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Miami-Dade - Business Briefs - February 2011

BAL HARBOUR —

» Real estate sales and marketing firm Pordes Residential purchased 42 of One Bal Harbour’s 124 unsold condo-hotel residences; the hotel has a AAA Five Diamond designation. Pordes will market and sell the units.

CORAL GABLES —

» Despite not paying rent to Coral Gables for more than a year, Biltmore Hotel operator Seaway Corp. received $1.2 million in county historic preservation bond money to finish the hotel’s exterior restoration. Seaway owes the city $3.5 million in unpaid rent and golf management fees, but the city supported the grant.

HOMESTEAD —

» The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory awarded City Labs a contract worth nearly $1 million to develop its NanoTritium batteries for military uses. The company says the batteries can last more than 20 years and are resistant to temperature extremes. The company also received an undisclosed round of financing from Alienware founder Alex Aguila and other local entrepreneurs.

MEDLEY —

» Ryder System is buying Holland, Mich.-based temperature-controlled warehouse firm Total Logistic Control from Supervalu. The company did not disclose the price.

MIAMI —

» Burger King Corp. laid off 261 from its south Florida operations, most of them at its Miami headquarters. It also cut another 152 around the hemisphere. The company put most of the laid-off employees on immediate six-month paid leaves. Also, a Miami federal judge dismissed a lawsuit the National Franchisee Association brought against BK — a dispute centered on the company’s requirement that franchisees sell certain menu items for no more than $1.

The Miami Tower
The Miami Tower

» I&G Miami paid $105.5 million for downtown’s iconic Miami Tower (formerly the Bank of America Tower) from Blue Capital U.S. East Coast Properties. The I.M. Pei-designed tower is considered the most recognizable building in the city. The deal was the biggest office building sale of 2010 in Miami-Dade. I&G is an affiliate of Chicago-based Jones Lang LaSalle.

» Startup Apollo Aviation Group raised $213 million from investors to acquire aircraft for short-term lease or disassembly for parts resale.

» Banner Supply Co., which sold defective Chinese drywall to construction companies, settled a lawsuit brought by nearly 75 homeowners. The suit was the first class-action drywall case in the nation.

» Interval Leisure Group, whose businesses include timeshare exchange company Interval International and hotel management company Aston Hotels & Resorts, acquired Trading Places International for an undisclosed sum. Laguna Niguel, Calif.-based Trading Places provides exchange and leisure services to timeshare owners.

» Miami Art Museum’s groundbreaking marked the start of construction work on Museum Park, which will turn a part of downtown’s Bicentennial Park on Biscayne Bay into a home for the Miami Art Museum and the Miami Science Museum. A lawsuit by Miami Neighborhoods United against the city’s funding for MAM is still pending, but the museum says it is not worried about the suit.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY —

» Jackson Health System, the county’s public health system, says it will have a $102-million loss for fiscal year 2010, down from a $244-million loss in 2009. The county ended its “management watch” of the system, although Jackson CEO Eneida Roldan announced she will leave the hospital when her contract expires in June. Jackson also signed a $45.3-million, 5½-year contract for consulting firm MedAssets to help it lower costs, in part through MedAssets’ in-house group purchasing organization.

» New York-based outdoor and taxi advertising company Show Media acquired Miami-based OPG Media, giving it rights to advertising signs on nearly one-third of taxis in the county.