SkyRise Miami Passes, but Is It Really Better Than the Downtown Soccer Stadium?

Categories: Business

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It's a go!
Developer Jeff Berkowitz's plan to build an enormous observation tower in downtown Miami passed at the polls Tuesday, but its effect on downtown remains to be seen.

The few voters who showed up to cast ballots in the city yesterday approved the $400 million, 1,000-foot tower by a two-to-one margin. It will also likely include a Tower of Terror-like ride when finished around 2018. Berkowitz will now have to pay the city $1 million upfront. General Growth Properties, which owns Bayside Marketplace, must also invest $27 million in upgrades to the shopping center, and its lease will be extended.

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Waffles and Parking Debate in Wynwood This Morning

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Photo by Rich Robinson
The great Wynwood parking debate continues.
Amid rampant strife from local businesses over ongoing changes to Wynwood parking, the city's parking chief, Art Noriega, is set to defend the new regulations in a discussion with the changes' most vocal critic, local tech entrepreneur Mario Cruz. The parking showdown will commence later this morning at the neighborhood's Waffle Wednesday event at the offices of LiveNinja.com at 120 NW 25th St.

See also: Miami Parking Authority Apologizes for Ticketing in Wynwood, Will Issue Refunds

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Burger King May Be Moving Headquarters to Canada

Categories: Business

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Bye-bye, Burger King? One of Miami-Dade's biggest and perhaps most well-known corporate citizens may be moving to Canada.

According to the New York Times, Burger King confirmed yesterday that its pursuing a merger with Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons that would see the fast-food chain moving its corporate headquarters from Miami-Dade to America's attic.

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Unemployment in Miami-Dade Down 2.9 Percent From a Year Ago

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Unemployment in Miami-Dade is down 2.9 percent from a year ago, according to the latest number from the Florida Department of Economic Activity, indicating that economic recovery in the county continues. The unemployment rate in the county now sits at 7.3 percent (not seasonally adjusted), and the county added 29,600 jobs between June 2013 and June 2014.

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CVS Buying Navarro Discount Pharmacy

Categories: Business

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America's largest Hispanic-owned pharmacy chain is set to become a subsidy of a Fortune 500 company.

CVS Pharmacy is set to buy Miami-based Navarro Discount Pharmacy. The chain will continue to operate under its original name and will mostly focus on Hispanic customers.

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Local UberX Driver Says Working for Company Is a Rip-Off

Categories: Business

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Courtesy of Uber
Editor's Note: After this post was first published this morning, a spokesperson for UberX contacted Riptide and said the company does not have a driver registered under the name Jahrvone Bentley. Riptide got in touch with Bentley, who claimed he was using a pseudonym out of fear of reprisal from the company; Riptide guaranteed Bentley's anonymity and asked for documentation confirming that he is in fact an UberX driver. Bentley provided it.

When Miami native Jahrvone Bentley heard UberX was coming to his city, he thought driving for the company would be a good way to earn some cash.

Three weeks later he's disgusted. "They don't care about the drivers," he tells Riptide. "The drivers are losing."

UberX is a division of the popular San Francisco startup Uber, an app-based cab-like service that uses professional drivers in sleek black cars. But UberX functions in a way similar to ride-sharing, allowing the app users to book rides on the cheap from people who aren't licensed cabbies but have registered to work as drivers for the company.

See also: UberX Will Launch in Miami Today, Defying Miami-Dade's Taxi Laws

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Doral Walmart Is the Busiest Walmart in the Country

Categories: Business

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Photo by Patrick Hoesly/Flickr | CC2.0
If you're wondering why Walmart was so desperate to build its first store within the City of Miami limits at Midtown, it's probably because its stores in other parts of the county are so damn popular. In fact, the Doral Walmart has the highest sales of any store in the entire country.

See also: Walmart Officially Closes on Midtown Property

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BankUnited Discriminates Against Gun Dealers, Local Store Owners Claim

Categories: Business

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Wikimedia Commons
T.R. Liberti is not the type of man to mince words. His full name -- Theodore Roosevelt Liberti -- "sounds like a black football player," he jokes. His Costa Rican wife, Elizabeth, "is not like an immigrant. She comes from a wealthy family and is well educated." As for his line of work -- the New Jersey native has spent 47 years in firearms sales and instruction -- Liberti says guns are "fun."

"Some people bowl," he says. "Other people get together and shoot."

So it's no surprise the irascible 70-year-old couches the couple's feud with BankUnited in simple terms: "They are a bunch of chickenshits."

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Amazon Will Start Charging Florida Sales Tax May 1

Categories: Business

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photo via Stephen Woods' Flickr | CC2.0
We're sure that after yesterday, the last thing you want to hear about is more taxes. But you'd better get ready to pay a lot more of them if you're a frequent online shopper. Amazon will begin charging Floridians a sales tax May 1, just like any brick-and-mortar store.

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DJ Raw, Wynwood's Hip-Hop Forefather and Cocaine Kingpin, Now Sells Hemp Cakes

Categories: Business, News

photo by C. Stiles
DJ Raw
Raul Medina Jr. walks into a Starbucks in Hollywood's Young Circle and asks for a cup of black coffee with light hazelnut syrup and exactly two ice cubes. Better-known as DJ Raw, Medina brought hip-hop to Miami from his native South Bronx and founded Hoodstock, a free, big-name festival in Wynwood in the '90s. He's also a former cocaine kingpin who did a ten-year prison stint for trafficking. Today he's a 50-year-old vegan father of five who prefers the quiet life up in Broward to the neighborhood he helped transform into a graffiti artist's mecca.

"When I got out, people were like 'Let's go take over 40th Street again,'  Medina says. "I was like, 'You can keep 40th Street; I'm going to Broward.' 

See also: Raw Returns: Just released from prison, Miami hip-hop icon DJ Raw is ready for the takeover

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