FYI Miami: August 1, 2013
LARGE HOTEL GAINS: Miami-Dade hotels recorded solid gains in three key indicators in the first six months of the year, according to Smith Travel Research. Revenue per available room rose 11.7% in the period to $157.68, third highest in the nation. The average daily room rate rose 9% to $194.41, also third in the nation. Meanwhile, average daily occupancy rose 2.4% to 81.1% — again ranking third. New York was first in all rankings, Oahu Island second.
AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Three affordable housing projects were put on hold last week by City of Miami officials until 5 p.m. Sept. 12, when commissioners are to decide whether to designate the three lots as Brownfield areas, or property on which expansion, redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by contamination. The Richman Group of Florida is seeking to develop the lot at 1026 SW Second Ave. into West Brickell Tower, the lot at 144 and 152 SW Eighth St. into West Brickell View, and the lot at 850 SW Second Ave. into Vista Grande Apartments, but is seeking the designation from City Manager Johnny Martinez before development can begin. Mr. Martinez was not at the commission meeting as he is recovering from a mild stroke suffered in July.
PORT BONDS OK’D: Bond issues for Port Miami related projects have won county approval, including seaport dredging, terminal improvements, rehabilitated rail service and port tunnel work. County commissioners approved a single package of bonds for these improvements and more, including the purchase of four more massive gantry cranes that are geared to serve the super post-Panamax ships expected to visit the port once the enlarged Panama Canal opens. The maximum value of bonds that would be issued totals $885 million. The port dredging is to get $165.7 million from the bonds and the port tunnel project $209.5 million. If all the bonds are issued, added debt service payments for the county are expected to be about $62 million per year, to be paid with port revenues.
CHURCH SUPPERS: The First Church of Christ Scientist has sold the property where it currently sits at 1836 Biscayne Blvd. for $6.25 million, about $250,000 above the asking price, according to CBRE, the real estate firm that represented the church. Reading Partners LLC, an entity of Queensfort Capital, bought the space and has plans for two restaurants in the property. The First Church of Christ Scientist is to continue its services and meeting at its current location until January 2014, when the new church is targeted for completion at 15 W Flagler St.