Miami-Dade County Business Briefs - Aug. 2004
Coral Gables -- Citing a desire to be closer to pools of high-tech talent in Broward and Palm Beach counties, Equitrac Corp. is relocating from Coral Gables to Plantation in south Broward. Equitrac produces hardware and software that helps firms track office automation expenses such as printing, faxing and copying. The company employs about 100 at its Coral Gables headquarters.
Key West -- High-speed catamaran service has begun between Miami and Key West. The 149-passenger PurrSeaverance, which can reach speeds of 50 mph, runs three- to four-hour round trips Thursday through Sunday.
Miami -- Lennar Corp.'s new condominium division, Lennar Developers Inc., has four south Florida high-rise projects in the works: The Grand and Colonnade in Kendall and 360? and Casa Marina in North Bay Village.
Kos Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq-KOSP) plans to move its headquarters from Miami's Brickell Avenue to Cranbury, N.J. Most of the firm's 40 Miami employees will be transferred. Executives say proximity to Princeton University and other biotech firms will enhance recruitment possibilities.
Miami-Dade -- Plans have resumed for two new hospitals in the fast-growing West Kendall area. A judge ruled that a rival facility, Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, failed to show why it would be harmed by expansions by Kendall Regional Medical Center and Baptist Health South Florida.
Nearly 40% of Miami-Dade public school students will be eligible to transfer to other schools -- far more than administrators had expected -- because their neighborhood school failed to meet federal standards under the No Child Left Behind program.
A draft report by the Miami-Dade Independent Review Panel investigating allegations of police misconduct during the Free Trade Area of the Americas conference in Miami in November concludes that demonstrators' civil rights were violated and that in some cases police reacted with unnecessary force. The report characterized Miami as a "police state" during much of the conference. Local officials continue to describe the police response as appropriate and a "model" for other cities to follow.
Citing improved customer service and an aggressive expansion program, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce has bestowed its annual Cutting Edge Award to Fort Lauderdale-based BankAtlantic Bancorp. Nabi Biopharmaceuticals (Nasdaq-NABI) and nutritional supplement maker Garden of Life were runners-up.
Two Spanish companies have set up recently in Miami: Barcelona's Envases Del Valles, which makes packaging products for the food industry, and COPCA Business Platform, a firm that promotes trade and business opportunities in the Catalan region of northern Spain.
The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce has reported an "internal loss" of close to $1.5 million, leading chamber officials to request an investigation by the State Attorney's Office into possible fraud charges.
Singapore-based Tanker Pacific has selected Miami for its hemispheric headquarters, where it will oversee operations in North and South America. The company, which expects to hire 30 locally, specializes in oil tanker transportation and offshore petroleum storage.
More than 40% of Latin American business executives believe Miami is best suited to serve as capital of a hemispheric free trade area, according to a survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the business information arm of Economist magazine publisher The Economist Group.
Miami Beach -- Developer R. Donahue Peebles plans to convert about a quarter of the 160-room Royal Crowne Plaza Resort into timeshare units. The South Beach property has been billed as the first black-owned convention hotel in the nation.
MIAMI-DADE -- Three of the four largest Hispanic-owned companies in the U.S. are based in Miami-Dade, according to Hispanic Business magazine: Cell phone equipment exporter Brightstar Corp., developer The Related Group of Florida and telecom contractor Mastec (NYSE-MTZ). Topping the list is Colorado-based Burt Automotive Network.