Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only
YOUTH BASEBALL IN DUGOUT: A youth baseball academy in the country’s northwestern region may be a priority for Major League Baseball (MLB), but no progress has been made since MLB Youth Programs Senior Vice President Tony Reagins told Miami Today in late June that there was “strong interest” in establishing such a program. MLB spokesperson Steve Arocho recently wrote that the “status is unchanged” for a program in South Florida, whose residents for more than a decade have requested an MLB Urban Youth Academy to be built. In 2007 a location for the academy was chosen in Hialeah, which was once a candidate site for Marlins Park as part of the deal to build the baseball stadium. Two years later, a memorandum of understanding between the city and MLB stipulated a youth baseball academy would rise within city limits, with the league financing up to $3.2 million of its construction. But the academy was not part of the final agreement for the ballpark, which was ultimately built in Little Havana.
CONSTRUCTION GAINS SLIP: Although the value of construction starts in South Florida remains in positive territory for the year to date compared with the same period of 2017, those values took a 38% plunge in July, as residential construction values fell 17% and nonresidential construction values dropped 55%, according to Dodge Data & Analytics. Total starts for the year in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties total almost $7.07 billion, Dodge reported, with nonresidential values slightly ahead of residential construction work, just under $3.76 billion nonresidential to just over $3.4 billion for residential. For the year to date, total construction start values in the tri-county area are up 13% over the same period of 2017, with residential construction up 32% and nonresidential down 5%.
PELICAN HARBOR IMPROVEMENTS: County parks personnel and contracted engineers and landscapers will begin construction to improve parking lot features at Pelican Harbor Marina this month, according to a release from parks spokesperson Laura Phillips. The project at the 18-acre marina, estimated to cost $2.6 million and take about a year, includes parking space changes, new signs, new walkways, improved drainage, added landscaping, improved lighting, new fire hydrants, installation of an empty conduit system for future closed-circuit TV security, and roadway improvement, reconstruction and alteration to reduce traffic. “Every effort will be made to minimize the noise, dust and traffic disruptions that may result from construction activities,” she wrote. “The boat ramp will remain open at all times with about 40 parking spaces available throughout the construction.”