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New Miami Blog

Insights and Commentary on the Gateway City's Expanding Global Significance

2015 Economic Outlook. Blue Skies Ahead.

Renowned economist Hugh F. Kelly (PhD, CRE), Clinical Professor in New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate and the 2014 national Chairman of The Counselors of Real Estate, led a discussion at a CREW-Miami luncheon regarding issues affecting the commercial real estate market in 2015 and gave his annual economic predictions.

Some of the highlights from his presentation:

- Labor Markets.  In 2014 there were approximately 2,952,000 new jobs and Hugh predicts there will be 3.2 million new jobs in 2015. Unemployment was down 5.6% from the prior year. Notwithstanding the increase in the number of new jobs, Hugh discussed the need to prepare for a change of state from a labor surplus economy to a labor shortage one, and that the global talent search must start now. Hugh suggested that without a change in our immigration policy, the U.S. as a whole will face a shortage of workers. Employers will need to figure out how to retain employees by offering better benefit packages and incentives, which will be eventually followed by an increase in wages. Employment and job growth is essential for the real estate sector because it is the catalyst for increased sales in retail and spending in the hospitality market, as well as for the rise in office occupancy.

Miami employment proved more resilient than the U.S. in the last recession and as well as in its recovery. Continue Reading

Transit Oriented Development Critical to Metropolitan Growth

Urban Development: Faster Greener Commutes Key to Sustained City Growth, a report released in October 2014 by Cushman & Wakefield, provided insight into Transit Oriented Development as it explored “the consequences of rapid population growth in 10 major North American cities”—with Miami being one. The study found that the majority of these major cities’ workforce is burdened by challenging commutes and substantial congestion because of aging and insufficient infrastructure. Developers and municipalities have recognized this direct impact on growth and, as a result, a rapidly growing portion of new commercial development has shifted to be strikingly more transit oriented. All Aboard Florida, a leader in this development, is seeking to connect South Florida’s tri-county area with each station (Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach) being a vehicle to improve individuals’ transportation, while also serving as an engine for growth in its surrounding areas.

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Real Estate Joint Venture Tips

A recent New York Times article described the increased presence of New York developers in the South Florida condominium market. The fact is that Miami real estate market has always been a seductive one for out of state developers, and the upside in the development opportunities in the South Florida real estate market simply continues to proliferate. Best of all, more interest in South Florida means more opportunities for local developers to partner with or enter into joint ventures with those venturing into this market. Continue Reading

eMerge Announces Major Partnership

Once again, Miami is making headlines as it continues to establish itself as a burgeoning tech hub. The upcoming 2nd annual tech conference eMerge Americas, scheduled to take place on Miami Beach on May 1-5, 2015, has a new partner: On Wednesday, NBC Universal and Telemundo announced a multi-year exclusive global media partnership with eMerge Americas. This partnership – which will reach over 147 million viewers-  is certain to significantly expand the national and international exposure for the Miami tech conference, which was founded in 2014 by Miami’s own Manny Medina. Continue Reading

A Digital Encyclopedia: Bilzin Sumberg’s Blogosphere

Bilzin Sumberg prides itself as being the go-to firm for domestic and international investors and corporations doing business in Florida and beyond. We aim to provide our clients with legal and business insight into the industries and areas they work in through our various blogs, which hone in on key issues or areas of interest for a wide variety of readers. Continue Reading

International Arbitration in the Americas: An Agent of Change?

It’s practically common knowledge that litigating in Latin American jurisdictions can be a tedious, never-ending process that would render the ‘juice’ not worth the squeeze. Doing business in Latin America, therefore, has always come with a  catch – the necessity for an arbitration clause that specifically delineates the procedure for how a dispute should be settled should one arise.

One Latin American jurisdiction has taken note of the confidence a definitive arbitration system instills in potential investors, and has made great strides in introducing an efficient and reliable system into their legal infrastructure. Colombia’s Centro de Arbitraje y Conciliacion (CAC) was created to support the country’s efforts to make it a more desirable place for international business. In 2012, CAC formed a strategic partnership with the International Centre for Dispute Resolution (ICDR) and together have hosted an annual conference on international arbitration in Bogota. This year’s conference explored ways to enhance predictability in Colombian arbitrations, and discussed some key issues that frequently arise throughout the process.

To read more about the lessons we learned during the conference, click here.

Globalize Miami Series: PortMiami and its Significance to Miami’s Growth

In the weeks ahead, our New Miami Blog will present a series that asks how Miami can become the nation’s premier center for education, innovation and entrepreneurshipin global trade. We will invite PortMiami leadership as well as community leaders in logistics, trade organizations, shipping, real estate, education, finance and technology to share their insights and ideas for securing Miami’s position as the nation’s pre-eminent export gateway.

Proclaiming that it is “Big Ship Ready,” PortMiami has been counting the days until the expanded Panama Canal opens for business next year. With $2 billion invested in the new tunnel, the deep dredge of the Miami Channel, the restoration of on-dock rail service and new super-sized cargo cranes, PortMiami will be the first port of call on the Asia-to-U.S. trade route that will be able to efficiently accommodate the Post-Panamax mega-ships.

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Florida: A Model for P3 Legislation

The challenge posed by deteriorating infrastructure in communities throughout the United States has received increasing attention in recent years.  While roads and bridges are crumbling and important civic spaces such as convention centers are in desperate need of retrofit, infrastructure budgets at all levels of government are shrinking.  In this climate, public-private partnerships (“P3s”) have become a much-cited new source of funding. Most states throughout the country, however, lack comprehensive P3 legislation. 

The transportation sector has been a popular arena for the use of P3s throughout the United States. A map on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s website reveals that even in this context many states have been slow to adopt laws that would stimulate the use of P3s. Thirty-three states and one territory have enacted statutes enabling the use of P3s for the development of transportation infrastructure. The remaining 17 states have yet to take action in this area. Some commentators have suggested the slow pace at which the U.S. has entered the P3 market has left American businesses inexperienced in the field, forced to forfeit profitable development opportunities to foreign interests.

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Art Basel Miami Beach Attracts World-Class Hotel Brands

Last week more than 75,000 art aficionados and celebrities from around the globe descended upon Miami for the 2014 edition of Art Basel Miami Beach.  What began in 2002 as a winter outpost of the original Art Basel in Basel, Switzerland, the Miami Beach show has now overtaken its older sibling as the world’s largest modern and contemporary art show. Today, not only has the show outgrown its home at the Miami Beach Convention Center, it has led to the creation of Art Week Miami and spawned a whole host of satellite events throughout Miami Beach and across Biscayne Bay in Miami’s up-and-coming Design District, Wynwood, and Midtown Miami, as well as its cosmopolitan Downtown and Brickell neighborhoods.

The concept behind the Miami Beach show has proven so successful that Art Basel launched a third show in Hong Kong in 2013. However, while the show has put Miami on the international art map, its reach goes beyond the art world and offers businesses the opportunity to capture an elusive market demographic, the cultural influencers, the very celebrities and trendsetters that can give a product or brand the word of mouth buzz that leads to worldwide recognition and credibility.

With this powerful market segment congregating in Miami last week, new businesses throughout Miami have been in a rush to open their doors to the world for the first time. One notable opening in the lifestyle hospitality space is The Miami Beach Edition, a boutique lifestyle hotel collaboration between two unlikely partners, famed boutique hotelier, Ian Schrager, and the world’s largest hotel chain, Marriott International.

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Miami-Dade County’s Public Transit Plans Spur Development Opportunities

With Miami-Dade County making a concerted effort to expand its public transit system, South Florida developers are asking “what development opportunities will accompany the birth of such transit system?” Likewise, it will befit South Florida developers and attorneys to learn what zoning concessions Miami-Dade County must make in order to facilitate such transit-oriented development. A Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce seminar entitled ‘Development Along Transit Hubs’ was recently held at the law offices of Bilzin Sumberg to address these issues.

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