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Front Page » Top Stories » Pitch To Stores To Go On Says Downtown Authority Team

Pitch To Stores To Go On Says Downtown Authority Team


Written by on October 26, 2000

By Catherine Lackner
Downtown Development Authority board members say the agency will continue to showcase the properties and pluses of Miami’s central business district across the nation in order to attract more enterprise.

Thinking they have seen positive results, the board will extend membership in the International Council of Shopping Centers. The council opens access to trade shows and exposure to retail chains nationwide.

A $30,000 annual budget for membership will allow the authority to promote downtown Miami and its merchants in Orlando, Las Vegas, Atlanta and the Carolinas, said Yoshua Sal Behar, the agency’s downtown logistics manager.

The City of Miami dedicates an additional $30,000 a year, she said.

During the past three years, membership in the shopping center council and participation in its shows has brought in a number of merchants, according to downtown officials. The new stores include Dots, a moderately priced outlet with eight employees and about $950,000 in annual sales; Rave, with equivalent sales and six employees, and Rainbow Fashions, a third moderately priced clothing and shoe store that moved into the old McCrory’s building, bringing eight employees.

Next year, Quiznoz Deli is expected to move into a space on Southeast Third Avenue.

"All are happy that they’re in downtown Miami. And they’re all doing well," Mr. Behar said. "These are national stores. They’re doing the business that should be done downtown."

In the past three years, authority representatives have made more than 80 presentations to potential retailers, Mr. Behar said.

"We’ve given out every piece of material we’ve taken with us. We always invite retailers and developers to come to the DDA when they’re in the Miami area. We’ve had more than 35 visitors to whom we’ve given presentations."

"The City of Miami is willing to go halves with us to finance this. We have great incentives, such as the empowerment zone," said Miami Commissioner Willy Gort, the authority’s chairman.

It’s important to introduce potential retailers to downtown Miami, he said, praising the efforts of Mr. Behar and the downtown authority.

"These national companies don’t make decisions easily and the value of their good word lends credibility to whatever else is happening in the city," Mr. Gort said. Details: (305) 579-6675.