ROOM RATES: Smith Travel Research reports that occupancy at hotels in Greater Miami for the week ending Jan. 26 was down 9.6% compared to a year ago and room rates off 5.9%. Occupancy, Smith Travel reports, was 69.3% for the week, with an average room rate of $131.06. The national average in the period was 52.3% occupancy and $81.72 a room. State figures were 63.3% and $98.86.
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BEACON POINT: The Beacon Council reported Dunedain Multimedia, a multimedia service firm promoters say offers three "innovative customizable products," is relocating to Miami-Dade County from Toronto, where it has operated for the past 15 years. The company is expected to invest about $150,00 in the local economy and create 15 new jobs over the next three years.
SPIRITED DESIGN: The New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects gave a "citation of excellence" award to design firm Kohn Pedersen Fox for Miami's Espirito Santo Plaza, due to open in summer '03 at 1395 Brickell Ave.
COLOMBIA IN FOCUS: UM's North-South Center is holding a three-day conference March 24-26 in the Miami Airport Hilton on "Colombia's Ambiguous War in Global & Regional Context: Insurgency, Transnational Crime & Terror" with Anne Patterson, US ambassador to Colombia, scheduled to make the keynote address on opening day. Cost is $125. Details: (305) 284-6868.
BARRY LAW: The Barry University School of Law gained "provisional accreditation" Monday from the American Bar Association following a positive recommendation by a Bar council researching the matter, said Eric Dubois, Barry publicist. He said the status means all Barry alumni can take the Florida Bar exam. Details: barry.edu.
LOCATION FACTORS: The Beacon Council is presenting a panel talk, "Location, Location, Location," at noon Feb. 28 in the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables. Topics include why companies locate here and what factors are considered when expanding an office. Panelists are to include John Dasburg, CEO & president of Burger King Corp.; Elizabeth Garcia, regional president with Avaya; John P. Hashagen, chairman & CEO of SunTrust Bank Miami, and Gregory T. Swienton, president and CEO for Ryder System Inc. Cost is $50; $40 for members. Details: (305) 579-1338.
BROWNSFIELD CEREMONY: Miami city officials are holding a grand opening ceremony for South Florida Metro Mix as the first brownsfield business to open in the Wynwood district at 1 p.m. today (2/7) at 2100 NW First Place. The cement batch plant, publicists said, was made possible by a joint public-private effort that started five years ago.
WATER POST: The South Florida Water Management District named Michelle J. Pearcy, former manager of the Detroit Water & Sewer Department, director of its water conservation initiative. "When people better understand how their individual and collective actions can directly impact South Florida's water supplies," Ms. Pearcy said, "I believe they will recognize the importance and value of water conservation as a routine year-round way of life."
TOWERS LEASE: Restaurateur Piero Filpi signed a lease to open Splendido Restaurant in 6,000 square feet in Alhambra Towers, 121 Alhambra Plaza, Coral Gables. Allen Morris Co. agents Jorge L. Morales and Dale I. Graham, who handled the transaction for the landlord, said the project is now 70% pre-leased. Diversified Investment Property's Ron Froom represented Mr. Filpi.
BEACON TENANT: M.D. Moody & Sons Inc. leased 11,200 square feet of retail space at Beacon Station, 9955 NW 116th Way. Stuart T. Gordon and Pedro J. Garcia of Codina Realty Oncor International represented the landlord, Flagler Development Co. in the transaction. Jim Armstrong with Easton & Associates represented the tenant.
ACCENT ON THE GABLES: Accenture leased 8,189 square feet of office space at 355 Alhambra Circle, Coral Gables, for 60 months. Codina's Jack Lowell and Jennifer Panton represented the landlord, 355 Alhambra Plaza Ltd., in the transaction while Mike Kotzin with Julien J. Studley represented the tenant.
SAND STORM: A record turnout of more than 800 persons at the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce's annual Sand in My Shoes Award ceremony Saturday night at the Renaissance Miami Biscayne Bay Hotel saw the award given for the first time to a couple, Susan and Leonard Miller. He is founder and chairman of Lennar Corp.; she is a volunteer with a range of non-profit groups. The award recognizes outstanding members of the community for significant contributions and involvement.
NEW NOVO: The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce has established a Novo Award "to honor not-for-profit organizations that demonstrate innovative excellence." Two winners - nonprofits with budgets under $1 million and exceeding $1 million - get a $1,000 cash award each to recognize "outstanding programs." Nominations are due by Feb. 11. Details: Larraine Blessing, (305) 577-5453.
NOVO NICHE: The chamber's nonprofit committee will honor the top three Novo finalists in each category at noon March 6 in the Wyndham Renaissance Hotel. Hodding Carter, president & CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, is scheduled to give the keynote address, "Florida's $19 million Secret." Details: (305) 577-5453.
MARKETING BUSINESS: The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce is presenting the first in a series of four small-business marketing seminars as part of its Commercebank Marketing Resource Institute from 810 a.m. Feb. 8 in the Miami Dadeland Marriott, 9090 S Dadeland Blvd. Scheduled panelists include Anne B. Freedman, principal of SpeakOut Inc.; Hank Klein, executive with Codina Realty Services; Israel Kreps, name partner in Kreps DeMaria Treister and chairman of the chamber's marketing institute committee, and J. Robert Taglairino, principal for TAG Advertising. Organizers said other sessions are March 7, April 11 and May 14. RSVP. Cost is $25; for members. Details: Lisa Showers, (305) 577-5427.
PERMIT PANEL: The Miami-Dade South chapter of the Women's Council of Realtors is holding a panel discussion, "Open Permits... and Now What?" from 1:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Feb. 14 in the Elks Club, 10301 Sunset Drive. Scheduled panelists include Robert Santos, Team Metro regional director; Claire Mostel, Team Metro code enforcement, and Mara Austin with the county's solid waste management. Cost is $15. RSVP. Details: AnaMaria Roque, (305) 235-3411.
HASTINGS SPOT: Amarillo, TX-based Hastings Entertainment named Ann Lieff to its board of directors. Ms. Lieff is president of The Lieff Group in Miami. She was chairman and CEO of Spec's Music from 1980-98, when Spec's merged with Camelot Music Holdings. Hastings operates 143 stores in the US that have an average of 21,500 square feet each.