Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
of the news. Here are highlights from the most current edition.
Dina Bianchino, who left her position as a Miami assistant city
manager six months ago for the private sector, is returning to public
life Sept. 5 as a Miami assistant city manager. After a stint
as vice president of special projects at Related Group of Florida,
she says, she opted to return after a discussion with new City Manager
Carlos Gimenez. "It seems like the city is moving forward,"
she says. "I'm very happy to be going back."
LEGALLY HISTORIC: Three recent leases
with law firms at Miami Center, 201 S Biscayne Blvd., have pushed
the Miami Center above the 90% occupancy mark, the highest occupancy
rate in the office tower's 16-year history, said Eric Siegrist with
Jones Lang LaSalle Americas Inc., which handles leasing and management
of the tower for owner Crescent Real Estate Equities. To reach the
mark, he said deals were recently struck with Broad & Cassell, which
expanded by close to 6,000 square feet; Chicago-based Arnstein &
Lehr for more than 6,800 and Cohen Fox, which took more than 7,000.
Dolphin Mall, a 1.4 million-acre enclosed mall due to open in March
near Miami International Airport, announced 100 leases have been
signed to date. More than 40% of tenants are new to Miami-Dade.
Two dozen are Florida firsts, including Castaldi's, an Italian restaurant;
clothing designer Giorgio's first fashion outlet in the US; Animal
Mania, selling animal-theme merchandise; Chispa de la Vida, an Argentinian
fashion retailer new to North America; the Southeast's first Bakers
Outlet, a shoe store, and Lucky's Athletic, a denim superstore.
The 198-room Days Inn Central, 600 NW 81st St. known as the
Orange Bowl Hotel for its huge Orange Bowl sign has been
sold to Travelodge Miami, whose principals include Judah and Sam
Burstyn, for $1.7 million. Ted Konigsberg of Colliers International
represented the seller, Bangkok National Bank.
MANDARIN JOB FAIR: Mandarin Oriental
Miami, a five-star hotel slated to open this fall on Brickell Key,
will hold a job fair Aug. 25-28 at the Coconut Grove Convention
Center, 2700 S Bayshore Drive. The hotel needs to fill 20 management
positions and 300 service jobs. Details: (305) 576-3191.
AccounTec Inc., a national provider of outsourcing and staffing
services, acquired Connection Staffing, which has offices in Tampa
and Miami. Connection President Margo Hunt will continue to manage
NEW DEEHL: The law firm Deehl & Carlson
relocated from West Flagler Street to suite 1007 in the Douglas
Center, Coral Gables. The firm, says principal David L. Deehl
who is joined in the practice by attorney Susan S. Carlson
specializes in commercial, construction, insurance and negligence
litigation. Details: (305) 448-9111.
GABLES DIAMONDS: The Coral Gables Chamber
of Commerce gave Gables Diamond awards to four organizations to
recognize "excellence in business performance, commitment to
the community and other criteria, such as customer service."
Winners are Abood & Associates Inc., Miami Christian School, First
National Bank of South Miami and Daphne Gurri. Abood & Associates
was designated overall winner. Chamber officials say 115 nominations
EXPANDING FIELDS: The law firm Carlton
Fields announced an expansion of its Miami office through the acquisition
of 15 attorneys and staffers formerly operating as Cohen Berke Bernstein
Brodie & Kondell. "The Cohen Berke group," said Thomas
A. Snow, Carlton Fields president and CEO, "maintains a broad-based
commercial practice, including highly technical and specialized
areas such as computer law and e-commerce law, which we expect will
play a significant role" in the law firm's future.
TRADE RESERVATION: The Central America
US Chamber of Commerce continues to accept reservations for a trade
mission to Nicaragua from Oct. 29-Nov. 1 that continues to El Salvador
from Nov. 1-4. Details: (305) 569-6477.
The Miami Symphony under the direction of Manuel Ochoa will give
a free lunchtime concert of classical music for strings at noon
Sept. 8 at the Main Library, 101 W Flagler St. Details: (305) 375-5576.
FIT FOR YOUNGSTERS: The University of
Miami Wellness Center is offering recreation and fitness programs
for children ages 6-12 on Saturdays starting Sept. 9. Cost is $35;
$335 for three months. Details: (305) 284-8510.
VOTING AGENDA: Countywide elections
in Miami-Dade are Sept. 5 for the first primary, Oct. 3 for the
second primary and Nov. 7 for the general election. Among major
questions on the ballot Sept. 5 is the incorporation of Miami Lakes.
BIRTHDAY SURPRISE: Edward Wasserman,
chairman and editor in chief of the Daily Business Review, announced
his resignation to the newspaper's staff Tuesday during his own
52nd birthday celebration. The resignation is effective Sept. 29.
He said he has not decided on his next career step after 14 years
at the Review.
The US Small Business Administration and the US Department of the
Treasury are holding a one-day Mentor-Protăgă Conference today (8/24)
in the Hyatt Regency Miami, 400 SE Second St. The session targets
small business owners, HubZone qualified firms, minority entrepreneurs
and prime contractors. One-on-one counseling sessions with representatives
for prime contractors and government agencies are among features.
The emphasis is on how to identify and select partners for the federal
Mentor-Protăgă Program, BusinessLINC Initiative and the President's
New Markets Initiative. Details: (800) 878-2940, ext. 227.
The Loews Miami Beach Hotel was awarded the Gold Key Award from
Meetings & Conventions magazine this month. The 23-year-old award
was based on the votes of magazine readers in several categories,
including attitude of meeting staff, quality of guest rooms, food
and beverage service, and proficiency of handling reservations,
organizers say. Details: (305) 604-1601.
Road work along Southwest Eight Street won a statewide Community
Awareness award for best street reconstruction. A selection panel
of officials from the Florida Department of Transportation and the
Federal Highway Administration made the choice. An award ceremony
at a time and place to be announced will salute the project's engineers
in the fall.
HOUSING HONORS: The Miami-Dade Housing
Agency won seven "Best Practices" awards from the US Department
of Housing & Urban Development in four regional and three local
categories. The agency the sixth largest of its kind in the
US was among 1,400 organizations and projects participating
in the honors, which are now in their second year. The awards, says
Rene Rodriguez, agency director, confirm "that our agency is
an innovator of unique programs and services that will benefit the
residences of Miami-Dade County."
The Codina Group announced that Recreational Factory Warehouse signed
to use 18,340 square feet at Airport Business Center, 4101 NW 72nd
Ave., for 60 months. Codina's Scott Sime represented landlord A&B
Properties in the transaction.
BEACON LEASES: Codina also announced
three recent leases at Beacon Centre, with SMT Export using close
to 15,000 square feet, MA Vending taking 15,880 and MSI Corp. signing
for 14,400. Codina's Jose Juncadella, David Spillers and George
Pino represented the landlord in the transactions while Scott Hardie
with Miami Industrial represented SMT Export, Ernie Campo with Alliance
Commercial represented MA Vending and Ken Farkas with DiGiacomo
C&S SALES: C&S Development announced
sale of 19,000 square feet at 12796 107th Place to Prompt Aviation
for $1.5 million and a build-to-suit facility in Miami International
Business Park to Balogh-Juan Martinez, trustee, for $3.25 million.
Codina broker Scott Sime represented C&S in the sale to Prompt Aviation
while Stuart T. Gordon and Jose Juncadella represented C&S in the
business park deal.