FYI Miami: November 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.
CONSTRUCTION STARTS TUMBLE: The value of construction starts in the tri-county area dropped sharply in October from the October 2018 level, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. Nonresidential starts fell 24% in value from $453 million to $345 million, while residential starts fell 14%, from $711 million to $611 million. Construction employment in Miami-Dade in October was 55,300 persons, up 3.2% from October 2018, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. For 2019 to date, the value of construction starts in South Florida is now down 6%, with an 11% fall in residential constructions starts and a 1% gain in nonresidential.
COURTHOUSE PROJECT OK: Miami-Dade lawmakers are to decide Dec. 3 whether to approve a contract with development team Plenary Justice Miami LLC to build and manage a new civil and probate courthouse on Flagler Street. Over 30 years, the county would pay Plenary $852.2 million, with a first-year payment of $25.4 million to be made once construction is done in January 2024. The payment includes a $25 million for furniture and security equipment, $13.3 million for contingencies and $3.5 million for art relocation and insurance. Plenary beat out contract teams M-S-E Judicial Partners and Miami-Dade Courthouse Partnership LLC for top-bidder status for the project spearheaded by Commissioner Sally Heyman. Ms. Heyman told Miami Today that she postponed submitting the contract for approval last month to allow judges and other county court personnel involved to attend the vote Tuesday. Mike Schutt, vice president of Plenary Group – one of four companies that comprise Plenary Justice – said that barring unforeseen obstacles, the team expects to start work in February.
DUPLEX OWNERSHIP APPROVED: The Miami City Commission approved an amendment so that duplex owners no longer must agree to a unity of title. The legislation, sponsored by Commissioner Wifredo “Willy” Gort, will allow for a covenant instead.
BOND REFUNDS SAVES $52.8 MILLION: In a move expected to generate debt service savings of $52.8 million, Miami-Dade County sold two series of water and sewer system revenue bonds jointly valued at about $1.212 billion. The sale, which county lawmakers OK’d Oct. 3, represent a net present value savings of more than 10%, according to a Nov. 15 memo from Mayor Carlos Giménez. “It should be noted that since Fiscal Year 2011, the aggregate principal of countywide debt refunding financings have exceeded $10.2 billion,” he wrote. “The financings have generated gross debt service savings of $1.8 billion over the life of the bonds, representing a net present value savings of $1.2 billion or 12.23%.”