MIAMI TICKETS RISING: Miami commissioners approved an increase of surcharges on admissions to events at some city facilities, said Daniel Newhoff, assistant to the director of the Conferences, Conventions and Public Facilities Department. The surcharge is to increase to $2 Oct. 1 from $1 for tickets costing more than $30.00. Mr. Newhoff said the surcharge will jump for events at James L. Knight Center, concerts at Coconut Grove Expo Center and non-University of Miami events at the Orange Bowl. The city's surcharge revenue last year was $190,000. It's expected to jump to $260,000 this year.
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JOB CREATION: Up to 115 jobs could be generated in Miami-Dade County following the July 7 approval of financial incentives totaling $180,000. County commissioners OK'd $30,000 in tax breaks to a technical company that aims to bring 50 jobs with an average annual salary of $67,333. A vitamins distributor received a $150,000 supplement it plans to use to create 65 jobs with an average annual salary of $18,000. Miami foods business LEASA Industries Co. must wait until Aug. 23 to learn if the commission will grant it $2,315 to generate 30 jobs.
ANOTHER SHUTDOWN: The Metromover system is to be shut down Saturday and Sunday for the second weekend in a row as officials replace what they call obsolete computers. Service is to resume at 7 p.m. Sunday.
TRADE MISSIONS: Enterprise Florida is sponsoring two marketing missions to Latin America. On Sept. 11, staff members and Florida business representatives will go to Sao Paulo, Brazil, for four days. On Sept. 25, a mission will head to Monterrey and Mexico City. "In both trips, we will be focusing in selling products in information technology, telecommunications, auto parts, airport equipment and pharmaceuticals," said Manny Mencia, the economic development agency's senior vice president for international trade. Details: Julie Balzano, (305) 569-2686.
COUNTY GOVERNANCE: A mission statement and performance criteria form part of a plan for more effective governance endorsed July 7 by the Miami-Dade County Commission. The board adopted the Governing for Results ordinance intended to provide more effective and respected stewardship. The ordinance implements measures for strategic and business planning, allocation of county resources and the establishment of guidelines for managerial accountability and performance.
CHRISTMAS IN JULY: The Miami City Commission has approved purchase of a 50-foot holiday tree for Bayfront Park, 301 N Biscayne Blvd. The five-year contract with Christmas Designers Inc. includes purchase, installation, removal, bulb replacement and storage for a total contract amount not to exceed $178,584.31.
CULTURAL CENTER CONTRACT: The Tower Group has won a contract to build the $36 million South Miami-Dade Cultural Center arts center after Miami-Dade County approved the award July 7 and waived competitive bidding and protest procedures. The company submitted the only complete bid received by the county's Department of Cultural Affairs to build the center but came in over budget. Cost savings of $2 million have been negotiated with the contractor.
LAND SETTLEMENT: The Miami-Dade County Commission is authorizing settlement in eminent domain proceedings for 330 feet of land it said is required for the improvement of Northwest 107th Avenue. The county three years ago identified the parcel in unincorporated Miami-Dade.
TRAFFIC DIRECTING: The Miami-Dade County Commission has approved a study of traffic-signaling needs in Miami Lakes. Commissioners approved a study at Miami Lakes Drive and East Ludlam Road, or Northwest 67th Avenue, near the Publix supermarket.
PORT CONSTRUCTION: Consideration of a $75 million loan, $40 million earmarked for cruise terminals at the Port of Miami, has been deferred until Aug. 16. The Miami-Dade County Commission voted July 7 to send the package of financing to the Community Empowerment & Economic Revitalization Committee. The portion dedicated to port construction relates to Terminals D and E, scheduled to be complete by the end of the year.
HOME BASE: Miami-Dade County is the "right place" for the US Southern Command, Army Gen. John Craddock, Southcom's commander, said last week to the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce governors and trustees. The lease on Southcom's building on Northwest 91st Avenue will expire in 2008. Gen. Craddock said he wants Southcom's headquarters to remain in the area because of its ties to Latin America.
KEY TO FINANCING: A Brickell Key company has unlocked $6.8 million for a mixed-use development in Miami's Design District. Cohen Financial secured a loan for Flagler Holding Group to construct The Boulevard - a 127-unit project at Northeast 34th Street and Biscayne Boulevard. Total cost of the development, to include 16,000 square feet of retail, is more than $60 million. FLOWER POWER: A hybrid orchid named after Miami-Dade County's mayor is to be presented Friday to Carlos Alvarez at a ceremony in Homestead. Orchid expert Martin Motes is to give the Vanda Mayor Carlos Alvarez to the mayor at the University of Florida's Tropical Research and Education Center, 18905 SW 280th St. The bloom is sister to this year's winner at the 18th annual World Orchid Conference in Dijon, France.
HEADED FOR THE DEPOT: Steve Sauls, who has been chief of staff to Florida International University President Mitch Maidique and vice president for governmental relations, will head to Office Depot in Delray Beach on Aug. 1 as vice president for corporate affairs for the Fortune 150 corporation. He says he'll move north but keep a residence on Miami Beach. He's been at FIU for 14 years.
BACK IN BANKING: Adolfo Henriques, who stepped down this year as CEO of the southern region of Union Planters/Regions Bank to become president and CEO of rail and real estate giant Florida East Coast Industries, has been named to the board of directors of U.S. Century Bank, the bank announced Tuesday. Jose Cancela, a 2004 Miami-Dade County mayoral candidate who was a senior executive with Univision and Telemundo and now is a principal of Hispanic U.S.A. Inc., also joined the board of the Miami bank.
BAY HARBOR MAY GROW: The planning and zoning board of Bay Harbor Islands last week approved two mid-rises that could add 37 housing units. Charlie Cangianelli, chief building official, said eight projects in Bay Harbor Islands now have the go-ahead for construction drawings. Newly approved are Millenium West, a seven-story, 25-unit development at 9400-9420 W Bay Harbor Drive, and Beau Rivage, a seven-story, 12-unit building at 9781 E Bay Harbor Drive.
FINANCING FOR ARTS: The Miami Performing Arts Center is closer to receiving $10.5 million in funds from Miami-Dade County after the commission authorized a $71 million loan July 7 for a number of projects. Commissioners adopted an ordinance to request financing from the Sunshine State Governmental Financing Commission. The $10.5 million for the arts center will fund the purchase of fixtures, fittings and equipment. Another beneficiary, the Carol City Community Center, gets $6 million.
SPANISH ROYALTY: The Miami Performing Arts Center has entered an agreement with the Spanish equivalent of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. President Michael Hardy told a meeting of the center's trust Tuesday that terms had been reached with la Sociedad General de Autores y Editores for the collection of royalties for performances at the space set to be completed Aug. 4, 2006.
CHRISTMAS LIGHTS: Thousands of revelers are expected to see the light at a Miami Performing Arts Center party Dec. 2 scheduled to coincide with Art Basel. The ballet opera house and symphony hall are to be illuminated at the Lighting the House event. "It will be an external sound and light show," said President Michael Hardy, "with commissions from artists that will involve projections on the outside of the building and a parade through the streets of the blocks nearby. We expect a minimum attendance of about 5,000 people."
RETAIL-OFFICE DEAL: Pinecrest Realty Associates bought Southpark Centre, an 89,000-square-foot mixed-used retail and office site at 12651 S Dixie Highway, from Kenneth L. Shimm for more than $21.5 million. A 7,000-square-foot retail addition is under construction and will have a few vacancies, said David J. Donnellan, broker of the sale and first vice president at CB Richard Ellis. Rental rates for the Pinecrest property average $25 per square foot for retail space, $20 for offices.
AVENTURA PLANNING: Aventura will host a workshop to update the city's comprehensive master plan at 10 a.m. July 28 on the fifth floor of the government center, 19200 W Country Club Blvd. "We have to set down guidelines on traffic and redevelopment," said Commissioner Harry Holzberg. Aventura has a six-month building moratorium that is in effect until Dec. 7.
CANADA IN MIAMI: Canada's new consul general in Miami will be Marcia Grossman, now Canada's senior trade and investment commissioner in Dallas. She's to arrive Aug. 1 to replace Anthony Knill, who says he's returning to Ottawa for a role still under discussion.
DISNEY LAND CONFLICT: Residents of a housing complex in western Kendall hope their conflict with Walt Disney World Co. over construction of their homes will have a happy ending after hearing a trial is likely this fall. The 368 homeowners in Lakes of the Meadow Village have been in litigation with Disney, which developed the property, for nine years. The homes built in the mid-1980s were condemned as unsafe in 2002 by Miami-Dade County. Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Fredricka Smith is to decide when a trial can proceed.
CORRECTION: A June 23 article headlined, "New residents, construction explosion have banks expanding," inaccurately reported the number of Commercebank branches in Miami-Dade County. The bank has eight branches in the county.