News & Notes

Staying Close to Base

February 2019

Where else would former University of Miami president Donna Shalala celebrate her election to Congress than back on campus? Shalala, who won the election to represent Florida’s 27th District (home to Coral Gables), was sworn in Jan. 13 in a ceremony at UM’s Newman Alumni Center.

The New Office-Condo Market

State-of-the-art office building Ofizzina, rising 16 stories at 1200 Ponce de Leon Blvd., was officially dedicated in November. Already it’s almost sold out. Sold out? Among its innovations: Office spaces not for lease, but sold as condos. A reported 41 of 54 spaces went for a combined $50 million by late January.

B&B Pulls a Book

In a story that made it all the way to Yahoo! Finance, Books & Books pulled the latest edition of DK Eyewitness’ “Top 10” book on Miami & the Keys for its “racist” description of West Coconut Grove. The book called the area “the blighted ‘Black Grove,’ an area plagued by high crime rates, drugs and deprivation.” Not so much anymore. B&B owner Michell Kaplan bannrf the book until the offensive passage is removed or updated.

A Price Too High

The Coral Gables city commission has decided not to purchase the old LaSalle Cleaners building on LeJeune Road near City Hall. Not only was the asking price of $5 million too high, said the officials, it did not include $2 million more needed to restore the oldest commercial building in the city. Unless a private solution is reached, the owners now have a green light to bulldoze the historic structure and put a parking lot in its place.