FYI Miami: August 28, 2014
NO MORE GIVEAWAYS: A Miami-Dade committee is to consider today (8/28) calling for a moratorium on handing over county properties at less than market value until the administration reports on what county sites are now available and what has happened to past county below-market-value handovers. Below-value deals typically are done for economic development, community interest and affordable housing, says the resolution by Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz that seeks added revenues for the county. His resolution before the Land Use and Development Committee of the commission asks for updates on two earlier county reports on the topic.
TROPICAL ALLIANCE: Florida International University and Hawaii’s National Tropical Botanical Garden are currently discussing a more robust research partnership with the Kampong’s own National Tropical Botanical Garden. A strengthened partnership with Coconut Grove’s Kampong would open up more research opportunities for FIU faculty and resources for the gardens. FIU faculty is currently involved in research at other locations like the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.
SKYRISE TO RISE: Plans for the city’s tallest building are a “go” after Miami voters on Tuesday (8/26) approved a ballot proposal that included SkyRise Miami, a 1,000-foot observation tower from developer Jeff Berkowitz. In a package deal, the city will benefit from a multi-million-dollar renovation of Bayside Marketplace, the nearly 30-year-old retail, restaurant and entertainment complex north of Bayfront Park. The unusual looking tower is billed as a vertical adventure park with observation decks, nightclubs, a flight simulator ride and a bungee jump-like platform. Voters OK’d extending leases from 46 to 99 years with Bayside, conditioned on the city getting an upfront payment of $10 million, minimum yearly rent of about $3.5 million, a minimum of $27 million in improvements to Marketplace including additional parking, more money to the Miami Bayside Foundation, and development of SkyRise.
POWER SURGE: Electricity prices in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area rose 6% in May from the prices here a year earlier, according to a report issued last week by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Households paid an average of 12.2 cents per kilowatt hour, up from 11.5 cents in May 2013. Still, the May 2014 prices was 10.3 cents per kilowatt hour less than the national average of 13.6 cents, the bureau said. A year ago, electricity prices in the area were 12.2% lower than national prices. For the past five years, the bureau said, the local price of electricity has remained at least 10% below the US average.