FYI Miami: March 5, 2015
TIME TO DIG: After years of planning, what is billed by the developers as the largest construction project in Miami’s history is set to begin in four to five weeks. City commissioners last week gave final approval to an expansive development agreement for Miami Worldcenter that covers everything from local hiring requirements to landscaping and liquor licenses. Bounded by Northeast Sixth and 11th streets and by North Miami Avenue and Northeast Second Avenue, Worldcenter plans to turn more than 24 acres of mostly vacant lots into a prominent destination with residential, office, hotel, retail, restaurant and entertainment uses. Ryan Bailine, an attorney representing the developers, said the approval would mean the start of construction in four to five weeks.
FILM FRENZY: Must be the weather: Miami-Dade was an unusually popular location for film, TV, and commercial shoots last month, according to the county’s department of film and entertainment. Fifteen television shows filmed in February, including HBO’s “Ballers” and the BBC’s “Pop Slam.” Telemundo productions included “Dueños Del Paraiso,” and “Tierra de Reyes.” Meanwhile, Lincoln MKX 2016, Porsche, Renault, Chrysler, Honda and Dodge commercials also were shot, most of them at PortMiami. The county office processed 91 new film permits last month and estimates productions spent more than $29 million during that time.
METROMOVER STILL FREE: The Miami-Dade County Commission on Tuesday deferred legislation that would authorize the county to charge Metromover riders. Supporters of the push argue that downtown Miami’s building boom will bring more riders and thus more revenue to the county. Opponents say ridership would fall if there’s a fare and that net revenue won’t be that high because earnings would be diverted to cover the cost of installing a fare system. Sally Heyman and Barbara Jordan, who was absent, sponsored the legislation calling for a fare. The ordinance needs a two-thirds vote from the full commission to pass. The about 4.4-mile elevated Metromover circulates in Brickell and downtown Miami.
CITY PROJECTS SURPLUS: The City of Miami is now one-third through the 2014-2015 fiscal year and, Christopher Rose, Office of Management and Budget director, told city commissioners last week, his department is projecting a budget surplus of about $14.8 million. It’s early and the figure will change before the end of the fiscal year Sept. 30, he noted. The city is operating with a general fund budget of nearly $560 million.