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Miami-Dade In the News - July 2005

BAL HARBOUR -- The Sheraton Bal Harbour Hotel, once one of south Florida's most recognizable tourist destinations, will be demolished next year to make way for condominiums and a hotel/condo. The project is a joint venture between Miami developer Jorge Perez of The Related Group and New York-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

CORAL GABLES -- After hinting that it may move from the only home it has known since its founding in 1954, Burger King has announced it will remain in Miami-Dade but will relocate from the Blue Lagoon area near the airport to a new facility being planned in Coral Gables. The company, which is owned by an investment group led by Texas Pacific Group of Fort Worth, will receive an incentive package from the county and state valued at $8.68 million.

MIAMI -- Delta Air Lines will outsource much of its maintenance operations for its MD-88 and MD-90 airliners to Miami-based Avborne Heavy Maintenance. The company says the contract will result in about 200 new jobs, increasing its local workforce to 900.

The Brazilian government will build its Brazilian Distribution Center for the United States in Miami, which will allow small and medium-sized Brazilian exporters to set up low-cost operations here in hopes of gaining access to U.S. buyers.

Construction will begin this fall on a $7.6-million project to refurbish an eight-block stretch of Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami. Planners hope the pedestrian-friendly design connecting the AmericanAirlines Arena to the new Performing Arts Center complex will lead to a lively nightlife with shops and cafes opening in this long-neglected downtown neighborhood.FLORIDA TRENDLINE: SlippingIn 1970, Miami-Dade County ranked seventh among Florida's 67 counties with per capita income of $4,555 (in current dollars). By 1990, it had fallen to 15th with per capita income of $18,605. Its rank is expected to continue falling:
Miami-Dade Income1990200020152030Per capita income*$18,605$26,093$40,533$73,411State rank15202325*In current dollars.
Source: Woods & Poole Economics, 2004

MIAMI-DADE -- In its first major venture into real estate development, the University of Miami has announced plans to build a 1,200-home community on a large swath of land it owns in south Miami-Dade near the Miami Metrozoo. University officials say the project, which will include a school, public library, shops and parks, will serve as a model for sustainable suburban development following the design principles of New Urbanism.

The county's military industry accounts for 24,000 jobs (up 20% from 2000) and contributes $1.5 billion to the local economy, up more than 50% in four years, according to a Beacon Council report. The increases are attributed largely to expansions at Homestead Air Reserve Base.

Miami-Dade ranks second among the nation's 51 largest metropolitan areas for the amount of vacation time workers elect not to use. Only Newark, N.J., ranks higher. The study, commissioned by Universal Orlando, found that in general residents who live in and around tourist destinations are more likely to work instead of using their paid vacation time. The city whose residents are most likely to take time off: Sacramento, Calif.

After four years of contentious relations with the Miami-Dade School Board, a state-appointed oversight board has been dissolved by the Legislature. The oversight board was created in response to wasteful spending, insider deals and other abuses in the school board's construction and maintenance programs.

Toronto-based Farelogix, a provider of software and other technological support to the travel industry, is moving its headquarters to Miami-Dade. The move is expected to create 25 jobs in the county.

NORTH MIAMI BEACH -- Paul Maison de Qualité -- widely regarded as France's premier bread maker -- has opened its first U.S. store here. The bakery/cafe is the first of a planned 30 in Florida and more than 100 nationwide. The company, founded in 1889, has more than 300 stores throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

SUNNY ISLES BEACH -- London-based Le Meridien hotels has opened its first Florida resort property here, a 210-room hotel that's part of a major worldwide expansion for the resort operator.