Miami Beach

Beach leaders push forward on convention center plans

Miami Beach Commissioners on Wednesday took another step towards completing a $500 million convention center renovation.

Commissioners approved the opening of a bid open for companies interested in redesigning and building the city’s convention center.

Companies have until Sept.19 to submit their responses to the bid, and after a ranking process, the commission will select the company they think is best for the job. The aim is to pick a design/builder by April 2015.

Also on Wednesday, commissioners agreed to issue a bid for a consultant to represent the city throughout the construction process.

The representative’s job would be to "monitor the design-builder to make sure the city gets what it purchases," said Jeff Sachs, another consultant helping the city during the convention center process.

In other business, the commission:

* Decided to delay enforcement of regulations on delivery trucks until further notice. The regulations were passed in the name of making traffic flow more smoothly in South Beach by restricting when and where trucks could park to load and unload and promising to get tough on double-parkers.

Enforcement was supposed to begin Sept. 3.

Business owner and former Commissioner Saul Gross asked the city to consider more localized regulations before starting to write tickets, which the commission agreed to do.

“I don’t want to push something and force it to fit,” said Commissioner Deede Weithorn.

* Agreed to ask the Federal Trade Commission to review proposed Miami-Dade County regulations on ride-for-hire services such as Lyft and Uber. Such services are currently prohibited by the county, though companies have been illegally operating in Miami-Dade.

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine has called the ban on ride-for-hire sharing services “a restraint on trade.”

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