Skip to content

Roundup 11-4-2016

November 4, 2016

Contents

Development – It’s Good, But . . .

— Started:

— Sort of Started:

— Ideas:

— Missing:

— Conclusion

Transportation – Here Comes the Ferry

Transportation – Downtown shuttle

Transportation/Economic Development/International Trade – Airport Goals

— One More Thing

Transportation – Whatever, It’s Bad

USF – Making a Campus

St. Pete – Channeling 1980’s Tampa, Cont

Meanwhile, In the Rest of Florida

— Miami Signature Bridge

— Port of Miami

Some Interesting Reads

— 10 Streets

— An Idea for the CSX Tracks

__________________________________

Development – It’s Good, But . . .

For as long as we’ve been interested in development in this area, there have been articles that come along listing a number of proposed projects and how great everything will be.  Inevitably, a bust comes, a number of them do not get built, then a new boom and a new crop of proposals (and articles). These days there are some good things happening in the area and a number of proposals.  And right on cue, there is another article, this one in the Times.

A cool commercial project here, another there. That’s great. But it’s easy to miss the critical mass gathering in Tampa Bay without looking at the area’s best and biggest commercial real estate developments now under way (or about to be) at the same time.

Wow!

From the frenzy of downtown projects in Tampa and St. Petersburg to Tampa International Airport and east Pasco, big-dollar and innovative developments are in high gear. Alone, they signal confidence in the urban strongholds of Tampa Bay. Combined, they send a strong message that the economic vitality of the Tampa Bay region in the coming years has been noticed and recognized by savvy developers near and far. It bodes well for the region.

Try this sampling. I’ve picked 10 area commercial projects, ranked by their Wow! factor.

We are going to break down the projects (a bit out of the article’s order) into projects that have started, projects that have sort of started, and ideas that may or may not happen.

— Started:

-Tampa International Airport expansion: We are not even going to get into what the article has to say.  The airport expansion is, like most things at the airport, well-done, attractive and promises more efficiency.

-The Heights: Here’s what the article has to say about it:

Why Wow!? Just north of downtown Tampa, site features 1,200 feet of frontage along the Hillsborough River with potential to become the northern hub of the Tampa Riverwalk boardwalk. At the project’s core is transformation of the 106-year-old, brick warehouse known as the Tampa Armature Works into an in-house market, co-working space, two restaurants and event space. The Heights Market will comprise a 22,000-square-foot open market hall.

Frankly, that is the least “Wow” inducing part of this project, though it is the part that has actually started.  This project will be “Wow” inducing (though it could be improved) if it is fully built out with all the housing, retail and office space proposed.  The Armature Works portion is nice, but if the rest of the land stays empty or is underdeveloped, then it will be disappointing.

-One St. Petersburg condo and adjoining hotel:

Why Wow! The 253-unit One St. Petersburg condo promises to be 41 stories high, making it one of the tallest buildings in the area. When the hotel was first proposed, Kolter expected it to be branded as a Hyatt Hotel. The construction site, however, no longer identifies the location as a Hyatt. We’ll see what hotel brand appears.

From One St. Petersburg - click on picture for website

From One St. Petersburg – click on picture for website

This is a nice project with a new tallest building for St. Pete and a hotel filling in a central block to downtown St. Pete.  And it has the benefit of actually being under construction.  There is the noted question about the hotel brand.  Not really “Wow,” but it is a nice project.

-Downtown Publix stores in both Tampa and St. Petersburg:

Grocery stores are needed downtown but they are not “Wow” inducing other than to say “wow, why did it take so long for Tampa?”  The fact that they show up on the list is telling.

— Sort of Started:

-Vinik-Cascade joint venture (as yet unnamed): This project is in this category because road and utility work is under way.  Still, there are no buildings coming out of the ground.

Why Wow!: It’s the most significant urban, multi-use project for Tampa Bay in more than a generation. Sets a high bar to reinvigorate broader downtown Tampa. Makes Vinik, owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the biggest real estate mover and shaker for the region. Cascade Investment partner, which manages mega-billionaire Bill Gates’ money, puts a gilded seal of approval on the extensive project. If Bill likes it, it’s got a great shot at being a winner — right?

That is not our standard for “Wow.” However, there is no question that if this project gets built out as planned (which is basically half of downtown and actually urban), it will be a big “Wow.”  It and the Heights are the two projects (and maybe the airport, but it usually gets a “Wow” from first time visitors anyway) that are actually likely to draw a “Wow” from people not from this area.

-Raymond James Financial Pasco campus: This project has started in the sense that Raymond James actually closed on the land.  What does the article have to say?

Why Wow! It has been five years since Raymond James said it would buy land for multiple towers in eastern Pasco. The planned expansion was backburnered during the recession and slow economic recovery. Last month, Raymond James finally closed on the 65 acres, another concrete step toward eventual expansion. The company won’t say when the Pasco property will get more attention but it will be a coup for Pasco to get a Fortune 500 company’s presence when it does.

While it would be a coup for employment in East Pasco, the only “wow” this will get from us is likely to be “wow, Pasco County is such a sprawling mess.  How could they not learn any lessons from all the mistakes around them?”

— Ideas:

-Tropicana Field redevelopment: Redeveloping this area has potential, but only that right now.  Who knows what will happen?

-Lafayette Place: We discussed this last week.  Our “Wow” would be “wow, those are big parking garages,” but what did the article say:

Why Wow!: Unveiled this past week. The significance, of course, is this project of tall vertical buildings would push the city’s “downtown” feel across the Hillsborough River — priming the pump, perhaps, for the western side of the river to become increasingly connected to the city’s center. 

Maybe, but note this from 83 degrees media:

The project is designed in a way that allows for development phasing. HRRC says it expects to get approval from the Tampa City Council in March 2017, and then begin more detailed design work, pricing and assessment of the marketplace for timing of certain phases of the development.

Then, thorough plans would be submitted for review and permitting through the City of Tampa. The company says it’s considering Lafayette Central as the first phase of the project, but construction would not begin before the end of 2018.

From the Business Journal - click on picture for article

From the Business Journal – click on picture for article

And some more information from URBN Tampa Bay:

The total stats of the project:

– 690,000 sf of office
– 375 residential units
– 350 hotel rooms
– 60,000 sf of retail
– 3,905 parking spaces

Lafayette Place would be 642 feet tall, making it the tallest building in the Tampa Bay Area, even including the proposed Riverwalk Tower. Central and Parkview would be 330 feet tall each.

It is not completely clear how tall the garages will be, but they will be 15 stories, so probably at least 150 feet.

From URBN Tampa Bay - click on picture for Facebook page

From URBN Tampa Bay – click on picture for Facebook page

From the Accela filings it seems that the apartment/condo buildings do have retail on the street (though some is of very odd sizes and layout).  Regardless, that is welcome.  But there is no clear retail on the Riverwalk, which would be very odd, to say the least.

There is a long way to go before anything happens (note: Hillsborough River Tower never happened). And those parking garages – we don’t need 1990 downtown jumping the river.  If they fix that and get it out of the ground, we may say “wow.”

-Port Tampa Bay: This “vision plan” requires no comment other than to say the Port needs to concentrate on being a port until the private land in downtown is filled.  Then, we’ll see.

-400 block of Central Avenue:

Why Wow! What’s striking right now is the huge crane and wrecking ball methodically smashing into bits the empty and decrepit Pheil Hotel. The goal is to make room for a mixed-used tower possibly as tall as the 41-story St. Petersburg One condo just three blocks down Central Avenue. The developer provided a rendering early on but suggests the building’s design is flexible at this point. Odds are it will be big, whatever goes up on the block. As billionaire Catsimatidis told the Tampa Bay Times: “St. Pete needs a skyline.

From Stpeterising.com - click on picture for website

From Stpeterising.com – click on picture for website

In other words, there is potential here.  We would like to see something, but there can be no “Wow” without even a firm proposal.  And, even then, for one building to be a “Wow” it would have to be very special.

— Missing:

-Feldman Trump Tower lot project: this would be a new tallest (if Lafayette Tower does not get built), mixed use, riverfront building in downtown Tampa.  If Publix and 400 block of Central Avenue make this list, we have no idea why this didn’t make it.

-TBX: How the list does not include TBX is beyond us.  Making the interstate 24 lanes right through the redeveloping urban heart of Tampa definitely deserves a “Wow” for stupidity.

— Conclusion

There are a lot of ideas out there, but there almost always are this late into a national recovery.  The bottom line is that the only thing that counts is what is actually built. We’ll withhold our Wow’s until then. (For a list of unbuilt previous proposals look at this list.)

And if you really want a “Wow,” then get a real transit system built.

Transportation – Here Comes the Ferry

This week, the ferry trial program started to much hype (and some realism).

The crowd of politicos buzzed on the deck of the Cross-Bay Ferry as it made its first journey Tuesday from the Vinoy Basin in downtown St. Petersburg across the bay to downtown Tampa.

The wind whipped around them. Women searched for hair ties as groups huddled close, shouting over the din of the engine.

“I can’t believe how fast it’s going,” said Pat Kemp, transportation advocate and Hillsborough County Commission candidate.

“The future right here, baby,” said St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, looking across the water toward Tampa’s skyline. “This is it.”

It was a 50-minute journey full of expectations. To many, the trip represented not just a cruise across Tampa Bay, but a glimpse of what life could be look like if people had more transportation options than just driving their cars.

More on that last point shortly.  First, the first mile/last mile issue:

As far as options go, the ferry could be an attractive one. The trip was smooth, the bathrooms clean and the view hard to beat. There are plenty of chairs and tables to work on. There are plans to seel beer and wine. Snacks, too. People can bring their bikes on board, which makes getting to their destinations easier on land. And the onboard WiFi makes it easy to respond to emails or post selfies during the voyage.

But concerns about the frequency and reliability of ferry travel will be an issue as people test it out during the six-month trial period. The 98-foot catamaran will make two or three roundtrips each day, with weekday hours focusing on commuter times and weekend trips catered more toward evening events.

One issue: Those who take the boat over to Tampa at 7 a.m. on a weekday will have to wait until 5:15 p.m. for the return trip. That can be difficult to depend on, said Katharine Eagan, CEO of the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority.

“The success of this is going to be tied to how quickly you can get back during the day if something happens,” Eagan said. “A boat going back and forth makes sense during rush hour, but you’re going to need a reliable service to get you back during the day if the water main breaks or the school calls and your kid is sick.”

That means other parts of the regional transportation network — such as busses, trolleys and rideshares — need to be robust enough for people to rely more on.

Indeed.  The connections at each end of the ferry are important, as is the limited schedule.

State and federal funding is available to help pay capital costs, such as buying more boats, but Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Paul Steinman, who oversees the bay area’s district, said that depends on whether ridership during the pilot program reveals a strong demand for ferry service.

“If people aren’t going to use it,” he said, “then obviously it’s not going to be something we’re going to invest in.”

The ferry runs through April 30. Then local leaders will then have to decide if there is enough interest in the project and funding available to continue, and possibly expand, the service.

And there is the rub.  First, as related in a Times editorial on transit planning generally:

Regionalism is not simply a slogan; in the Tampa Bay area, it’s a way of life. . . .

It is a way of life for most people.  For local government on real issues, not so much.

And it’s a trend that will continue — and grow. Consider these facts from the Tampa Bay Area Regional Transportation Authority. In 2010, about 260,500 workers in the eight-county area in the region crossed county lines for their employment. By 2014, that figure jumped to 423,878, an increase of nearly 63 percent.

The proportion of those crossing county lines for work increased in all eight area counties, and in four — Hillsborough, Polk, Citrus and Sarasota — the percentage of the workforce crossing their home counties at least doubled. A majority (54 percent) of Pasco commuters crossed county lines for work in 2014.

* * *

Commuters leaving each county

By percentage and total number

Hillsborough commuters

2014: 18% (98,823)

2010: 8% (43,471)

Pasco commuters

2014: 54% (95,503)

2010: 48% (83,140)

Pinellas commuters

2014: 21% (83,195)

2010: 12% , (50,562)

First, how many of those people are going from downtown Tampa to downtown St. Pete or the other way? We feel pretty confident in saying downtown to downtown travel is not the biggest flow of people back and forth between the counties. Our transportation/transit issues are not just a downtown issue.

Second, even for people making that trip, the schedule is limited, and there is the cost – $10 each way.  It is likely that a number of people will take the ferry just for the curiosity of it.  It is nice to get out on the bay.  But it is $20/person roundtrip.  That is quite steep – especially if there is more than one person (note that parking in downtown Tampa is maybe at the highest end, unless you want a reserved space, is maybe the cost of two weeks per month of this service.) How many people will use that?  Four people in a car will still not spend $80 on gas and parking for a game, especially if they are willing to walk a few blocks. (Also, consider an adult day pass for Phoenix’s light rail and local bus system, which is much more useful, is $4 – notably it is also less expensive than a Tampa streetcar day pass)

And if you are a commuter, you need to get to and from the ferry as well – which neither Hillsborough nor Pinellas are set up to really do.

We are sure the ferry ride is fun.  But that is not the most relevant thing.  Price, schedule, and market are key. At some point a ferry service may form a cog in a larger transportation system.  But for now it is much more a novelty than a solution.  Not that we are against the trial.  We just think people need to enjoy they ride and then go back to work on the real transportation issues.

And we are still wondering what happened to the proposal that actually served real commuters from South County to MacDill?

Transportation – Downtown shuttle

There were a few more details about the autonomous shuttle concept for downtown:

Plans are under way for driverless shuttles — “autonomous vehicles” — running up and down the Marion Street Transitway in eastern downtown, a route restricted to buses and other public transit.

Two boxy electric vehicles carrying six to 12 passengers would run from the Marion Transit Center south to Whiting Street, a 0.6-mile stretch with 11 intersections.

An attendant would be on board, but the vehicles, now in use in cities including Phoenix and across Europe, are designed to “see” 360 degrees around them without human assistance, using lasers, radar and other sensors.

A test of the Marion Street system is scheduled for late next year.

We are not sure why it will take a year to get the trial underway, but so be it.  It will be interesting to see, even if the utility is limited.

One thing to note is that these vehicles do not remove the need for a full transit system, as made clear by their use in Phoenix and in Europe.  This area seems to love nibbling around the edges of the problem without really addressing it.

Transportation/Economic Development/International Trade – Airport Goals

We have been writing recently about how competition never stops, using the airport as an example. The airport has announced the list of favored target flights:

The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority voted unanimously to update and extend the airport’s incentive program, which is used to help lure new airlines and routes. As part of the presentation given to the aviation authority board this morning, airport staff shared the top markets they plan to go after next.

In Europe, the targets are new flights to Dublin, Amsterdam and Manchester, England. Manchester is the most undeserved European route to Tampa Bay, said Chris Minner, the airport’s vice president of marketing. He also noted that the international airline KLM recently resumed direct service from Miami International Airport to Amsterdam after a five year absence.

In Latin America, the airport hopes to land new flights to Lima, Peru; Bogota, Columbia; and Mexico City, building on the service Copa Airlines already offers to Panama City, Panama.

Domestic goals include new nonstop service to San Diego, Portland, and Salt Lake City. 

We are not going to rank those targets.  For a number of reasons, we would like to have flights to all of them. (We would add Brazil to the list).  That being said, we note that specifically in the European realm,  Manchester is very interesting for volume of traffic, and Amsterdam on KLM is very interesting to get connected to the SkyTeam alliance in a European hub, which would give us nonstop European flights on the three alliances (though there is that Gatwick thing).

Yes, it only counts when you actually get them, but they have a record and we are  glad that the airport is staying aggressive.  Air connections are key to economic development in so many ways.

— One More Thing

Keeping up with some transatlantic Florida air service developments,

British Airways is the latest international carrier to announce new service from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

The U.K.-based carrier said Thursday it plans to begin nonstop service between Fort Lauderdale and London’s Gatwick Airport on July 6.

The new route will operate three days a week (four during the peak summer season) using 275-passenger Boeing 777-200 aircraft with 40 business, 24 premium economy and 203 economy class seats, the airline said in a news release.

Colm Lacy, British Airways’ head of commercial for Gatwick, said he expects the flight to be popular with tourists headed for South Florida’s beaches and cruises.

British Airways will become the second carrier, after Norwegian Air Shuttle, to offer nonstop service between Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International and Gatwick. It currently flies to London from Miami, Tampa and Orlando.

Miami already has flights to London, including Heathrow, and, as noted above, Fort Lauderdale already has service to Gatwick.  Like we keep saying, the competition never ends.

Transportation – Whatever, It’s Bad

This week, there was some news about an I-4 superlative.

Floridians may want to proceed with caution the next time they’re behind the wheel.

Three of the United States’ deadliest interstates go through the Sunshine State, according to a new study ― including the top offender, Interstate 4.

The 132-mile roadway, which runs from Daytona Beach to Tampa, has seen 1.4 deaths per mile in the last six years. It has consistently ranked among the country’s top 10 most dangerous interstates in that time period, according to an analysis by EverQuote, a service that compares auto insurance companies.

The other two were I-95 and I-10, but they go through other states.  I-4 doesn’t. (You can check the report here.) Though, the Orlando Sentinel took issue with the ranking.

Transportation experts said a study based on deaths per mile puts the short, congested I-4 in the same category as a long, rural freeway.

“It’s a pretty crude instrument,” said Robert Wonderlich, director of Texas A&M’s Center for Transportation Safety, who didn’t discount an underlying message of EverQuote’s finding.

We aren’t going to get into the weeds on this argument.  Whether it is the most dangerous or just dangerous, it’s dangerous.  We have seen our share of horrible driving and accidents (as they occurred as well as the aftermath).

Of course, what to do about it is the question.  We are sure some, FDOT among them, will tell us that express lanes are the answer (though news from Miami about express lanes would tell us otherwise).  We would say that adding capacity in some limited form may be needed at some point simply because of volume, though express lanes are an inefficient way to add capacity as they purposefully limit the number of cars in the lane.  And, of course, I-4 was already expanded and does not appear to be much safer.

We also need alternatives.  We could have had high-speed rail between Tampa and Orlando already (of course, there is the question of getting around once you reach either destination, but that goes to comprehensive planning.)  There are some other things we can think of, but we aren’t going to get into them now.  The point is that we lack alternatives and just trying to squeeze more traffic on ever-growing highways that just get congested again is of limited utility.

USF – Making a Campus

For a while now, we have thought that the USF campus was a bit lacking.  The original architecture was quite uninspired (it has gotten better) and the layout was a bit odd and completely unconnected from the area around it.  While we accepted that it is not really going to be properly connected to the sprawl that now surrounds it (note, when it was first built the area was mostly empty so it did not have to be the way it is now), steps have been taken to make it more campus-like.  This week, there were some details on the next stage.

The University of South Florida has begun construction on the first phase of what it’s calling a “transformational new housing village” on its Tampa campus.

The project is a $134 million public-private partnership with Capstone-Harrison Street LLC, which is a partnership of Capstone Development Partners LLC and Harrison Street Real Estate Capital, the university said in an announcement.

So what does that mean?

Named “The Village,” the community features the following buildings: Beacon, Summit, Endeavor, Pinnacle and Horizon. The dining hall will be named “The Hub,” and a wellness facility will be called “The Fit.” (See renderings in the photo gallery.)

Setting aside those names (because, really, what could we possibly say?),

It is being built on the north portion of campus and will replace the Andros housing complex, built in the 1960s.

In addition to the wellness facility and dining hall, the residence project includes suite and traditional style residential beds, an outdoor pool and retail spaces.

Phase I includes Beacon, Summit, The Hub and The Fit. Phase II will include Endeavor, Pinnacle and Horizon, according to USF.

The first phase includes about 900 beds and is expected to be complete in time for fall 2017. The second phase is expected to be complete one year later, USF said.

It will eventually be home to about 2,000 students.

That is all fine, though only a very small fraction of the enrollment.  Here are some renderings:

From the Business Journal - click on picture for article

From the Business Journal – click on picture for article

From the Business Journal - click on picture for article

From the Business Journal – click on picture for article

First, it is definitely better than what is there now. And it will create a much more campus-like environment (at least for some).  That is all good. On the other hand, it is quite bland, and we are not sure how the colors, while being school colors, will look in real life. (and we hope getting to and from the complex is not a scorching hot as getting around USF can often be.)

Regardless, it is an upgrade that USF definitely needed, and we are definitely for upgrading USF’s campus.

St. Pete – Channeling 1980’s Tampa, Cont

Last week, we discussed a proposal to build a hulking, ugly building on the historic First block (where Janus Live is) in St. Pete.  There are developments, from Creative Loafing:

Last week, St. Petersburg City Council voted 4-4 not to protect this historic low-rise block from potential demolition. Both city staff and preservation commissioners had recommended approval of a local historic designation to protect these buildings, so the “no” vote came as a shock.

Since the buildings’ owners were not supportive of protection, there needed to be a super majority vote, 6-2, to carry the day, but a tie vote leaves the block vulnerable. Peter Belmont, an attorney and vice president of St. Pete Preservation (SPP), decried the vote, saying that protecting this block is central to the town’s history.

Initially, preservationists assumed that the matter could be revisited this week, but city lawyers clarified that since this was a quasi-judicial hearing, it’s a done deal. The only potential change would occur if a property owner came to understand how valuable this designation would be for tax credits and would request designation willingly.

We are not going to get into the whole discussion of why the block is historic (you can read the article) but here is a taste:

For all the furor over preserving St. Pete Pier, it was a johnny-come-lately compared to First Block, which, with its 15 historic structures, is the true epicenter of downtown. Built between 1885-1937, the block was the site of the city’s first commercial buildings, created there by the town’s most prominent movers and shakers. 

It is a bit shocking that the First Block has not been protected before.  But it hasn’t.  Now, this might get ugly (like the proposal):

From the Times, click on picture for article

From the Times – click on picture for article

Last month Amico submitted preliminary plans for the tower, which city planners say are incomplete. St. Petersburg officials said they won’t consider the plan until other property owners within the block sign off on it. The Federal Aviation Administration must also determine that the project will not interfere with flight paths for Albert Whitted Airport.

Amico’s proposal, the mayor said, just doesn’t work.

“It’s totally out of character with the surrounding neighborhood,” Kriseman said.

The mayor said as long as he’s in office, the city won’t vacate the alley running down the middle of the block. That would make development difficult, the mayor said.

Amico disagreed.

“I don’t need his alley,” he said of the mayor. “He’s going to stop … me from cleaning up that stinking alley. Okay, I’m in.”

Though, on the bright side:

The project requires approval at several levels, and Amico said he probably won’t build anything for years. “I want to know the market is ready,” he said. “I don’t want to build a building and not have a market.”

Allowing this proposal to go forward would be basically what Tampa has done to most of its history (though it has started to learn, somewhat).  It would truly a step backwards for St. Pete.

Meanwhile, In the Rest of Florida

— Miami Signature Bridge

With all the talk of the Howard Frankland, TBX and limited money, we thought it was time to check in with the Miami Signature Bridge project.

Five design firms have earned the right to submit a final design proposal for what’s being called a “signature bridge” on I-395 in downtown Miami and one of them should get a contract by spring, according to state transportation officials.

The Florida Department of Transportation anticipates construction to begin in late 2017 and last five years. A state website devoted to the I-395 improvement project lists December 2017 as the construction start date.

A change from the original plan is the addition of three related components, which adds more than $200 million to the overall cost, bringing it to $800 million, according to Maria I. Perdomo of the state transportation department and project manager for the I-395 project.

The bulk of the project is to rebuild 1.4 miles of I-395 from the I-95/Midtown interchange to the west channel bridge of the MacArthur Causeway in Miami.

* * *

The maximum construction funding for each component is $555 million to improve I-395 including the new bridge; $186 million to improve MDX SR 83611; $25 million to reconstruct I-95 pavement; and $35 million for the work on the westbound connector.

Remember, recently we were told that:

But Pinellas County controls the Howard Frankland portion of the project with nearly $500 million in funding secured to replace the aging bridge.

So, this small project is more expensive than the Howard Frankland, which is many miles, not just 1.4 miles.

And we have been told that each element of TBX is contingent on the other components for funding, but there is apparently money for Miami.   Nor is the Howard Frankland (or any part of TBX) getting “signature” bridge treatment.

— Port of Miami

Speaking of Miami, there is news from their port:

In preparation for a new era of sea travel that will bring larger cargo and cruise ships to South Florida, PortMiami has been awarded $33 million in state grants over the next five years, the port announced Friday.

The opening of the Panama Canal has already brought larger cargo ships to Miami with more growth projected, the port said. It invested $1.3 billion to dredge and widen PortMiami, complete the port tunnel and purchase four Super-Post-Panamax cranes and build an on-port rail link. The port increased containerized cargo traffic by 14 percent in 2014-15, and another 2 percent in fiscal year 2015-16.

On the cruise side, the port broke a world record in fiscal year 2015-16: Nearly 5 million cruise passengers sailed through PortMiami. That industry is projected to boom in the coming years.

In November and December, the port will welcome Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Vista and Regent Seven Seas’ Seven Seas Explorer, the largest and newest ships for their respective lines.

We know their cruise business (some more on Miami and Ft. Lauderdale cruise business here) is going to do well, while though the long-term plan for our cruise business is still not clear (though the addition of a ship is nice for now).  And note that they are growing their container business (which is already very big).  Does it make sense for our port to not pursue (not say they are open to it, but actually pursue) all container opportunities, including potential with Mariel in Cuba?

Some Interesting Reads

— 10 Streets

Curbed.com had an interesting item on “10 Streets That Define America.”   The title might be slightly hyperbolic, but the item (really items) is interesting nonetheless. The two most interesting sections are on building an urban environment out of urban decay, which looks at Pittsburgh, Denver, and Louisville, and transportation, which looks at Phoenix and Honolulu.  We highly recommend it (here).

— An Idea for the CSX Tracks

The second interesting item is from Europe.

Germany is set to introduce the world’s first zero-emission passenger train to be powered by hydrogen.

The Coradia iLint only emits excess steam into the atmosphere, and provides an alternative to the country’s 4,000 diesel trains.

Lower Saxony has already ordered 14 of them from French company Alstom, and more are likely to be seen around the country if they are judged a success, reports Die Welt.

We have proposed using DMU’s on the CSX tracks.  However, it makes sense to use hydrogen, especially because theoretically it can be produced locally (see Gulf of Mexico), and has zero emissions (regardless of whether you believe in global warming or not, why would you want more emissions using a non-local fuel?)

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: