“The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, to coordinate all disaster relief efforts,” the White House said on Friday.
Resources will also be provided for emergency measures to “save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in Miami-Dade County,” read the declaration, which was released in the early hours of Friday.
An exclusive penthouse address in the Surfside neighborhood of Miami Beach has set a record for the biggest known all-cryptocurrency real estate transaction.
In mid-May, the Arte Surfside by Antonio Citterio announced it would accept cryptocurrency as payment. Weeks later, it sold the first of its 16 units to an unnamed buyer for $22.5 million in crypto.
The 5,067-square-foot penthouse is located on the ninth floor of the 12-story building, and includes four bedrooms and four bathrooms. Its standout feature is a 2,960-square-foot terrace with oceanfront views.
Arte has not released the name of the buyer or the particular crypto in which the buyer paid for the deal, but the building’s developers believe they’re on the cusp of a radical shift in the real estate market.
“Cryptocurrency is the future of wealth, and we believe this is only the beginning,” said Arte’s codeveloper Giovanni Fasciano in a statement. “Arte has set the precedent for what these sales can look like, and how fast they can take place. We’re proud to have laid the groundwork for this new, burgeoning world.”
So what does $22.5 million in crypto get you, amenities-wise? Arte offers indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a rooftop tennis court, and a gym and yoga studio, along with a sauna, a steam room, and something Arte refers to as a “beachfront meditation pond.” There’s also a children’s playroom, a catering kitchen, and temperature-controlled parking spaces.
The all-crypto deal comes as brokerages have begun to more seriously consider cryptocurrency.
Some brokerages have begun hiring specialists to handle crypto transactions, but most developers and agents aren’t yet accepting cryptocurrency as payment and require that sellers instead convert their crypto into cash for purchases.
New companies, including a start-up called Propy, have popped up to offer crypto courses for real estate agents, creating a new industry in the process. For around $500, Propy teaches agents how to work with crypto-solvent clients.
In an interview with Forbes, Fasciano said he believes real estate will remain a strong investment opportunity even as crypto changes what that wealth looks like.
“History has proven that new wealth holders always turn to real estate as a way to preserve their wealth – as well as their legacy – for the long term,” he said. “So we expected that the world’s newest cryptocurrency millionaires and billionaires would naturally share this same logic.”
Real-estate developer Ian Bruce Eichner has sold his three-level Miami Beach penthouse for $35 million, six years after he put it on the market, Candace Taylor reported for The Wall Street Journal.
The 11,031-square-foot condo, at the top of the 42-story Continuum tower in the South of Fifth neighborhood, was Eichner’s personal penthouse. He first put it on the market it in 2015, and it was most recently listed for $39.9 million, per the Journal.
Leaders in the Black community in South Florida are raising concerns over the way police responded to spring breakers on Miami Beach after a curfew was imposed this weekend following large crowds and chaotic behavior from tourists and partiers.
“When I saw what happened on Saturday night, the only thing I could do was shake my head in sadness and disgust,” Stephen Hunter Johnson, the chairman of the Miami-Dade Black Advisory Board, told Insider.
Many of the spring breakers in Miami Beach this year appeared to be young and Black, he said.
“My objection isn’t that Miami Beach is policing the beach,” Johnson added. “My objection is that we’re not doing it in what I think is a sensible way, given the circumstances and given the mood of the country.”
Prior to Saturday, Johnson said he didn’t mind the police response to spring breakers this year. But, he said, he was “disappointed” to hear of a curfew that was imposed by Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber at 4 p.m. Saturday.
Officials said the curfew was imposed after spring break vacationers damaged restaurants, gathered without masks or social distancing, and fought in the streets, Insider previously reported.
It went into effect four hours later, at 8 p.m. Not long after, the Miami Beach police were blasting sound cannons and using pepper balls to disperse crowds. The tactics appeared to work. At 9:37 p.m., the crowd seemed entirely gone, according to a photo of a typically crowded intersection tweeted by police.
Glendon Hall, the chairman of Miami Beach Black Affairs Advisory Committee, told the Miami Herald on Sunday he was on the beach’s famed Ocean Drive when police arrived. He said he and some of the city’s “goodwill ambassadors” – volunteers who were helping pass out masks – were helping remove people from the street after the curfew was in effect.
He told the Herald the crowd had been calm until a Coral Gables SWAT truck arrived, which heightened tensions. A brief stampede ensued when police began to fire pepper balls at the crowd.
Johnson told Insider the images and video showing rowdy partygoers weren’t that unusual for spring break in Miami Beach. But what made matters worse this year, he said, were local COVID-19 restrictions that allowed full capacity at hotels but capped capacity at restaurants and bars to 50%.
“It’s not the first time someone’s run out on the bill at someplace on a beach during spring break,” Johnson told Insider. “It’s not the first time that people have gotten into drunk fights on spring break on the beach. It’s not even the first time that someone has danced on top of a car. That’s spring break on Miami Beach.”
But restrictions led more spring breakers to party in the streets, he said, creating some of the chaotic scenes and the headline-making viral images and videos of tightly-packed and maskless partiers standing atop cars.
Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Clements told the Miami Herald the police department would review the Saturday incident internally.
“I think officers felt threatened at the time,” Clements told the Herald. “There has to be an element there of either the crowd fighting or coming at officers.”
“If you spent the summer protesting police treatment of Black people nationwide, you’re going to be sensitive to police treatment of Black people while you’re on vacation,” Johnson said. “And what we don’t want – because Miami was spared some of the more disruptive protests the rest of the country experienced – is that reoccurring here on our beach.”
He said police should’ve been more prepared to disperse the crowd in a less confrontational way.
While many Miami Beach residents applauded the curfew, Connolly Graham, a member of the Miami Beach Black Affairs Advisory Committee, told the Miami Herald last week “we have to realize that we are definitely fighting an undertone of racism” in the community.
Looking toward Memorial Day, Johnson said the Miami-Dade Black Advisory Board, Miami Beach Black Affairs Advisory Committee, and the local chapter of the NAACP planned to meet with police to avoid a repeat of the Saturday incident.
“In the past, that’s exactly what the Miami Beach Police Department did,” he said. “They were very proactive. And we want to make sure that we get back to them being proactive about discussing their plan.”
Miami Beach city commissioners on Sunday extended the curfew, in effect from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Thursday-Sunday, until April 12.
Miami Beach, Florida has extended its 8 p.m. curfew in a bustling part of the city until April 12 as the hot destination continues to see an influx of travelers “disregarding the law” during this year’s spring break season, the Miami Herald reported.
“If you are coming here with an anything-goes party attitude, change your flight reservation now and go to Vegas,” Raul Aguila, Miami Beach’s city manager previously said during a city council meeting before the travel surge, The Wall Street Journal reported. “Miami Beach is not going to tolerate anarchy.
“I have personally had trouble even sleeping at night, worrying about what’s going to happen in the city,” Dan Gelber, mayor of Miami Beach, said, according to the Washington Post.
In response to this, during an emergency meeting on Sunday, the city approved an extension on both its 8 p.m. curfew in the South Beach entertainment district and decreased causeway access to Miami Beach. These protocols will be implemented from Thursday through Sunday until the end of spring break, April 12, the Miami Herald reported.
“This is a spring break like no other,” Aguila said, according to a report from NBC News.
The city has attributed this surge of spring break visitors to three areas: reduced flight, hotel, and rental costs. In Miami specifically, hotels have been looking at 90% occupancy rates for Thursday-through-Sunday stays through the spring break season, Wendy Kallergis, president and CEO of the Greater Miami and the Beaches Hotel Association, told Insider earlier this month.
As a result, Jan Freitag – the national director for hospitality market analytics at STR, a hospitality data and analytics group – predicted that Miami, and all of South Florida, will be doing “quite well” during the spring break travel season into the impending summer travel boom.
“I believe it’s a lot of pent-up demand from the pandemic and people wanting to get out,” David Richardson, a Miami Beach City Commission member, said, the New York Times reported. “And our state has been publicly advertised as being open, so that’s contributing to the issue.”
Police in Miami Beach shot pepper balls at spring break crowds that refused to abide by the city’s 8 p.m. curfew on Saturday night, local outlet WPLG reported.
Earlier on Saturday, the city of Miami Beach declared a state of emergency and set a curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. starting that night, in response to the thousands of people who had traveled to the popular spring break destination.
Officials said Sunday the measures will remain in place for Thursday to Sunday until April 11, when the spring break crowds thin, The Washington Post reported.
“I have personally had trouble even sleeping at night, worrying about what’s going to happen in the city,” Mayor Dan Gelber said Sunday, according to The Post. “And that shouldn’t be the state of any mayor or any commissioner or any manager or any police chief.”
Police arrested at least a dozen people on Saturday after hundreds of mostly maskless tourists stayed out past the curfew, CNN reported.
Hours after the curfew was announced and went into place people were still roaming around, WPLG reported.
“At night there is no question that it became a little out of control or a lot out of control,” Gelber told the outlet.
Footage of the night from WPLG shows a stampede unfolding after police threw pepper balls into the large crowd.
Miami Beach spokeswoman Veronica Payssé told CNN last week that the state does not allow the city to fine those who violate mask orders, which she said has made it harder for police to patrol the destination.
Florida hit a new pandemic milestone of 2 million coronavirus cases on Saturday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Altogether around 100 people have been arrested over the weekend in Miami Beach, Florida, as police clamp down on what they described as unruly spring breakers, CNN reported.
On Saturday, 30 people were arrested Miami Beach Police said. The night prior, two officers were injured and taken to the hospital after a large unruly crowd surrounded officers making an arrest.
Police said in a tweet that they “forced to utilize pepper balls to disperse members of the crowd.”
Miami Beach Police did not reply to Insider’s email request for comment at the time of publication but told the Associated Press that as of Saturday, the two officers were released from the hospital but are still off-duty as they recover.
WSVN reported that a video surfaced of an officer body-slamming a man as he tried to arrest him on Friday. Miami Beach Police Officer Ernesto Rodriguez told the outlet that the man was inciting a crowd of around 200 people.
Miami Beach spokeswoman Veronica Payssé told CNN that drugs and weapons were seized from those who were detained.
Local outlet WPLG reported that officers are working 12-hour shifts. Payssé told CNN that while this conduct is common during spring break, the pandemic has made it difficult to police.
The city still mandates that people wear face coverings in public, but Payssé told CNN the state doesn’t allow those who don’t follow mask orders to be fined.
“We are dealing with the behavior,” Chief of Police Richard Clements told WPLG. “All we want to do is for people who want to come down here to have a good time, enjoy themselves, but obey the rules.”
Spring break, which begins for many colleges this month, could trigger the rampant spread of new COVID-19 variants across the US, a world-leading global health expert told CNN.
While CDC advice remains to stay at home and avoid travel, students opting to vacation at spring break hotspots might accelerate the transmission of highly contagious strains.
“It’s the perfect storm,” Dr. Peter Hotez, founding dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, told CNN.
Hotez said he is particularly concerned that college students heading to Florida’s beaches could result in a surge of cases of the B117 coronavirus variant, also known as the UK variant.
“You’ve got the B117 variant accelerating in Florida. You’ve got all these 20-year-old kids. None of them are going to have masks. They’re all going to be drinking. They’re having pretty close, intimate contact,” he told CNN. “And then, after that’s all done, they’re going to go back to their home states and spread the B117 variant.”
The B117 variant is believed to be up to 74% more contagious than the original virus. Florida, one of the most popular spring break locations, is currently the epicenter of the highly transmissible strain.
There are 642 cases of the variant in the Sunshine State, more than any other state in the nation, according to the CDC.
“Spring break in Florida could spell disaster for the country,’ Hotez told CNN.
“This is not the time to have a superspreader event for that UK variant, which is what spring break in Florida would look like,” Hotez added. “This is not the time to be sending a bunch of 20-year-olds to Florida, then sending them back, disseminating it across the country.”
Mayor Dan Gelber of Miami Beach, Florida, shares these concerns. He told CNN that spring breakers congregating at bars, hotels, and restaurants “might become the kinds of super-spreaders that I think we saw a year ago.”
Florida’s beaches have always been a go-to destination for college students on spring break. But this year, a Miami Beach, Florida official is asking spring breakers to instead head to Las Vegas amid concerns of COVID-19 spread from partygoers.
“If you are coming here with an anything-goes party attitude, change your flight reservation now and go to Vegas,” Raul Aguila, Miami Beach’s city manager, said during a city council meeting, the Wall Street Journal reported. “Miami Beach is not going to tolerate anarchy.”
Last year, several colleges were out on spring break when the US started imposing coronavirus-related shutdowns. As a result, Florida’s Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach began implementing safety protocols, such as limited gatherings to 250 people and an 11 p.m. curfew.
Dan Gelber, mayor of Miami Beach, is now predicting a “larger than typical spring break,” Gelber told WSVN 7 News. In response, Miami Beach has implemented even stronger safety protocols for crowds between February 22 to April 12. These new safety measures now include capacity limits on parking garages and some public beaches, as well as increased police presence.
The typical boozy spring break must-haves like coolers, tents, and alcohol consumption are now also banned from public beaches during this “high impact period.”
“If you plan to vacation on Miami Beach, do so responsibly or be arrested,” Aguila said in the news release announcing these additional targeted spring break measures.
Loeb, the founder and CEO of New York-based hedge fund Third Point, is worth about $3 billion, according to Forbes.
His new waterfront home has seven bedrooms and nearly 14,000 square feet of living space, according to the listing. It features a home theater, a rooftop deck, a private boat dock, and separate guest quarters. Loeb bought the house from developer Peter Fine, per the Real Deal.