What areas of Miami have experienced an increased commercial activity in the past year?
Commercial activity has grown significantly in areas such as Brickell, Wynwood, Design District and South Beach. The runners, the Brickell Ave., Lincoln Road, and Biscayne Blvd are those that stand out. Flagler Street and Downtown will be the next revelation.
What is the nationality of the majority of commercial investors that you deal with?
I am fortunate for having a varied and diversified clientele, I like dealing with different cultures; understanding their thinking and habits is a pleasure and a challenge. Also by having a global client portfolio you don't depend on any specific country. Just to mention some examples I have clients from China, Brazil, India, Israel, Iraq, Italy, Argentina, Colombia, Espana. For me the key is diversification.
You have had two recent important retail deals in Brickell (Icon and Millecento), what is the Brickell promise that keeps investors moving in the area?
Fortune offered me to come to Brickell to work in 2003. Right away I saw the enormous potential that this area had. In 2003 not even one third of the businesses that now exist in Brickell were built. Currently Brickell is the heart of financial businesses in Miami and the second in importance in the country, that is why it is not only local but also a global trade place. Along Brickell Avenue you can find the largest concentration of foreign bank institutions in America. After the crisis of 2008, Brickell quickly absorbed the supply and was able to fully recover.
What type of business, in your opinion, is missing in Brickell/Downtown Miami and therefore you think it would be successful in these areas?
Demographics have changed, now Millennials are moving to Miami expecting to find first class entertainment and a variety of dining options. This type of business would be successful and able to satisfy the taste of the new Miami’s residents.
More variety in nightlife options such as more ethnic restaurants, traditional American and fast-casual. Places where young adults can meet with friends and enjoy good food, good conversation, and have a good time in this safe and placid neighborhood.
What type of business is not missing in Brickell/ Downtown area but it's a safe bet?
Companies dedicated to the financial business will always be safe; fast-casual restaurants with good service, food and price have had a consistent good performance.
Do you think that we are going to see the growth that Brickell has gone through in other emerging areas of Miami such as Edgewater, Downtown Miami or the Design District?
The growth in other Miami areas will follow Brickell model only the growth rate will not be as fast as in Brickell. Firstly because the allowed build up densities and calculated height are different. The difference is more than double. In addition, Brickell's Financial District attracts a large quantity of people daily, as well as its new entertainment and upscale dining options. Furthermore, Brickell’s nightlife has a sustained growth rate very appealing to people looking to have fun and meet with friends in a safe environment.
Miami is emerging as a global city, the first neighborhood to see this development was Brickell but definitely will be followed by other areas such as Flagler Street and Downtown, MiMO District, Miami River District, and the Design District.
In which way do you contribute to the development of commercial real estate in Miami?
I am grateful to contribute to the development of commercial real estate in Miami by bringing international brands to this local market. Some of these brands are Cipriani, Coya, La Cantina #20, La Provence, Le Entrecote de Paris, Giordano, Mondo Pasta, etc. I focus on offering specific advice and service to global and sophisticated clients, attracting responsible investors and family offices, and then I match them with great properties and opportunities.