Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
of the news. Here are highlights from the most current edition.
SWIRE MARINA: Miami commissioners agreed to be co-applicant
for a long-planned marina at 701 Brickell Key Drive. Developer Swire Properties
needed the OK before the project could go to the state to ask to use a portion
of submerged land. Swire head Stephen Owens said of 120 boat slips proposed, six
would be used by the city's marine patrol. The city would not get rent, he said,
but Swire would build a 3.6-acre public park. Commissioners questioned how public
the park would be if it's built behind a Brickell Key's gate.
LENGTHY REVIEW: Commissioner Wifredo Gort said development
on 44-acre Claughton Island is worth about $15 million in taxes "without
including the Mandarin Hotel." Commissioner Arthur Teele said the commission
would have 108 days to withdraw its motion if the city doesn't reach an agreement
about the park. The marina proposal has been discussed for more than four years
and Mr. Owens said the project would have be reviewed by 13 state, federal and
county agencies before it could return to the city commission. Details: (305)
A MATTER OF ROADS:
Miami commissioners have denied Argentinian Construction Group & Estates of Elvira
Pollak a permit to incorporate parts of two dead-end public roads in a planned
24-story, two-tower office buildings in the Roads. Developers wanted to part of
18th Road between Southwest First Avenue and Interstate 95 and part of Second
Avenue between I-95 and Molinari Park so cars in the complex could turn around,
said Vicky Garcia Toledo, attorney for the developer. Ms. Garcia Toledo said a
Roads resident had a permit in 1968 to close part of those streets when I-95 was
built. Because the streets had been closed since, they were no longer considered
More than 60 neighbors showed up to press commissioners to vote down the closure.
The Roads is a neighborhood of about 1,600 single-family homes. "We urge
you not to close the roads," said Linda Koenigsberg, president of the Roads
Homeowners Association. "We are always outside walking our dogs or riding
bikes." Commissioner Johnny Winton said constructing office buildings without
buffers separating them from the houses would also destroy the property value
of the homes.
PARK COALITION: The
Miccosukee Tribe has joined Save Brickell Park Coalition's effort to keep the
site as a city park. That brings to 14 the number of groups pushing to undo a
settlement between the city and Brickell family that calls for sale of a 4.7-acre
property. The park is recorded with the state as a Native American burial grounds,
said Steve Terry, spokesman for the Native American Graves Protection and Representation.
Details: (305) 755-9034.
FOCUS ON MEXICO:
The outlook for changes in Miami's ties with Mexico after the inauguration of
new president Vicente Fox will be the topic of Miami Today's International Roundtable
at 7:30 a.m. Dec. 7 at Union Planters Bank, 2800 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables.
Reservations requested. Details: Jody Bray, (305) 358-2663.
HOUSE ISSUES: Miami-Dade Community College's Mortgage
Finance Program and the Fannie Mae Foundation are holding a conference Dec. 4
in the Wyndham Miami Biscayne Bay Hotel, 1601 Biscayne Blvd., on increasing the
number of people who own homes in the US. Under the banner, "Expanding Homeownership
in a Multi-cultural Context," organizers say they expect leaders from housing
finance organizations, government, nonprofits and academia to participate. Martin
Fine, partner with the law firm Holland & Knight and co-founder of Greater Miami
Neighborhoods Inc., is keynote speaker. Among topics, "there are still some
stubborn disparities in homeownership rates," said Teddie Lang, director
of the program at M-DCC. Sessions are free and open to the public. Details: (305)
TRAVEL MERGER: TravelLeaders
Group announced a merger with Irvine,CA-based Sundance Travel International. The
combined company keeps the TravelLeaders name and will employ 650 people in 50
offices nationwide, according to Keith St. Clair, TravelLeaders chairman and CEO.
Combined revenues, he said, would exceed $550 million. Mr. St. Clair said the
merger will give his Coral Gables-based company a West Coast presence and strengthen
its bid to become a national heavyweight in the travel services field.
Eagle National Bank this week announced the grand opening of its new Doral branch,
9600 NW 25th St. The branch had a soft opening in October, said Robert L. Brookes,
president and CEO. He said the office will be headed by Rosie Huc, assistant vice
president, and features an ATM, drive-thru and night depository. On Eagle National's
horizon, Mr Brookes said, is a branch in Bay Harbor.
The Building Association of South Florida donated a custom-designed and -built
children's playhouse for the Dan Marino Center at Miami Children's Hospital in
Weston. The center offers integrated neuro-development medical services for children.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the gift was held this week.
The Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce of Florida on Brickell Avenue elected
Lucio Amorim, consul general of Brazil in Miami, honorary president; Louana d'Oliveira,
executive with Sky3, is president and Roberto Barroso with Banco do Brasil executive
vice president. Details: (305) 579-9030.
GLOBAL LINKS: The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce
is hosting "Americas Linkage 2000," a two-day program, Nov. 30 and Dec.
1 to promote business between high-level executives from Miami, Latin America
and the Caribbean. The by-invitation-only conference will take place at different
locations. Details: Larissa Ramos, (305) 577-5433.
New York University is host for a "Latin America Hospitality Conference"
Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 in the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. For the meeting, Jones Lang
LaSalle Hotels, a leading hotel investment banking services group, put together
a panel to discuss investment and acquisition opportun="TLs in Latin & South America.
Details: (213) 680-7964.