Taking the First Blow
MIAMI-DADE -- Before heading up the Gulf Coast, Hurricane Katrina swept through south Florida as a Category 1 storm, leaving more than a half-million homes without power, some for as long as a week, and killing four people. Miami-Dade officials estimate countywide cleanup and infrastructure repair would cost $100 million.
AVENTURA -- The upscale Aventura Mall has announced plans to add 200,000 square feet by mid-2007. The plan also includes a long-term deal for a Nordstrom department store -- which would make it the sixth to open in south Florida since 2000.
CORAL GABLES -- Northwestern University's prestigious Kellogg School of Management will open a Coral Gables campus with classes beginning in January for its executive MBA program.
The University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies will launch a fast-track program to prepare nursing instructors starting in January. The program, aided by a $1.28-million state grant, is designed to help the school expand enrollment by increasing the number of clinicians qualified to teach.
Commercial real estate developer Armando Codina, chairman and CEO of Coral Gables-based Codina Group and a one-time business partner of Gov. Jeb Bush, has been named to Merrill Lynch's board of directors.
HIALEAH -- After more than 50 years in operation, the Hialeah Speedway has ceased operations, giving way to a 300,000-sq.-ft. retail development.
Raul Martinez, the first Cuban-born mayor of a major Florida city, has announced he will not seek re-election, ending a 24-year tenure as chief executive of Miami-Dade's second-largest city. Martinez enjoys enormous popularity in this Cuban-American stronghold, but aspirations for higher office early in his career were dashed by a lengthy battle over corruption allegations. He was acquitted of all charges.
KEY WEST -- Two Key West beaches made the state's list of the 10 most frequently closed due to high levels of bacteria, according to a report from The Natural Resources Defense Council. On average, Higgs Beach and South Beach
were closed more than one out of every five days last year, mostly due to sewage runoff.
MIAMI -- Terremark (AMEX-TWW), a Miami internet infrastructure company, bought Dedigate, a privately held European-managed dedicated hosting provider, in exchange for 1.6 million shares of Terremark's common stock, which trades for about $7 a share.
Miami ranks as the third most expensive city in the U.S. for individual health insurance, according to a new study by eHealthinsurance Services. Only New York and Boston -- where laws guarantee access to health insurance -- have higher costs. Miami has no such laws.
LNR Capital Corp., the financing and investment spinoff of homebuilder Lennar, has announced plans for a $750-million IPO, returning the company to the New York Stock Exchange just six months after being taken private in a $3.8-billion deal.
Aircraft maintenance provider Miami Tech Line Maintenance plans to expand its operations at Miami International Airport, adding more than 200 to its existing workforce of about 50 over the next three years.
MIAMI BEACH -- In what may be the largest single residential construction loan in south Florida, WSG Development Co. has closed on a $386-million loan deal for its Canyon Ranch Living, a six-acre oceanfront high-rise project due for completion in 2006.
MIAMI-DADE -- County officials say Miami-Dade's total property tax roll increased 16.5% last year to about $170 billion, the highest jump in nearly 30 years.
The county's plan for the much-anticipated east-west and north spurs of the elevated Metrorail public transportation system received a boost when federal lawmakers included funding for the $2.2-billion project in the recent highway and transit bill. The bill also earmarks up to $50 million for a proposed streetcar line in downtown Miami.
Construction is under way on the first-ever hotel adjacent to Kendall-Tamiami Airport. County officials say the Holiday Inn Express signals the airport's growing importance as a link to Miami-Dade's fast-growing southern fringes.