Inequality: The ‘prosperity gap' in Miami
A loss of higher-paying jobs, employment gains focused on lower-wage work and a variety of rising economic barriers have led to declining economic opportunity, mobility and equity in much of Miami-Dade County. This prosperity gap threatens the region’s economy, according to the “Prosperity Initiatives Feasibility Study,” a product of Florida International University Metropolitan Center. The report found that before 2007, income inequality was shrinking but since 2008 nearly every economic indicator reversed direction for county households in most income brackets.
Innovation: A Full Tank
Brandon Timinsky and Barret Hammond were already successful entrepreneurs before they started GasNinjas, an app that enables customers to order gas that’s delivered right into their car’s tank. The company’s technology processes orders and automatically creates routes for drivers, factoring in distance, traffic and load. Timinsky has founded a web design firm, a social media marketing firm, two real estate technology businesses and an auto parts business. Hammond co-founded a skincare company, an apparel company and a phone accessory company.
CORAL GABLES — Coral Gables-based coffee shop Pasion del Cielo is expanding with four new locations in Miami-Dade.
DORAL — Visa opened its Miami Innovation Center, its fourth such center in the world. The Miami center will serve Latin America, giving financial institutions and merchants a space to work with software developers on new payment technologies.
MEDLEY — Door and window manufacturer Eco Window Systems will double the size of its headquarters, warehouse and distribution facility when it moves into a 149,980-sq.-ft. building.
MIAMI — Tri-Rail trains will roll into All Aboard Florida’s MiamiCentral station, bringing the commuter rail downtown, after the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority’s governing board accepted an agreement among the local agencies that will pay for the project.
Qatar-based Al Rayyan Tourism Investment paid $64.5 million to buy the Viceroy Miami Hotel downtown from Peddlebrook Hotel Trust. The hotel has been renamed W Miami and joined Starwood Hotels & Resorts. The first hotel at the mixed-use Brickell City Centre opened. The East Miami is the first East hotel to open in the U. S. Japanese-based Sumitomo Corporation of America purchased the 47-story Miami Tower from Jones Lang LaSalle for $220 million. The I.M. Pei-designed building is known for its colorful exterior lights.
IContainers, a Miamibased logistics company that automates freight forwarding via its web platform, received $6.7 million in a funding round led by Serena Capital. The company, which has a co-headquarters in Spain and calls itself an Expedia for cargo, has a total of $9 million in funding and will use the money to hire more employees.
SkyRoad International, a French company that uses technology to provide logistical support for airline travelers, will open its U.S. headquarters in Miami, with plans to hire about 90 people. Miami Gardens-based St. Thomas University will open a downtown campus this fall to house the Gus Machado School of Business’ cybersecurity management and trade and logistics management graduate programs. City commissioners approved a $115-million subsidy package for MDM Group to develop a downtown expo center and hotel as part of the Miami Worldcenter development. However, the developer is still seeking other concessions before it begins construction. Financial technology company Next Group Holdings is acquiring telecom marketing firm Tel3. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Next also announced a joint venture with Global Payment Solutions.
MIAMI BEACH — The Iberostar Berkeley will be one of Madridbased Iberostar Hotels & Resorts’ first two U.S. hotels when it opens in December. Miami Beach-based Mount Sinai Medical Center plans to open three outpatient clinics next year, in Miami Midtown, North Miami Beach and Miami Shores. It also plans a freestanding emergency department in Hialeah.
MIAMI-DADE — Royal Caribbean’s giant Oasisclass cruise ships will dock at PortMiami in a deal between the county and Royal Caribbean that will include building one of the biggest cruise terminals in the world. The port has been unable to host 6,000- plus passenger ships.
Canadian trucking company Liaison CAN/ US Logistics opened its U. S. headquarters next to Miami International Airport. General Electric will expand its Miami facility, adding 30 jobs in digital operations focused on the company’s Latin American network and delivery systems.
OPA-LOCKA — Gov. Rick Scott declared a financial emergency in the city, calling for a special oversight board to take over the city’s finances. City government is on the brink of bankruptcy, and the FBI is investigating several city leaders for corruption.
Swire Properties President Stephen Owens will retire in January, after the first phase of the company’s Brickell City Centre is complete. Kieran Bowers, general manager of parent company Swire Pacific’s Hong Kong development, will succeed Owens, who will join the company’s board.
SunTrust promoted Manny Perdomo to chairman, president and CEO of SunTrust in south Florida. He had been senior commercial credit risk manager for the region. He replaces Margaret Callihan.