FYI Miami: February 22, 2018
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.
TOO FEW LIFEBOATS: When the House Ways & Means Committee last week approved a nearly $350 million tax package that would help farmers impacted by Hurricane Irma and lower a lease tax on businesses while including a series of sales tax “holidays’ on back-to-school items and hurricane supplies and offering an 18% reduction in penalties for non-criminal traffic infractions if motorists attend driver-improvement school, Rep. Joe Geller of Aventura called the proposal a giveaway. “To me this is the Titanic approach to funding education,” he said. “It has a few people that may get to be put into a lifeboat, but at the expense of all of our students who rely upon public education dollars. And there will never be enough lifeboats.”
HOMESTEAD AIR SHOW: Dreams of resurrecting a commercial air show in Homestead have been put on hold. In July, two Miami-Dade commissioners, Dennis Moss and Daniella Levine Cava, attempted to get fellow commissioners on board with the concept of establishing a show with a focus on aerospace trade, but as of now, the show is not one of the priorities of the county’s public private economic development arm. “That program is currently not something that the Beacon Council is actively pursuing,” James Kohnstamm, senior vice president for the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, told Miami Today.
GENTING HOTEL/BUS STATION: Malaysian gambling giant Genting and Miami-Dade County agreed last April to have Genting build a county-owned Omni bus station beneath a Genting-owned hotel, but progress is stagnant. Karla Damian, a spokesperson for Miami-Dade Transit, said no design for the hotel has yet been drawn and planning is in preliminary stages. The hotel would rise on a 30-acre plot near the former site of the Miami Herald and across the street from the former Omni mall, both of which Genting purchased in a push for what would have been the world’s largest gambling casino had the state legalized such gambling.
HISTORIC MACY’S ON FLAGLER: An update on what’s to happen to the land and building of the historic Macy’s on Flagler Street was supposed to be available last week, but as of now plans still remain unknown. Elliot Zeitune, director of leasing at Aetna Realty, said “at this time we have no information to give…. They don’t know, so they have no comment right now.” The store is one of a handful that the company plans to close this year.
STATE OF THE CITY: Miami Mayor Francis Suarez will present his first State of the City Address at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 26, at City Hall, 3500 Pan American Drive. Mr. Suarez, a long-time city commissioner, won the mayor’s post at the 2017 November general election. The address is expected to be broadcast on the city’s website and cable television channel.