Miami-Dade Business Briefs - Sept. 2004
Miami -- Under a deal approved by county commissioners, the Army Corps of Engineers will begin dredging the Miami River next month. Brett Bibeau, Miami River Commission managing director, says the river has accumulated so much silt that cargo ships must enter and leave on high tide and cannot be fully loaded. The $75-million project will be paid for with federal, state and local money and take three years to complete.
Miami has the highest percentage of foreign-born residents of any large city in the world, according to a recent U.N. report. With an immigrant population of 59%, Miami tops Toronto, with 44%, and Los Angeles, with 41%.
Mobis Parts America, a subsidiary of Korean automaker Hyundai, has selected Miami for its new Latin American headquarters. Mobis, Korea's largest auto parts manufacturer, will create 30 jobs locally within the next three years.
Faced with mounting losses and complaints about security-screening delays at Miami International Airport, Spain's Iberia airlines has announced it will close its Miami hub. Passenger volume will be cut in half to about 200,000 a year. The airline will maintain its Miami-based North American headquarters, but 74 jobs -- mostly flight attendant positions -- will be eliminated.
Cargo carrier Arrow Air has emerged from bankruptcy with a group of new owners that includes the Miami leveraged buyout firm Trivest Inc. Arrow Air is the dominant carrier in the Miami-Latin America cargo market, employing about 500.
Nihon Kohden, a Japanese maker of electric medical equipment, plans to move its North American headquarters to Miami.
New York developer Shaya Boymelgreen and Tel Aviv-based Africa-Israel Investments have announced a partnership to develop six projects in downtown Miami, much of it within the Performing Arts Center district. The $1.2-billion plan includes a 55-story condominium, a boutique hotel and other projects on 25 parcels of downtown land, much of it recently acquired from parking lot magnate Hank Sopher.
Miami-Dade -- Concerns about Miami-Dade's ability to pull off a smooth election resurfaced in July after the county's Department of Elections first reported that two computer crashes last year wiped out recent election records then said the audits were later found on a computer and CD in a filing cabinet.
County commissioners gave the go-ahead for construction of Kendall Town Center, a 160-acre project by the Rouse Co. that supporters say will provide a commercial focus to the sprawling West Kendall area of Miami-Dade. The project will include a medical center, movie theater, bowling alley, community center, game room and senior living facility. Opening is planned for late 2006.
An internal audit has revealed that Jackson Memorial Hospital wrote off $50 million in outpatient charges last year as a result of administrative errors related to billing. The figure represents about 10% of all out-patient charges at Miami-Dade's only public medical center.
Boston Scientific, which makes stents and other medical devices, has announced plans for an $11.6-million expansion to its west Miami-Dade manufacturing facility. The expansion will allow the firm to add about 120 to its current workforce of 800.
FedEx's new $50-million, 23-acre Miami Gateway Hub has opened at Miami International Airport, allowing the Memphis, Tenn.-based shipper to double the number of packages it processes to about 40,000 per day. The expansion created 300 jobs.