The largest single change year-over-year in terms of market drivers has been the opening of the Brickell City Centre mall, a 500,000 SF + high-end retail destination anchored by a Cinemex movie theater and a Saks Fifth Avenue department store. The center, which opened for previews in November 2016, is the largest single shopping location in greater downtown and represents its first regional mall.
Lot Size: 30,000 SF / 0.69 AcresBuilding Size: 11,815 SFZoning: T6-24-OHeight Restriction: 24 StoriesYear Built (Existing): 1968, 1977 & 2010HVAC: Wall A/CConstruction: CBSRoof: Flat/ Built Up TarFolio: 01-0207-000-1050; 1060; 1070; 1080
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Here’s the good news: Sales of newly constructed homes rose in the beginning of the year. The bad news? It wasn’t enough to ease the housing shortage that is frustrating would-be home buyers across the nation.
Buyers purchased about 3.7% more new homes in January than in December, according to a joint report by the U.S. Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The January purchases were also 5.5% above where they had been a year earlier. (Realtor.com® looked only at the seasonally adjusted numbers, which have been smoothed out over 12 months to account for seasonal fluctuations.)
Sounds good, right? Well, not exactly.
"New-home sales should be growing much more than they are,” says Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke of realtor.com. "We should be seeing twice the volume of new-home sales, and we’re not.”
The reason is that there aren’t enough buyers who can afford the median $312,900 price tag of one of those new homes, often decked out with the latest appliances and finishes. They are nearly 37% more expensive than the median $228,900 price for an existing home in January, according to the most recent National Association of Realtors® data.
Prices on those new homes dipped 1% from December—but were nearly 7.5% higher than in January 2016.
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Almost £140m has been "wasted" on free schools and other new types of school, which either closed early or failed to open at all, says a teachers' union.The National Union of Teachers said the money was spent on 62 free schools, university technical colleges and studio schools which either closed, partially closed or did not open.The NUT said the data was mainly drawn from government websites.The Department for Education said free schools were popular with parents.The figures were published by the National Union of Teachers during its annual conference - which had highlighted concerns about school budget shortages.The union's general secretary Kevin Courtney said ministers should apologise to teachers and parents for the £138.5m "thrown away" on these abandoned projects.'Appalling waste'"These figures make clear that the free school, UTC and studio school programmes were ill-thought policies which, in many cases, resulted in an appalling waste of significant sums of money," said Mr Courtney.University technical colleges (UTCs) and studio schools have an emphasis on vocational skills for 14 to 19-year-olds."In the case of the closed UTCs, an average of £10m was spent on each school, rising to £15m in the case of Tottenham UTC."That sums of this magnitude have been thrown away at a time when schools across the country are crying out for funding for staff, to provide a broad and balanced curriculum and to ensure essential resources and equipment are available, is criminal."Education Secretary Justine Greening this week announced that 131 new schools had been approved under the free school programme, creating around 69,000 places.
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Almost one in five parents in the UK is being asked to set up payments to their children's schools, as head teachers warn of budget shortages, says a survey from a teachers' union.The NASUWT survey claims some parents are asked for £400 or more per year.Schools in England have been warning of cash shortages and the union says schools are now depending on parents.But the Department for Education says "no parent is required to make a contribution".Teachers' unions are holding their conferences over the Easter bank holiday weekend, with funding one of the biggest issues.Direct debitsThe National Union of Teachers, meeting in Cardiff, will hear warnings on Saturday about the impact of cash shortages.The survey from the NASUWT survey, holding its annual conference in Manchester, claims that schools are increasingly relying on money from parents.Based on almost 4,000 responses, the survey says 18% of parents have been asked to sign up for direct debits or standing orders for their children's school, typically of about £50 per year.But more than one in 20 parents with children in state schools were paying £400 or above.A further 13% of parents had been asked to make donations in cash or cheques.
Cafecitos, cigars and a chance to experience Cuban culture? These are some of the many facets of a trip to Havana. But being able to use a credit card instead of cash to pay for your trip? Priceless.
Pompano Beach-based Stonegate Bank (NASDAQ: SGBK) issued the first of its MasterCard credit cards for use in Cuba on Tuesday.
The South Florida bank was the first – and so far the only bank to launch a debit card for use by U.S. travelers in Cuba. The bank announced a partnership with MasterCard when it launched the debit cards last year.
That move followed Stonegate’s decision to become the first U.S. bank to establish a relationship with a Cuban bank.
Since President Barack Obama announced the intention to re-establish a relationship with Cuba, Stonegate has been actively increasing its banking ties to the island nation. At the request of the U.S. Department of State, Stonegate agreed to handle the banking for the Cuban government in the U.S., which encompass services such as travel visas and any dealings with embassies in Washington, D.C.
The issuance of a credit card has been a work-in-progress for the last nine months. To commemorate the occasion, Stonegate is offering a limited-edition card featuring a design by Cuban artist Michel Mirabal.
"Hopefully, more U.S. Banks will allow their customers to use their cards in Cuba, thus helping to alleviate the burden on travelers to the island," Stonegate President and CEO Dave Seleski said. "I am very excited to introduce these products which I believe will benefit our corporate clients and provide a meaningful diversified income stream to the bank."
In addition to personal credit cards, Stonegate announced plans to issue corporate, purchasing, payroll and prepaid cards within the next 30 days.
Debit and credit cards certainly allow increased flexibility when traveling in Cuba. However, Cuba and its businesses still need to establish infrastructure to accept debit and credit cards to process sales.
Stonegate is one of the largest South Florida-based banks, with $2.45 billion in assets.
“New-home sales should be growing much more than they are,” says Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke of realtor.com. “We should be seeing twice the volume of new-home sales, and we’re not.”