FYI Miami: October 15, 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.
SOFTER SOUNDS, BUT SLOW: Good news for Miami-Dade residents living within earshot of Metrorail, whose sound barriers the county removed after they started to crumble onto tracks: work on new ones is underway. The bad news: The first of two construction phases, all to be done at night to avoid interrupting service, will take about 550 days. County commissioners Oct. 6 approved a $35 million contract with Halley Engineering Contractors, which will focus on rail segments in areas with residential development and hospitals. “Anything residential within 150 feet of the guideway, that’s what we want to prioritize first,” Transportation and Public Works Director Alice Bravo said in committee last month. The second phase will cost about $45 million, county documents show. Pieces of the almost 30-year-old barriers failed and partially obstructed the rail line in 2018 and 2019, prompting the county to award nearly $7 million in contracts to remove them. That work ended in December 2019.
OFFICE RENTS, VACANCIES RISE: “Asking rates continue to rise in Miami despite negative absorption and burgeoning supply,” reads the headline of JLL’s third quarter office report. According to the document, asking price for rent and subleases has continued to increase this year even as vacancies climbed. Total vacancy, the report says, is now 17.3%, and the average direct asking rent is $43.49 per square foot. “Vacancy,” the report said, “is poised to rise as a steady stream of new product delivers to a subdued market and asking rates should level off as transaction volume decreases and pricing becomes clearer.”
GOODWILL’S ARMY PACT: Goodwill South Florida has a newly vested interest in the needs of the military, thanks to a new contract to repurpose ballistic vest panels and recut them to fit the new, sleeker design of the Army’s ballistic vest carrier for training and battle. Goodwill will also sew multiple pieces of the Army’s new dress uniform, handling the third-party logistics of sourcing and knitting the remaining pieces of the entire ensemble and then shipping each one directly to a soldier. The work will be handled by a new Goodwill Third-Party Logistics Division that has created about 20 higher-paying jobs in e-commerce, order fulfillment, repurposing and warehousing for the people with disabilities that Goodwill serves. “We are very excited to have acquired these new opportunities to continue to serve the United States Army while creating even more jobs for people with disabilities and other work barriers,” said David Landsberg, Goodwill South Florida’s CEO. The new division has hired 12 employees and is looking for eight to 10 more material handlers and warehouse fulfillment clerks.