Brief includes chart about Miami-Dade population
Miami-Dade County population:
|Source: University of Florida Bureau of Economic and Business Research; 2009 figure as of April 1.|
» The University of Miami became the state's top-rated college in U.S. News & World Report's annual "Best Colleges in America" issue, rising to No. 47; the University of Florida, which had long been the state's top-ranked school, was close behind at No. 53.
DORAL — Fuel distributor World Fuel Services is acquiring Minnesota-based Western Petroleum for between $95 million and $115 million.
HOMESTEAD — The Indy Racing League, which has held its season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the last two years and held races there since 2001, announced it will not hold a race at the speedway in 2011. Daytona Beach-based International Speedway Corp. owns the speedway. NASCAR will continue to hold its championship weekend at Homestead.
MEDLEY — An affiliate of San Francisco-based real estate investment trust AMB Property paid $66.8 million to buy the Palmetto Distribution Center from TA Associates Realty of Boston. The property includes 852,895 square feet of industrial space and 1.23 undeveloped acres.
MIAMI — Germany-based Erba Diagnostics Mannheim purchased 72% of Ivax Diagnostics for about $15 million, or 75 cents per share. Erba bought the shares from a group controlled by Ivax Chairman Patrice Debregeas and board member Paul Kennedy, its one-time CEO. Both companies make and distribute in-vitro diagnostic test kits.
» An affiliate of private equity firm H.I.G. Capital closed a loan fund focused on distressed companies with total commitments of $1.1 billion. H.I.G. Bayside Loan Opportunity Fund II will invest in the obligations of "stressed and distressed" companies in the U.S. and Europe.
» In separate transactions, three different companies purchased 14 units in the Epic West condominium in downtown for a total of $5.5 million.
» Rilea Group's 35-story office tower, 1450 Brickell, became Miami's first new office tower to receive final gold-level certification from the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
» Continucare Corp., through its Seredor Corp. subsidiary, acquired south Florida-based United Sleep Diagnostics. Continucare also acquired Precision Diagnostic Services, which operates 47 sleep diagnostic centers, and SleepEasy Therapeutics, a medical device distributor.
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY — The Port of Miami plans to spend $46.9 million to refurbish and put back into service a rail track leading from the port to the Florida East Coast Railway Hialeah Railyard, a major rail cargo hub near Miami International Airport. The project is part of a larger port overhaul plan in anticipation of a new highway tunnel under Biscayne Bay and a dredging project to ensure the port harbor can accommodate "Post-Panamax" vessels. The projects should be completed by the end of 2014.
» Mobile phone distributor Brightstar Corp. moved its Latin American and Caribbean distribution hub to a larger facility in the Beacon Lakes Business Park from elsewhere in the county.
» The county announced next year's $7.3-billion budget, which includes a pay hike for county employees and trims just 1% of the county's operating budget while increasing the property tax rate by 14.63%. The county property appraiser estimates that around 40% of properties — and 60% of homesteaded properties — will see their taxes rise under the proposal.
Royal Palm Hotel
MIAMI LAKES — BankUnited announced its first major expansion since a private equity firm acquired it in 2009, opening a loan office in Orlando and applying to open six branches, in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Hollywood, Miami Beach and Miami.
MIAMI GARDENS — Discover Financial Services is the new title sponsor of the college football Bowl Championship Series' Orange Bowl, naming it the Discover Orange Bowl. The agreement, which goes through the 2014 game, comes three months after FedEx dropped its 21-year association with the game.
NORTH MIAMI BEACH — Real estate investment trust Equity One acquired the 100,220-sq.-ft. Country Walk Plaza in Miami for $27.8 million, the 99,864-sq.-ft. Westbird Plaza in Miami for $17.6 million and the 151,238-sq.-ft. Pablo Plaza in Jacksonville for $19.3 million.