Happy Holidays To Our Readers!

As we reflect on 2015, we are especially thankful for all of the connections that we have made this year. We are thankful for our clients, our colleagues, our friends, and all of our readers. Thus, for our holiday video we wanted to focus on the power of relationships because our relationships are the foundation for who we are as a firm. When we come together with our partners we have seen incredible things happen, and it is because of all of you that we are proud to be judged by the company we keep.

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After the Dust Settles: Implications of Continued Development in South Florida

TrafficTo say South Florida’s real estate market is “booming” would be an understatement. The massive interest in development throughout Miami and its surrounding cities continues to increase. To quantify just how large this interest is, the Miami Herald has recently reported that, since 2011, developers have announced 400 new condo buildings with nearly 49,000 units for sites located east of I95 in the South Florida region. With any large development boom, however, comes implications and obstacles. More development means more people, and more people means more necessary infrastructure. Continue Reading

The Termination of Condo Terminations?

upward view of miami condo bldgsA Florida 2015 Condominium Law Amendment

Condominiums were established in Florida in 1963. The condominium form of ownership in Florida has, therefore, been in effect for more than 50 years. An aging condominium stock sitting on valuable land gave rise to a modification of termination provisions in 2007, the effects of which are still playing out. Continue Reading

Art Basel: Tax Ramifications for American and International Art Collectors

Art BaselSince its launch in 2002, Art Basel in Miami Beach has become what many consider the most prestigious and influential art fair in the Americas. The 2014 fair saw more than 70,000 international visitors descend on Miami for the four-day event, and the 2015 edition promises to surpass that figure, with 267 galleries from 31 countries exhibiting an estimated $3 billion worth of contemporary art from December 3 to 6. Investors and collectors from many Latin American countries, as well as from many other parts of the globe, come to the fair annually and many buy substantial artworks. Many such Latin Americans and other collectors who own real property in the U.S. (typically Miami) often also want to keep their art in the U.S. These collectors need to be aware of and properly navigate a host of special tax issues and rules, or risk facing a very significant and sometimes unexpected tax burden. Continue Reading

Cuba’s telecommunications industry and Miami’s expanding Silicon Beach

CubaThe social and familial ties Miami has to Latin America are well known. What may be less obvious are its network connections. Miami is ranked as one of the top-five most connected cities in the world. Miami’s growing telecommunications industry, including the eMerge Americas movement, has earned it the name “Silicon Beach.” About 90% of data traffic from Central and South America passes through Verizon Terremark’s Network Access Point (NAP) facility, located in Downtown Miami. Miami’s development as a technology hub for Latin America has drawn the attention of major industry players who have recently opened regional offices in Miami, such as Facebook and Apple, as well as government leaders who are investing in Miami’s infrastructure so it can better support this growing industry. Continue Reading

P3 Legislation in Florida

P3On September 24-25, Miami-Dade County held a P3 Institute entitled “The P3 Pipeline: A Forum for the Private Sector.” Among the topics discussed at the Institute was a measure currently before the Florida Legislature that, if enacted, will make the P3 procurement process easier for all parties involved.

Two bills, House Bill 97 and House Bill 95, have advanced to House committees and are moving through the legislative process. HB 97, known as “Public Records and Public Meetings,” is currently in the State Affairs Committee. HB 95, a companion bill known simply as “Public-Private Partnerships,” is in the Appropriations Committee. Approval by all required legislative committees is a necessary step before these bills can be introduced in the 2016 legislative session. Continue Reading

China Business Series Breakfast Seminar

Chinese FlagBilzin Sumberg Tax Partner Jeffrey Rubinger will speak this week at an MBAF China Business Series Breakfast Seminar in Miami where attendees will learn about current trends and initiatives in the China and U.S. markets.

Guests will also hear from Ralph Chow, Regional Director (Americas), Hong Kong Trade Development Council and Hernando Gomez, Business Valuation Director, MBAF. Topics include the belt and road initiative (growth of China, demand from China, strengths of Hong Kong), Chinese outbound investments, and structuring for Chinese investment in U.S. real estate.

The China Business Series Breakfast Seminar will be held at the Hilton Miami Downtown on Thursday, October 15 at 8:00am.

Please click here to register.

Hospitality Legal Panel

Hospitality Legal PanelOn Wednesday, September 30, Bilzin Sumberg Real Estate Practice Group Leader and Greater Miami & The Beaches Hotel Association (GMBHA) Board of Director, Suzanne Amaducci-Adams, will moderate the Hospitality Legal Panel presented by GMBHA. Guests will hear from an experienced panel of attorneys including Bilzin Sumberg Litigation Attorney James Ward. Continue Reading

PortMiami Hoping to Continue P3 Success

Royal Caribbean - Port MiamiA new public private partnership (“P3” or “PPP”) is coming to PortMiami. Royal Caribbean Cruises, LTD (“RCCL”) seeks to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain a new cruise terminal in the northeast section of the Port. RCCL’s plans have been preliminarily memorialized in a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding that was approved at this Wednesday’s Miami-Dade County Commission meeting. Subsequent Commission approvals will be needed for the binding deal documents and agreements.

Typical of a P3, RCCL will do more than simply enter into a ground lease for space in a terminal. It will share the risk of designing, constructing, operating, and most importantly to the Port, financing the terminal. The maintenance responsibilities will be split between maintenance of the leasehold improvements by RCCL and maintenance  of the common areas outside the leased premises by the County, satisfying the remaining “M” element in the DBFOM (design, build, finance, operate, maintain) acronym that is used to characterize a P3. Continue Reading

Reform on the horizon for the popular EB-5 Program

Florida MapThe 2016 political season has kicked into high gear, sparking lively discussions about major issues affecting the country. Two of the most significant issues being debated among the candidates are the economy and immigration. Typically, these topics are analyzed independently; however, the conversation has recently intersected at the sun-setting EB-5 Visa Program which expires on September 30, 2015. Miami has recently created its own construct to benefit and grow from the EB-5 Program, so the political discussion is bound to heat up throughout this already hot month as Congress considers reforming this market for capital investment.

The EB-5 Visa Program, also known as the Immigrant Investor Program, is administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services – part of the Department of Homeland Security – and was established in 1990 to grant permanent residency to a foreign investor and their immediate family members who funds at least $500,000 to $1 million of the construction cost for a project that creates at least 10 domestic jobs. The smaller level of investment at the $500,000 threshold is permitted when the investment is specific for a “Targeted Employment Area,” meaning a rural area or an area that has experienced high unemployment of at least 150% of the national average. Continue Reading

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