FYI Miami: December 24, 2020
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OLYMPIAN TASK: Plans to restore the historic Olympia Theater at 174 E Flagler St., which opened in 1926 offering both live entertainment and motion pictures, have stalled. “Given the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, there is no new information or year-end update,” said Terrell Fritz, Flagler Business Improvement District executive director. The restoration process was estimated earlier this year to cost $30 million. The plan includes having a non-profit steward of the facility and theater operations in the future. Mr. Fritz said he looked for action on the plan next year.
MINIMUM WAGE RISE: Florida’s minimum hourly wage will inch up to $8.65 on Jan. 1 before jumping to $10 on Sept. 30. The minimum wage has been $8.56 this year but will increase nine cents in January because of a 2004 constitutional amendment that tied increases to cost-of-living changes. The minimum wage for tipped workers will be $5.63 an hour as of Jan. 1. The overall minimum wage, however, will accelerate in September because of a constitutional amendment that was approved last month to eventually set the wage at $15 an hour. The wage will go to $10 on Sept. 30 and incrementally increase each year until reaching $15 on Sept. 30, 2026.
MIA GAINS: Miami International Airport (MIA) continues to regain traffic and service, last week announcing JetBlue’s Feb. 11, 2021, launch of flights to Boston, Los Angeles, Newark and New York – firsts for the carrier from the hub – and six additional routes by Frontier Airlines: Cancun, Mexico; San Salvador, El Salvador; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Guatemala City, Guatemala; Ontario, California; and Orlando. MIA this month also won Global Traveler magazine’s “Best Airport Shopping” honors for the second consecutive year, as well as “Best Airport for Layovers” based on reader surveys. In September, MIA was named best mega airport in the eastern US by the JD Power 2020 North American Airport Satisfaction Study and became Florida’s first airport and the second nationwide to receive a health accreditation from Airports Council International in recognition of its key measures to stem the spread of Covid-19.
NEW SEAWALL RULES: Miami Beach commissioners passed on first reading this month an ordinance to codify maintenance and minimum height standards for seawalls in the city, 92% of which are on private property. If the ordinance passes on second reading Jan. 13, new seawalls will have to be constructed to an elevation of 5.7 feet, or 4 feet with the ability to add an extra 1.7 feet. It also requires existing seawalls to be maintained “in good repair,” and adds the enforcement mechanism of a $500-per-day fine for owners or developers who don’t complete repairs within 730 days.