SIDETRACKED: A quest for federal funds to extend Metrorail to Miami International Airport will be delayed a year because the Miami-Dade County Metropolitan Planning Organization didn't have a quorum to meet last week. Plans must go to Congress by month's end to get federal funds this year. The planning board was to discuss the plan at last month's meeting but ran out of time. It tried to round up enough members to meet during its August recess but many were on vacation. The county is asking the federal government to fund half of an $800 million extension of Metrorail to a proposed transportation hub near the airport.
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SHIP SHAPE: Frans Boetes, founder and president of the Miami-Dade Maritime Museum, said he signed a purchase agreement Tuesday with the US Coast Guard Tuesday secured the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk as the only floating museum to occupy a slip in Bicentennial Park. Within a year, he said, the museum will renovate the ship and furnish it with historic memorabilia while the city fixes the seawall around the park to ready the museum for visitors by early 2005.
LEASING CONTRACT: Codina Realty Services-Oncor International has been hired to manage leasing for Portside Yachting Center in Fort Lauderdale. The property, which contains 77,000 rentable square feet, is undergoing major upgrades. The goal for the property is to be a first-class office center with tenants primarily in the marine and yachting industries, officials said. Robert McCullough and Carlo DiGiorgio of Codina will handle leasing.
TAX EXEMPTION? The Miami-Dade County school board will ask the Florida Legislature next year to grant a sales-tax exemption for supplies purchased by construction contractors working on public school projects, said board member Perla Tabares Hantman, whose proposal won unanimous school board approval last week. If the state approves the proposal, it would take effect in 2005.
FUNDS TICKETED: Most funding needed for a Brickell residential and retail complex was approved this week. The $34 million project, Coral Station at Brickell Way, got a $7.1 million land loan and $20.3 million for construction from South Florida-based Union Bank. The project is to include 80,000 square feet of retail, 78 condominiums and a 1,000-space garage on Brickell Way between Southwest 15th Road and First Avenue. Developers are Taylor Land & Development Co. and BVT Development.
GO FIGURE: The treasurer's post is open on the Doral and Airport West Chamber of Commerce with the Aug. 19 resignation of Mike DiPietro, who stepped down following his election to the Doral City Council. He'll serve on the chamber's board of advisors, said Executive Director Jackeline Alers. A committee is accepting applications through Sept. 3 from members who have accounting backgrounds and expertise in QuickBooks.
TEACHING ETHICS: The Miami Dade County Commission on Ethics and Public Trust will host free ethics workshops for companies doing business with local government Sept. 24, Oct. 22, and Nov. 19. Topics include lobbying, procurement matters and ethical decision-making. Details: (305) 579-2594.
LOFT LAND: Intrepid Real Estate has purchased two parcels on 17th Street and North Miami Court for residential development. According to CEO Henry Harper-McCausland, the land, south and southwest of Intrepid's Parc Lofts development site at 35 NE 17th St., is slated for additional loft apartments. He said the deal is part of the company's ongoing acquisition strategy in the emerging arts district near the forthcoming Performing Arts Center, which straddles Biscayne Boulevard between 13th and 14th streets.
PAWNED OFF: Intrepid also bought a warehouse at 1222 NE Second Ave. in the Omni-Venetia area that was formerly a pawnshop. The property sits directly across from the Performing Arts Center, due to open next year. Mr. Harper-McCausland said Intrepid plans to rehab the building and open Pawnshop Lounge. He said the club, which will serve appetizers and drinks, would retain something of the pawnshop ambiance with a bar designed like a glass case displaying guns, wedding rings and gold watches. It's due to open in December.
BANKING ON MIAMI: Bank of America is reaching out to black consumers through a $5 million ad campaign in Miami and nine other cities. The ads are expected to reach 9 million people via TV networks such as Fox, UPN, BET and The WB. The ads, which will also appear in print and on radio, will talk about mortgage plans and checking services designed mostly for young professionals and first-time homebuyers. The campaign is part of a $50 million national marketing bid to increase minority clients at the Charlotte, NC-based bank.
SMALL BUSINESS AID: The Florida Atlantic University Small Business Development Center will host a clinic on starting a business 5:30-9:30 p.m. Sept. 10 in Building T-9 on the Boca Raton campus, 777 Glades Road. The fee is $49. A free class on selling to government will be offered 2-4 p.m. Sept. 17 in the auditorium of Delray Beach Public Library, 29 SE Fourth Ave. Details: (800) 801-6520.
BUSINESS FORUM: Vision Council, a non-profit public-private economic-development corporation in southern Miami-Dade County, will host the third in a series of business forums Sept. 12. It's free. Details: (305) 247-7082.
BRICKELL TRAFFIC STUDY: The Brickell Homeowners Association may commission a comprehensive traffic study of the Brickell neighborhood. The full proposal by consulting engineers Miles Moss and Associates Inc. is at www.brickellhomeowners.com. Details: (305) 858-9699.
ASIA MISSIONS: Jay Malina International Trade Consortium of Miami-Dade County and Miami International Airport are organizing air cargo-business development missions to Hong Kong and Singapore Sept. 19-27 to promote the county as an international business center. The missions are open to the public. Details: (305) 375-5808.
ORANGE BOWL MOVES: The Orange Bowl Committee has named Russell Clark director of events, Virginia Stith coordinator of youth football leagues and Tracee Grossman corporate-partnership executive. Ms. Grossman's position is new. Mr. Clark replaced Charmaine Gatlin, now director of events for the Nat Moore Foundation, and Ms. Stith replaced John Hartigan, who is moving to Dallas.
MOVED IN: Miami's Community Redevelopment Agency moved last weekend into new quarters at 49 NW Fifth St., just south of Miami Arena, said Executive Director Frank Rollason. The agency, which uses property-tax revenue to improve southeast Overtown, Park West and Omni, had offices in Dupont Plaza, 300 Biscayne Blvd. Way, but began seeking a new home after learning the building was to be replaced by two or three residential towers. The agency's phone has been changed to (305) 679-6800.
DISABILITIES CONFERENCE: The National Association of the Americans with Disabilities Act coordinators' national conference is scheduled for Oct. 20-23 at Hilton Miami Airport. Speakers Cari Dominguez of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and John Wadatch of the US Department of Justice's Disability Rights Section are to provide updates on case law, federal voting requirements and disability confidentiality requirements. Details: (305) 375-3841.
CORRECTION: Frames USA, owned by Adam Brand, has been in business for 10 years. The time span reported in an Aug. 21 story was incorrect.