Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
of the news. Here are highlights from the most current edition.
ONE MIAMI FIX:
The Miami city commission will reconsider a major-use special permit granted last
month to One Miami for a mixed-use project at 205 Biscayne Blvd. Miami One Centre,
headed by Ned Seigel and Morris Stoltz, owns the land and the Related Group of
Florida, headed by Jorge Perez, will go before the city commission Jan. 25 to
see if the permit is still applicable. The project had to be substantially modified
after representatives for neighboring Hotel Inter-Continental Miami, 100 Chopin
Plaza; Miami Center, 201 Biscayne Blvd., and the First Union building on Biscayne
teamed up to persuade the developer to come up with a less intrusive design. Commissioners
told One Miami officials last month they needed to work something out.
COBB AT DOLPHIN: The Dolphin Mall announced a summer
opening is planned for a 19-screen Cobb Theatres cinema megaplex at the 1.4 million-square-foot
shopping center. Plans call for Cobb to build and operate an 85,000-square-foot
facility in a location formerly planned for use by Regal Cinemas, which Cobb bought
in 1997. The mall is to open March 1 with about 150 stores but executives expect
nearly 200 retail outlets to be open for business in the mall by the summer. Robert
Cobb, Cobb theaters president, called the chain's new home in the Dolphin as "beginning
the next chapter in the history of Cobb Theatres." He said the company expects
to employ up to 150 at the complex.
LANCHILE ADDITION: LanChile announced the introduction
of a daily nonstop from Miami to Guayaquil, Ecuador on a Boeing 767-300 aircraft
with introductory rates offered through Jan. 21.
WORTH KNOWING: The Miami Beach Commission on the Status
of Women is seeking nominations for its 2001 Women Worth Knowing Awards. Four
women will be feted as part of Women's History Month. Qualifications include residency
in Miami Beach or business involvement or ownership of a Beach-based business
for at least two years. The deadline for nominations is Feb. 1. Details: (305)
INTERNATIONAL LAW: Miami Today's International Roundtable
will focus on the globe-spanning activities of Miami's legal community at a 7:30
a.m. breakfast session Feb. 16 in the Mandarin Oriental on Brickell Key. The free
program is sponsored by the hotel and the law firm Gunster Yoakley Valdes-Fauli
& Stewart. Reservations required. Details: Jody Bray, (305) 358-2663.
ATLAS SLUGGED: Demolition began last week on the former
Eastern Airlines headquarters building at Miami International Airport to pave
the way for development of a facility for Atlas Air that will bring 500 new jobs
to the community and may lead to as many as 800, airport officials said. Demolition
is to take 90 days. The Atlas facility will be capable of housing three Boeing
747 freighters in the hangar and four on the apron. Construction is to begin in
September and be complete in October 2002.
MIAMI TO PARIS TO MIAMI:
Miami International Airport officials say they are making plans with the Beacon
Council to attend the Paris Air Show together again in June, as they did last
year, to seek to lure aviation businesses to Miami. Airport officials said they
expect to have contact with several hundred potential business links for the community
at the world-renowned show.
A second office to issue identification tags to persons working at Miami International
Airport is to open within 30 days, says Nelson Oramas, assistant aviation director
for security and facilities management. The office, in the airport's west cargo
area, will be open initially two to three days a week to renew identifications,
he said. He expects to renew 50 to 60 a day. The main identification area at the
heliport, he said, handles up to 150 identifications daily for persons who work
on airport property about 45,000 persons in all.
CAREER DECISION: Faced with a choice between creating
an urban development group at his new law firm or preparing for an election battle
to be mayor of Miami Beach for two more years, "the decision in that respect
was easy," said Neisen Kasdin, who last week announced that he would not
seek re-election. Instead, he'll head a 10- to 12-lawyer urban development group
at Gunster Yoakley & Stewart, which he joined in April. Group specialties will
include brownfields development, special assessment districts, eminent domain,
environmental concerns and infill development. He had served two terms as mayor,
he said, but "it's not my career."
Mr. Kasdin may be leaving the mayor's office but not public life. He's spearheading
a regionalism initiative that's a joint project of the Urban Land Institute of
South Florida Council and the Collins Center. The session, with a focus on the
local officials of Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties, will be held Feb.
9 at the National Car Rental Center in Sunrise. He expects the session to help
shape the tri-county agenda on regionalism.
DOUBLE LUXURY: As outgoing mayor, Mr. Kasdin welcomed
developers Friday night at the unveiling of The Setai, an Asian-theme, ultra-luxury
resort hotel and 40-story oceanfront condominium development at 101 20th St.,
Miami Beach. How luxurious? J. Steven Manolis, CEO of Manolis & Co., which is
marketing the hotel, said the 87 rooms will have 700 square feet each and cost
guests twice the rates of the Mandarin Oriental, the world-acclaimed five-star
hotel that just opened on Brickell Key.
How can a small hotel offer ultra-luxury service? Mr. Manolis said it's piggybacking
on the condo tower next door, offering condo owners who wish to furnish their
units in the Asian style of the hotel the opportunity to add their units to the
hotel's inventory when they're away and split the revenues.
BIG SMILES: At least two persons attending The Setai's
opening said they were happy that Mayor Neisen Kasdin won't seek another term.
"I'm doing it," said Commissioner Nancy Liebman, who is prevented by
term limits from running for a commission seat again and now will jump into the
mayoral race. "I would like very much to be the first lady mayor of Miami
Beach." And Ana Kasdin, the mayor's first lady, looks forward to more time
together as a family: "It's the happiest day of my life."
If Ms. Liebman becomes mayor, look for a northern focus. In a booming city with
hotels and condos continuing to rise, she sees North Beach lagging behind and
needing special attention.
MARINER LANDS BERTH: Jonathan Mariner, who came aboard
with the Florida Marlins expansion baseball team before a single pitch had been
tossed and disembarked as executive vice president and CFO last October after
the cruise industry torpedoed a plan he floated to build a baseball stadium by
taxing cruise passengers, has a new berth. He was hired last week by Charter Schools
USA of Fort Lauderdale as COO. He'd been a Charter Schools investor and director
for more than two years. Charter now has five schools but plans more than 50 within
BLACK & DECKER:
Black & Decker Corp. named M. Anthony Burns a director. Mr. Burns is chairman
and former president & CEO of Miami-based Ryder System Inc. He has been a Ryder
director since 1979 and become Ryder's board chairman in 1985, stepping aside
as president in 1999 and as CEO in November. The appointment of Mr. Burns to the
Black & Decker board came on the heels of a resignation as director of 93-year-old
Alonzo G. Decker Jr., who began working at the age of 14 for the corporation,
which was founded by his father and S. Duncan Black.