March 25, 2023
MIA is Miami-Dade's biggest economic engine

Photo: Joe Pries

The American Airlines terminal at Miami International Airport.

Miami-Dade Roundup

MIA is Miami-Dade's biggest economic engine

Miami-Dade’s Biggest Economic Engine

  • Jobs 37,500 at the airport; 283,000 estimated direct and indirect jobs supported by the aviation industry — one out 4.1 jobs in the county
  • Economic Impact $33.5 billion a year
  • Carriers 101 cargo and passenger carriers use the airport, more than any other U.S. airport

Where Passenger Growth Came From

  • 50% American Airlines
  • 25% Other existing carriers
  • 25% New carriers, including: Aruba Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Eurowings, Thomas Cook Airlines, Turkish Airlines, VivaColombia


In November, MIA became the first U.S. airport, and the second in the world, to earn International Air Transport Association Pharma Certification and be designated a pharmaceuticals freight hub. A total of $3.28 billion in pharmaceutical products were transported through MIA in 2014, up 79% since 2011.

Other Business Briefs for Miami-Dade:

CORAL GABLES — Professional Bank’s parent company, Professional Holding, will acquire Palm Beach Gardens-based FirstCity Bank of Commerce for about $6.8 million. Nonprofit Baptist Health South Florida lost $94.2 million last fiscal year, largely because of investment losses. The health system is normally profitable.

Prudential Real Estate Investors purchased the 16-story 355 Alhambra Tower for $83 million from investment firm AEW Capital Management. Bacardi will move its regional distribution network in more than 40 markets across the United States and Canada to the newly formed Southern-Glazer’s Wine and Spirits.

DORAL — Carnival ordered two new ships for its Costa Asia line, one for P&O Cruises Australia and one for Princess Cruises, bringing to 17 the number of new ships scheduled for delivery between next year and 2020. Outdoor fitness event and obstacle race organizer BattleFrog is the new sponsor of the Fiesta Bowl.

MARATHON — Singh Investments paid an undisclosed Amount to acquire a 24-acre oceanfront development site occupied by Knights Key RV Resort & Marina. The company plans to build a 199-unit resort.

MEDLEY — Shoe retailer Traffic Shoes filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy; the company operates 39 stores in nine states and Puerto Rico.

MIAMI — The developer of Miami Worldcenter killed its plan for a big-box retail mall at the development and instead is planning an open-air retail facility. It’s unclear whether Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s will continue as anchor tenants. Accounting firm Kaufman Rossin will sell its independent fund services business, Kaufman Rossin Fund Services, which provides administration services for hedge funds, for $95 million to ALPS, a subsidiary of Kansas City-based DST Systems.

The Soffer Family Foundation donated $25 million to the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine’s Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Institute.

PowerMoves, an initiative to increase the number of venture-backed, high-growth and technology companies led by black and Hispanic entrepreneurs, will open its first office outside of New Orleans in February in the city, backed by $1.2 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Spain-based public relations and communications firm Llorente & Cuenca acquired 70% of EDF Communications, adding its first U.S. agency. Eric de la Fuente, EDF’s founder and CEO, will become CEO of the Spanish company’s U.S. operations. French IT firm Net Reviews will open its U.S. and Latin America office at the Venture Hive accelerator. Ohiobased Redwood Media Group acquired the Red Dot art fair, which has been a Miami Art Week satellite fair since 2006.

MIAMI BEACH — Computer programming boot camp Wyncode Academy will open its third location, in the WeWork shared workspace.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY — To combat the invasive Oriental fruit fly, government officials quarantined 85 square miles of farmland. County officials announced a plan to create a terminal for boat ferry service between Miami and Cuba; the Cuban government hasn’t yet agreed to allow such service, but the U.S. government has given approval.

MIAMI LAKES — BankUnited will no longer originate mortgages to individuals, although it will continue to buy and sell mortgages and service existing mortgages. Lennar paid $74 million for a 142-acre vacant lot that is now a cow pasture; the site is approved for a 505- home development. Chilebased LATAM Airlines Group opened its first maintenance hangar in the U.S. at Miami International Airport.

MONROE COUNTY — The National Park Service has undertaken its first survey and mapping of the deep waters and sea floor in Dry Tortugas National Park.

SWEETWATER — Florida International University will more than double the size of the wellness and recreation center on its main campus, with a 60,000-sq.-ft. building expansion and 15,000 square feet of additional outdoor recreational space.

U. S. Century Bank hired Luis de la Aguilera as president and CEO, replacing Carlos Davila. De la Aguilera had been president and CEO of TotalBank, resigning after the bank laid off 15% of its workforce. Jay Pelham, who had been TotalBank’s executive vice president/private client group/ wealth management, replaced de la Aguilera.

Noven Pharmaceuticals promoted Jeff Mihm to CEO, replacing Jeffrey Eisenberg. Mihm had been the company’s vice president, chief administrative officer and general counsel.

Vice Admiral Kurt Tidd is the new commander of the U.S. Southern Command (Southcom), after two years as Pentagon representative, traveling with Secretary of State John Kerry.

Baptist Health South Florida hired cancer surgeon and researcher Michael J. Zinner as founding CEO and medical director of its Miami Cancer Institute. He is the Moseley Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and was clinical director and surgeon-in-chief at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.


Tags: Miami-Dade, Travel & Tourism

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