FYI Miami: January 22, 2015
ALL ABOARD FLORIDA: A committee of City of Miami and Miami-Dade County staffers is to give a final verdict today (1/22) on All Aboard Florida’s proposed downtown Miami station. All Aboard Florida, a subsidiary of Coral Gables-based Florida East Coast Industries, is a planned express passenger train that’s to connect Miami and Orlando with stops in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. The county commission signed off on the plans for the downtown station months ago. But the developer still faced an administrative approval whereby city and county staffers reviewed details of the station’s site plan. County records indicate that the staff committee approves the developer moving on to the permitting process as long as the company sticks to the site plan and to conditions the committee outlined.
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER AT FIU: The Miami-Dade County Commission wants to send a message that it’s still interested in a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise. A commission committee tentatively approved an order to county staff to negotiate with the necessary entities to have an MLS franchise play at the Florida International University stadium on the Modesto A. Maidique Campus, 11200 SW Eighth St. The legislation isn’t final until the full commission signs off. FIU representatives have said they’re “open to the idea,” said Commissioner Juan Zapata, who sponsored the legislation. David Beckham, a British former soccer player, last year wanted to open an MLS franchise on Miami bayfront property but his group couldn’t get a location. When questioned by the elected officials at the recent committee meeting, county staff didn’t provide updates on negotiations for a permanent stadium.
BUSINESS INCENTIVES: A global outdoor furniture manufacturer is considering setting up its international headquarters in Northeast Miami-Dade County, where the company already has a facility. The Beacon Council, a public-private organization charged with the county’s economic development, applied on behalf of the company for state and county incentives. The company, which isn’t named in county records, wants $126,000 over six years, 80% of which is to come from the state and 20% from the county. If approved, the county’s share would be $25,200 from the general fund over six years. The county would provide the funds only after the state determined the company had created the promised 21 full-time jobs. County records say the company is also considering Georgia and the Carolinas for its headquarters. The county commission was to vote on the proposal Wednesday.