FYI Miami: March 10, 2016
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
NO PARKING CRITICIZED: As David Beckham and his Miami Beckham United work out details to build a Major League Soccer stadium at 650 NW Eighth St., city officials are voicing concerns about a large sports facility without a parking garage. The plan calls for purchasing about 10 acres of private and county-owned land for a privately-financed 25,000-seat stadium. Mayor Tomás Regalado recently criticized the plan for not providing parking, saying it’s too far to walk from the Culmer Metrorail station. On March 2, city Off-Street Parking Board member Stephen Nostrand suggested to staff that the authority get involved in talks related to the stadium. He said if Miami Beckham United builds a major sports venue with zero parking it would be a “disaster.”
NEW KIND OF SHRINE: Los Angeles-based Crystal Cruises, which opened a Miami branch office last year in the Omni, plans a sales headquarters and showroom in the nearby Boulevard Shops to market 48 top-deck residences on each of its Exclusive Class ships. Crystal was purchased last year by the Hong Kong branch of the Genting casino conglomerate, which earlier under another subsidiary had purchased the former Omni Mall and the 20,000-square-foot Boulevard Shops in preparation for a massive casino on the nearby former Miami Herald site. Edie Rodriguez, Crystal president and CEO, is to unveil designs of the plans for the Art Deco-style building at 1401-1417 Biscayne Blvd., which from 1930 to 1943 was home to the Mahi Shrine on its second floor. An invitation to the unveiling says the building, designed by Robert Law Weed, will feature “a chic dining experience, a bistro café, cigar bar” as well as the sales floor for shipboard residences that have been designed at up to 4,000 square feet apiece.
ENERGY EFFICIENCY FOR ALL: Just before county commissioners unanimously approved legislation Tuesday that makes the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program available to property owners in unincorporated Miami-Dade, Chairman Jean Monestime said it was a great item that’s long overdue. PACE is a voluntary program available in many cities across the nation that provides municipal government financing to participating homeowners for energy efficiency upgrades or renewable energy installations such as solar panels and improved insulation. Homeowners are then assessed annually through their property tax bills for the improvements. This legislation has additional disclosure requirements, according to the county attorney’s office, to protect property owners.