Miami-Dade Business Briefs - December 2010
CORAL GABLES — MasTec signed a $296-million contract to engineer and build a cellulosic ethanol facility for Irvine, Calif.-based BlueFire Renewables.
» The City Commission approved zoning rules that will allow the University of Miami to build a 1-million-sq.-ft. mixed-use center, including an outpatient medical center that could be as large as 225,000 square feet.
CUBA — The Cuban government plans to lay off 10% of its payroll — 500,00 workers — and will permit more private businesses in hopes of expanding non-government employment.
DORAL — Private equity fund New Boston Fund paid an undisclosed amount for the 281,623-sq.-ft. One Park Square office tower. Seller Shoma Development has a minority stake in the new ownership group and will help finish the project. Shortly after the purchase, travel technology company Amadeus signed a lease to move its North American headquarters from elsewhere in the county into 105,000 square feet at the park — the largest new office transaction in the county to date in 2010.
MIAMI — The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $22 million to the Port of Miami to restore a rail line at the port. The line will enable cargo to be moved to an inland distribution center, alleviating traffic congestion in and around the port.
» Condo sales in metro Miami rose 36% in September from the same month in 2009 while existing-home sales fell 6%.
» A new Publix will open in downtown Miami in early 2012, as part of a 57,200-sq.-ft. retail project developed by Fort Lauderdale-based Stiles Corp.
» Daya Medicals is moving its corporate office from Boca Raton to a 15,000-sq.-ft. space in the under-development University of Miami Life Science & Technology Park. The company is developer Wexford Science & Technology's first new-to-market tenant.
» A group led by Miami-based Air Capital Group paid $5 million at a bankruptcy auction to purchase jet engine maintenance company AeroThrust Corp. and all of its facilities.
» Lennar Corp. acquired $740 million of distressed real estate assets in 17 states in three separate transactions, for a total of around 306 properties and 397 loans.
» Palm Beach-based WhaLou Properties paid $37.8 million for Mayfair in the Grove, a 264,153-sq.-ft. open-air office and retail center in Coconut Grove. It had been owned by lender Deutsche Bank Securities after a foreclosure lawsuit.
» Equipment rental company Neff Rental emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a restructuring sponsored by private investment funds.
» Mobile phone distributor Brightstar Corp. acquired Buffalo Grove, Ill.-based OTBT, which will allow Brightstar to enter the U.S. mobile phone activation business.
» AerSale acquired 19 Boeing 747-400 series passenger aircraft from Japan Air Lines and plans to use them to become a provider of after-market engines and material for the aircraft.
» A company managed by developer Jose Milton paid $4.05 million for the incomplete 11-story La Veredita Tower condominiums near the new Florida Marlins baseball park. Spanish bank Caja de Ahorros de Galicia was the seller.
» An affiliate of The Related Group sold the 300-unit Palm Lake Apartments complex for $15 million to California-based non-profit Rainbow Housing Assistance Corp.
» Annapolis, Md.-based Grove Hotel Partners, which leases the 50-room Grove Isle Hotel and Spa, has stopped paying rent to the property's owner, Coconut Grove-based HMG/Courtland Properties.
» Private equity group Miami Icon Hotel Room paid $5.1 million for 15 units, totaling about 15,200 square feet, at the Icon Brickell condominium.
» The Miami Parking Authority agreed to let a non-profit created by BVK/Meka CEO Herman Echevarria take over management of the struggling Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts. The city commission must still approve the deal.
» Discovery Networks Latin America/U.S. Hispanic plans to add some 40 jobs and invest $5 million in expanding its headquarters during the next three years.
» Hyperion Onyx Partners won title at a foreclosure auction to 40 units at the failed Onyx on the Bay condominium project. Hyperion Development Group, out of whose offices Hyperion Onyx operates, owned the debt on the units.
MIAMI LAKES — BankUnited purchased a small-business lender from Butler Capital Corp. and a municipal leasing business from Koch Financial Corp., for an undisclosed amount. The two companies will be based in Maryland and Arizona.
OPA-LOCKA — Banyan Air Services, which operates out of Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, signed a 20-year, $40-million lease for 135,000 square feet at AVE Aviation & Commerce Center.