by Mike Vogel
Updated 2 yearss ago
Broward County built it, but the players didn’t come. In 2007, Broward opened a $70-million regional park that included a $10-million cricket stadium. The cricket field is beautiful, with seats for 5,000 and grass berms from which thousands more can watch.
The idea for a cricket stadium wasn’t as outlandish as it might sound. Cricket historically was a popular sport in the West Indies, and people from the West Indies make up the largest single ancestry group in the county, with 237,062 people, about 13.5% of the Broward population. (Hispanic ancestry is divided by country.)
The cricket field at the central Broward park — built specifically to international standards — was calculated to cater to locals and also draw international competitions and spectators to boost the local economy. That largely hasn’t happened. Only two such competitions have occurred — a 2010 exhibition between New Zealand and Sri Lanka and a 2012 New Zealand-West Indies match.
The park hardly lies dormant. Locals use a water park and other facilities. The stadium has hosted rugby, the Major League Soccer players combine, a soccer coach accreditation event, FC Barcelona’s summer youth camp and, in March, the American College Cricket championship, which the University of South Florida won. The championship brought 24 college club teams in for six days, says Duncan Finch, lead manager at the park. “I came out on a Saturday, and Harvard and Boston University were playing cricket out here,” Finch says.
Such events occupied the stadium only 70 or so days last year. Revenue covers only half of operating costs. More event days are needed. The cure, Lauderhill Mayor Richard Kaplan believes, will be a change in cricket’s governance to bring international cricket back to the stadium. “It does get used, but not to the extent we anticipated,” says Kaplan. “It was supposed to be for cricket.”
Sheila G’s Original Brownie Brittle
Sheila G. Mains’ brownie brittle concept has proved anything but fragile since its launch in 2011. Sheila G’s Original Brownie Brittle sold 8 million bags last year, up from 2 million in 2012. Revenue climbed 368%. Mains moved to brownies in 1992 after losing her job at an ad agency. She sold to local stores and eventually at Walt Disney World resorts. Then came the idea of selling the pieces that dripped on the side of pans. The 25-employee company is based in West Palm Beach.
Hilton Worldwide hired John Allan, former general manager of Hyatt Pier Sixty-Six, as general manager of the 200-employee Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort.
Nova Southeastern University hired John Garon, law professor and founding director of Chase Law + Informatics Institute at Northern Kentucky University, as dean of the Shepard Broad Law Center. Athornia Steele stepped down as dean in September and is returning to teaching. Interim Dean Elena B. Langan returns to being a law professor and associate dean for academic affairs.
DAVIE — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints dedicated the Fort Lauderdale Florida Temple, the church’s frst temple south of Orlando in Florida and the 143rd worldwide.
FORT LAUDERDALE — Physician group Holy Cross Physician Partners signed to provide primary care for Florida Blue Medicare HMO members in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
JetBlue, beefng up its connections to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, is adding new fights to Pittsburgh; Montego Bay, Jamaica; Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and Albany, N.Y. > Hallandale Beach-based Beacon Investment Properties sold the 11-story, class A, 166,098-sq.-ft. Comerica Tower downtown for $32.5 million, or $196 per square foot, to Massachusetts-based Brookwood Financial Partners.
HOLLYWOOD — Mobile device accessory maker MarBlue will create 28 jobs and invest $2.9 million as it expands its headquarters and R&D facility downtown.
LAKE WORTH — Quantum Foundation gave Palm Beach State College $322,000 to hire more faculty and enhance its curriculum to allow 60 additional nursing students in its accelerated one-year program. Meanwhile, Florida Blue Foundation awarded $55,000 to the college to improve its use of simulation technology in health sciences education.
MIRAMAR — Employeeowned Southeast Food Distribution moved its corporate offce from Miami Gardens to the Miramar Park of Commerce.
PEMBROKE PINES — Stemtech International relocated its headquarters and manufacturing/R&D lab from San Clemente, Calif., adding 90 jobs at a $65,849 average salary. State and local incentives total $615,000. > Diversifed Aviation is building 103 hangars at North Perry Airport.
PORT ST. LUCIE — DiVosta Homes will build 358 single-family houses on a 131-acre project called Veranda Gardens on Becker Road. Prices start in the $240,000s.
POMPANO BEACH — Atlanta- based Weeks Robinson Properties and Miami- based Mainstream Investments Realty are building a 128,400-sq.- ft., class A spec industrial project, Pompano Beach Distribution Center II. Completion is scheduled for September. Ireland-based health care company Covidien paid more than $100 million for Pompano-based medical device maker New Wave Surgical.
RIVIERA BEACH — Viking Developers, a development subsidiary of Viking Yachts, and the city broke ground on a $375-million publicprivate redevelopment of the 26-acre marina area. The project includes a two-story events center and improvements to Bicentennial Park.
SOUTH FLORIDA — As part of its liquidation, bankrupt Idaho-based retailer Coldwater Creek is closing 22 Florida stores, including stores in Wellington, Pembroke Pines and Coconut Creek.
SUNRISE — Sawgrass Mills received city permission to expand by 82,000 square feet. The mall already has more than 350 stores.