Brief: Automated Self-Storage Opens

May 8, 2009

DELRAY BEACH – Automated Self Storage Systems, LLC, a subsidiary of real estate developer The Pugliese Company, will unveil the first patent-pending, fully-automated self-storage facility in Coconut Creek. The 145,654 square foot facility will leverage Westfalia Technologies’ Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS) technology, which will fully automate the facility. Previously, this technology was used in industrial warehouse and manufacturing plants, marking a new era in the self storage industry.

El Al Considers Reinstating Miami Route

May 8, 2009

NEW YORK – At a press conference in New York, EL AL President Haim Romano today reiterated the airline’s commitment to offer service from Tel Aviv to Miami International Airport.

The release said that the airline was “reviewing the possibility of reinstating nonstop flights between Miami and Tel Aviv and would utilize the newly purchased 777 extended range Boeing aircraft (acquired for approximately $250 million in late 2008).”

Service to the Americas continues to increase. The airline continues route expansion and has just launched nonstop service between South America (Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Tel Aviv, which also allows for convenient connecting flights from Sao Paulo (and other Latin American cities) to various destinations across the continent including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia and Ecuador.

See more at

Florida Crystals Supports Everglades Project

May 2, 2009

WEST PALM BEACH – Florida Crystals Corporation supports the $96 million from the Federal Government announced this week that will be used for immediate construction of Everglades restoration projects.

“We are encouraged to see the Federal Government living up to its commitment to Everglades restoration,” said Gaston Cantens, Vice President of Florida Crystals, in a press release. “And, more importantly, with so many restoration projects on hold, we are optimistic the money will go to the construction and implementation of planned projects that will not only restore the Everglades but create critical jobs in these tough economic times.”

Instead of simply buying more land, the federal contribution will pay for the construction of two CERP projects — a reservoir next to the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge and for restoration of Picayune Strand, an 85-square-mile area that was over-drained in the early 1960s as part of a failed housing development.

Florida Crystals is encouraged to see some restoration projects may get back on track. The company is hopeful future dollars will be put toward projects that will address the source of pollution in the watersheds north of Lake Okeechobee, as present phosphorus loading to the lake is nearly five times higher than the limit that must be met by 2015.

Florida Crystals is the leading domestic sugar producer and North America’s first fully integrated cane sugar company, guiding its sugar from the field to the table. Florida Crystals Organic and Natural sugar products are the first sugar products certified CarbonFree by Florida Crystals’ renewable energy facility is the largest of its kind in North America and provides clean energy for its sugar operations and tens of thousands of homes, reducing America’s dependence on fossil fuels by one million barrels of oil each year.


Orlando Airport Fast Lane Succeeds

May 2, 2009

ORLANDO – In the last four years, the airport security fast lane Clear has “cleared” one million travelers. Orlando International Airport was the site of the first Clear operation, launched in July of 2005, and is the Clear site that has served the highest number of members in the Clear network.

The Orlando Clear operation allows members to receive enhanced processing services including staffed, Clear-designated lanes where Clear Concierges help cardholders with their belongings so they move even faster and more directly through the checkpoint.

Clear’s network of fast lanes includes Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Washington, DC’s Reagan and Dulles, Indianapolis, New York’s LaGuardia, Orlando, Salt Lake City, and the Bay Area’s San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland Airports, among others.

“I always knew that Clear would achieve widespread use at Orlando International – the first airport in the nation to offer the Clear card.” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer in a press release. “I am delighted that our residents and the Airport’s customers value their Clear card as much as I do when I travel though Orlando International Airport.”

Steve Gardner, Executive Director Orlando International Airport said in a press release that, “because of our strong focus on customer service at Orlando International Airport we were pleased to be the first airport in the nation to launch the Clear registered traveler program. And with its growth over the years, passengers value the service as they are able to better schedule their time and benefit from the convenience and efficiency expedited by a biometric security screening process.”

Clear, operated by Verified Identity Pass, Inc., has signed up more than 260,000 travelers nationwide and has processed more than two and a half million fliers through the Clear lanes. Clear cards are accepted at 22 U.S. airports: Albany, Atlanta, Boston’s Logan (Terminal A), Cincinnati, Denver, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, LaGuardia (Central Terminal B and Terminal D), Little Rock, Louisville, New York JFK (Terminals 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7), Newark (Terminal B1 and B2), Oakland, Orlando, Reno, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, San Jose, Washington, DC’s Reagan and Dulles, and Westchester.

Clear members have their identities authenticated and are provided with a high-tech card which allows them to access designated security lanes nationwide for an annual fee of $199. Clear members pass through the security checkpoint faster, with more predictability and less hassle. Applicants start their enrollment at and complete the process at a Clear enrollment location where their fingerprints and iris images are captured and their identification is validated. Clear’s registered traveler program has been operational since July 19, 2005. For more information, please visit:

Sony Style Opens in Aventura Mall

May 2, 2009

MIAMI – Sony Electronics is opening a new Sony Style store in the Aventura Mall.

From the Reader digital ebook to the stylish new Webbie camcorder which comes in colors like eggplant and pumpkin and uses flash memory to store high definition video easily to share with friends and family, there are plenty of gift options.

During May, Sony Style is offering special promotions on all digital imaging devices including Cyber-shot cameras and Handycam camcorders to help consumers capture special moments affordably.

Additionally, Backstage Premium Technical PC Services are available in-store, and are provided by Sony Certified Technicians. Services include new VAIO PC Set-up, software installations, memory upgrades, post-sales PC service and repair facilitation for VAIO PCs. Backstage service enriches VAIO PC ownership throughout the life of a VAIO PC offering value and peace of mind. Regardless of where the product was purchased, personalized care is provided at each of our Sony Style stores by dedicated and certified Sony technicians.

Sony Style at the Aventura Mall is the 45th Sony Style store in the United States. Additional information about Sony Style stores can be found at

IKEA Opens In Tampa

April 30, 2009

Here, IKEA in Orlando. The chain opens in May 2009 in Tampa.TAMPA – Get a Schmed or a Klippen or a Billy.

IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, opens on May 6. And those are the some of the first names that come to the top of our heads when we think of IKEA.

IKEA Tampa is the Swedish company’s 3rd store and restaurant destination in Florida; its other locations in Orlando and near Fort Lauderdale in Sunrise. Read more

Nordstrom Rack to Open in Coral Gables

April 29, 2009

CORAL GABLES – Seattle-based Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN) said it would open a 33,000-square-foot Nordstrom Rack, a unit of the company’s off-price retail division, at Miracle Marketplace located in Coral Gables in spring 2010.

“This center has evolved over the years and we are excited to be a part of its redevelopment into Miracle Marketplace,” said Scott Meden, president of Nordstrom Rack. “We’ve been very happy with our Nordstrom stores in Coral Cables and Miami and look forward to offering our customers in the area a Nordstrom Rack store to shop as well.”

This will be the retailer’s fourth Nordstrom Rack in Florida, which includes two new Nordstrom Rack’s that will be opening prior to the Miracle Marketplace Rack; one at Millenia Crossing in Orlando in fall 2009 and another at The Palms at Town & Country in Kendall in spring 2010 as well as an existing store at Sawrass Mills in Sunrise. The company also operates nine Nordstrom full-line stores in Florida.

“Nordstrom Rack will be a great addition to the already strong retail mix at Miracle Marketplace,” said James Schlesinger, CEO of AWE Talisman Companies.

“We are very excited with this announcement. We are proud to welcome Nordstrom Rack to Miami,” said Miami City Commissioner, Tomas Regalado.

A redevelopment of the former shopping center known as Paseos, the new Miracle Marketplace will have 250,000 square-feet of retail and restaurants spanning three levels when completed in 2010. Miracle Marketplace is located in the heart of Coral Gables and sits along the section of Coral Way referred to as the Miracle Mile. Its existing tenants include Bally’s Total Fitness, Bed Bath & Beyond, DSW, Marshall’s and Petsmart.

AWE Talisman Companies is based in Coral Gables, Florida and owns and operates such other notable developments as Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas in Primm, Nevada, Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls in Niagara Falls, New York and Fashion Outlets of Santa Fe in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


Babcock Ranch Nation’s First Solar City

April 26, 2009

Babcock RanchPORT CHARLOTTE – Real estate developer Kitson & Partners announced a landmark agreement with electric utility Florida Power & Light to build the world’s largest solar photovoltaic power plant at Babcock Ranch, Florida, making it the world’s first city powered by solar energy.

The 17,000-acre city of Babcock Ranch will consume less power than the proposed FPL on-site solar facilities will produce, allowing it to become the first city on earth powered by zero-emission solar energy. The city of Babcock Ranch will also be home to an integrated “smart grid” that will provide greater efficiencies and allow residents and businesses to monitor and control their energy consumption. Read more

Florida Keys Marinas Bought By Summit

April 25, 2009

NORTH PALM BEACH – Summit Development said that it has acquired two prominent marina properties in the Florida Keys, namely Mangrove Marina in Tavernier and The Sombrero Resort and Marina in Marathon. Summit said in a press release it will undertake extensive renovations.

Summit Development is actively seeking office, retail, residential, hotel and marina opportunities throughout South Florida, and have wide-ranging experience in property acquisition, renovation and management. The company specializes in repositioning under-performing real estate assets.

Summit Development President Felix Charney said the two marina properties will require major investment. “While both are clearly in need of work, that does not diminish their inherent value in terms of their location and potential. We see tremendous opportunities with respect to the marinas. We have spent the last 15 months looking at under-performing assets in South Florida and these two locations stood out,” he said.

Robert Charney, who oversees Summit’s Florida operations, noted that Summit recognizes the importance both locations play in the Keys. “It is obvious that the deterioration of these two properties has been a cause for concern. We are well-financed and are confident that we can accomplish a repositioning of the two sites that will once again make them the valuable component of the Keys business community that they can and should be.”

Summit acquired the two sites from Sun Vest Communities, the successor to Cay Clubs. Robert Charney said: “We want to assure the Keys community and our visitors that under Summit’s ownership the two properties will be properly renovated so that they can regain their prominence in the community.”

  • Mangrove Marina has 130 boat slips as well as rack storage, boat yard facilities, a fuel dock, boat launching ramp and a ships’ store. It is situated on the Inter-coastal Waterway and is protected on three sides by mangrove islands. Tavernier is about 12 miles south of Key Largo a
    30-minute drive from the mainland.
  • Sombrero Resort and Marina is midway between Key Largo and Key West. It includes a 54-slip marina as well as 124 one-bedroom condo-style suites and eight detached villas, “The Latitudes,” a full-service restaurant, tennis courts and a poolside tiki bar.

“Redevelopment is something we do well,” Felix Charney said. “We are anxious to get started on the two marina sites in the Keys and we are actively pursuing other opportunities throughout Florida. These may include hotels, marinas, retail and office properties, and both for sale and leased single-family, multi-family and condominium projects.”

Orion Bank, which has 23 branches in Florida, is financing the acquisition and renovation.

Summit Development is based in Southport, Connecticut, and has offices in Chappaqua, New York, as well as North Palm Beach. Since its founding in 1981, the company has developed more than 4 million square feet of commercial space and more than 1,000 units of residential housing.


Hairspray on Royal Caribbean New Ship

April 24, 2009

MIAMI – The Tony award-winning Broadway musical, ‘Hairspray,’ is set to debut on Royal Caribbean International’s highly anticipated Oasis of the Seas when the ship sets sail from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale in December 2009.

“We are thrilled to bring to our guests a ground-breaking entertainment feature such as Hairspray on Oasis of the Seas,” said Peter Compton, vice president, Entertainment, Royal Caribbean International, said in a press release. “The addition of this popular musical to Royal Caribbean’s entertainment lineup will undoubtedly take cruise entertainment to the next level and cater to the evolving tastes of vacationers. Guests will be able to enjoy an award-winning Broadway-caliber production on Oasis of the Seas along with a myriad of revolutionary onboard amenities for a most memorable cruise vacation.”

The show is licensed to Royal Caribbean International for three years aboard Oasis of the Seas with an option for a fourth year. Under the agreement, which was struck with the aid of New York City-based Music Theater International and Broadway Theatrical, the show will be available exclusively to the cruise line.

“All of us are delighted that Hairspray will set sail on Oasis of the Seas, the biggest, boldest and most exciting cruise ship,” said Margo Lion, Tony Award winning producer of Hairspray.
With the introduction of Hairspray, Oasis of the Seas will offer a myriad of diverse entertainment choices for guests including:

  • an innovative aerial show – yet to be formally announced – which also will make its home in the Opal Theater.
  • Entertainment Place, one of seven diverse neighborhoods on Oasis of the Seas, which will offer Jazz on 4, an intimate lounge filled with live jazz and blues
  • Comedy Live, featuring side-splitting comedy
  • Studio B with an ice show, ‘Frozen in Time’ featuring the writings of Hans Christian Anderson
  • Entertainment experiences also will be found in all of the remaining neighborhoods on Oasis of the Seas, including Dazzles, a two-floor dance lounge featuring musically-themed evenings; and the Boardwalk with AquaTheater – a one-of-a-kind venue at the stern of the ship – which will play host to two aqua shows, ‘Splish Splash,’ a comedy dive show and ‘Oasis of Dreams,’ featuring aquatic acrobatics synchronized to a spectacle of music and lights.

Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas will be the largest cruise ships in the world when launched in December 2009 and December 2010, respectively. Architectural marvels at sea, both ships will span 16 decks, encompass 220,000 gross registered tons, carry 5,400 guests at double occupancy, and feature 2,700 staterooms.

The two ships will sail from their homeport of Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. Additional information is available at

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