNG stations to the public. Commissioners tweaked the language several times before requesting proposals in an effort to avoid allegations that the solicitation is customized to particular firms. Companies had heavily lobbied the county for months.
OCEAN DRIVE IS A-CHANGING: Miami Beach is considering altering Ocean Drive to better accommodate pedestrians and outdoor restaurant and café seating. The city’s Planning Board this week decided to recommend a 10-foot sidewalk on the eastern side of the street in addition to the proposed widening on the western side. To maintain two lanes of traffic as well as the proposed changes, it’s possible that the eastern sidewalk would extend slightly into Lummus Park. City commissioners were expected to consider the proposal this week.
INTERNATIONAL BUYERS DOMINATE: Ninety percent of buyers of new residential units in Miami’s downtown area are from abroad, a study for the Miami Downtown Development Authority released this week says. The study looked at value recovery in US markets since various housing and market crashes, the impact of rising land values and the areas where development is happening most. Areas like Brickell and Edgewater are experiencing development booms.
HOUSING TRENDS: Miami-Dade single-family home resale prices rose in June to a median of $243,700, up 6% from a year earlier, while condominiums and townhouses saw a more modest increase of 2.6% with a median resale price of $190,000 last month, the Miami Association of Realtors reported Tuesday. In June, Miami-Dade had 1,280 closed sales of existing single-family homes, up 9.5% from a year earlier, while closed sales of existing condos and townhouses fell to 1,443 in June, down 3.8%. An encouraging sign for the market was large drops in short sales, down 38.2% for single-family homes and down 60.8% for condos and townhouses.