Bilzin Sumberg Partner Calms Fears of Trump Hurting Miami Real Estate Market

SkyscrapersAttorney James W. Shindell, Real Estate chair at Bilzin Sumberg, has a message for those who believe Donald Trump’s presidential election will hurt Miami’s real estate market: The sky is not falling.

Shindell addressed concerns of a Trump presidency impacting the South Florida market in a recent Q&A interview published on Shindell said he doesn’t expect any long-term significant impact on Miami real estate.

“The real estate market is more susceptible to economic matters rather than political ones,” Shindell said.

I believe Miami will remain a destination market for Latin America. Miami is a gateway market on a clear upward trajectory.”

Furthermore, Shindell added that Trump could have a positive effect on the Miami market depending on his tax policies.

“Real estate would benefit from the proposed lower capital gains rates,” Shindell told GlobeSt. “If funds actually are put to improving infrastructure, it could provide opportunities for public-private partnership development.”

Bilzin Sumberg’s public-private partnership team has been the key legal representation on various multibillion-dollar P3s throughout Florida. In addition to Real Estate, Bilzin Sumberg’s core practices include Business Finance & Restructuring, Corporate, Environmental, International, Land Development & Government Relations, Litigation, and Tax.

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Discover What’s Ahead for Miami’s Condo Market

Miami Condos 1Significant issues facing the residential real estate industry in the coming year will be the topic of discussion on Wednesday, November 30 at the Urban Land Institute Southeast Florida & Caribbean’s annual Miami Condo & Community Development Symposium.

Real Estate developers and investors from across the U.S. and Florida will be on hand to network, share best practices, discuss innovative ways of advancing the industry and discover how global influencers and local trailblazers are shaping our communities.

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Changes to Public Records Act Reshape Duties of Government Contractors

Public RecordsRecent amendments to Florida’s Public Records Act change a government contractor’s responsibilities under the Act in four ways:

(1) Public records requests must be made directly to the public agency and not the contractor.

(2) After a contract ends, contractors may either transfer all records to the public agency or keep and maintain the public records themselves.

(3) “Financial information” may, in certain cases, be exempt from disclosure under the Act.

(4) The statute clarifies when non-compliant contractors are responsible for attorney’s fees.

To learn more about the recent changes, please click here.

Extend Development Orders and Building Permits for Almost One Year Due to Extension of Zika State of Emergency

Zika MosquitoGovernor Scott, for the second time, has extended the State of Emergency issued for the Zika Virus. As a result, holders of development orders and building permits have another opportunity to claim a longer extension. The Governor also declared a State of Emergency in advance of Hurricane Matthew. Under Florida Law, that State of Emergency affords holders of development orders and building permits an extension for the duration of the emergency plus six months. The Zika Virus State of Emergency affects 23 Florida counties and allows a total extension of 359 days.

Interested parties must notify the issuing governmental agency by March 17, 2017, to receive a new extension.

To learn more about the extension, please click here.

Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) Continue to Gain Momentum

P3 PhotoAlthough the public-private partnership (P3) model was used to provide most public infrastructure and services until the early 20th Century, for the past several decades, P3s were few and far between in this country. Recently, three factors have contributed to a renewed interest in the public-private model: (1) aging infrastructure that needs to be replaced; (2) diminished public funds that cannot alone finance the needed improvements; and (3) growing P3 success stories throughout the world, particularly in Canada and Europe. However, in part due to the dearth of recent, local P3 experience, government agencies in the U.S. have opted for a toe-in-the-water approach to P3s.

Yet, more and more agencies are proving that the waters are fine, and with each successful P3, willingness to employ the model continues to grow. Significantly, we are now at the point where some of the early “new” P3s have already been substantially completed, and the results are impressive. Twenty years ago, the Department of Defense initiated the Military Housing Privatization Initiative, which utilized a P3 approach to build, operate, and maintain military housing, and that program is now widely accepted as a major success, with hundreds of thousands of high-quality units having been delivered at a lower cost and in less time than under the traditional model. Based on that success, DOD is now considering more P3s to provide a wider variety of facilities and services. Continue Reading

Controversial New Fund May Further Normalization Efforts with Cuba

Havana, Cuba - December 22, 2015: A Cuban flag with holes waves over a street in Central Havana.

Private judgments worth millions of dollars against the Cuban government have been a hindrance to normalizing U.S.-Cuba relations. Meanwhile, many of the victims who won those judgments have long given up on ever recovering a dime.

But there is new hope for those victims of state-sponsored terrorism, according to Bilzin Sumberg attorneys José M. Ferrer and Yasmin Fernandez-Acuña. The two members of Bilzin Sumberg’s Litigation Group co-wrote a piece in the Fall 2016 edition of the International Law Quarterly detailing how these victims may yet see compensation.

Until recently, the only hope of satisfying any of these private judgments was for the U.S. to seize Cuban assets that touched U.S. soil. One such example was the confiscation of a Cuban airplane that was hijacked and flown to Key West in 2003. Despite Cuba’s protestations, the plane was sold at auction to satisfy a private litigant’s claims. So as long as private judgments went unpaid, no Cuban boats could dock in the U.S. and no Cuban goods could enter the U.S. without the fear of being seized. Continue Reading

Public-Private Partnerships Can Power the Green Economy

Green-EconomyAt the first presidential debate, Hillary Clinton expressed a desire for the United States to become the “clean energy superpower of the 21st century.” Donald Trump responded that he, too, believes in all forms of energy, but that the U.S. government is limited in what it can finance due to its existing debt.

Although the federal government has for the most part never had to balance its checkbook, so to speak, state and local governments throughout the country are often required to have balanced budgets. One method municipalities have successfully employed (and with increasing frequency in recent years) in order to provide for needed infrastructure improvements without traditional public-debt financing is public-private partnerships. P3s, as they are called, leverage private financing and expertise to provide public facilities and services. We recently wrote about the possibility of implementing P3s for electric-vehicle infrastructure, and P3s could similarly be implemented to provide any component of the coming “green economy.”  Continue Reading

Middle East a Bigger Player in South Florida Real Estate

MiamiIt’s no secret that Miami has become one of the world’s most attractive markets for international investors. Latin Americans in particular have had a heavy influence in local real estate as one of the main demographic groups purchasing properties throughout South Florida. However, recent data from CBRE indicates that one region of the world is poised to take a much larger role in South Florida’s real estate market: the Middle East.

According to CBRE’s report, Miami was the 10th-most popular investment market for Middle Eastern real estate investment between January 2015 and June 2016, and the fifth-most popular in the United States. Investments in Miami real estate from the Middle East exceeded $500 million for that time period.  Continue Reading

Are you Catastrophizing? Discover the 5 Mistakes Keeping You Stuck in Your Career

LeanInLean In Miami presents a look at what may be holding you back on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at Bilzin Sumberg.

Ever felt like you are stuck in your career and there doesn’t seem to be a path to move forward? Can’t figure out what exactly is holding you back? Do you look around and wonder “Is this all there is?”

Perhaps you are Catastrophizing.

On Tuesday, September 20, Lean In Miami presents a discussion on 5 Mistakes that Keep Women Stuck in their Career, led by Shannon Egan, a Miami-based Certified Professional Coach and CEO of Ishiki Insights. The event begins at 6 p.m. at Bilzin Sumberg and is open to the public. (To RSVP email by September 19). Continue Reading

Water P3s Now on Tap in South Florida

Tap WaterFlorida was an early pioneer in the United States of the public-private partnership (“P3”) model as a means of funding infrastructure improvements. In South Florida alone, we have the Florida Atlantic University dormitory, the $1.8 billion expansion of I-595, the $663 million Port of Miami tunnel and more recently, the Miami Beach Light Rail, to name a few. The use of P3s to fund transportation and social infrastructure projects in the Sunshine State cannot be gainsaid.

Conspicuously absent, however, from the list of readily recognized P3 projects in Florida is water and wastewater infrastructure. That omission should be remedied shortly though. Private investment in municipal water and wastewater infrastructure in the United States is poised for record growth and Florida is no exception to the projection. Continue Reading