FYI Miami: June 4, 2020
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 PLUNGE: South Florida construction starts dropped 33% in value in April from April 2019 as the pandemic took hold here, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. That left the construction starts value down 5% for the year in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties combined. In April, the value of tri-county construction starts fell from $1.027 billion in 2019 to $685 million this year. For the first four months of the year, construction in the area starts total $3,577 billion.
MIAMI EXPANDS RESTAURANT SEATING: As municipalities continue adjusting in face of the pandemic, the City of Miami launched its Restaurant Recovery Program, which will allow local restaurants to add or expand outdoor seating. Mayor Francis Suarez said in a release that the program was a “creative way to allow our restaurant businesses to welcome more diners by adding outdoor seating – on sidewalks, repurposed parking spaces and even streets that are closed to traffic. It’s another way that we’re helping our local business community to get back to work.” In the city, restaurants are currently only allowed to seat up to 50% of their normally allowed indoor capacity. The program is to be in place through Aug. 20 and allow restaurants to use public sidewalks and nearby on-street parking spaces, roads or traffic lanes closed by the city and private walkways, parking and driving areas. To apply, visit miamigov.com/restaurants.
BULKY TRASH RESUMES: The City of Miami has reinstated weekly bulk trash services. Recent public comments during the commission meeting highlighted Miami streets lined with trash, and Commissioner Keon Hardemon directed the administration to continue pick-up services. Recycling, however, will remain suspended for the time being.
OLYMPIA FUTURE STILL UNCLEAR: What will happen to the Olympia Theater remains unknown, with Miami city commissioners deferring a discussion on the matter to June 25. Miami Today recently reported that the Flagler District Business Improvement District and the Downtown Neighbors Alliance have posited a non-profit financial model for the future of the building, which would help address, among other things, the downtown Miami landmark’s disrepair.
TOURIST BEHAVIORAL CHANGES: A report posted online by Visit Florida, the state’s tourism-marketing arm, points to potentially long-term effects of the coronavirus on tourism, saying people are expected to initially prefer short drives rather than long flights as they look to travel. The report said the virus is expected to have a major impact on people flying in and out of the state.