FYI Miami: July 4, 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.
NEXT ACT POSTPONED: A public-private venture with the City of Miami to convert the Olympia Theater building into a profitable boutique hotel, with more than 50% of net revenues going directly to local charities, was deferred by city commissioners June 27. The meeting ran late and Chair Ken Russell, feeling poorly after recent surgery, said he couldn’t stay longer and asked that the discussion on the unsolicited proposal from New Urban International be moved to July 11. The city owns the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts at 174 E Flagler St.
CONSTRUCTION FALLS FARTHER: South Florida’s 2019 drop in construction starts got even worse in May, with the value of starts off 42% for May and 33% for the year, Dodge Data & Analytics reported last week. The percentage decline is higher in nonresidential construction than for residential, though residential construction for the year to date is a larger percentage of the total. Total starts for the year through May were a touch over $4 billion for the region, Dodge reported. Last year the total was more than $5.9 billion, showing a total economic drop of almost $2 billion for the Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties region.
LOWEST COMPENSATION COSTS: Total private industry compensation costs were lower in South Florida than in any other of the nation’s largest 15 consolidated statistical areas in March, according to a report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Compensation costs in South Florida for private industry workers were $28.48 per hour, compared with $53.65 per hour in the highest area, San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA. The national average for civilian workers was $36.77 per hour, the bureau reported. The average for private industry workers nationally was $34.49.
NO NEW NEWS ON SELF-DRIVING CARS: It’s been almost two years since the Florida Department of Transportation added news about autonomous vehicle technology to the website it establishes specifically for that purpose. The most recent national news listed on the website, AutomatedFL.com, is listed as being posted Aug. 15, 2017. And the most recent Florida-specific news posted on the site was published while President Barack Obama was still in office: July 7, 2016. Ed Hutchinson, office manager for the Florida Automated Vehicles department, did not respond to a request for comment.
GAS GOING UP: Miami gasoline prices have risen an average of 3.6 cents per gallon at the pump this week to average $2.53, GasBuddy price tracking service says, while AAA – The Auto Club Group warns that the price across the state could reach $2.60 a gallon for the long holiday weekend.