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Recertification Voting Continues For Miami’s Wynwood Business Improvement District

After approval by the City of Miami Commission, starting Apr. 14, the Wynwood Business Improvement District (BID) has been up for a recertification vote by all property owners within its boundaries.

The Wynwood BID, which began in July 2013, is the largest one of its kind in Florida, covering a 50-city-block neighborhood that has experienced an exciting transformation, taking it from an abandoned industrial zone to a bustling arts and nightlife destination.

More recently, Wynwood has become a desirable location for new office and residential developments, and now, major new hotels from the world-renowned Arlo brand and the soon-to-be-launched Moxy by Marriot.

For three weeks, all 400-plus property owners within the BID’s boundaries have been asked to sign affidavits supporting its renewal, which the BID will then collect and count. To proceed with the recertification process, more than 50 percent of the votes, plus one, must be in favor. Once the three-week voting period has concluded, all affidavits will be forwarded to the City of Miami Commission and Mayor Francis Suarez for review and final approval.

“We are excited to collect votes from our area property owners to recertify the BID,” said Manny Gonzalez, long-time executive director of the Wynwood Business Improvement District. “The district has entered a new phase, with the ongoing expansion of residential and office capacity that did not exist previously. Our goal is to have another successful decade of embracing change like urban planning and landscape design while also working to maintain Wynwood’s place as an appealing cultural destination and creative center.”

BIDs function as special tax districts that allow for an additional assessment to support initiatives and programs that governments cannot fully cover. In addition to Wynwood, they have been successful locally in places such as Miami Beach, Coconut Grove and Coral Gables, and other major cities like New York.

In partnership with area businesses, owners, developers and residents, working with the City of Miami, the Wynwood BID has been a significant catalyst in the neighborhood’s growth, improving quality of life, and in ongoing synergies between new investors, and existing businesses and cultural venues.

During the past decade, Wynwood has experienced an exponential increase in visitors, with the number rising from 240 thousand in 2013 to 15 million annually in 2023. Today, Wynwood supports 5,000 new jobs and generates more than 20 percent of the City of Miami’s parking transactions.

In partnership with the City of Miami Planning Department and Plusurbia, the Wynwood BID developed Miami’s first Neighborhood Revitalization District (NRD) plan to maintain the neighborhood’s distinctive street art and industrial feel, while encouraging a 24-hour community for live, work and play lifestyles.

The BID has accomplished significant successes through its partnership with the City of Miami Police Department, resulting in a 60 percent reduction in crime. Additionally, the BID has made a substantial contribution of $3.5 million towards Wynwood Works, a program aimed at developing 5,000 micro units of affordable housing and invested $1 million towards office development in the area.

The BID also has created a Clean Team to remove trash and debris daily to maintain a clean and attractive neighborhood. These notable achievements have garnered national recognition for the BID in the past decade, with awards such as being one of the greatest neighborhoods in America and being recognized for its Economic Development Planning by the American Planning Association (APA).

In the arts, Wynwood continues to thrive and be the home of the iconic Wynwood Walls, Museum of Graffiti, Margulies Collection, Mana Wynwood, Gary Nader Art Centre, the recently opened Paradox Museum, and many more.

The neighborhood remains a center for over 3,000 units of unique retail, restaurant and nightlife businesses, including Zak the Baker, Oasis Wynwood, 1-800-Lucky, Gramps and UNKNWN. Annual special events such as Miami Art Week, Miami Music Week and Wynwood Pride fill the community with pedestrian traffic and excitement.

Major developments in the area include the recently opened Arlo Wynwood hotel and The Dorsey, as well as upcoming projects such as The NoMad Residences, 29N Wynwood, 545 Wyn and The Wynwood Plaza.

Additionally, the neighborhood is experiencing growth in mixed-use residential and office spaces with developments including Strata Wynwood, WYND 27 & 28, Society WynwoodSentral Wynwood and The Gateway at Wynwood. Currently, there is 600,000 square feet of commercial retail space under construction as Wynwood continues to evolve.

Companies committing to office space in Wynwood include Founders Fund, Spotify, Technology SA and Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

The BID supports its City of Miami partners and surrounding communities by running numerous safety and cleanliness initiatives, including state-of-the-art interactive outdoor digital kiosks, neighborhood-wide security cameras and a dedicated Clean Street Team.

“Wynwood property owners and businesses believe in the wisdom of investing in infrastructure enhancements, safety initiatives, forward-thinking planning and destination branding that are key to the BID’s work,” Gonzalez concluded.

For more information, visit wynwoodMiami.com.


Source:  Community News

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South Florida Hospital Chains And Insurers Are Getting Bigger. Is That Good For Patients?

South Florida insurance companies and large hospital chains recorded healthy profits and acquired rival companies in an attempt to grow bigger in 2018, a new analysis found, accelerating a race to gain leverage in healthcare pricing negotiations.

But consumer advocates warn that whatever savings the healthcare monoliths find are unlikely to be passed down to patients.

Allan Baumgarten, who authored the recently released 2019 Florida Health Market Review, said the insurance companies and hospital chains are each seeking to achieve dominance.

“You have both health plans and hospital systems in a sense each trying to gain market strength and match the market strength of the other one,” he said. “It’s kind of a cyclical process. One makes that decision and then the other says, ‘Well, we have to get bigger as well.’”

Research has shown that prices are higher where hospital markets are more concentrated, according to Phillip Longman, policy director at the left-leaning Open Markets Institute, which advocates against monopolization in various industries.

“Sometimes, through consolidation, you get real economies of scale: better coordination, integration of care,” Longman said. “But experience has shown that whatever cost savings result are generally not shared with consumers.”

In Florida, consolidation among health insurance companies drove a 12% rise in profits for health maintenance organization insurance plans, or HMOs, and South Florida hospitals reported 8% average profit margins, their highest in recent years, according to the Florida Health Market Review.

Hospital systems grew through new construction and acquisitions. The Tennessee-based Hospital Corporation of America, or HCA, one of the nation’s largest for-profit systems., and AdventHealth, a nonprofit healthcare system, led the charge in Florida, acquiring hospitals from Community Health Systems, which was once the seventh-largest system in the state, the report found.

HCA owns several hospitals in South Florida, including Aventura Hospital and Medical Center and Kendall Regional Medical Center, while AdventHealth doesn’t have a presence in the southern part of the state.

Meanwhile, the health insurance market grew significantly more concentrated in the last three years, with companies like Anthem and Blue Cross Blue Shield acquiring a number of HMOs.

On the hospital side of that equation, Baumgarten said, providers are looking to expand their geographic footprint — Jackson Health System’s expansion into Doral or Baptist Health’s acquiring facilities across Palm Beach and Broward counties — in an attempt to capture more patients and additional market share. The hospital construction boom has been aided by the Florida Legislature, which removed regulations last year requiring hospitals to demonstrate an economic demand for new facilities before construction.

South Florida hospitals recorded combined profits of nearly $1.3 billion in 2018 and have posted combined profits above $1 billion for four of the past five years, the report found. HCA hospitals were the most profitable, with a net income of $363.6 million, according to the report. Baptist Health, a nonprofit and the largest system in the Miami area, had a net income of $142.8 million and Memorial Healthcare System in Broward County, a nonprofit hospital network, had a net income of $158.6 million.

Insurance companies are also trying to expand their reach as a way of increasing their leverage in price negotiations with hospital systems. HMO plans from Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana, UnitedHealthcare and WellCare, the four largest HMO companies, made up 64.2% of the market, compared to 51.5% two years earlier, the report found.

“And yet, at the end of the day, the trends on both sides, in terms of prices being charged by hospital systems and the premiums paid by consumers and employers, both of those remain on an upward trajectory,” Baumgarten said. “So it’s hard to see from a consumer point of view how they’re actually benefiting from these strategies.”

Jaime Caldwell, president of the South Florida Hospital and Healthcare Association, said that, despite a good year for hospitals in 2018, there is uncertainty on the horizon in how hospitals will get paid.

Caldwell described a “healthy schizophrenia” as segments of the industry move away from a “fee-for-service” model, where insurers reimburse healthcare providers for things like lab tests and procedures, to a “managed care” model, where insurers reimburse providers based on the health outcomes of patients.

That shift, Caldwell said, will complicate the race for more market share between hospitals and insurance companies.

“I don’t know where it leads to, to be honest with you,” Caldwell said. “We’re seeing more and more reimbursement is trending toward [the managed care model], so I’m not certain those market strategies will be the dominating force moving forward.”

Longman, the consumer advocate, said that South Florida .is typically a bellwether for the rest of the country, and in this case, he sees consolidation of the healthcare industry continuing until there are fewer and fewer players left on the field.

“When hospitals merge, they no longer have to compete with each other for patients. That means they are freer to raise prices,” Longman said. “Any insurance company … when they come into this particular market, there’s only one person to deal with, and so that person names their price.”


Source:  Miami Herald

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