April 7, 2020
Hard act to follow: Innovative theater in Miami

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Miami-Dade Roundup

Hard act to follow: Innovative theater in Miami

Plus, business news roundup for Miami-Dade, including briefs and "players."

Michel Hausmann takes an innovative approach to theater in Miami.

Venezuelan-born theater director, producer and writer Michel Hausmann is taking some new approaches to theater with his Miami New Drama company and the historic, city-owned Colony Theatre, which Miami New Drama began managing in 2016.

He’s staging productions of Spanish- language plays from other companies and performances by musical groups from around Latin America. He’s also commissioning works set in Miami.

Hausmann has experimented with multilingual plays, such as last season’s version of the classic “Our Town,” which had characters speaking in English, Spanish and Creole. Another production from last season, “Queen of Basel,” which Miami New Drama commissioned and Hausmann directed, was sprinkled with Spanish dialogue. The audience was seated onstage with the performers.

BUSINESS Briefs for Miami-Dade, and the Keys

CORAL GABLES

  • Local investors, including Location Ventures and former University of Miami and NFL player Jonathan Vilma, founded Urbin, a co-working and co-living company that says it has raised $23 million. It recently paid $12.5 million for a five-story office building that it will convert to a 750-desk co-working center. It also plans to create a co-living space nearby at another property it owns.
  • The city commission voted to allow the Biltmore Hotel’s leaseholders to redirect 50% of their annual rent payments on the cityowned property to pay for up to half of what they must spend to preserve the National Historic Landmark.

FLORIDA KEYS

  • Monroe County voted to create a municipal service taxing district to pay for indigent care at Fishermen’s Community Hospital. The hospital was destroyed by Hurricane Irma, and owner Baptist Health South Florida is rebuilding it.
  • Miami-based Integra Investments acquired three mobile home parks on Stock Island, outside Key West, and is proposing 279 units of affordable and workforce housing units on those nine acres as well as another 41 units in Islamorada, where it owns two marinas. The plan requires commission approval.
  • The county received a $49.2-million federal grant to clean canals of debris from Hurricane Irma; the money will cover debris removal at 103 of the more than 500 canals.

HOMESTEAD

  • Spain-based developer TRP International has proposed building a mixed-use residential, retail and office project called Solera on 19 acres near Homestead- Miami Speedway. It has the land under contract.

MEDLEY

  • Wireless phone and services giant Brightstar acquired Ireland-based Next Wireless Group, which sells new and used devices online.
  • Boat manufacturer Sea- Vee Boats is building a 220,000-sq.- ft. space where it will consolidate five separate facilities from around the county and more than double its total manufacturing and operations space.

MIAMI

  • Brickell City Centre developer Swire Properties asked the city to allow it to extend its plans for the development with two condo towers, one with a three-level retail base; the new towers will connect to the existing three-block complex via skybridges, and construction on the first of the new towers will begin during the second half of 2020.
  • Facial and emotion recognition company Kairos acquired Ireland-based EmotionReader, which uses algorithms to analyze facial responses to video. West Flagler Associates received state approval to operate a poker room and host May-through-November jai alai games in the city’s Edgewater neighborhood near downtown.
  • California-based real estate listing website GlobalListings.com will purchase online real estate news company World Property Journal for $33 million. GlobalListings will move its headquarters to Miami.
  • Condominium and apartment giant Related Group and Boston- based Rockpoint Group formed a partnership to acquire, renovate and manage multifamily rentals in Florida and other high-growth Sun Belt markets.

PLAYERS

  • Keys Federal Credit Union promoted Maggie Coleman- Sayer to CEO; she was serving as interim executive vice president.

OBITUARY: Robert Traurig

The South Florida attorney was instrumental in guiding Miami’s growth.

Robert Traurig, who co-founded Miami law firm Greenberg Traurig in 1967 with fellow attorneys Melvin Greenberg and Larry Hoffman, was one of the most significant figures in the development of modern Miami. A zoning attorney, Traurig had a hand in much of Miami’s growth over the past three decades.

The firm has grown to more than 2,000 lawyers and lobbyists around the world and revenue of almost $1.5 billion. The firm has made diversity one of its hallmarks.

Traurig was deeply involved in the South Florida community as well and remained active until his death on July 17 at age 93. He held leadership roles in the Beth David Congregation and the Greater Miami Jewish Federation. He raised funds for the Historical Association of Southern Florida, the Museum of Science, the Greater Miami Opera and the Performing Arts Center Foundation of Greater Miami, among others. He also served as chairman of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. His pro bono work was numerous.

“This is a tremendous loss for the community, the legal profession and for me, personally,” says co-founder Hoffman.

 

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