ARRIVALS DEPARTING: Lost-and-found luggage goes on sale this week at Miami International Airport. The county's Aviation Department on Saturday will auction off hundreds of items including cameras, jewelry and toys. The auction will begin at 9:30 a.m., with sale items on display an hour earlier. Purchasers must pay in cash. Admission is $3 for adults, free for minors at 5600 NW 36th St. Details: (305) 876-7017.
Miami is a weekly feature of Miami Today, keeping readers ahead
of the news. Here are highlights from the most current edition.
BUSY SKIES: Miami International Airport reported double-digit increases in international and domestic air arrivals in April from a year earlier, William Talbert III, president and CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, writes this week in a memo. International arrivals increased 15.6% and domestic arrivals increased 11.6%. The numbers indicate a strong start for the tourism industry's summer season, he said.
FULL SPEED AHEAD? The board of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority is set to decide this week whether to approve a $2 million increase in funding for the Tri-County Commuter Rail Authority. The money would help the train line provide feeder bus services. If the board approves the request, it would double the joint participation agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation. The board meeting is set for 10 a.m. at 800 NW 33rd St., Pompano Beach.
GOING UP? Developers of the proposed Hurricane Cove project along the Miami River are seeking special permits today (6/24) for their 1,072-unit project at 1818 and 1884 NW North River Drive. The Miami River Commission and the city's planning advisory board recommended that the city deny permits for the 26-story and two 28-story structures. The city's planning and zoning committee, zoning board and historic and environmental preservation board recommended approval. The item is to go before city commissioners at 5 p.m. at City Hall.
RISING RESIDENTIAL: Miami lost thousands of affordable housing units between 1990 and 2000, according to a June 10 report by the city's Community Development Department. According to the city, developers tore down more than 2,600 apartments in older buildings to make way for new construction. While construction is on the rise, the city found that 76% of apartments being built were luxury developments.
VILLA MAGNA: Tibor Hollo's Villa Magna condominium project is to go before Miami commissioners for special permits today (6/24). The project at 1201 Brickell Bay Drive had been slated for 999 units and a hotel but Mr. Hollo has said he's dropped the hotel in favor of 1,120 units. The project would be able to use now-discontinued bonuses because its application process began before the city in April ended incentives encouraging higher-density projects in the Brickell Avenue area.
SILVER BLUFF RESTRICTIONS: A special zoning district with new regulations for Miami's Silver Bluff neighborhood is to be considered at a planning and zoning hearing today (6/24) at City Hall. The proposed new construction guidelines spring from concerns raised by residents along Southwest 27th Avenue from Coral Way to US 1 as a proposed 14-story development is slated along side single-family homes. Properties on the west side of the corridor and between US 1 and Southwest 25th Street would be excluded. Miami commissioners are also to consider a 120-day moratorium on accepting development orders for buildings taller than 40 feet in the Silver Bluff area.
SCHOOL CHANGE: Ransom Everglades School is to ask Miami commissioners today (6/24) to change its zoning from a single-family home classification to a type for government and institutions. The private school at 2045 S. Bayshore Drive in Coconut Grove plans to build a gymnasium.
550 BRICKELL: Related Group of Florida plans 663 units in two 42-story towers that would connect at the top. The project at 550 Brickell Ave. is to go before the Miami City Commission today (6/24).
METROPOLITAN MIAMI: Developers of Metropolitan Miami want to increase the project's non-residential floor area from 227,625 square feet to 736,700 and cut parking spaces from 4,284 to 3,716. Changes are to go before city commissioners for approval today (6/24).
CONDEMNATION: The City of Miami wants to hire law firm Becker & Poliakoff for up to $200,000 to handle legal proceeding as officials consider condemning land for its Little Haiti park project. Five parcels are under consideration for property acquisition. The contract will be considered today (6/24).
EAST MEETS WEST: Nihon Kohden, a Japanese medical electronic equipment manufacturer, plans to invest $500,000 in its Latin American headquarters on Airport Corporate Center Drive, according to The Beacon Council, Miami-Dade's economic development agency. The headquarters, which opened in April, is to hire five employees in the next three years, a council statement said.
DOUBLE DUTY: Bessemer Trust named George Wilcox senior resident officer in its Miami office, 801 Brickell Ave. Mr. Wilcox, who joined Bessemer in 1997, also will be responsible for the Naples office. A spokesma declined to comment on whether the financial-services firm expects more management changes.
LEXI CAN: A high-rise mixed-use development at 1700 Kennedy Causeway is to add more than 100 condo units to North Bay Village, a small city north of Miami Beach. The Lexi, a project by J. Max Development, is to offer 164 condos by early 2006. Each is to sell for $300,000 to $500,000.
TOWER PLANS: Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, a 407-bed medical facility at 20900 Biscayne Blvd. in Aventura, plans to complete Phase II of its $130 million North Patient Tower expansion project this fall. Phase II is construction of the tower's top seven floors, which will consist of private patient rooms including 14 VIP rooms and two VIP suites.
COUNTDOWN: The International Roundtable this morning (6/24) counts down to decisions on the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas. Panelists are Manuel A. Mencia, senior vice president for international trade and development for Enterprise Florida; Ambler H. Moss Jr., who sits of the board of advisers of Florida FTAA Inc. and is an of counsel at Greenberg Traurig; Harold E. "Ed" Patricoff Jr. of the Jay Malina International Trade Consortium, an attorney with Shutts & Bowen; and Dominique Virchaux, trustee of Florida FTAA Inc. and managing partner at Virchaux & Partners. The breakfast, sponsored by BankUnited and Miami Today, starts at 7:30 a.m. at the JW Marriott, 1109 Brickell Ave. Details: Claudia Fernandez, (305) 358-1008.