FYI Miami: February 28, 2019
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.
AIR ARRIVAL RECORDS: International passenger and total passenger arrivals at Miami International Airport set records in January, with international arrivals up 6.7% and total arrivals up 5.9%. The January total of international arrivals was 1,094,782 people this year, up from 1,026,095 last year. Domestic arrivals rose 5.1% in the month to 1,026,925, bringing the month’s total arrivals to the record 2,121,707 passengers.
NO SPEED, NO TOLLS: Expressway officials would be encouraged to keep traffic flowing under a bill filed Monday in the Florida House that would prohibit collecting tolls from motorists when traffic gets slow. The proposal by Rep. Anthony Rodriguez of Miami would prohibit expressway authorities from charging drivers when the average speed on a roadway falls below 40 mph. The freshman legislator’s proposal – filed for the legislative session that begins Tuesday – doesn’t outline how the average speed would be calculated.
INNOVATION PLAN BACK: A controversial plan to transform 37 abutting parcels in Little Haiti into a major mixed-use development called Magic City Innovation District is back before Miami city commissioners. Three planning and zoning items related to the project are to be heard today (2/28). The matter was deferred to this date after a long hearing Nov. 15, at which the commission heard from many residents both for and against the project. Some commissioners voiced concerns about the proposed height of the tallest planned structures, the inclusion of affordable housing, and the impact on the community, and voted to defer the matter. The developers are asking for approval of a Special Area Plan and a development agreement for the project they say will bring thousands of residential units, hotel rooms, nearly 350,000 square feet of commercial-retail uses and more than 1.9 million square feet of offices to the site. The project is planned for about 17.75 acres at 6001 NE Second Ave. The development team promises major investment and new employment opportunities for Little Haiti and surrounding neighborhoods.
SILENCE ON MACY’S SITE: A development team replacing the old Macy’s building at 22 E Flagler St. downtown remains silent on plans. Vice President of Aetna Realty David Braka said by email, “At this time we are not able to comment.” Aetna Realty purchased the building in 2013 and Macy’s closed there in March 2018. Mr. Braka told Miami Today in 2018 that two skyscrapers were being discussed. They would rise 50 to 55 stories and house a hotel, offices, residential component and retail in the lobby. Developers and retail companies were being sought at the time.