Miami-Dade Business Briefs - May 2010
Coral Gables —
» The National Institutes of Health gave the University of Miami $14.8 million to build a 37,700-sq.-ft. neuroscience and health annex on its campus. There, researchers from the medical school and the College of Arts and Sciences will use advanced imaging equipment to track brain functions.
» Bank of Coral Gables signed a consent order with the FDIC and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, agreeing to assess the quality of its management, improve the board of directors' oversight of the bank, reduce troubled loans and revise its lending practices.
» A Miami-Dade Circuit judge granted the Keys Gate Homeowners Association what is being called a landmark "reverse foreclosure," forcing a bank to rapidly complete a foreclosure process and take title to a home in the development — as well as responsibility for maintenance and association fees. The association, which had taken title on the home when its owner failed to pay association dues, waived its rights to the property and its right to public sale. The court then issued a certificate of title the same day to the bank, which had been in the foreclosure process for 2½ years.
» Kendall Construction filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation, buckling under the weight of some 77 lawsuit claims related to Chinese drywall.
Key West —
» Conch Harbor Retail Center, owned by Craig Hunt, purchased the Conch Harbor Marina and Retail Center for an undisclosed price. The center has 40 boat slips for sale and rent and a 200-foot fueling dock.
» Opko Health (AMEX-OPK) paid $4 million in cash and shares to acquire Mexican pharmaceutical company Pharmacos Exakta.
» Carnival Corp. (NYSE-CCL) signed a preliminary contract with Italian ship builder Fincantieri to build two 3,600-passenger ships for its Princess Cruises brand. The ships will be its largest ever and will cost approximately $760 million each.
» Home builder Lennar Corp. (NYSE-LEN) closed a deal to acquire more than 2,700 home sites in Florida from Starwood Land Ventures. The sites are part of the former holdings of TOUSA, which Starwood had acquired at auction. Lennar also bought a 40% interest in a company that will hold some 5,500 distressed residential and commercial loans from failed banks. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. owns the other 60% of the company.
» Regulators seized Premier American Bank, triggering an $85-million loss for the FDIC. Bond Street Bank of Naples acquired Premier.
» The city is predicting a budget shortfall of as much as $45 million this year.
» Shareholders approved the merger of Benihana (Nasdaq-BNHN) with its BHI Mergersub subsidiary.
Miami Beach —
» A partnership led by Miami-based Savitar Realty Advisors paid $21.5 million to buy Lincoln Road's historic Lincoln Theatre from the New World Symphony. Plans call for the theater to be converted into retail stores.
» Lender Credit Suisse took possession of the 334-room Gansevoort South hotel from an affiliate of the Gansevoort Hotel Group. The group, which still owns the Gansevoort in New York, also lost the contract to manage the hotel to Naples-based Coral Hospitality.
» The Miami-Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce opened an LGBT Visitor Center inside its new headquarters in the city's historic Old City Hall in South Beach; it is the first such visitor center in the nation.
» Burger King Corp. (NYSE:-BKC) opened its first restaurant in Russia, under the auspices of franchisee Burger Rus. The company also opened a new Whopper Bar in South Beach; the restaurant is open 24 hours a day and is Burger King’s first in the U.S. to serve beer. [Photo: Paul Morris]
» Jackson Health System, the county's public health trust, lost $203.8 million in fiscal 2009 and projects $229 million in losses this year. The system could run out of operating cash by this month.
» Visa will expand its operations in the county this year with a new customer service center at its Latin America and Caribbean headquarters, creating more than 350 jobs.
» A group of local non-profits received an $89-million federal stimulus grant to rehabilitate some 1,200 foreclosed homes and apartments and rent or sell them to low-income families. It was the largest such grant in the state.
» The Army Corp. of Engineers repermitted rock mining in western parts of the county, despite a federal appeals court decision that previous permits appeared to have been issued illegally.
North Miami —
» Residential development Biscayne Landing LLC lost a $38.3 million foreclosure judgment and will be sold at public auction. The 188-acre project is the largest east of I-95 in the tri-county area.
Sunny Isles Beach —
» The Related Group sold the 460 unsold units at its Trump Towers project to former partners in the project, Dezer Properties. Dezer also assumed the remaining debt on the property.