CONDO CONSTRUCTION UP: South Florida developers will build 7,200 apartments and condominiums this year, according to projections by real estate research and brokerage company Marcus & Millichap. The units would represent a 3.5% increase in the construction of multifamily homes from last year. Infill development, low interest rates and a strong economy encourage growth in rentals and condos, Marcus & Millichap said in its June Apartment Research Report. The new residences are likely to carry higher price tags. South Florida rents are set to jump 2% this year to an average $981 per month. The median price of the region's condos rose 18% last year to about $68,000 and is expected to swell 6% to 8% more by December.
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ON THE BLOCK: Fisher Auction Co. of Pompano Beach will conduct an auction for Miami Arena at 1 p.m. Aug. 10 at the arena, 721 NW First Ave. Bidders must place a $3 million deposit. The live auction will start with developer Hank Sopher's $25 million offer. An hourlong seminar on bidding procedures will begin at 1 p.m. July 27 at the arena. Details: (800) 331-6620 or www.fisherauction.com.
ARENA LIVING: The 4.9-acre arena site could be redeveloped for condominiums, considering that the property has a dual high-density, multifamily zoning that allows for as many as 300 units per acre. The 347,177-square-foot facility was the Miami Heat's home for 11 seasons, the Florida Panthers' for six and the University of Miami Hurricanes men's basketball team's for 15 before all moved to newer venues.
OPA-LOCKA SALE: TY International Inc. has purchased a 38,337-square-foot industrial building at 3805 NW 132nd St. in Opa-locka for more than $1.8 million. Colliers International agent Ted Konigsberg, who represented the buyer, said the seller was Sincol US Inc. Details: (305) 260-3645.
LEGAL SPACE: Law firm Murray Marin & Herman is taking a seven-year lease for 5,510 square feet on the seventh floor of 255 Alhambra Circle in Coral Gables. American Ventures Realty Corp. represented landlord Blumberg-Alhambra Partners, and Kerdyk Real Estate represented the tenant. The value of the lease was not released. Details: (305) 446-2586.
BEACON LEASES: TNT USA, Synix International, BML Industries and New Age Electronics are leasing space in Miami's Beacon Centre in transactions announced this week by Codina Real Estate Services Inc., a division of Codina Group. In the largest deals, Codina brokers Jose I. Juncadella, David Spillers and George Pino - who represented landlord AMB in negotiations - said New Age Electronics took 31,975 square feet at 1419 NW 84th Ave. and Synix took 20,000 at 8400 NW 17th St. Neither company used a co-broker. Grubb & Ellis agent Richard Linevsky was broker for TNT in the lease of 17,791 square feet at 2250 NW 84th Ave., and Digiacomo Group represented BLM, which took 11,230 square feet at 2111 NW 84th Ave.
WESTSIDE FLIGHT: Air Jamaica leased 32,568 square feet of office space in Westside Plaza II, 8200 NW 33rd St., Miami, in another deal announced by Codina Group's real estate division. Richard R. Schuchts and Mr. Juncadella represented landlord Prudential Insurance in the transaction. Cushman & Wakefield represented the tenant. The lease and the four deals at Beacon Center were among more than 140,000 square feet in new transactions for Codina this month.
TRAVEL IN THE GABLES: Kerdyk Real Estate announced it has signed C&T Charters to a three-year lease at 932 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables. The travel-services firm will use about 2,200 square feet, said Kerdyk broker Barbara Tria, who said she represented landlord Flotek Industries and handled C&T's needs in the transaction.
STRAY BULLETS: The Rickia Isaac Foundation announced that Miami-Dade County Commission Chairwoman Barbara Carey-Shuler is to be on hand at the group's annual No More Stray Bullets Campaign press conference 10 a.m.-noon Friday in Gibson Park, 401 NW 12th St. The foundation is named for a girl killed by a random bullet and defines itself as a community effort to reduce violence against young people. Among activities planned Friday is confirmation of the foundation's annual contribution of $2,300 to fund rides for children in Upper Eastside Miami's Legion Park on July 4, said Bob Flanders, vice president of the Upper East Side Council. Details: (786) 295-3800.
SPANISH EXPANSIONS: Two Spanish organizations, COPCA Business Platform and EDV America Corp., will hire 13 workers and occupy 6,000 square feet of office space in Coral Gables, according to a statement from the Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County's economic development agency. COPCA, a promotion agency for Northern Spain, offers incentives to Spanish companies interested in renting office space in Miami-Dade. EDV America, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of food and beverage packaging, opened a sales office in Miami to reach Latin American clients.
SPANISH MISSION: COPCA, at Gables International Plaza, 2655 LeJeune Road, is a well-run organization that will expand as more Spanish businesses move into the area, said Mario Sacasa, Beacon Council senior vice president of international programs. The council is working with the head of COPCA to plan a mission to Spain in November to recruit companies that could bring professional jobs to Miami-Dade County, Mr. Sacasa said. Spanish companies have invested about $17 million here and are expected to bring 96 jobs in the next three years, according to Beacon Council statistics.
GOING FOR GREEN: Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jimmy Morales, faced with the prospect of using several ballot questions for passage of a proposed $2.75 billion General Obligation Bond, asked at a commission meeting how the City of Miami was able to use just one. City voters approved a $255 million neighborhood improvement bond on a 2001 ballot. First Assistant Miami-Dade County Attorney Murray Greenberg replied, "Yes, Miami did it. People go through red lights and don't get caught."
TECH CONFERENCE: Innovation Florida 2004 - a conference for technology companies, private investors, venture capitalists and financiers - is scheduled for Sept. 29 at the Ballroom at Church Street in Orlando. The conference will give startup tech companies an opportunity to showcase their firms and learn about venture-capital investment trends. The University of Central Florida Technology Incubator and the Central Florida Innovation Corp. are hosting the conference. Details: www.cfic.org.
ISRAELI OFFICE: Steel Hector & Davis is opening an office in Tel Aviv. The law firm said in won't compete with Israeli firms but will collaborate with the area's lawyers to help their clients with interests in Miami and Latin America. Steel Hector & Davis has more than 200 lawyers in five Florida offices and international offices in London; Caracas, Venezuela; S“o Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; and Buenos Aires, Argentina. BACK AT THE THROTTLE: Allen Harper today (7/1) begins his third term as chairman of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, formerly the Tri-County Commuter Rail Authority. He held the post in 1993 and again in 1996. This time, he will head the board of directors until 2005. The post is one of his three chairmanships. Last month, he became chairman of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. He also heads Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell Realtors. In 2002, he was chairman of the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority. He has served on the transportation authority since 1989 and owns two railroads, the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in Colorado and the Great Smoky Mount Railroad in North Carolina.
TOP ENTREPRENEURS: Ernst & Young presented the leaders of three area companies with Entrepreneur of the Year awards during a June 24 ceremony. Albert H. Nahmad of Watsco Inc. in Coconut Grove, Steven Hayworth of Gibraltar Bank in Coral Gables and Alex Aguila and Nelson Gonzalez of Alienware Corp. in Miami received awards in the distribution, financial-services and technology categories. H. Wayne Huizenga of Huizenga Holdings Inc. was given the Lifetime Achievement Honor. Details: www.ey.com.
BEACH BOSS BEST: The Florida League of Cities tapped Miami Beach City Manager Jorge Gonzalez as City Manager of the Year during a ceremony in Orlando on Sunday.
MIAMI WAVE: Miami International Airport's tropical pavers won the 2003 Concrete Pavement Design Award. The award, which is sponsored by two national concrete industry organizations, is given to high-profile residential, commercial and specialty concrete paving projects. The tropical pavers, known as Miami Wave, surround the Central Collection Plaza, where airport patrons pay their parking fees.
LIVE CREW: Rudolph Crew, newly appointed superintendent of Miami-Dade Public Schools, is to address the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce's monthly luncheon July 7, joining fellow guest speaker Raymond Cain, director of aviation at Florida Memorial College. Both are to discuss the role of education in developing African-American leadership. The meeting is set for noon in the ballroom of Radisson Miami Hotel, 1601 Biscayne Blvd. Details: firstname.lastname@example.org.
FEDEX EXPANDS: FedEx will expand its local operations this month with a new package-sorting center at Miami International Airport. The office, called the Gateway Hub, is set to open July 9 at 6100 NW 36th St.
OUT TO AFRICA: Lucio Amorim plans to leave the Brazilian consulate in Miami on July 22. Mr. Amorim, named Brazilian ambassador to South Africa in May, will move into his post in Pretoria, South Africa, on Aug. 6 after a two-week trip to Brazil. The Brazilian American Chamber of Commerce of Florida will have a cocktail reception July 8 at the Ocean Club in Key Biscayne to congratulate Mr. Amorim and thank him for his work as consul general in Miami. Details: www.brazilchamber.org.
MEETINGS MECCA: Miami is the second-most-popular US destination for UK agency meetings, according to a survey of UK business planners in Meetings & Incentive Travel magazine. The survey reflected the number of nights booked by UK planners in cities, states and resorts worldwide. Miami captured 5% of the total market for long-haul travel, which represents 27% of the UK's total travel market, the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau said in a statement. Details: www.miamimeetings.com.