FYI Miami: December 18, 2014
LANDING SITE: American Airlines signed a five-year lease renewal in its Coral Gables office building at 901 Ponce de Leon Blvd. One of the largest employers in Miami-Dade County, American Airlines will occupy 17,000 square feet for its Latin American and Caribbean business operations. Altis Cardinal Realty LLC, a Miami-based real estate firm founded in 2009, became sole property manager and leasing agent as of Nov. 17 after jointly purchasing the office building with TMSA, a Montreal-based real estate fund.
AIRPORT RENAMED: Another Miami-Dade County-run airport is to get a name change. Homestead General Aviation Airport is to now be called Miami Homestead General Aviation Airport as a way to capitalize on the worldwide recognition of the name ‘Miami.’ This is the third airport in Miami-Dade to now have the name ‘Miami’ included in its name. Earlier this year, the county commission approved the renaming of Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport to Miami Executive Airport and of Opa-locka Executive Airport to Miami-Opa locka Executive Airport.
NEW OFFICERS: For more than a year, Miami commissioners have been pressuring out-going Police Chief Manuel Orosa to add to the ranks of police officers. The numbers have fluctuated, but currently the headcount is 1,144 officers. Mr. Orosa told commissioners Dec. 11 that the department should be at 1,179 in a few months. Asked if the department would be “fully staffed” at 1,259 within a year, Mr. Orosa said yes. The commission approved funding to hire an added 80 officers for fiscal 2014-2015.
COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN: Miami Parking Authority staff working the garages and surface lots hugging Marlins stadium had headaches when it came to using handheld wireless units required to collect funds on baseball game days. The setup was quickly overwhelmed and faced “catastrophic signal degradation” when thousands of fans arrived at the ballpark, according to a parking authority staff memo. These issues affected all aspects of operations such as credit card revenue loss, unexplained overages and shortages of cash, double charging prepaid and credit card customers and so on, the memo said. Vendors Motorola and Consolidated couldn’t offer a solution, staff said. So the Off-Street Parking Board has agreed to pay Ruckus up to $24,551.60 for equipment upgrades to increase signal strength to the devices, to ensure reliable communication even when competing with devices brought by fans.