FYI Miami: July 1, 2021
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.
HUGE CONSTRUCTION GAIN: Construction starts soared in May in South Florida, the latest information from Dodge Data & Analytics showed, with a 55% increase in construction value from May 2020, when the pandemic held down construction activity. Residential starts were 93% greater than in May 2020 and nonresidential starts were up 17%. Total value of new building in May was more than $901 million in the tri-county area of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, versus $583 million a year earlier. For the first five months of 2021, new starts were 10% higher than last year, with residential starts up 15% and nonresidential up 2%. Total value of those starts so far this year has been nearly $4.5 billion.
PUERTO RICO PACT: Miami-Dade commissioners are seeking a sister seaports pact between PortMiami and the Puerto Rican Ports Authority. They voted unanimously June 15 to ask Mayor Daniella Levine Cava or her designee to negotiate an agreement with the Puerto Rican authority and report back in 60 days. The county established the sister seaports and airports program in 1998 to link with foreign ports, and many such agreements have been signed. Although Puerto Rico is US territory, the legislation noted, the commission “nonetheless finds that the beneficial exchanges contemplated through sister seaport agreements with international seaports would apply to a sister seaport agreement with the Puerto Rican Port Authority, whose ports share many clients and characteristics with PortMiami.”
SIGNING UP: County commissioners are soon to be presented a competitive contract for use of electronic signatures throughout Miami-Dade County departments. During the pandemic, 24 county departments used the Adobe Sign e-signature feature and about 12,000 documents were signed without requiring the signer to be physically present, a report to commissioners from Mayor Daniella Levine Cava says. But the license to use that software expired this week. The report says that at the time of the earlier contract, competitive software from DocuSign and Core Signature “did not have the integration capabilities required by the county’s enterprise applications.”
NEW PRESIDENT: Virginia Birch Flores has been named president and chief operating officer of the First National Bank of South Miami, effective today (7/1). She has been with the bank 22 years and was previously chief operating officer and executive vice president. She replaces Drew Dammeier, who is retiring as president but will remain on the bank’s board. “Her experience is critical as our local economy continues to prosper and expand,” said Bruce Wirtz MacArthur, the bank’s board chairman and CEO.