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Money Woes

The people responsible for policing the Miami police had to tighten their belts, so they curtailed public outreach to save some fringe benefits. Meanwhile, their attorney takes one for the team.





The Community Redevelopment Agency deemed it fit to invest $1 million or so fixing up the tiny Ward Rooming House. Now it has to live there. Plus, Buena Vista dwellers find out why they aren’t being informed about that big museum Craig Robins wants to build there someday.


Miami Beach

Once again the planning board opts to delay a hearing on new zoning legislation for Miami Heart, er, we mean hospital districts. Meanwhile, some South of Fifth Street residents celebrate the closing of a loophole.


Coral Gables

Sure, City Beautiful officials could have slashed property taxes, but that wasn’t part of their compromise.



All of a sudden, the City of Excellence thinks annexation is a nifty idea. Why? ‘Cause it's economical.


Sunny Isles Beach

City officials pass a new budget and decide to erect yet another oceanfront high-rise in Condo Canyon.





Awww, aren’t they cute?


The 411

In one corner, an angry lesbian. In the other, Perez Hilton. Who won? Tune into Oxygen to find out. Also, husbands of billionaire heiresses can’t hide from the amorous advances of Lindsay Lohan.



So what if you’re innocent until proven guilty? If you’re in jail, don’t expect a decent meal. And, what, you didn’t get a free Lexus? Guess you aren’t very important.



What’s a writer from Miami to do in Boston? Rant, exploit, obsess and write a book about everything you didn’t want to know.



Danny DeVito thinks he knows how to run a restaurant. Mark Goldberg thinks DeVito knows how to run a restaurant, too.



A power pop band named Apples in Stereo must be cool.





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Flagler on Flagler

By Helen Hill

How would Henry Morrison Flagler react upon hearing that an office condo in downtown Miami would bear his name? Considering he died in 1913, we will never know.

If Henry Morrison Flagler hadn’t been so modest, the young city of Miami might have been named after him a century ago. But the tycoon who brought his Florida East Coast Railroad to what once was a small settlement on Biscayne Bay declined the honor and settled for naming the city’s main east-west artery Flagler.

Flagler Street — the core of downtown’s central business district with legal, jewelry and retail areas along its route — has grown up with the city of Miami. Now, the landmark office building that Morris Lapidus designed in his signature Miami Modern (MiMo) style on the corner of East Flagler Street and Northeast First Avenue in 1952 is being converted into One Flagler office condos and retail space. Jeremy Green, managing partner of One Flagler Development and chief executive officer of Nexus Development Group, is heading up the multimillion-dollar conversion of the 15-story, 145,000-square-foot former bank building. Mellon United National Bank provided the $30 million acquisition and construction loan.

One Flagler offers custom office suites ranging from 200 to 12,000 square feet. The smaller spaces are targeted to jewelers (there are dedicated jewelry floors with industry-specific upgrades) and boutique professional service firms; the large areas of contiguous space and city views on the upper floors are targeted to such professional offices as mid-size law or accounting firms. Office space ranges from $300 to $400 per square foot. Long-term commercial real estate investors are offered full floors already tenanted with existing users.

Plus, more than 15,000 square feet of street-level retail space is available for lease on a prime corner, with plans for hip urban fashion retailers, restaurants and a bank.

One Flagler is located downtown near the Metrorail, Metromover and municipal parking; it also offers valet parking and a drop-off and pick-up lane for passengers on Northeast First Avenue. Interior improvements will include a renovated lobby, common areas and restrooms, new high-speed elevators and a high-tech security system.

Didier Choukron of PIX Holdings is handling One Flagler’s sales and marketing at 14 N.E. First Ave.

A New Wave of Bidding

It looks like real estate auctions are the new sales weapon for unloading properties in this rocky market. Residential property auction sales increased 39.2 percent, from $10.2 billion annually in 2002 to more than $14.2 billion in 2005, according to a special report published in 2006 by the National Auctioneers Association.

Not surprisingly, the number of auctioneers increased 14 percent statewide, from 1,640 in August 2006 to 1,877 in August 2007, according to licensing information from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. New auctioneers are capitalizing on the current mood for better deals, quicker sales and the growth of auctioneering divisions in some real estate agencies.

Last week’s auction of unsold Platinum condos in Miami attracted a record crowd of onlookers, debatable prices and a lot of media attention. Will more such auctions follow? Stay tuned!

On Oct. 6, Orlando real estate brokerage IDX Realty will launch a so-called one-day mega-auction of an estimated $100 million in real estate properties from around the country. According to IDX Broker Christopher Sampson, “The real estate auction is fast becoming the hottest sales tool in the market today. It offers an opportunity for sellers to market properties at substantial savings, which can then be passed on to potential buyers. It’s a win-win for everybody.”

Everything from vacant land to commercial buildings to multimillion-dollar estate homes in Florida, North Carolina, Georgia and New Jersey will be on the block from investors who want to liquidate assets, builders with excess inventory, lenders with foreclosures, Realtors and homeowners.

IDX’s Web site,, lists many of the properties that will be offered at auction and allows buyers to view videos, virtual tours, slide shows and satellite maps of the properties and their locations. All of the listed properties have been appraised and have received home and termite inspections. The mega-auction will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 6 at the Doubletree Suites Hotel in Orlando.     

Are Real Estate Agents a Threatened Species?

From old-fashioned bidding to cutting-edge technology, the race is on to get the “sold” sign out. is a Miami Beach-based real estate Web site targeting national for-sale-by-owner sellers and buyers who prefer to advertise without the assistance of a real estate agent. The site is one of only three such TRUSTe certified sites on the Internet. utilizes Web 2.0 technology, including sellers’ blogs, Web cams, 3-D floor plans, city profiles, integrated Google Maps and Fizber video tours available on YouTube. When a seller submits his home to, the listing is automatically sent on to other by-owner sites and about 70 social media sites for maximum online exposure. That means thousands of potential buyers can view videos of for-sale houses, maps of the houses’ physical locations, satellite images and live Web cam features to see the spirit of a city or town with a simple click of a mouse.

In addition, sellers can use blogs to advertise their for-sale-by-owner listings, post price changes, communicate with potential buyers and discuss unique features of their homes, among other things. Because blogs can be easily syndicated, sellers can gain more exposure than they would with a simple online home listing.

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