FYI Miami: September 9, 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.
BUILDING SAFETY TASK FORCE: Miami-Dade is headed toward creating a permanent Building Rectification Task Force to review laws, codes and procedures relating to building inspections and building recertifications and to recommend changes. The ordinance by René Garcia, set for hearing Oct. 14, would create a 15-member group to revise the timeline for building rectifications, methods used for building rectification, qualifications of those who inspect and recertify buildings, suggest additional accountability for those who perform recertifications, and more. Prior county efforts to improve building safety after the Champlain Towers South collapse include a resolution creating a Building Rectification Task Force for a one-year tenure, and a group of local, state and federal officeholders to gather and discuss policy and legislation led by Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and commission Chairman Jose “Pepe” Diaz.
BETTER LATE THAN…: The economic impact of Covid-19 on government is clear in a Miami-Dade County report on past-due county collections, which shows significant bulges directly linked to county provisions for dealing with the ravages of the pandemic. The Aviation Department, for example, showed collections 90 days or more past due rising from $5.3 million at March 31, 2020, to $32.1 million at the end of 2020 due to rent deferrals in the Covid-19 relief program, and then falling to $6.7 million on June 30 as $19.7 million of deferred rents were collected. Water and Sewer delinquencies, on the other hand, have risen steadily every quarter, up from $12.2 million at the end of 2019 to $31.7 million at the end of 2020 and up to $39.8 million at the end of June this year. The county commission suspended the disconnections of water service for non-payments in March 2020 and that order remains in effect. For the county as a whole, total delinquencies rose from $52.5 million at Dec. 31, 2019, to $98.1 million at the end of December 2020 and now have fallen back to $81.2 million at the end of June.
TRIANGULAR STUDENT HOUSING: The student housing phase of a two-phase private development on a triangular piece of county-owned land at US 1 and Sunset Drive in South Miami has been completed, as construction was finished on Vox Miami, a 326-bed student housing community within a block’s walk of the South Miami Metrorail station. The $36 million apartment complex designed by Perkins + Will includes one- to four-bedroom units with study lounges and 641 parking spaces built by Moss Construction. The project, which had a formal groundbreaking in February 2020, is to include Class A office space in a separate building. Ground floor retail is planned. Developer TREO Somi Station LLC has a 90-year lease that is to generate $100 million in revenue to Miami-Dade County and bring about $250,000 in improvements to the Metrorail station.