FYI Miami: January 28, 2021
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EXPRESSING CONCERNS: A panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal will hear arguments Feb. 9 in a fight about a 2019 law aimed at making major changes in the operation of expressways in Miami-Dade County. The Tallahassee-based appeals court on Friday scheduled the arguments in an appeal by the Florida Department of Transportation. The law, which passed after heavy debate among Miami-Dade legislators, called for abolishing the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority, established in 1994 to operate five expressways, and replacing it with a new entity, the Greater Miami Expressway Agency. The expressway authority quickly challenged the measure. Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper in 2019 ruled the law was unconstitutional because it violated Miami-Dade’s home-rule powers. The state argues the suit should be dismissed, in part because the Miami-Dade County Expressway Authority didn’t have legal standing to file the constitutional challenge and doesn’t have power to continue the case because the authority was dissolved under the law.
LOVE MAP GRANT OK’D: Romantic made-for-TV movie “Love Map” will receive $50,000 in incentives from a Miami-Dade program aimed at attracting TV, film and entertainment productions to the county. Commissioners OK’d the grant last week for the film, which is to spend $530,000 here over 12 days while employing at least 20 county residents and hiring more than 70% of its vendors locally. The film by director/producer Damian Romay and producer Jacobo Rispa, who said in their grant application that they live in Miami and have filmed 10 other movies in the county, is about a relationship columnist who becomes involved with a “prickly tour guide” while touring romantic sites in Florida ahead of the launch of a dating app that uses “a figurative map of personal characteristics to match people.”
FIRST HORIZON’S NEW HOME: After 15-plus years in Brickell, Iberiabank – now First Horizon Bank, following a merger last year – is relocating its South Florida regional headquarters to Coral Gables. Regional President Mario Trueba said the move will consolidate operations from four separate offices at 1101 Brickell Ave. to one floor spanning about 20,000 square feet on the eighth story of 1 Alhambra Plaza. “This allows me to consolidate folks from four different places, save a little bit of money and get everyone together,” he told Miami Today, adding that the move will take place in two phases in mid to late February. “We’re excited to be in Coral Gables. Our two most successful offices in Miami-Dade County are in Coral Gables on Ponce and on Sunset, and this will put the headquarters closer to them. That’s a nice benefit.”