FYI Miami: March 17, 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.
BIG-NAME DELINQUENTS: Big-name developments have avoided paying Miami-Dade Water and Sewer connection charges so long that they have passed the county’s four-year statute of limitations, accounting for the vast majority of more than $3.5 million sitting on the county’s ledger as uncollected. Among the big ones that got away forever, according to a memo last week from Mayor Carlos Gimenez to commissioners, are the Loews Hotel, which owes $976,007 uncollectible, Yacht Club at Portofino $537,389, Sunny Isles Luxury Ventures (formerly known as Trump International Sonesta Beach) $467,794, Portofino Tower $319,423, and Bentley Hotel, $120,752. In 2015 the county collected only $58,110 in delinquent water and sewer connection charges, $45,610 from the Bentley Beach Condo Hotel and $12,500 from The Clinton Hotel. The mayor issued the report at the request of Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava.
CONVENTION HOTEL FAILS: Miami Beach voters on Tuesday rejected a lease of city land for 99 years for construction of an 800-room, 25-story convention center hotel at 17th Street and Convention Center Drive. Approval would have allowed Portman Holdings of Atlanta to build the $400 million hotel behind the Fillmore Miami Beach to serve the Miami Beach Convention Center, which is now being upgraded. The measure won more than 50% approval, but a 60% yes vote was needed to permit the deal to go forward. Hotel proponents had said a convention center hotel was vital to bringing more major conventions to the center.
RIVERSIDE REFERENDUM: On Tuesday, City of Miami voters approved by a wide margin a plan to lease city-owned land on the Miami River to a developer who plans a mixed-use fisherman’s wharf with restaurants. Voters were asked to approve a lease of 0.73-acre on the river to Riverside Wharf LLC, providing for $195,500 of minimum guaranteed annual rent and an investment of about $7 million in privately funded improvements, including construction of restaurants and the continuity of the public riverwalk, for a 30-year term with two 10-year renewal options. The plan includes a complex of four riverfront restaurants and event spaces and a fish market and oyster bar run by Garcia’s Seafood, along with a new portion of the riverwalk.
PRIVATE ASSET MANAGEMENT: Miami law firm Cantor & Webb received the Best Private Client Law Firm Award at the annual Private Asset Management Awards in New York.