News & Notes

June 2019

The City of Coral Gables has been named one of the 10 Best Small Cities for Entrepreneurs in a study conducted by Verizon. The cities all have populations of 50,000 to 75,000 residents. While we appreciate the kudos, this would be a more amazing award if Sarasota had not come in at No. 2 to the Gables’ No. 3. Must be their Ringling Circus Museum and clown school that beats the University of Miami.

The City Commission has approved plans to build a 14-story two-building project at 100 Miracle Mile, next to Galiano Street. It will be a mixed-use apartment tower, with 135 luxury rental units, office space and ground floor retail. Developer AJP Ventures must now finalize plans and file for permits.

The waterfront Gables mansion at 41 Arvida Parkway that we noted in our March issue – since it was to be auctioned with an eye-popping starting price of $68 million – was sold for the bargain basement price of $25.5 million. Records show that the 9-bedroom, 14,000-square-foot mansion was bought by Steven Lempera, president of Illinois- based Future Environmental. Welcome to the hood, Steven.

The most widely reported story from Coral Gables this past month was about a loan made last year by Gables-based Professional Bank. According to records uncovered by Mother Jones, the bank lent one of President Donald Trump’s shell companies “between $5 million and $25 million” to buy a Palm Beach mansion (owned by his sister) next door to his Mar-a-Lago resort. The story was then picked up by Salon, American Banker, Hill Reporter, CNBC, and, among others, the Miami New Times. It was, surprisingly, ignored by the Miami Herald. Pictured above is CEO of Professional Bank, Abel Iglesias.

The Coral Gables museum has received the prestigious 2019 Preservation Award from the Dade Heritage Trust, recognizing the museum’s ongoing efforts to restore and preserve the Lincoln Memorial Park cemetery grounds. “This is enormously important to us, and inspires us to continue our efforts,” said John Allen, the museum’s executive director.