Displaced Miami Beach chamber seeking temporary home court
Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, dislodged from its present address
by the space demands of new tenants, is looking for a place to hang
its shingle for six to eight months until its new headquarters is
built, says Executive Director Bruce Singer.
a new facility is under construction at 1920 Meridian Ave.
its long-time home the chamber has taken shelter at 420 Lincoln
demand for Miami Beach office space far outstripping supply, that
property now undergoing a $12 million renovation by the Cejas
family to bring it to contemporary class A standards is hot,
says building manager Sally Baumgartner.
demand is incredible," she says. "This was an abused, battered
and unloved 60-year-old building before the Cejas family began pouring
profits back into it."
says negotiations are in progress with two large users who would virtually
fill available space in the seven-story, 255,000-square-foot building.
chamber, now housed in the former Barnett Bank space, must relocate
into two smaller spaces on the second floor within 10 days, Mr. Singer
says. The Visitor Center will take the more visible spot, formerly
occupied by Miami Beach Travel. The business offices will be down
the hall in a space vacated by the Miami Beach Law Library.
lease for both spaces runs out March 2001," he says. "We
don't anticipate that our new building will be done until the fall
of 2001. That leaves us with a shortfall of six to eight months in
which we don't have a home."
chamber hopes to break ground on its new headquarters this summer.
would be happy to move out sooner," Mr. Singer says. "The
landlord is being generous with us."
chamber is not in a position to pay market rates, Mr. Singer says,
so "a great deal of generosity would necessarily be involved.
But we bring a lot of prestige. The landlords would get a high degree
of visibility for their generosity."
the absence of any takers, he says, the chamber is looking into putting
up a double-wide trailer on land owned by Equity One at the northwest
corner of 17th Street and Meridian Avenue.
are zoning issues," he says. "But it would work for us.
It's right down the street from where we're building."