New Spanish Language Blog Captures Essence of “New Miami”

logo (59)Bilzin Sumberg has launched Nuevo Miami, a Spanish language publication of the New Miami blog. Nuevo Miami focuses on sharing ground-level insights about the gateway city’s continually growing opportunities for foreign investors and expanding global significance as an international center of commerce.

International Group Co-Chairs, José Ferrer and Javier Aviñó, serve as editors on the Nuevo Miami blog. When speaking of Miami’s ongoing transformation, Javier F. Aviñó stated,

“We launched New Miami as Miami was rising from the ashes of the great recession. Now, with the city looking toward the horizon as we continue to grow as a hub for technology and innovation, we hope Nuevo Miami will strengthen Miami’s bond with the Latin American community that has long been such an integral part of its success.”

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Hostel Takeover: Part One

Hostel Takeover On our New Miami blog we often talk about Miami’s role as a trendsetting market for the hospitality industry. Over the last few years, Miami has been a popular launching point for luxury brands, such as The Thompson Miami Beach, Ian Schrager’s EDITION  Hotel South Beach, SIXTY Hotel’s Nautilus South Beach, AC Hotel by Marriott  and fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger’s revitalization of The Raleigh Hotel as a hotel and private club. Each of these brands is competing in an luxury arms race to appeal to affluent travelers. However, Miami’s best kept secret, and potentially most lucrative, may just be a high-end hostel appealing to the elusive millennial market and its estimated $220 billion in annual spending power.

Hostels, long the lodging of choice with the international backpacking set rather than the international jet set, have long been a mainstay in Europe, but have struggled to take off in America. However, since opening in 2012 in the shell of an old motel to the north of South Beach, Freehand has quickly become a popular destination for both locals and tourists. For locals, it’s a popular hangout known for its food, drinks and entertainment. Tourists are attracted to its appeal to locals, trendy reputation and low rates. Unashamedly casual and low-key, Freehand is reminiscent of old Miami Beach and offers an affordable escape from the glitz and glamour of its more luxurious neighbors. Continue Reading

Miami-Dade County Proposed Budget Confirms Dedication To P3s

P3 BudgetLast week Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez introduced the County’s FY 2015-16 Proposed Budget and Multi-Year Capital Plan. A review of the budget’s line items confirms the County’s dedication to the use of public-private partnerships (“P3s”) in executing its ambitious capital improvement plans across the board. The County has allocated $250,000 for P3 consulting support to, as the mayor stated,

“help pay for the expertise needed to ensure these Public Private Partnership agreements include the needed protections to ensure the delivery of new facilities and services far into the future.”

According to the mayor, private consulting on the use of P3s will allow the County to take advantage of the increasing number of P3 opportunities presented by the private sector. Continue Reading

Lawyers May Advise on Clients’ Social Media Clean-Up

lawyers advice on Social MediaMost lawyers can easily recall a litigation scenario where a client’s past social media post, photo, or video caused more than a little consternation in both client and lawyer. A new opinion from The Florida Bar now allows lawyers to take preemptive steps to avoid these mishaps. Last week, a committee affirmed a Proposed Advisory Opinion from The Florida Bar’s Professional Ethics Committee that permits attorneys to counsel clients to change privacy settings on and remove information from social media accounts prior to litigation, so long as such action does not violate substantive rules or laws and the data is preserved.

The Proposed Advisory Opinion is the result of an unnamed bar member inquiring about the ethical obligations of attorneys advising clients to “clean up” their social media accounts before trial to eliminate embarrassing information the attorney considers immaterial to the suit. The inquiry asked whether, pre-litigation, a lawyer may advise a client to remove posts, photos, videos, and information from social media pages, whether related directly or not to the incident for which the lawyer is retained. The lawyer also inquired whether a lawyer may advise a client to change social media settings from ‘public’ to ‘private’ and whether a lawyer must advise a client not to remove posts if the lawyer has advised the client to set media settings to ‘private.’ Continue Reading

Amendments to Condominium Termination Law Impede Ability to Terminate

Amendments to Condominium Termination Law Impede Ability to TerminateResponding to perceived abuses in condominium terminations, the 2015 Florida Legislature passed Chapter 2015-175, amending the termination provisions of the Condominium Act. This statute clears up certain problems experienced in prior terminations while imposing a number of impediments to future terminations. If a termination plan is rejected, the period in which it may be reconsidered is extended from 180 days to 18 months. Furthermore, condominiums created by conversions of rental properties cannot be terminated prior to five years following the recording of their declarations of condominium. Continue Reading

Sunset of Distressed Condominium Relief Act Extended

MiamiThe Distressed Condominium Relief Act enacted as Part VII of the Condominium Act in 2010 (“Act”) was a temporary measure to encourage absorption of unsold condominium units arising as a result of the Great Recession. This legislation attempted to allay the fears of potential investors about incurring developer liability in connection with the purchase of bulk units. The Act created a shield in favor of bulk purchasers from such potential liability, especially construction defects liability.

The Act worked well and, within its two year original life, many distressed projects were restored to viability. The success in restoring these projects encouraged the Florida Legislature to extend the life of the Act for an additional three years. A further one year extension was made by the 2014 Legislature.  Continue Reading

How New SEC Focus Will Affect SFL Real Estate Private Equity

Bilzin Sumberg - New Miami BlogSouth Florida real estate private equity funds: take note of a recent speech by Marc Wyatt, SEC Director of Compliance, following up on previous concerns expressed regarding fees and expenses for private equity funds. In his speech, the Director disclosed the SEC was expanding its focus beyond traditional buyout private equity funds into real estate and other nontraditional private equity funds.

As part of this increased scrutiny on real estate private equity funds, the SEC will focus on fees paid (in addition to the investment management fee) by real estate funds to the fund’s manager and its affiliates for property management, construction or development management and leasing services. Continue Reading

Think your Cellphone Usage is Private? Think Again

Cell Phone PrivacyIn a closely-watched case out of Miami, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals redefined the zone of privacy for cell phone users. As the Tech World was focused on Miami for the second annual eMerge conference, the court issued an opinion permitting prosecutors to obtain records from mobile carriers—without a search warrant—allowing the tracking of an individual’s movements through his or her cell phone’s interaction with cell towers.

In U.S. v. Davis, the Eleventh Circuit, sitting en banc, considered the appeal of Quartavious Davis who was convicted by a Miami jury of participating in seven armed robberies. At trial, the prosecution presented accomplice and eye witness testimony that Davis was involved in seven separate armed robberies in a two-month period. The prosecutors also introduced historical cell tower records obtained from Davis’ mobile carrier for the time period spanning the robberies. The records contained a history of numbers dialed by Davis and the cell tower that connected each call. The prosecutors called a police officer that was able to pinpoint on a map the exact location of each robbery and—using the data obtained from Davis’ mobile carrier—the location of the cell tower that connected Davis’ calls around the time of each robbery. While Davis’ location was not precise, the evidence gave the government a basis to argue that the calls to and from Davis’ cell phone were connected through cell tower locations near the robbery locations. Several witnesses testified that Davis used his cell phone around the time of the robberies. These facts allowed the prosecutors to assert that Davis was necessarily near the locations of the robberies at the times they occurred. Continue Reading

Luxury & Culture Behind Miami’s Growth as a Destination for the Wealthy

MiamiSkylineThe City of Miami continues to emerge as a top global destination for the über-wealthy. According to Knight Frank’s annual Wealth Report (2015), Miami is ranked 6th globally, 2nd in the U.S. and will remain among the world’s top 10 most important cities to Ultra High Net Worth Individuals for the next decade. The wealth report credits the influx of wealth to Miami’s cultural diversity and strong emphasis on quality of life.

Recent articles in the South Florida Business Journal and The Real Deal focused on the latest migration of wealth to Miami. With the inflow of high-wealth individuals comes the demand for luxurious accommodations (both residential and hospitality) and lavish commodities. Continue Reading

Is Urban Renewal Miami’s Next Economic Engine?

MetroMiami may soon join the ranks of other major U.S. metropolises boasting innovative urban trail projects that have transformed neighborhoods and ignited a firestorm of private investment. The Underline, a proposed development catalyzed by the nonprofit group Friends of the Underline in partnership with Miami-Dade County, will convert the underutilized land below the County’s Metrorail line into a landmark system of urban trails and linear parks integrated with County transit.

A look at other comparable projects around the country suggests the Underline may be a powerful economic driver for Miami. New York City’s much-lauded High Line, a roughly 1.5-mile elevated linear park built on an unused portion of the New York Central Railroad, draws nearly five million visitors each year and has spurred $2 billion in adjacent real estate development. In Atlanta, the transformation of a 22-mile historic rail corridor into linear parks and multi-use trails known as the Beltline has generated $2.4 billion in private development. Continue Reading

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