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Broward’s Best


Key Influencers of the County

Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales & Mayor Philip Levine

13th Floor Investments New Kids On The Block



O NE , T W O A N D T H R E E B E D R O O M L U X U R Y R E S I D E N C E S S TA R T I N G I N T H E $ 3 0 0 , 0 0 0 S


6 0 0 NE 3 1 S T S T R E E T

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Sales by RELATED REALTY in collaboration with FORTUNE DEVELOPMENT SALES OBTAIN THE PROPERTY REPORT REQUIRED BY FEDERAL LAW AND READ IT BEFORE SIGNING ANYTHING. NO FEDERAL AGENCY HAS JUDGED THE MERITS OR VALUE, IF ANY, OF THIS PROPERTY. ORAL REPRESENTATIONS CANNOT BE RELIED UPON AS CORRECTLY STATING THE REPRESENTATIONS OF THE DEVELOPER. FOR CORRECT REPRESENTATIONS, MAKE REFERENCE TO THIS BROCHURE AND TO THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED BY SECTION 718.503, FLORIDA STATUTES, TO BE FURNISHED BY A DEVELOPER TO A BUYER OR LESSEE. This is not intended to be an offer to sell, or solicitation of an offer to buy, condominium units to residents of CT, ID, NY, NJ and OR, unless registered or exemptions are available, or in any other jurisdiction where prohibited by law, and your eligibility for purchase will depend upon your state of residency. This offering is made only by the Prospectus for the condominium. The plans, specifications, designs, amenities, recreational facilities, managing entities, hotel operators, and restaurant operations, (if any) referred to are accurate as of this publication; however, the Developer reserves the right in its sole discretion to change any of these. This condominium is being developed by FOUR PARAISO, LLC which has a limited right to use the trade names, logos, images, and trademarks depicted pursuant to license agreements. The Related Group is not the Developer.


LUXURIOUS statement



Obtain the property report required by the federal law and read it before signing anything. No federal agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of this property. Oral representations cannot be relied upon as correctly stating the representations of the developer. For correct representations, make reference to this brochure and to the documents required by section 718.503, Florida statutes, to be furnished by a developer to a buyer or lessee.


Museum-quality art at SLS LUX, includes sculpture by FERNANDO BOTERO one of the most renowned ARTISTS of his generation BOTERO’S work has been exhibited worldwide and is in the COLLECTIONS OF DOZENS of major museums.

Who says you can’t have it all Fully finished residences with PRIVATE ELEVATORS, YABU PUSHELBERG’S bespoke interiors, the PAMPERING SERVICES of a five-star hotel, a monumental masterpiece by FERNANDO BOTERO, VIP BEACH CLUB access on South Beach...




This is not intended to be an offer to sell, or solicitation of an offer to buy, condominium units to residents of CT, ID, NY, NJ and OR, unless registered or exemptions are available, or in any other jurisdiction where prohibited by law, and your eligibility for purchase will depend upon your state of residency. This offering is made only by the Prospectus for the condominium only. The plans, specifications, design, amenities, managing entities, hotel operators, restaurants operations, and resort style services (if any) referred to are accurate as of this publication; however, the Developer reserves the right to change any of these, as the Developer deems best it’s sole and absolute discretion. This condominium is being developed by AMCO PRH 801 SOUTH MIAMI AVENUE, LLC which has a limited right to use the trade names, logos, images, and trademarks depicted pursuant to license agreements. The Related Group, SBE Hotels, LLC, The Allen Morris Company and Yabu Pushelberg are not the Developer. © 2014 AMCO PRH 801 South Miami Avenue, LLC. All rights reserved unless otherwise credited to another.


T 954.440.7811




Obtain the property report required by federal law and read it before signing anything. No federal agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of this property. Oral representations cannot be relied upon as correctly stating the representations of the Developer. For correct representations, make reference to the documents required by section 718.503, Florida Statute, to be furnished by a developer to a buyer or lessee. This is not intended to be an offer to sell, or solicitation to buy, condominium units to residents of CT, ID, NJ, NY and OR, unless registered or exemptions are available, or in any other jurisdiction where prohibited by law, and your eligibility for purchase will depend upon your state of residency. This offering is made only by the prospectus for the condominium and no statement should be relied upon if not made in the prospectus. Prices, plans and specifications are subject to change without notice. The Related Group is not the project developer. Hyde Hollywood is being developed by 4111 SOUTH OCEAN DRIVE, LLC (“Developer”), which has a limited right to use the trademarked names and logos of The Related Group pursuant to a license and marketing agreement with The Related Group. Any and all statements, disclosures and/or representations shall be deemed made by Developer and not by The Related Group. The sketches, renderings, pictures, illustrations, and statements are proposed only, and the Developer reserves the right to modify, revise or withdraw any or all of same in its sole discretion. All prices are subject to change at any time and without notice, and do not include optional features or premiums for upgraded units.


IT S ALL ABOUT ATMOSPHERE Site Location 1770 North Bayshore Drive Miami, FL 33132

Sales Center 250 NE 25 Street, Suite 101 Miami, FL 33137 305 573 0666

1 to 4 bedroom residences starting from $370,000 to over $2,000,000 PH details and pricing upon request

Private elevators on select residences Over 21,000 sq.ft. dedicated to game room and library, theater, pool deck, spa, business center, gym, yoga room, teen lounge and kids’ playroom Deep, spacious terraces

Development by

Architecture by

Spectacular 14th floor pools and amenity deck Impressive views to Biscayne Bay, Miami Beach and Downtown Designed by world renowned and award winning Arquitectonica

Exclusive Marketing & Sales by

Obtain the property report required by federal law and read it before signing anything. No federal agency has judged the merits of value, if any, of this property. Oral representations cannot be relied upon as correctly stating the representations of the Developer. For correct representations, reference should be made to the documents required by section 718.503, Florida Statutes, to be furnished by a Developer to a buyer or lessee. This offering is made only by the prospectus for the condominium and no statement should be relied upon if not made in the prospectus. This is not an offer to sell, or solicitation of offers to buy, the condominium units in states where such offer or solicitation cannot be made. Prices, plans and specifications are subject to change without notice. The Developer is BAYSHORE PLAZA I, LLC (“DEVELOPER”) which has a license to use the trademarked names and logos of The Melo Group pursuant to a licensing agreement. The graphics and text reflected are the copyright property of the Developer. The renderings illustrate and depict a lifestyle; however amenities and attractions are subject to change. While there are water views at the property, views may vary. The sketches, renderings, pictures, illustrations, and statements are proposed only, and the Developer reserves the right to modify, revise or withdraw any or all of same in its sole discretion.



FEATURES 70 From Ivory Tower To Edgewater Condo

38 Lucky 13 By Jeff Zbar Before the recession ended, 13th Floor Investments were redefining how South Florida real estate deals are done.

45 Selling By The Numbers

By David Lyons Harvard classmates prove their thesis that quick profits could be made from the rubble of South Florida’s distressed real estate market.

76 Admit Responsibility

By Jeff Zbar The story of International Sales Group (ISG) is a tale of success, crisis, desperation, reinvention, perseverance, and ultimately success again.

By Mike Seemuth Oasis Outsourcing has become one of the largest US companies of its kind, handling payroll and other personnel tasks for 4,700 companies.

49 Broward’s Best Showcasing some of the county’s key influencers.



49 70



NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014 Volume 1 Number 4 PRESIDENT & PUBLISHER Ron Mann EDITOR Sara Fiedelholtz ART DIRECTOR Lourdes Guerra






The newsmakers, game changers, and innovators who are driving business in the region


Capturing the area’s events, activities, and happenings


Where business and politics intersect

PRODUCTION MANAGER Mariu Saralegui DIRECTOR OF SPECIAL PROJECTS Lila de la Chesnaye CONTRIBUTING WRITERS David Lyons Millie Acebal Rousseau Mike Seemuth Richard Westlund Jeff Zbar CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Stephen Boxall Jorge Parra Donna Victor

A view from the top

35 THE EDGE Who has the competitive advantage, and how did they get it

OFFICE MANAGER Ludmila Leonova COVER Photo: Stephen Boxall ©2014 Executive South Florida magazine is published 12 times per year by South Florida Executive LLC, 536 Biltmore Way, Second Floor, Coral Gables, FL 33134. All rights reserved. The entire content of EXECUTIVE South Florida may not be reproduced without the express written consent of the publisher. EXECUTIVE South Florida accepts no responsibility for the return of unsolicited manuscripts and/or photographs, and assumes no liability for products and services advertised herein. EXECUTIVE South Florida reserves the right to edit, rewrite, or refuse material. To order a subscription, please call 305.735.2873. For more information, please contact: To distribute EXECUTIVE South Florida, please email:

77 12


82 800 Brickell Avenue, Penthouse 1 Miami, FL 33131 305.433.6963


UNITYJETS.COM OR 888.758.JETS (5387)



Broward’s Best


Key Influencers of the County

Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales & Mayor Philip Levine

13th Floor Investments New Kids On The Block



ollowing a nationwide trend, last year, when the residents of Miami Beach went to the polls, they elected a successful businessman to lead their city. Mayor Philip Levine’s plan is to create better communication between government and the City’s residents and with City Manager Jimmy Morales they are off to a great start. The City Report: Miami Beach highlights the economic development plans for the City and provides a look at how it is working to ensure ample growth and opportunity. There’s a lot happening in Broward County as well. Broward’s Best is a firsthand look at the region’s power elite and highlights some of the county’s key influencers. The 31 individuals featured were chosen because of the impact they have on this burgeoning county. It’s no secret the economic recovery is accelerating the real estate boom in South Florida. The recent surge has brought many newcomers to the forefront and none is more apparent than the team at 13th Floor Investments. Arnaud Karsenti has built his organization on the principles of partnership and collaboration and in doing so has quickly become an active developer in the region. But it is impossible not to remember the tough economic situation South Florida faced in the past decade. There is no company that better exemplifies this roller coaster ride than International Sales Group (ISG). Philip Spiegelman and Craig Studnicky have survived the ups and downs by using information. When it comes to understanding the state of the region’s real estate market, the ISG Miami Market Report has become an essential read. It is now translated into three languages and is requested by realtors from all over the world. As 2014 comes to a close, EXECUTIVE South Florida looks forward to providing an informative publication and exciting events throughout 2015. This past year has seen the magazine’s circulation and distribution substantially rise, especially in key industry sectors and geographic locations. More importantly, look for the launch of the exclusive Executive Club that will present a series of conferences, panel discussions, seminars, and special events. Make sure to go to to be placed on the club’s mailing list.

Ron Mann 14


Developed by


Photo by Donna Victor

MIKKI CANTON, ESQ. Managing Director, Office of International Business Development and City of Miami EB-5 Regional Center This year, Miami became the first city to fully own and operate a regional EB-5 center. The designation translates into more local jobs as a result of foreign investment. Meet the woman who made it happen. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014




ikki Canton was semi-retired from her role as managing partner at a major law firm. “You always leave when your stock is high; that’s the moment to jump.” And jump she did, right into the next project. She started looking at foreign investment and spotted a trend. “I felt it was a new wave … people from the East and Europe going to Latin America by way of Miami.”

managing partner at a law firm, but she’s giving back to Miami.” Canton teamed with Greenberg Traurig’s immigration team to assist with the regional center application. The firm handles at least one-sixth to one-fifth of all EB-5 cases in the country. The application was approved without any requests for additional information, and in May, Miami officially became the first city to own and manage its own EB-5 regional center.

City of Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, Florida East Coast Realty (FECR) Chairman Tibor Hollo, and City of Miami Commissioner Keon Hardemon signing ceremony formally announcing panorama tower as miami’s first EB-5 designated development.

One day, she saw City of Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado and said to him, “There’s a lot the City of Miami could be doing to get ready for the wave.” And she said the Mayor responded, “Great, can you help us?” Canton began researching and became aware of the Immigrant Investor Program, known as EB-5, which is administered by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The program gives visas to foreign investors, their spouses and children under age 21, for investing in projects. The US Congress established USCIS in 1990 to stimulate job growth and encourage capital investment from foreign investors. Canton thought, “Why can’t Miami have its own regional center, and attract investors to its major projects?” She got to work. Regional centers are nothing new; other states and cities have them, but traditionally, private companies manage them, not government agencies. “Mikki is doing this because she wants to, not because she has to,” said City of Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado. “She could be the 18


“I think for the city, and the county—the designation expands beyond the city limits—it’s going to be a big boom for job creation,” said Laura Foote Reiff, co-chair of Greenberg Traurig’s business immigration and compliance practice. The regional center provides investors with information on projects, but it’s up to the investor to apply for his own EB-5 visa. “Years ago, investors didn’t care about getting their money back; they just wanted a green card,” explained Canton. “Now, competition among regional centers has heated up, and the investor wants to be really careful and take a look at what project he is putting his money into.” Tibor Hollo, chairman and president of Florida East Coast Realty (FECR), is currently constructing the tallest residential building on the eastern seaboard south of New York— an 82-story building with 821 residences and 128 corporate suites, along with a hotel, restaurants, and shops, all located at 1101 Brickell Avenue. The $800+ million development, Panorama Tower, was the hypothetical project

Rendering of Panorama Tower

included in the EB-5 application to obtain the designation from the USCIS. In October, Mayor Regalado and Hollo, announced that Panorama Tower would be the first project under the city’s new EB-5 program. “It’s a marquee project by EB-5 standards,” said Canton. “It’s opening the door for other developers big and small.” Hollo looks forward to taking advantage of the EB-5 program. “I am very thrilled to be associated with this program, not only for myself, but for the city,” he said. “It will bring a tremendous amount of prestige and funds needed for certain types of projects where bank finances are not available.” It will also create jobs. FECR estimates about 1,300 construction jobs, and then when it opens, 192 permanent management employees and another 800 tenant employees, among other positions. If all goes well, this will be one of several EB-5 projects that will stimulate the local economy. E —Millie Acebal Rousseau


Saif Ishoof


aif Ishoof, executive director of City Year Miami, is seeking to double his non-profit’s impact on thousands of third- through ninth-graders. City Year Miami, an AmeriCorps organization, currently has a 203-member volunteer corps. Clad in signature bright red jackets, the corps of idealistic Millennials serve more than 3,000 young students at 17 schools throughout MiamiDade. Ishoof’s target, by 2020, is to have nearly 440 corps members who will serve 34 of the area’s schools: 10 high schools, 11 middle schools, and 13 elementary and K-8 schools. 20


At that pace, nearly half of Miami-Dade’s students will have City Year-impacted lives, based on its “Whole School Whole Child” model of attendance, behavioral support, and performance in math and English. City Year, a national service movement, was founded in Boston in 1988 by two Harvard Law School roommates. It has 25 US and three international chapters. After law school, Ishoof formed a software company, creating an agricultural vendor management system. He also worked in his family’s businesses ventures: heavy earthmoving equipment, water resource projects, and producing sugar cane ethanol in developing countries.

“I believe in the power of mentorship,” added Ishoof, 38, who gained inspiration five years ago from City Year’s motto, “Give a year, change the world.” Ishoof is a “mastermind at pulling it all together,” said Brad Meltzer, a political thriller novelist who founded City Year Miami in 2008. “Saif doesn’t just run City Year Miami. He lives it,” said Meltzer. “What you see is what he built.” City Year Miami’s unique needs stem from the “diversity of our stakeholders. It’s our strength,” said Ishoof. “The gravity of our work is very real. We have a sense of fun and whimsy, and a true sense of joy.” E

Photo by Donna Victor

Executive Director, City Year Miami


45 Years Transforming the Miami Skyline By combining unparalleled local knowledge with an established international clientele, we’ve been South Florida’s most trusted luxury real estate firm since 1969 - achieving unrivaled results for thousands of buyers and sellers. We’ve created more markets, driven more demand and moved more condominiums in Miami than any other real estate company international or otherwise. That’s the power of expertise. With an array of real estate services and exclusive representation of over $2 billion of current luxury inventory in Miami’s hottest neighborhoods, choose Cervera when the time comes to sell, buy, lease or manage your property.

BUY | SELL | LEASE | MANAGE Cervera Real Estate Inc. l Licensed Real Estate Broker 1492 South Miami Avenue, Miami, FL 33130 l 20 Dynamic Office Locations l 305.374.3434 l l





Executive Director, Omni-Midtown CRA

Photo by Donna Victor


ieter Bockweg is refreshingly honest and straightforward. If something needs to get done, he’ll find a way to do it. He has big plans for the districts he oversees—Omni, which includes Museum Park, the port tunnel, FEC slip and parts of Wynwood; and Midtown, which encompasses the entire Midtown development block. Some people call him a visionary. Bockweg was born in Holland and moved permanently to Miami in 1984, when he was nine years old. He speaks English and Dutch fluently, and is conversational in Italian and German. Bockweg got his start at a project management company in Virginia. He later owned a small advertising business with his brother in Miami, and through that, he met former Miami City Manager Joe Arriola. Arriola brought him in to work at the city, and Bockweg quickly moved his way up the ranks, eventually handling special negotiations for the City of Miami. He was part of the negotiating team for the Marlins Stadium. “No one sticks his head above water in government, because you become a target,” explained Bockweg. “I wanted the unpopular projects. I didn’t mind it; I enjoyed the challenge and negotiations.” He said he helped generate millions in additional revenue for the city through negotiations with franchise agreements, billboards, and murals. His reputation for getting things done got him noticed, and in 2010, he was appointed to oversee the Southeast Overtown/Park West, Omni, and Midtown Community Redevelopment Associations (CRAs). In 2012, he resigned from Overtown to focus solely on the Omni and Midtown CRAs. His vision for the next five years is to have most of the vacant lots under construction or completely developed. He began by renovating the historic Fire Station No. 2—a $2.5 million

project—located at 1401 North Miami Avenue, and moving the CRA office there. By relocating to the firehouse, which is owned by the City of Miami, Bockweg saved money on rent and could invest the savings back into the community. His general revenue budget is $34 million (2014); of that, 20 percent can legally be used for administrative costs. Bockweg said he’s never gone above two percent. The CRA’s funding comes from a portion of city and county taxes based on assessed property values within the district’s boundaries. This is not a special assessment or additional tax, but rather current taxes property owners pay. While some people debate that this money should go into city and county services, Bockweg argues that as a result of the CRA’s work, the value of the land increases, therefore increasing taxable revenue for both the city and the county. The CRA uses funds to attract investments developments, and increase quality of life within an area. Bockweg added that this is the first Florida CRA generating its own additional revenue, therefore increasing the organization’s budget that is reinvested into the community. He achieves this through strategic partnerships. “Government can’t do it all, you have to work with the private sector,” he explained. “The government sets the table, and the private sector brings the food.” On the topic of food, he has a restaurant planned for the first floor of the firehouse, which will generate additional revenue for the CRA. Also, in 2011, the CRA purchased an 89,000-square-foot warehouse space from the school board with plans of transforming it into the Miami Entertainment Complex (MEC). Set to open in the third quarter of 2015, MEC will feature two sound stages for movies and TV shows, and also 12,000 square feet devoted to production and office space. As a part

of a public-private partnership, EUE/Screen Gems will operate the complex. In June, Governor Rick Scott appointed Bockweg to the Florida Film and Entertainment Advisory Council. Additionally, through tax incentive agreements, Bockweg entices developers to build in his two districts. For investing in the area, developers are reimbursed a portion, or percentage, of property taxes generated. (a maximum limit is set). Bockweg has negotiated two deals already, and is working on a third. Nir Shoshani, co-founder of NR Investments, is one of those developers who believes in the area’s potential. His company took over the stalled The Filling Station, and now also plans to build Canvas Miami, a 513-unit condominium on the 16th block of NE 1st Avenue. Shoshani, attracted by the budding location, credited Bockweg and other local politicians, along with tax incentives, with the decision to move forward with the project. “He [Bockweg] is one of those few people that mean what they say, say what they mean, and do what they say,” said Shoshani. Over the past four years, Bockweg has invested in various improvement projects to encourage merchants to see the opportunities of relocating to the area. He spent $6 million in streetscape improvements and infrastructure upgrades along 14th Street, and $1.2 million to install street cameras and create a CRA police force to patrol the Omni area. The police force is its own unit within the Miami Police Department, and has an office at the firehouse. The CRA also pumped $14 million into Museum Park. At the end of the day, Bockweg’s goal is simple. “So many people come to the Arsht Center, then get on the highway and go,” he said. “We want to create an atmosphere so that they stay.” E —Millie Acebal Rousseau NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014



STEPHANE CAPORAL Executive Chef, Fisher Island Club



Photo by Donna Victor


lthough he is the executive chef of a private club, there is nothing private about Stephane Caporal’s passion for cooking. “I’m crazy about food,” said Caporal. “I grew up in Paris and everyone cooked—my mother, aunt, grandmother.” Caporal, 42, said that his obsession for food does have a little something to do with where he grew up. “Food is like fashion. There are great designers like Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent. I want to transfer that to food.” He admitted it is also hard not to be inspired by French cuisine. And just like fashion, presentation is critical. “The visual of food is critical, people eat with their eyes,” said Caporal. But, Caporal isn’t necessarily looking to modernize French cooking. “I always come back to the classics,” he said. “I believe what makes great food is to work with the best ingredients. Then all you need to do is keep it simple.” For the past 11 years, Caporal has been feeding some of the most discriminating palates—the residents and visitors to Fisher Island. But Caporal isn’t unnerved. His experience also includes working as a private chef for a billionaire. In this role, he traveled the world and was able to develop his palate and understanding of different cooking techniques and the blending of different flavors. “From my experiences, I believe it is critical to be consistent, understand how to combine textures of foods, and have in-depth knowledge of what ingredients work well together,” he said. Caporal also doesn’t only focus his attention on his recipes. He spends a great deal of time traveling to far away places to try new dishes, eats out frequently to generate new ideas and inspiration, and admits his favorite activity is to cook at home with his two-yearold daughter. And now Caporal is sure to get the attention of others off Fisher Island, as he is participating in this year’s South Beach Food and Wine Festival’s Best of the Best. At this event, 60 of the nation’s top chefs will showcase their most gourmet samplings to pair with wines rated 90 points or higher on Wine Spectator magazine’s scale. Although it is likely that Caporal’s offering at the event will include his favorite foie gras or quail eggs, it is guaranteed that his technique will be complex yet simple and his presentation exquisite. E

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MITCHELL KAPLAN President, Books & Books




itchell Kaplan, owner of Books & Books and co-founder of the Miami Book Fair International, believes in bookstores. He’s doesn’t buy into the idea there will no longer be a need for them, or that people prefer digital books to physical ones. “After a very rocky period, we’re seeing bookstores making a comeback,” he said, referring mainly to independent bookstores, and citing that American Bookseller Association memberships are actually up. He’s built a small local chain of independent bookstores on this concept and continues to expand. “Bookstores as a meeting place, and bookstores as a community center, are still an extremely powerful and potent idea.” Kaplan opened the first Coral Gables location in 1982, followed by the Miami Beach spot in 1989, and then Bal Harbour in 2014. This fall, he’s opening another café and bookstore at the Arsht Center in the old Sears Tower, and wants to expand his Newsstand by Books & Books concept, currently at the Southeast Financial Center to downtown Miami. Additionally, Kaplan has three stores that have affiliate relationships with his bookstore chain, which means he provides services and the name. They are at Miami International Airport and in the Cayman Islands and West Hampton Beach. It would seem that Kaplan has the Midas touch. Miami Book Fair International, entering its 31st year this November, has also turned out to be a huge international success. In 1984, Kaplan and president of Miami Dade College, Dr. Eduardo Padrón, who at the time was the vice president of the downtown campus (now Wolfson), collaborated on the first book fair, Books by the Bay. Kaplan’s long-term vision for the book fair was there from the onset. “Mitch has been consistent from day one in terms of making sure the emphasis is on quality, and that we make it a family affair,” said Padrón. Kaplan is not too concerned with tablets and electronic reading devices. “People buy more regular books than they buy e-books. Ebooks are 25 percent of the market, and the rest are regular books.” Kaplan, the ultimate purveyor of books, declined my request to name his favorite book or author. He would share, however, his latest endeavor as partner in a film production company—The Mazur Kaplan Company. Based in Los Angeles, he started it five years ago with veteran producer Paula Mazur. “I love film and bringing books to film is another form of what I do.” E —Millie Acebal Rousseau

Photo by Donna Victor





Co-Principal, SAKOR Development Resort. Together, they set their sights on the up-and-coming Edgewater neighborhood. The company recently launched ION East Edgewater, to be located on Biscayne Boulevard and 27th Street. SAKOR teamed with an affiliate of real estate investment firm Encore Housing Opportunity Fund—the principals behind Miami World Center—on the ION project. Salk hopes to break ground next year on the 330-unit, 36-story high-rise condo being designed by Arquitectonica, which focuses on what Salk calls “resort living coming home.” Completion is planned for late 2016.

“I wanted to marry the city with the bay,” she said of the project. In fact, the structural design of the building is meant to emulate Miami Beach on one side, and Miami on the other, with the bay in between. The concept is the brainchild of Arquitectonica’s awardwinning principal, Bernardo Fort-Brescia. Salk also wanted to incorporate social aspects into the building’s design, and turned to Hirsch Bedner Associates, which is best known for designing the interiors of New York’s Time Warner Center and Mandarin Oriental hotels worldwide. ION will have a mailroom lounge so neighbors can meet and chat. Salk also plans to support local artists by featuring their artwork, and even has a video art wall planned for the building. Units start in the low $300,000 range. Soft sales have begun for the project and are being handled by Cervera Real Estate. Salk has strong ties to the Cervera family, dating back to her work with the Related Group. “As a businesswoman, she’s extremely competent, very honest and hardworking,” said Alicia Cervera Lamadrid, Cervera’s managing partner. “She can be very nice, yet incredibly tough, and that’s sometimes required in a business environment. She is exceptionally competent; not getting it done is not an option. This is a woman who knows how to get it done.” Salk is a trailblazer in real estate development, a trade mostly associated with men. She’s one of the first women in development. Avra Jain, who bought and recently renovated the Vagabond Motel. But, in terms of high-rise development, Salk is the first, and for now, only woman. E —Millie Acebal Rousseau

Photos by Donna Victor


arbara Salk landed permanently in Miami in 1999. She had been working in Irving, Texas for Archon Group, a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs. She was commuting to Miami to consult on renovation projects when she was introduced to real estate mogul Jorge M. Pérez. It was Pérez who relocated her to the Magic City to work as a senior real estate developer for his company, Related Group. “I was very fortunate; it was a real life apprentice story,” said Salk. “It was a great way for him (Pérez) to expand his vision, and for me to hone my craft.” She worked alongside Pérez for 11 years, and when the real estate crash happened, she worked diligently to resolve the issues with the lenders. When that got worked through, she left Related Group, where she had been directly responsible for the development of condominium projects valued in excess of $1 billion. From there, she worked for two years as president of asset management for The Lynd Company, where she managed portfolios of multi-family and commercial loans and real estate throughout the country, that combined, had a value of more than $457 million. She was traveling a lot and missed Miami. “I wanted to get back in the game and be a partner,” she said. “Eventually, I wanted to go out on my own and be a developer.” In 2013, she teamed with Stephen Kornfeld as a co-principal in SAKOR Development, which develops high-rise condominiums. Kornfeld’s construction background includes involvement with notable projects such as New York’s World Financial Financial Center and Miami’s St. Regis Bal Harbour






Senior Vice President Sports & Entertainment Division Opulence International Realty


f you watched the Style Network’s short-lived docu-series, Hot Listings Miami, it may have been your first introduction to Tomi Rose. But, Rose has actually been selling South Florida luxury real estate for the past 12 years. Her first celebrity client was Dan Robbie, son of Joe Robbie, the founder, and first owner, of the Miami Dolphins. Rose moved to Miami in 1997 with her fiancée, former Miami Heat player, Mark Strickland. Shortly after the birth of their son, and right before their wedding, the couple broke up. As a result, Rose was a single mother for 10 years, and even penned a book about her experience, Why shouldn’t single mothers have it all? Rose and Strickland have since reunited, and are planning to wed next year. However, the initial breakup thrust Rose into entrepreneurship. “I found myself as a woman, as a mother, as a career woman,” she said. In 2001, she opened a local restaurant, Rose’s Ribs, with her father, but the business didn’t pan out. She had always loved real estate and had her license, so instead of referring clients, she started helping them. With Rose’s family back in Indiana, she had to go at it alone. “I actually love South Florida and didn’t want to leave, so I worked very hard to make it happen,” said Rose. “My son would go with me to work; he was my little assistant until I could afford a nanny.” Rose detailed how she was able to keep it all together. “I had to decompartmentalize everything, and have a clear mind and be focused.” It was about survival and taking care of herself, and her son. “It was a life changing adjustment. I was a woman of leisure. I had to figure out how to do this,” she said of going from a pampered woman to a businesswoman. 30


The fact that she had been immersed in the sports world gave her an edge over the competition. “My lifestyle was that as someone who was in the NBA 10 years. I knew the life on both sides,” she explained. “I can think of what they [clients] want before they know it. My advantage over any other realtor that does this is I can anticipate what their needs and wants are.” In the beginning, Rose was selling real estate for someone else – she declined to reveal the company. “I grew so much that I went out on my own.” That was in 2003, when she sold that first home to Robbie. Most of her business is referrals. One person she caught the eye of was James Hoffman, president and broker of Opulence International Realty. In January, Hoffman brought her onboard as senior vice president of the company’s sports and entertainment division. According to Rose, she is reportedly the first African-American realtor to sell more than $25 million in residential real estate in one fiscal year in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. “For me, it’s an honor to be the first one, but it’s more of an honor to open up the door for other minorities,” said Rose. Currently, she has $32 million in properties listed with Opulence. “She really has done an exceptional job,” said Hoffman. “She is the hardest working woman in real estate, and does whatever it takes to get the deal done. She never moves on her integrity, and is here early and leaves late.” Rose, who begins her day at 5:30am, averages 60 hours a week, and answers her phone 24/7. “In our business, if you miss a call, they’re going to the next person.” When clients phone, they get her, no agents or financial advisors. “I’m not a third-party type of realtor; I’m the direct person to the client.”

Rose’s work ethic has earned her more than 200 athletes and celebrity clients, from the late Michael Jackson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Vivica Fox to Bryan Williams and Owen Wilson, among many others. Her clients span across 15 of the 30 NBA teams, including former Miami Heat player Juwan Howard and his wife.

Rose is involved with various charities, including the Black’s Annual Gala, which raises funds for The Consequences Charity and Best Buddies. She’s also an active member of the Behind the Bench (BTB) and the NBA’s National Basketball Wives Association. Rose’s son is now 13, and following in his mom’s footsteps. At age 11, he started a

clothing line named KBOLO that sells socks. “I’m teaching him to be independent, and how to be his own boss,” said Rose. “It’s good he wanted to start a business, but he has to be responsible and be involved in meetings, designing, and speaking to kids.” Like mother, like son. E —Millie Acebal Rousseau






amden Capital is determined to be a player in the highly competitive South Florida wealth management market. Since opening a new office in North Palm Beach last June, the Los Angeles-based firm has built an experienced professional team and landed high-net-worth clients.

“When we launched Camden Capital ten years ago, our goal was to build a world-class independent wealth management boutique firm that served families and would grow one client at a time,” said John Krambeer, founder and CEO. Named for a street in Beverly Hills, Camden Capital has grown from three to 20 employees

John Krambeer, Founder/CEO and Rich Bursek, Partner, who leads the Palm Beach County office. 32


in both offices and now has about $1.5 billion in assets under management. In February, Krambeer, was recognized by Barron’s as one of America’s Top Financial Advisors. Krambeer noted he started his career as an intern at Merrill Lynch more than 25 years ago. Leading the Palm Beach County office operations is partner Rich Bursek. “We believe South Florida has great growth potential,” he said. “This is a very sophisticated financial services market with many prospective clients and talented professionals.” Bursek noted that Florida ranks third in the nation in percentage of millionaires, and has the highest annual growth rate in millionaire households. “Florida’s tax-friendly structure helps attract successful families and business owners,” he added. “Affluent families have a strong desire to access a truly independent, boutique-style firm that is represented by high-caliber professionals,” said Bursek. “Our investment team is dedicated to helping families manage and preserve their wealth and meet their long-term financial goals.” Krambeer said a typical Camden Capital client has between $15 and $20 million in assets. “We provide our clients with a concierge level of service, managing their cash, bonds, stocks, and alternative investments,” he said. “We help them develop their investment policies, make decisions, and provide them with clear information about their positions.” For many clients, Camden’s sophisticated reporting capabilities are an important component of the firm’s service, according to Krambeer. “We take data from multiple asset custodians, including real estate properties, and incorporate that information into a comprehensive report with a tax overlay,” he said. “That helps our clients, as well as their accountants and attorneys, understand how their assets work together.” Moving forward, Krambeer said Camden Capital plans to grow steadily, attracting new clients primarily through referrals. “We have built a great brand and Rich is helping us a build our name recognition in Palm Beach County. We have an experienced team and a solid technology platform that will enable us to capitalize on this market opportunity.” E —Richard Westlund

Photo by Donna Victor

Founder & CEO, Camden Capital

Photo by Jorge Parra


Representative José Félix Díaz Florida House of Representatives, District 116

As both an attorney and politician, Representative José Félix Díaz likes to look out for the little guy. But, his career in government almost never happened. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014



hen people call, José Félix Díaz, an attorney for Akerman and a Florida House Representative, answers his own phone. A rarity among politicians, he is extremely accessible. While at the University of Miami (UM), Díaz had alternate career plans in mind. “I was pre-med, and I was interning at the National Parkinson’s Institute at Jackson, and we were doing experiments with rats,” he recalled. “Every time a rat would die, I would feel bad. It was not the right career for me.” His career path changed after he took a constitutional law course at UM. His senior year, he applied to Columbia Law School and was accepted, graduating in 2005 with a certificate in international and comparative law. That same year, he was a contestant on the fifth season of NBC’s The Apprentice. “I was the third person fired,” he said. “I found out I passed the bar while on the show.” Later in 2005, he began working at Akerman. He handled mostly litigation and international arbitration until 2007, when he transitioned to zoning, land use, and local government. Two years later, he asked for permission from the firm to run for office, and in 2010, was elected, at age 30, to District 115 of the Florida House of Representatives. “I love policy. I love changing things, and helping implement change for the betterment of the community.” In 2012, the districts were re-drawn and he had to run against an incumbent for the new District 116. Díaz was considered the underdog, yet won. “How he ran his two political campaigns are emblematic of the kind of person he is,” said Neisen Kasdin, Akerman’s managing partner. “He’s really smart, knows exactly what he’s doing and has a strong work ethic. He thinks strategically and grasps things very quickly. I’m looking forward to the day he steps out of the legislature and becomes a full-time lawyer.” There are no plans for that right now, as Díaz is running for re-election this November. As a lawyer, Díaz contributes his time to various pro-bono projects, and is active with the Miami-Dade foster care agency, CHARLEE Homes for Children, and the American Red Cross, among others. “He’s always given back, and it’s really an inspiring trait,” said Daniel Díaz Leyva (no relation), an attorney for Foley & Lardner who knows Díaz from college and served with him on the CHARLEE board. “I think government needs to understand how important business is to this community,” said Díaz. “Every decision government makes has consequences on business owners. The less government intrudes, the more jobs are created.” 34


Photo by Jorge Parra


Representative José Félix Díaz Last year, Díaz, along with Senator Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby), filed a business filing reduction bill proposing to reduce the amount that small business owners pay the state per year in corporation filing fees. Díaz believes that this allows businesses to focus on hiring more workers and providing additional jobs. The bill, which didn’t pass, would’ve had a $30 million fiscal impact. Díaz hopes to try again this year. He’s also made it a point to become very familiar with code interpretation and how different municipalities and counties work in order to help companies navigate municipal codes. Díaz said he’s looking at rewriting state tax codes, especially for retail vendors. “If you have a small mom and pop, you need a Ph.D. in state tax code to find out what’s taxed and what’s not.” “I know the importance of small businesses to the community, and have always tried to help small business owners navigate issues they may have before local government,” he said. “Government and business don’t always mix; government sometimes, not maliciously, impedes business. Part of my job is to help

people get unstuck when they run into the quicksand of government.” Díaz also sits on the board of directors of the Beacon Council, the public–private agency responsible for luring businesses to Miami-Dade, and also supporting the business climate. One of his goals has been to push the sunset date in 2015 for the Enterprise Zone, which offers businesses incentives to relocate to economically distressed areas in the state. He co-sponsored a general bill, HB 141-Florida Enterprise Zone Act, but in May of this year, it died in the Economic Development & Tourism subcommittee. Díaz plans to take another shot at it this year. He’s also committed to helping those with special needs find jobs, as he believes it not only benefits people, but businesses as well. In 2012, he started working with the Dan Marino Foundation to successfully obtain $1.7 million in seed capital to create the first vocational college for kids with autism and developmental disabilities. E —Millie Acebal Rousseau


Photo by Jorge Parra

Patrick Dwyer Managing Director, Investments Private Wealth Advisor Dwyer & Associates Private Banking and Investment Group of Merrill Lynch Despite only having 63 families as clients, Patrick Dwyer and his team are doing something right. His clients are ultra-affluent families with at least $10 million in assets. Since starting his group in 1999, Dwyer has gone from $557 million in advised assets under management to $2.6 billion in 2014. With a compound annual growth rate since 1998 of 14 percent, it is clear Dwyer has the competitive advantage. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014


THE EDGE Our clients are very unique and we want to get in and really understand everything we can about them. Then we make sure we deliver on their specific needs and goals. I like to refer to what we do as modern private banking. EXECUTIVE: What is modern private banking? Dwyer: Technology is really helping us interact and touch our clients in ways that we couldn’t before. We are leveraging the use of technology. Merrill Lynch has state-of-the-art technology and my group is an early adopter of these technologies because we think it is really important. We are rolling out new technological capabilities daily. I mean it is incredible what we can do. We want our clients to have access to all of their financial information in one spot. And when I say all their information, I mean all their information. Our clients have their entire balance sheet online. We aggregate their asset information so that they can see their balances in real time and can even get this information on their iPhones.

Dwyer: Information. Information is power. You’re trying to make an optimal decision with a client. If the client and I can see his entire balance sheet, we can have a much more meaningful conversation about risk, rates of return, etc. When you sit down with the average household and ask what they spend in a year, they are likely not to know the answer. My clients know that answer because I have given them this information at their fingertips. No matter how many credit cards or bank accounts they have, we aggregate this information. You don’t know what your rate of return requirement is until you know what you’re spending. And most people don’t know this. It is amazing how something so simple is so important. EXECUTIVE: Where do you begin when working with a new client?


atrick Dwyer started with Merrill Lynch immediately after receiving his MBA from the University of Miami in 1993. He began in the firm’s MBA Analyst Program, and then moved to Miami to start his career as a financial advisor. In 1999, Dwyer became one of the first advisors to join a new division established to serve the needs of ultra-high-net-worth families, the Private Banking and Investment Group at Merrill Lynch. Today, Dwyer & Associates is regarded as one of the top ten advisory practices at Merrill Lynch worldwide. (It is actually ranked No. 4.) Dwyer has also received recognition by Barron’s as one of the top 100 financial advisors every year since 2007. The publication also recognized him as the No. 2 advisor in Florida in 2013. And in 2014, he was recognized in the Financial Times worldwide list of the top 400 advisors. EXECUTIVE South Florida magazine: How is what you do different than a typical wealth advisor? Patrick Dwyer: We focus on serving the unique needs of the 63 families we serve. This isn’t a big retail operation where we handle hundreds of people. We are very focused on achieving the specific goals of our clients. Yes, investment is central to what we do. But there are lots of other things including, taxes, estate planning, and philanthropic endeavors. 36


Dwyer: People have different goals and objectives for their money. Money means different things to people. So you really have to be in tune with what the client is trying to accomplish. Typically, maintaining a certain lifestyle is first and foremost. People want to make sure they can preserve their current standard of living. Then it is all about planning. When you ask if they have thought about asset protection, how much they want their children to have, and how much do they want to give to charity, people will say that they have thought about these things but they don’t really understand the impact of what they’ve done up to this point. They have to look to see if what they’ve done is even in line with their actual objectives. What we really do is take this complexity and make it simple. EXECUTIVE: Why do you want to keep your client base small? Dwyer: When I started in the business in the 1990s I had a large traditional advisory practice. I had hundreds of clients, but I just didn’t feel like I was getting to know the people I was working with. I realized I liked working with the wealthier clients, as there is more complexity to what they needed and I found this really interesting. It is more challenging, but it is great to work with really successful people. We are totally focused on the things that matter to these clients. This means we can really get involved to understand unique investments that are really opportunities only these types of clients may have. We spend all our time on the things that matter to our specific client base. E

Photo by Jorge Parra

EXECUTIVE: What does this give you that you didn’t have before?

Enriching Lives Since 1940

A trusted leader providing quality healthcare programs and services to the South Florida community.

5200 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL 33137 • 305.751.8626 •

LEFT TO RIGHT: Rey Melendi, Chief Operating Officer Jake Roffman, Principal Arnaud Karsenti, Managing Principal Daryl Shevin, Chief Financial Officer Michael Nunziata, Principal

LUCKY 13 By Jeff Zbar | Photography by Stephen Boxall

Before the recession even ended, Arnaud Karsenti and the team at 13th Floor Investments were buying distressed properties, building partnerships, and redefining how South Florida real estate deals are done.


Lucky 13

ant to see the work 13th Floor Investments is doing in South Florida? Take a ride up in the construction elevator to the 19th floor of 400 Sunny Isles. From this perch in the two-tower, 230-unit condominium, you’ll get a lofty view of the development and investment firm’s projects. Surrounded by raw concrete in a still wall-less penthouse suite, the firm’s five partners peer south down the Intracoastal Waterway to the site of the boutique waterfront condo Sereno in Bay Harbor Islands. To the southwest across the Oleta River State Park is the site for a pair of 25-story high-rise condominium towers called The Harbor Beach. Off in the distance to the north is a twoacre parcel fronting the Intracoastal in Hollywood. There, they’ll build a yet-unnamed project with the Related Group. Or, just look out the firm’s penthouse offices along Brickell Avenue. One block to the southwest from the conference room you’ll see an excavator demolishing a 300-car parking garage. Before year’s end, 1010 Brickell will begin to rise on the site. The 47-story luxury condominium’s 350 units will infuse family-friendly, business and lifestyle touches to the downtown residential marketplace. Something else becomes clear as you sit in that boardroom, surrounded by the 13th Floor management team. You’re likely not the smartest person in the room. Three of the partners, including managing principal Arnaud Karsenti, hold Ivy League MBAs. One of the executives spent his career rising the ranks of residential construction. The other was a fund manager overseeing multi-billion dollar investments. Together, they’re changing both the marketplace and how development deals are done. From the coast to downtown, the Design District to suburban markets like Homestead and Tamarac, even south to Key West and west to Naples, they’ve picked up underperforming and distressed properties, often at a steep discount. They’ve successfully built or redeveloped the holdings, often turning a tidy profit for themselves and their investors alike. Along the way, this team of seemingly seasoned-beyond-their-years, Millennial 40


executives have also assembled a host of partners who in other times or by other developers might have been seen as competitors. The strategy is simple: seek value investments that generate superior results, actively mitigate risk, what Karsenti calls “derisking,” all the while infusing efficiency into struggling properties. Since its founding in 2008, 13th Floor has invested more than $260 million of equity in 29 transactions, representing a total estimated project value of over $1 billion. “We’re always in search of derisking,” said Karsenti.

Think back and consider market conditions in 2008 when 13th Floor was just ramping up its buying binge. The real estate market was in shambles, and investor wounds were fresh with more still to come. Don Ginsburg, president of commercial brokerage firm Realty Masters Advisors, met Karsenti that year as both were doing one-off deals, mostly distressed acquisitions. Karsenti was buying at a time “when most people were running for the exits,” said Ginsburg. “Arnaud was running toward the fire,” he said. “As Warren Buffet said, ‘Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others

are fearful.’ Arnaud had the nerve and liquidity to take advantage of a very dislocated market.” Karsenti had an advantage. His young company was unburdened by the debtdriven calamity befalling bigger players. This afforded 13 th Floor access to capital and deal flow focused on distressed properties and time. “Most people were solving problems,” said Karsenti, whose company name reflects the philosophy. Where most developers see a 13th floor as bad luck, he sees opportunity. “We had the resources and the time to go out and do new things.”

A New School Approach He doesn’t do those things alone. Karsenti, 36, and this team of Millennials take a collaborative approach to development. The old-school way of looking at partnerships was to think about them in terms of a pie that had to be shared. Karsenti’s group values working together to grow and diversify the pie. At Eden House in Miami Beach, 13th Floor collaborated with Key International, the real estate sales and marketing firm. In Hollywood, 13th Floor is working with Key and the Related Group.

Some welcome partnerships. Others are threatened. “Often, people think that you are bluffing and that you are really trying to cut them out of the deal,” said Karsenti. “Unfortunately, those groups find it very difficult to get collaborative deals closed because they focus so much on their position in the deal rather than the value that can be jointly created.” Collaboration is a fact of life as competition for trophy assets heats up in South Florida’s real estate market. Developers are increasingly looking at allied capital and partnerships between competing investment firms as a successful way to enter submarkets with high barriers of entry, like downtown Miami, Miami Beach, and Hollywood Beach. “What you have in today’s market is a lot of competition for fewer deals,” said Adam Lustig, a partner in the real estate group at law firm Bilzin Sumberg. Lustig has worked with both 13th Floor and Key International. “For next-generation developers, the question becomes: Why compete against each other and bid up the price? Let’s do this together.” The approach was a matter of practicality for the Hollywood deal, said Carlos Rosso, president of the Related Group condominium division. Both 13th Floor and Related had interests in the property. So where Related may have sought to compete in the past, this time they talked for less than an hour and came to terms. “There was a meeting of the minds and we said, ‘Let’s do it together,’” said Rosso. “In my brief experience with them, that’s their characteristic.”

Building His Team Karsenti flew solo until his first hire in 2009. That’s when Michael Nunziata joined him as a real estate analyst. Conversely, his most recent executive hire was principal Jake Roffman, a Wharton MBA graduate, who assists Nunziata on acquisitions. Soon after Nunziata joined, Karsenti met Daryl Shevin. Skilled in numbers and capable of managing day-to-day operations, Shevin was flirting with job prospects. Negotiations to bring him on board took months. “We courted each other longer than we courted our wives,” joked Shevin. His arrival in 2010 came as Karsenti was transitioning from deal-to-deal projects to assembling his first capital raise. Previously, 13th Floor would target a property, and raise the funds needed to acquire it. Now, Karsenti wanted more flexibility. His first fund, the The Harbour Beach NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014


Lucky 13 Florida Real Estate Value Fund, launched in 2010 with $50 million in capital commitments, mostly from private equity firms, pension funds, institutional investors, and high net worth individuals. A second raised $100 million. Shevin knew little about real estate. But he was a hedge fund and private equity veteran who had managed teams administering more than $10 billion in client assets. What Karsenti landed was a leader from the institutional fund world with a New York mentality and a focus on fiduciary responsibility. “On paper, it looks like 13th Floor picked up a CFO,” said Karsenti. “But what we really picked up was a strong partner who could lead the company.” Doug Berman has invested in close to two dozen individual 13th Floor deals, as well as in both of its real estate funds. Berman met Karsenti a decade ago when Karsenti had returned to Miami with his Harvard MBA. He watched as Karsenti assembled his team. “Arnaud’s smart enough to know he’s not the expert. He surrounded himself with a very smart, aggressive and thoughtful team that’s very disciplined,” said Berman, executive managing director with H.I.G. Capital, a private equity firm. “More than anything, you invest in a manager, someone with judgment, who’s smart and aggressive, but not crazy.” Next to join was COO Rey Melendi, at 45 the old man on the team. Melendi began in construction in his 20s laying roofs in Lennar’s suburban communities. He eventually rose to director of REO at Lennar subsidiary Rialto Capital Management LLC, where he managed some $300 million in commercial and residential lender-owned properties nationwide. With his arrival at 13th Floor in 2012, Melendi brought an interpretation of Lennar’s suburban development principles along for 13 th Floor’s need for increasingly creative downtown high rises.

400 Sunny Isles entry

400 Sunny Isles exterior Gym at 1010 Brickell



Indoor pool at 1010 Brickell


1010 Brickell

In 2006, builder Moss & Associates was booked solid with work amid South Florida’s construction boom. So when Inigo Ardid of Key International approached Moss executive Joe Harris about building one of Key’s condominium projects, Harris was reluctant to take on new business. Yet, something about Ardid, a savvy executive who at the time was in his late 20s, convinced Harris to take on the job. “I told him, ‘I want to figure out a way to do your job,’” recounted Harris, executive vice president with Fort Lauderdale-based Moss & Associates. “With someone like that, you find a way to make it work.” A half-dozen successful construction projects later, Moss and Key continue to work together. And Ardid, his brother, Diego, and their real estate development and sales and marketing firm, Key, continue to change Miami’s skyline. Key and some of its projects, including Ivy Condominiums, suffered setbacks and even a lawsuit amid the recession’s backlash. But today, the firm forges on unabated. Key is or has been a partner in condo projects 400 Sunny Isles, 1010 Brickell, Eden House in Miami Beach and the Sereno in Bay Harbor Islands. The firm is also partnered in a two-story building, 330unit project on North Miami Beach’s Biscayne Blvd. corridor. With the brothers as co-presidents, in August the firm announced it would do a joint venture with the Related Group and long-time partner 13th Floor Investments on a mixed-use condo-hotel in Hollywood. No stranger to hospitality, Key hotel projects also include the Marriott South Beach and the $350 million acquisition and makeover of the Eden Roc Resort and Spa. The family firm, Key was founded in the 1970s by Jose Ardid an architect who emigrated with his family from Spain when his boys were still toddlers. Development and construction was constant chatter around the family’s Miami home said Inigo Ardid. The father taught his sons to establish ties to the capital markets, but not to be afraid to invest their own money in a diversified portfolio. Today that includes high-rise condos, low-income properties, and a host of office buildings and rental apartments. “If you have income-producing property with low leverage on it, you’ll always be able to feed your family,” said Ardid. The philosophy provided stability though the recession, said Diego Ardid, 34, who runs Key’s hotel and commercial division. Today, he’s scouting parcels for new hotel projects, like the seven-acre Jacksonville Beach parcel the company acquired for a 300-room resort that will hopefully break ground in first quarter 2015. Victor Ballestas has worked with Key since the depths of the recession. He was paired with the developer in the struggling Mint condominium project, and recalled debating whether Key could see the project to completion. Together, they did and today continue working together. Ballestas then brought in Key to handle sales and marketing for Sereno, where the 38 units average $1 million each. A month from breaking ground, the project’s nearly sold out said Ballestas, principal with Integra Investments, Miami. “There are six other jobs in Bay Harbor that didn’t sell at that pace or that price,” said Ballestas. “That speaks to their results.”E —J.Z. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014


Lucky 13

Serenoon Bay, Harbor Islands

The Harbour, North Miami Beach

“We’re taking master-planned communities out of the suburbs and we’re verticalizing them,” said Melendi, whose work on 1010 Brickell will deliver such “insane amenities” as a bowling alley, rooftop lounge, and a host of children’s activities. “It’s really an urban playground 50 stories above Brickell.” All this talk of high rises aside, 13th Floor is a multi-dimensional developer. Beyond condos, the company has built or acquired such projects as multifamily development Sierra Grande in Naples, projects in downtown Dadeland, the Central Parc single-family community in Tamarac, the Highland Park medical office building in Miami and 3650 Design Plaza in Miami’s Design District. Avra Jain worked closely with Karsenti on 3650 Design Plaza. A former Wall Street trader and now a veteran of more than a dozen Miami real estate projects, she first met Karsenti in 2012 when each had been offered a shot to buy a different Design District property. “Like so many other 13th Floor introductions, strangers soon became partners,” said Jain. In short order, Karsenti had negotiated and closed a deal and Melendi was pulling permits to transform an old school into a showroom. “As a group they have that experience to make those decisions and to make them quickly,” said Jain. “That’s where the opportunity lies.” 13th Floor has assembled partners like a portfolio of properties, though Karsenti was quick to caution against picking partners who lack accountability or are driven by greed. But as the development team has proven, a generational ethos of getting it done can lead to shared success. “Plus,” Karsenti added, “collaboration is just more fun.” E

BELOW: The Harbour pool



The story of International Sales Group (ISG) is a tale of success, crisis, desperation, reinvention and ultimately perseverance to emerge as one of the region’s leading real estate sales teams. Philip Spiegelman and Craig Studnicky endured the Great recession and condominium meltdown by playing to their strengths and convincing others to stay the course. Philip Spiegelman and Craig Studnicky

By Jeff Zbar | Photography by Stephen Boxall


Selling South Florida

t was a Monday morning in the summer of 2009, Philip Spiegelman and Craig Studnicky had arrived at International Sales Group’s (ISG) Aventura–office to find the forlorn faces of its demoralized sales force. At least, what remained of it. The year before, the team numbered 450. It was part of a real estate sales and marketing juggernaut that sold thousands of condominium units across South Florida. But on that morning, it was down to 20 representatives. The Great Recession had hit. Condo sales stopped cold. Rumors circulated that 30,000, maybe 40,000, units flooded the market. Forty– thousand units meant 10 years of inventory to sell. Who could survive that? Besides, buyers vanished. Amid that backdrop, the executives faced their team. “There was no life in their eyes. We looked at each other and thought, ‘This is like running a funeral home,” said Studnicky. “We needed to give them a mission, a reason to get back out there and try. We needed a survival strategy.” Then someone raised the question: Were there really 40,000 condos on the market? Journalists reported it. Developers and sales teams repeated it. But what was the real number? Maybe if someone had hard numbers, the market, and especially the team at ISG could use them, if not as validation of the market’s situation, then as motivation to sell. The two men decided to find out. They had their people start calling real estate market research firms, area developers, anyone who had a true clue about how many units were out there. What they learned was shocking. In September 2009 there were fewer than 15,000 units, or just a few years’ inventory. The team was energized, and now Spiegelman and Studnicky were on a mission. They had their findings, wrote a few articles, and packaged the articles into a newsletter. The issue was titled Perception vs. Reality. ISG shipped the report to brokers in the Northeast and Europe. They translated it into Spanish and sent it to Latin America. Brokers here and abroad had “the information they needed to go back to customers and say, ‘Now.



Craig Studnicky






Asia / China









Asia / China





Colombia 7%

Russia 2% Asia / China Colombia 7% 3% Russia 2% Asia / China Peru 6% 3%

Other 3% Other 3% Brazil 32% Brazil 32%

Peru 6% USA 11% USA 11%

Argentina 14% Argentina 14%

Venezuela 22% Venezuela 22%

SOURCE: International Sales Group (ISG)


Total Buildings

Total Units

Total Sold

% Sold

Total Unsold







Under Construction


















Sources: Integrated Realty Information System (IRIS); Dade County Property Appraiser; Multiple Listing Service (MLS); Florida Division of Corporations; Google Map and Streets; Internet; project specific Developer owned websites; on-site sales staff (if available) and field visits to each building or site.

Philip Spiegelman

Here’s the urgency. Here’s the reason to get back in,” recalled Studnicky. By 2012 all of the 15,000 units were sold. The market returned and new development had arrived. “Research was a survival technique,” said Spiegelman, who like his partner, started his real estate career decades ago in the Northeast, but had no background in research. “We’re song–and–dance men, marketing–and–sales boys. But we had to cut through the rumors and myths that were so rampant.” Five years later, the ISG Miami Market Report is the go-to document many journalists, developers and sales reps in the US and internationally go to for guidance about the South Florida marketplace. A run of 5,000 copies of the 80-page report is published twice a year. It’s translated into Spanish, Portuguese, and Mandarin, and shipped globally. It’s also available in PDF format and on the ISSUU digital platform. It’s not just a reflection of the Miami marketplace. It symbolizes ISG’s renewed energy. Today, this energy is palpable in the ground-floor model unit at Echo, the Carlos Ott-designed luxury waterfront condominium in Aventura which ISG is the exclusive broker. It’s not so much the flow of buyers being led by sales reps through the Yabu Pushelbergdesigned and Artefacto-furnished interiors. Spiegelman, Studnicky and the firm they founded in 1994 has been responsible for some $8 billion in luxury condo sales. Maybe their story so closely mirrors the rise, collapse, and renewal of the condo market because they were so integrally involved with it. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014


Selling South Florida

ISG was a juggernaut. With South Florida’s condominium boom in the lead-up to the recession, the projects ISG represented were synonymous with South Florida’s hot condo market. From Marina Blue in Miami to Fisher Island; Peninsula in Aventura to Mizner Grande in Boca Raton, developers called on ISG to sell their projects to buyers eager to purchase and indulge on the market’s excess. Property Markets Group (PMG) was one of those developers. In 2006, during the run-up, the developer hired ISG to sell its MEI project in Miami Beach. ISG was able to fetch $1,000 per square foot, a figure unheard of at the time in Miami Beach. When the market crashed, only 15 percent of buyers showed up for the closing. The rest fled and left behind their 10 percent deposits. Again, PMG hired ISG to sell the inventory— and sell they did. “They sold 135 condos twice,” said Ryan Shear, principal with PMG, which is developing Echo Aventura, Echo Brickell and SAGE Beach Hollywood, the boutique property ISG is also selling. For PMG, ISG also is a deal-finder. Just three years ago, the five acres on which Echo is rising was home to Australian pines along Aventura’s famed Thunder Alley powerboat hub. This was the last developable waterfront parcel in Aventura. The story goes that an elderly woman owned it for 20 years or more. When she finally decided to sell, she gave it to a broker. The broker called Studnicky, who called Shear. PMG bought the parcel for $27 million. The 190 units under construction are starting at $1.2 million and rising to $4 million. “They’re beyond loyal,” said Shear, for whom ISG has sold $800 million in real estate in the last 18 months. “We have $1.1 billion to sell in South Florida. If we build it, they sell it.” ISG today is back to selling to buyers throughout the US and Latin America. The company has offices in Caracas, Bogota, Sao Paulo, Rio, and Buenos Aires. They’re reopening an office in Panama and looking at Mexico. With the ISG Miami Market Report going into its sixth year, a team of researchers, writers, editors, and designers always are on the hunt for market news and trends. They’ll turn to Miami technology entrepreneur Manny Medina’s organization for news about the growing innovation and tech space. They’ll call officials with Miami International Airport for stats on international travel, and PortMiami for data on global trade or Panamax shipping. They’ll talk with developers for trends on condo inventory, pricing, and new product. They will 48



2014 AVG DOM






































SOURCE: Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

use all of this information to help to paint a picture of Miami as a secure and stable investment opportunity. As popular as the report is, Spiegelman and Studnicky have no plans to commercialize it. They’ve been approached about doing private-label editons or selling advertisements within its pages; the closest they’ve come is creating a branded version for a partner, the Related Group. From sales of distressed assets during the recession to developing markets in Broward and Palm Beach counties, Related’s relationship with ISG runs deeper than the market report, said Matthew Allen, executive vice president and COO with the Related Group. “ISG has helped rebrand South Florida. They’ve lured foreign investors to Related’s Casa Costa development in Boynton Beach. As of publication, all but seven of the 330 units had sold at the oceanfront property. It

was no easy task,” said Allen. Broward is a stretch for many Latin Americans. Most don’t even know Palm Beach County exists. “They helped the Latin buyer understand it’s 45 minutes from Miami,” he said. “That market is a tough market. Craig doesn’t sit behind a desk and dictate. He gets his hands dirty.” Helping buyers understand the market and making those connections remains ISG’s focus. Whether the executives are working to network or distributing the report to brokers and agents, they’re helping to sell Miami. “If you’re thinking about buying a second home, and you read the report, we get you to the edge,” said Spiegelman. “We’re ultimately salesmen. We’re creating a story. All you have to do is follow the story. When you do that, Miami starts becoming the most exciting city in the world. We sell Miami better than anybody.” E

BROWARD’S BEST Broward County is celebrating its 100th anniversary and things have never looked better. It has transformed itself from a beach town to a world-class destination with a strong arts and culture scene, lively convention center, active port, and expanding international airport. Its schools are improving at a rapid pace—21 of its high schools received a letter grade of A from the state. Community leaders continue to make education is a top priority. With an expected population growth from 1.9 million in 2015 to 2.1 million in 2025, it is clear Broward is no longer overshadowed by its big sister, Miami-Dade. Showcased here are some of the individuals who are assisting Broward to be its best.

Photography by Stephen Boxall



Broward’s Best

David Armstrong President Broward College

Under David Armstrong’s leadership, Broward College, with 70,000 students from 150 different nations of origin. It has consistently been ranked among the top ten community colleges in the nation. Armstrong’s focus on expanding access and global competitiveness has resulted in new locations with 10 campuses and centers in Greater Fort Lauderdale.

We work a great deal on economic development. If businesses succeed, then they grow and hire more people. And if the companies see that our students are well prepared then they get the jobs. It becomes a win-win for the college and the business community. — David Armstrong

Keith Costello Division President Centennial Bank With a new name and fresh influx of capital, Keith Costello heads Centennial Bank’s aggressive growth plans in the region. The recent sale of Broward Bank of Commerce to Home BancShares provides the necessary resources to expand into some of the most lucrative markets in the state—Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties.

Lots of banks are interested in Broward County due to the regulation concerns that are present in Miami-Dade. With the Bank Secrecy Act, Miami presents more of a regulatory concern than Broward.

— Keith Costello

Bonnie Clearwater Director/Chief Curator NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale

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In September 2013, Bonnie Clearwater joined the NSU/Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale as its director/chief curator. Under her leadership, the museum has embarked on an exciting new phase of growth and transformation. Upon her arrival, a matching grant fundraiser was started. The goal is to raise $1.5 million in three years. The museum expects to meet the goal in just a little over a year.

The support is tremendous. The community recognizes the importance of the arts. It has a strong sense of civic pride that works to make things happen. — Bonnie Clearwater

Andrew R. Cagnetta, Jr. President Transworld Business Advisors

Andrew Cagnetta has a good pulse on the business community in Broward County. His firm markets and sells businesses and franchises and last year saw a 20 percent increase in Broward County alone. His expertise and commitment also lends itself to many of the local charities as well as to his own Andy’s Family Pasta Dinner, which has raised over $500,000 in the last 12 years.

Many business purchasers don’t want to be in Miami-Dade; there is concern that Miami’s current condo boom can’t be sustained. People see Broward’s economy as more stable. — Andrew Cagnetta

Ginger Martin President/CEO American National Bank Since being established in 1985, the family-owned commercial bank with its one location is primarily focused on serving Broward County. Ginger Martin is one of only nine female bank CEOs in the 213 Florida-based banks. In 2014, she was named on the list of The Commonwealth Institute’s Top 50 Women–Led Businesses in the state of Florida.

This is where we do 98 percent of our business. There is a lot of wealth in Broward County. — Ginger Martin

Charles S. Caulkins Partner, Fisher & Phillips Chairman, Broward Workshop As chairman of the Broward Workshop, Charles Caulkins oversees the private organization of chief decision makers representing 100 of Broward County’s major business professions. This group works to make the county a better place to live, work, and play by getting involved in the issues that impact people’s lives. Current initiatives underway include creating a regional business alliance to engage business leaders throughout southeast Florida’s seven counties to better work together for the good of the region; and supporting the school district’s effort for voters to approve an $800 million bond.

Members of the Broward Workshop aren’t trying to network. We like to roll up our sleeves and get things done. — Charles Caulkins



Broward’s Best

Marsha D. Powers CEO/Florida Region Tenet Healthcare

The Broward Florida Medical Center—a campus of North Shore—continues to grow and expand its programs. It just opened a senior emergency department and a special senior unit at the 459-bed acute-care hospital. The Florida Medical Center is one of Tenet’s most technologically advanced hospitals in the region.

If you look at Florida Medical Center’s advance neuroscience institute and stroke center, it not only receives patients from all over the tri-county, but also patients from outside the state. — Marsha D. Powers

Ben Baldanza CEO/President Spirit Airlines Miramar-based Spirit Airlines was the first US airline to focus on price as its primary driver for attracting flyers. When Ben Baldanza become CEO/president in 2006, Spirit only had 30 plans in its fleet. It now has 59 and expects to expand to 143 in the next seven years. It is the largest airline based at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport with 50 outbound flights per day. Since going public in 2011, the company has been profitable every quarter.

I think we are actually a better economic base than other airlines because more of our customers’ money is spent in South Florida than getting to South Florida. — Ben Baldanza

Gary Rosen Managing Shareholder Becker & Poliakoff

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After 25 years in the same building, Becker & Poliakoff is settling in to its new downtown Fort Lauderdale home. The firm was an early pioneer in the representation of community and condo associations and is now considered one of the foremost experts in the field.

Where a firm is geographically located is a statement of how it views itself and how it wishes to be viewed by the community. From a strategic perspective, we wanted to represent that we are a multi-practice firm that is part of the business community and is located in the heart of the business community. — Gary Rosen

Heiko Dobrikow General Manager Riverside Hotel

The Riverside Hotel is the only hotel located on Las Olas Boulevard. As the general manager, Heiko Dobikov has been overseeing a complete renovation of the hotel’s guest rooms and expansion of its meeting spaces. The hotel recently joined an awards program for independent hotels and has seen a significant increase in corporate travelers.

It is interesting that a lot of our customers previously stayed in Miami and are pleasantly surprised at what Fort Lauderdale offers; how easy it is to walk to the museum and the performing arts center; how the airport is so close; and that there is plenty of parking. — Heiko Dobrikow

Kelley Shanley President/CEO Broward Center for the Performing Arts Over the last five years, Kelley Shanley has been spearheading a campaign to raise funds to renovate and expand the Broward Center for the Performing Arts to suit the needs of the growing community. When the Broward Center was built almost 25 years ago, its founders understood that to become a world-class city, it is critical to have a world-class arts center.

Art is a tool to be used to achieve the community’s goals. And when it came to reinvesting in the center, the community stepped up and we raised over $55 million.

— Kelley Shanley

Germaine Smith-Baugh, Ed.D. President/CEO Urban League of Broward County

There is no doubt that Germaine Smith-Baugh is a true leader. For the past four years, under her direction, the Urban League of Broward County has served as the lead administrator for the state’s six other Urban League affiliates. Smith-Baugh has also secured Fort Lauderdale as the host city for the 2015 National Urban League Conference. She beat out nine other cities.

Typically the National Urban League brings it conference to a more urban center that serves as the headquarters for big corporations. Fort Lauderdale doesn’t have a lot of big companies; but, the Urban League leaders saw the successful collaboration between business, community, and government. — Germaine Smith-Baugh



Broward’s Best

Scott L. Leventhal & Joseph Kavana Joseph Kavana, Chairman Scott Leventhal, President/CEO The Trillist Companies

The Trillist Companies is betting on Broward, and Joseph Kavana and his partner Scott Leventhal believe there is incredible potential in the county’s western corridor. With such institutions as the Celeveland Clinic, Nova Southeastern University, and the ever-expanding Sawgrass Mills all out west, the duo feel that there is huge opportunity to provide unique and resort-style housing in the area. One of their major projects is Metropica, a 65-acre mixed-use development in the heart of Sunrise.

We believe that Broward is the next big thing. Land prices in Miami-Dade county are very expensive to the point of making it very difficult to have a viable project. Many developers are looking into Broward. — Joseph Kavana

Carolyn Block Ellert & Laurie Ingber Co-owners/Brokers Premier Sales Group

As a full-service sales and marketing group that specializes in predevelopment planning, Premier Sales Group has been a stakeholder in Broward County since the 1990s. Currently, Ingber and Ellert are actively consulting on four projects in Broward.

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The Miami market is increasing the demand for Broward. Because of the success of Miami’s real estate market, it has added to Broward’s credibility, and Broward is taking advantage of this opportunity. — Carolyn Ellert


Blaise McMackin Partner Tap 42 Bar & Kitchen Fort Lauderdale

From restaurants to coffeehouses to gyms to community gardens, Blaise McMackin is building roots in Broward. It began for McMackin with the 2011 opening of Tap 42 Bar & Kitchen on Andrews Avenue in Fort Lauderdale, and it has been non-stop ever since. McMackin has continued to grow with the opening of a vegan vegetarian restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, the development of a gym in Oakland Park, opening of the Warsaw Coffee Company, and a Mexican restaurant, Barrita, next door to where it all began at Tap 42.

This is a very exciting time to be in Broward. The county is going be changing over the next 10 years. It offers a lot of opportunity for an entrepreneur like me. — Blaise McMackin

Juliet Murphy Roulhac Regional Manager for External Affairs Florida Power & Light Company Juliet Murphy Roulhac focuses her time on community engagement and ensuring that FPL maintains its goal to make a meaningful impact on the communities it services. Currently, FPL is undergoing a $1.2 billion investment to modernize its FPL plant at Port Everglades. The plant is expected to come on line in 2016, when it will bring about $20 million in new tax revenue its first year. Murphy Roulhac works to show the community what this means for the local economy.

The stakeholders are really excited about the plant’s new tax revenue. It really is a significant boom for the local economy. The school board, county, and City of Hollywood will see additional revenue, which will be tremendous for the area. — Juliet Murphy Roulhac

Mitchell W. Berger Founder/Co-Chairman Berger Singerman Twenty-nine years ago when Mitchell Berger founded his law practice in Fort Lauderdale there were no other corporate and business litigation law firms in the city. Berger believes that the development of Nova Southeastern University and its impressive selection of graduate schools—law, medical, dental, and business—have had a major impact on the significant changes to the area.

All of the area’s communities—Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, and Pompano— are developing to become much more urbanized, rather than just tourist areas. It is clear Fort Lauderdale has become a thriving urban center. — Mitchell W. Berger



Broward’s Best

Peter M. Weinstein Chief Judge Broward County

Chief Judge Peter Weinstein is getting ready to move the county’s 90 circuit and county court judges to the new 714,000-square-foot courthouse. Weinstein is in his second term as chief judge in the state’s second largest circuit court.

I spent 14 years in the Florida legislature. This experience helps me to understand how the system works. This is very beneficial. There aren’t a lot of people who make the transition from the legislative to the judicial branch. — Judge Peter Weinstein

Mary Partin CEO Dan Marino Foundation The Dan Marino Foundation just graduated the first class of its Marino Campus. Marino Campus, located in a 66,000-square-foot building on Andrews Avenue in Fort Lauderdale, is a post-secondary educational opportunity for young adults with autism and other developmental disorders. Of the 72 graduates, 54 percent are already employed. The campus is currently working on getting its accreditation

Being downtown was important. People with disabilities are great urbanites. They can live downtown because of the easy transportation and the close proximity to stores. We purposely chose Fort Lauderdale for the location of our campus.

— Mary Partin

Alan Koslow, Esq. Shareholder, Becker & Poliakoff Chairman, The Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival

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Alan Koslow is not only known for his efforts directing Becker & Poliakoff’s gaming, hospitality, and entertainment law practice, but also for his extensive involvement with the community. Koslow serves as chairman of the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF). His passion for film was instrumental in a fundraising effort to develop the 80-seat Cinema Paradiso Hollywood theater featuring independent and international films year round.

FLIFF really has international recognition. It was voted Florida’s best film festival by the industry. It also had a significant presence in Cannes during the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. — Alan Koslow

Sue Gunzburger Commissioner Broward County

After 32 years as an elected official, Commissioner Sue Gunzburger is retiring this month. During her time in office, Gunzburger saw significant growth in Broward County. It now has an annual budget well over $4 billion. Since its inception, Gunzburger also served as a member of the Children’s Service Council since its inception. She helped to build the council to where it now serves 150,000 Broward children in 150 programs run by 100 organizations.

We are celebrating our 100th anniversary as a county. We know what we are doing and where we are going. This is an exciting and interesting time to be living in Broward. — Sue Gunzburger

Asi Cymbal President/Founder Cymbal Development As a developer, Asi Cymbal is driven to create well-designed communities. With his new project, Marina Lofts, on a six-acre waterfront site in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Cymbal plans a mixed-use complex consisting of residential buildings, retail boutiques, restaurants, and a marina. The project is designed by visionary Bjarke Ingels.

Fort Lauderdale is a significant city. It has amazing culture, good infrastructure, easy access to the beach, an international airport, strong job market, and a community that embraces a development at the caliber we are looking to create. In Miami we would have gotten lost in the shuffle; but in Fort Lauderdale we get respect, attention, and an understanding of the impact we are going to make on the community. — Asi Cymbal

Jean Francois Roy Principal/President Ocean Land Investments

Ocean Land Investments specializes in the development of prime waterfront properties. Jean Francois Roy is working on the completion of AquaVita, the first of five projects that will reinvigorate East Las Olas Isles. The sales have been strong for AquaVita, that Roy has launched sales for the firm’s next three projects: AquaLuna, AquaMar, and AquaBlu.

We are revitalizing an old area of Las Olas. Our condos are mainly for empty nesters and baby boomers. They are selling their houses and want a place to live where they don’t miss anything from their houses, but have all of the amenities a downtown lifestyle offers. — Jean Francois Roy



Broward’s Best

Robert Breslau Chief Development Officer Stiles

For 62 years, Stiles has been headquartered in Fort Lauderdale and has been instrumental in the building up of the county. Recent projects include tearing down an old car dealership on Hollywood Boulevard and Sheridan and building a Publix shopping center; and tearing down a 1960s office building in Sunrise and again developing a Publix. Chief Development Officer Robert Breslau sees a large inventory of aging buildings in Broward that can be redeveloped.

Seventy–five percent of our projects are in South Florida of which 75 percent are currently in Broward. — Robert Breslau

Steve Nudelberg Principal On The Ball Steve Nudelberg’s marketing and strategic services company invests time and talent in emerging businesses. Nudelberg is also known as someone who makes connections. He oversees a monthly networking event Eat, Drink, Think in Fort Lauderdale that usually has more than 125 people in attendance.

There is so much growth in Broward. It has matured, so there are lots of different types of businesses and so many new people to meet. — Steve Nudelberg

Bertha Henry Broward County Administrator

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Bertha Henry was named County Administrator in October 2008, after serving as interim for a year. As county administrator, Henry serves as the chief executive officer of Broward County. She guides the operations of nearly 60 agencies, including the airport, seaport, and convention & visitors’ bureau, with a budget of $4 billion. Broward County is the second largest county in the state of Florida and the 17th largest county in the nation.

I think having real relationships with the business community is paramount. We have some great public-private partnerships. These partnerships have assisted with the funding of the beach refurbishment, getting the expansion of the airport’s runway, and helping with the deepening of the seaport. Broward County is really working hard to stake out its own identity. — Bertha Henry

Robert W. Runcie Superintendent Broward County Public Schools

Superintendent Robert Runcie heads up the county’s largest employer; the nation’s sixth largest school district; and one of the most diverse in the nation with students from 200 countries speaking 150 languages.

We do extensive outreach with a wide spectrum of stakeholders because we touch everyone everywhere in every Broward community. Connecting with the business community is an absolute imperative. It is critical as the county moves forward; we must continue to develop a world-class school system. — Robert Runcie

Nicki E. Grossman President/CEO Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau Since 1995, Nicki Grossman has served as president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. The hospitality industry is one of the largest employers in the county. Tourism generates $9.8 billion in annual revenue with 12 million visitors annually. In 2015, the area is expected to see a 4.5 percent increase in visitors because of all the new international air service at the airport.

For every 85 visitors who come, a new job gets created. There are 156,000 Broward residents working in the hospitality industry. — Nicki Grossman

Matt Shore President Steven Douglas Associates

Steven Douglas Associates is a boutique search firm that identifies and provides top talent to corporate clients. As president of the firm, Matt Shore has grown the company from under $6 million in sales in 2006 to $35 million in 2014. It is interesting to note that $20 million of the company’s revenue comes from recruitment opportunities in South Florida.

With the investment in housing in and around downtown and the fact that you can bike to the beach, walk to work, and the area has a metro feel, Fort Lauderdale is becoming a very attractive location for young professionals. — Matt Shore



2015 Fresh Capital

Regional Private Equity and Venture Funds

ROOTS RUN DEEP A New Generation Takes Hold

David Martin • Jessica Goldman Srebnick • Matthew Whitman Lazenby

ESF APRIL 2014.indd 1

Legal Stronghold

Standing Firm

Staking a Claim in International Arbitration

Follow The Money


Hunton & Williams’ Miami Office Celebrates 15th Anniversary

Manny Medina & Alberto Ibargüen Invest in Miami’s Future

Showcasing Top Banks’ Executive Teams


3/26/14 4:41 PM

JUNE/JULY 2014 •

ESF-JUNE 2014.indd 1

6/10/14 12:38 PM

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2015 Industry Report: Regional Transportation—who is leading the charge at the airports, seaports and rail tracks? Photo Feature: Cultural Institutions Philanthropic Boards Special Advertising Section: South Florida’s Executive Search Firms

MARCH/APRIL 2015 Industry Report: The Miami Skyline—meet the developers, architects and real estate firms who are redefining the skyline The Location Scout: Hollywood Beach Special Advertising Section: Insurance and Risk Management City Report: Doral

MAY/JUNE 2015 LEGACY ISSUE: The Passing of the Torch The families who have had a major impact on the region’s business community Special Advertising Section: Private Banking and Wealth Management Firms

JULY/AUGUST 2015 Industry Report: Healthcare: A check on the region’s hospitals The Location Scout: Coconut Grove Special Advertising Section: Executive MBA Programs City Report: Fort Lauderdale

EDITORIAL CALENDAR David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Alicia Cervera Tate David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Burton Landy David Lawrence Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burto David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty SEPTEMBER 2014 •Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton Landy David Lawrence Jr. Alicia Cervera Sr. Ron Bergeron Monty Trainer Stanley Tate Burton 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Broward’s Best


Key Influencers of the County

Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy Morales & Mayor Philip Levine

13th Floor Investments New Kids On The Block


SEPTEMBER 2015 LEGENDS ISSUE: A look at areas legendary business leaders Photo Feature: Battle of the Bands—profile of the region’s corporate Rock–n–Rollers Special Advertising Section: Accounting Firms

OCTOBER 2015 Industry Report: Non-Profits—the region’s top non-profits are profiled The Location Scout: Brickell Special Advertising Section: Law Firms City Report: Coral Gables Photo Feature: Meet the Mayors

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The Mayor, Commission, and City Manager are determined to make Miami Beach a 21st century city.




The impact arts and culture has on the social and economic vibrancy of the community is unmistakable.

9 Q&A WITH CITY COMMISSIONERS 26 NORTH BEACH Commissioners share their thoughts about Miami Beach and its opportunities for economic development.


There is no doubt the key economic driver for Miami Beach is the travel industry.

ESTATE DEVELOPMENT 16 REAL Miami Beach is seeing some of the highest per–square–foot prices in Miami–Dade.


On the fast track for renovation and renewal.


Philip Levine has completed his first year in office as Mayor of the City of Miami Beach.


The City moves forward.


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Mt. Sinai Medical Center prepares to enter a new phase of its history with a $250 million capital improvement project.

ARTIST The artwork for the cover and interior pages of the City Report: Miami Beach is the work of Alain Godon. Every artist has a point-of-view. Major metropolitan areas have iconic structures within their urban landscapes that serve as immediate location identifiers throughout the world. What happens when you put an artist’s point-of-view and iconic landmarks together? You get the Architecture Collection, a series of whimsical oil and canvas interpretations of these urban icons by the artist Alain Godon. His series on Miami Beach has been developed over the past five years. It includes Star Wall, the New World Center; Hot As Hell in Paradise, the Delano hotel; Marseilles Holiday, Hotel Marseilles; Matchsticks, the Leslie Hotel as seen from the South Beach shoreline; The Little Bather, North Beach Marina scene; and Straight Off the Bus, street scene centered by The Colony Hotel. Using the oil and canvas interpretations, Godon’s artwork is created through a technical process called BildoReliefo. In this process all of the constituent parts that make up the painting are individually extracted from their original context (deconstructing) and then they undergo a special effects technique (chasing and shadowing). What follows then is the pinpoint repositioning of each piece in its original place (reworking). The final stage consists of giving the background its color variations and these consequently give the newly created work its own individuality.


Tour du monde en 80 oeuvres (World Tour in 80 Artworks) Featuring new art work, oil paintings, bronze sculptures and limited prints by Alain Godon Opening Reception | February 12, 2015 | 6pm to 9pm Marcowicz Fine Art | Miami Design District | 110 NE 40th Street For more information visit:, 305.308.6398


STATE OF MIAMI BEACH The Mayor, City Commission, and City Manager are determined to make Miami Beach a 21st Century City

Artwork by Alain Godon



State Of The City As the City of Miami Beach is about to enter its second century, it is determined to become a city for the 21st century. The Mayor, City Commission, and City Manager are the trifecta of making things happen to continue to allow Miami Beach to become a great place to live, work, and play. The economic growth for Miami Beach is currently based on several key industry sectors—hospitality/tourism, real estate development and healthcare. In addition, the City Commission is looking to fix flooding issues while planning for longer-term sea level rise, establishing master plans for areas of the City, fixing up the major tourist attraction that is Lincoln Road Mall, exploring new opportunities for economic growth, and developing North Beach on par with its southern neighborhoods. This month Mayor Philip Levine gave his 2014 State of the City address, here are some excerpts highlighting his thoughts and initiatives on Miami Beach’s key economic sectors and future opportunities.

Hospitality & Tourism “It is crucial Miami Beach maintains its position as a global tourism destination and center for creative collaboration. Yet for too long, our City neglected to renovate the Convention Center, sitting on some of Miami Beach’s most valuable public land.” “Our administration has put a more reasonable plan on the table: a state of the art Convention Center giving us full ownership and full control. We also decoupled the Convention Center from the planned hotel, so a proper traffic and impact study can be commissioned to ensure any additional development matches our existing infrastructure.”

Education “All great cities face great challenges, and the City of Miami Beach is no different. But I learned a long time ago … great challenges create great opportunities.” “Along those lines, for Miami Beach to remain a world-class city, it needs a world class university. To that end, we have been in conversations with certain international universities to encourage them to locate a major campus in Miami Beach, specifically, in North Beach. An internationally, branded university would create jobs to boost our economy, and classrooms to boost our minds.” “Historically, universities create an environment for start-up companies that drive a community’s prosperity. We are fortunate to have some very exciting, innovative start-up companies, such as Rokk3r Labs, leading the way in South Florida’s high-tech boom.”

Industry Share of Gross City Product

City of Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine

The Gold Standard When it comes to dedication and a commitment to serve the community, there is no better example than Michael S. Goldberg, SVP of Gibraltar Private Bank and Trust, who also serves as the chairman of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce. Goldberg is a native, born and raised on Miami Beach, who has been involved with the Chamber for 25 years among other community organizations. His desire to give back to the community stems from his father Barton Goldberg, who also served as chairman of the Chamber from 1974–1976. “When my dad joined the Chamber, he said, ‘You should always give back to the community that was good to you growing up,’” said Goldberg. (Barton Goldberg also grew up on Miami Beach.) “Miami Beach is near and dear to my family; and when working with the Chamber you get to see tangible results for your efforts,” added Goldberg. The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce is 92 years old, has 1,200 business members, and over 250 events per year. It works to support the interests of the local business community. For instance, in looking to spur business growth, the Chamber launched the Miami Beach In Card program, which offers discounts at local businesses, hotels, restaurants, attractions, professional businesses, and more to residents, non-residents and tourists. In 2000, the Chamber established the Education Foundation to support education in the community. It primarily focuses on providing college scholarships for graduating seniors from Miami Beach Senior High School and funding teacher training in the International Baccalaureate program. The Chamber also works on initiatives that will benefit the general business community. It was very involved in helping to get the 1 percent tourist tax to fund the redevelopment of the Miami Beach Convention Center. “We work to unite the community to get things done,” said Goldberg. MB

Source: City of Miami Beach 2015



Sustainability “One of the greatest challenges facing our city, and coastal cities around the world, is the issue of rising sea levels brought about by climate change. Miami Beach is on the front lines of this battle, as parts of our city still flood…on sunny days. Anyone using climate change to score political points should be ashamed. This is serious stuff, and it is going to take serious people backed by verifiable science, to chart a course we can follow.” “Miami Beach has decided to lead this effort by example. … with an aggressive plan of action. In the short term, to install 60 pumps, and one-way flex valves, to impede the bay water from returning to our streets. We want the water returning to its natural place, the sea.”

Transportation Yacht Offshore Miami Beach

“The popularity of Miami Beach, as a small barrier island, comes at a cost: increased traffic congestion. There is no silver bullet to relieve this, but Miami Beach will not use that as an excuse for inaction any longer.” “… I am actively working with Mayor Gimenez and Mayor Regalado to move forward with a transportation network that links Miami and Miami Beach via a Baylink system or rapid bus transit program—buses that move efficiently and fast.” MB

Miami Beach Property Values (Billions)

Yacht at Miami Beach Marina

Smooth Sailing The fact that Miami Beach is an island surrounded by water makes boating its perfect partner. Recognizing that Miami Beach is about to become one of the boating capitals of the world, one of the leading new and used boat and yacht sales company, HMY Yachts, is relocating its offices to the Miami Beach Marina. “This is a good time for Miami Beach boating. It has had its turbulent years and ups and downs, but in the past 24 months it has changed so much,” said Tim Derrico, national sales manager for HMY Yachts. “In Miami Beach there is easily $400 to $500 million in boat business done per year in the 30-foot to 200± foot boat size range.” In addition to moving its sales operation, HMY Yachts is also going to expand its charter business, which currently operates only in Fort Lauderdale to the Beach. Derrico believes there are many who want the boating lifestyle for the day. “Day charters are tremendous. I know of one company that can’t find enough boats for charters, it is doing 15–20 charters a day in Miami Beach. We will be big into charters on the Beach. It will be a major revenue producer, no doubt about it.” MB 8


Source: City of Miami Beach

Miami Beach Number of Employees

Source: City of Miami Beach

STANDING LEFT TO RIGHT: Michael Grieco, Mayor Philip Levine, Jonah Wolfson, Edward L. Tobin SITTING LEFT TO RIGHT: Joy Malakoff, Micky Steinberg, Deede Weithorn

Q&A WITH CITY COMMISSIONERS The City of Miami Beach is a commission/city manager form of government. The commission consists of the mayor and six commissioners who serve as the policy-making body for the City. The city manager ensures that policies, directives, resolutions, and ordinances adopted by the city commission are enforced and implemented. With fiscal prudence and good leadership, the commission works to develop a strategic plan to guide the City. Here the current Commissioners share their thoughts about Miami Beach, its opportunities for economic development, and its expected growth over the next 10 years. 2015


New Miami Beach lifeguard station.

MICHAEL GRIECO CITY REPORT: What do you think makes Miami Beach unique? MICHAEL GRIECO: Miami Beach stands out as one of the great international tourist destinations, but what makes it unique is how that same vacation spot carries with it one of the most active and informed resident communities in South Florida. We have seven square miles and 90,000 residents, but the daily intake of people can top off at 300,000 during high intensity weekends creating both unique opportunities and problems. CITY REPORT: How do you see your role in the relationship between government (public) and business (private)? How do you find a public/private balance while still keeping the residents in mind? Grieco: As a solo-practice criminal defense attorney, I dedicate a great deal of my time to clients and maintaining my firm, but I treat Miami Beach residents as I do those clients. I have more bosses than I can count, but I find it easy to balance my time and energy. Family always comes first, but my firm and the City are tied for second. CITY REPORT: What do you think are the greatest opportunities for Miami Beach’s economic development and growth? GRIECO: Economic development and growth are delicate subjects when you talk about a seven-square-mile mostly man-made barrier island 10


city that contains a great deal of historical structures and an infrastructure limited by geography. The opportunies created by our booming housing market need to be tempered, as quality of life can easily be damaged if we get too big for our britches. CITY REPORT: What do you hope the City of Miami Beach achieves over the next 10 years? GRIECO: In the next 10 years, I hope to see my City with a successfully renovated and booked Convention Center, a quality intra-and inter–city public transportation system, an infrastructure perpetually protected by the effects of sea level rise, and that the residents have the best day– to–day quality of life in South Florida.

JOY MALAKOFF CITY REPORT: What do you think makes Miami Beach unique? JOY MALAKOFF: We offer incredible diversity and an international tourist and cultural destination. Our outstanding cultural attractions include: the Frank Gehry designed New World Center, home of the New World Symphony, the Miami City Ballet, Bass Museum, Art Center South Florida, and many others. Along with the cultural tourist destinations are world class restaurants and our exciting night life. Also unique to Miami Beach is the world famous historic Art Deco District, and the more recent MiMo (Miami Modern) historic district. We rival the world’s major cities with our luxury condominium buildings, many

designed by internationally renowned architects. Even our garages are artistic expressions, designed by Herzog and Meuron, Enrique Norton, and the soon–to–be constructed City parking garage by Zaha Hadid. CITY REPORT: How do you see your role in the relationship between government (public) and business (private)? How do you find a public/private balance while still keeping the residents in mind? MALAKOFF: In my capacity as an elected official my goal is to facilitate business friendly services and to improve customer service standards when dealing with the residents and business owners. The resident’s quality of life is of primary concern, and we want to encourage and facilitate private business by not getting in the way of the market. As a retired longtime banker, I am very aware of the importance to maintain a balance between the residential and business communities. CITY REPORT: What do you think are the greatest opportunities for Miami Beach’s economic development and growth? MALAKOFF: The real estate industry in Miami Beach is exceptional. We have some of the highest prices per square foot in the country, these condo projects are designed by some of the best architects and designers in the world including Norman Foster and Rem Koolhaas of OMA. With the renovation and expansion of our Convention Center we expect to attract more Art Basel-type shows such as Maison et Object, a high-end-home design show. In turn

this will help fill our expanding first class hotel stock and our fine restaurants. CITY REPORT: What do you hope the City of Miami Beach achieves over the next 10 years? MALAKOFF: We hope to maintain and preserve our pristine natural resources for future generations to enjoy. This includes improving sustainability and infrastructure, protecting the City from sea level rise and flooding, fortifying the beach dunes and seawalls, and planting more trees throughout the City. In the next ten years, we would like to see our business base expand by bringing in more high tech and investment as well as building our thriving tourism and convention business. We hope to promote and increase art and cultural offerings throughout the community with increased participation and partnerships within our schools and more outstanding public places throughout the City.

MICKY STEINBERG CITY REPORT: What do you think makes Miami Beach unique? MICKY STEINBERG: Miami Beach is one of the most dynamic cities in the world. For those of us who call Miami Beach home, we are reminded every time we travel elsewhere and drive across the causeway to come home that people from all over go out of their way to visit this amazing City. While many think of Miami Beach as a great place to have fun, it’s an even better place to live and do business. CITY REPORT: How do you see your role in the relationship between government (public) and business (private)? How do you find a public/private balance while still keeping the residents in mind?

future residents and businesses. Whether it be the developer who selects a world–class architect to design a structure so it adds to the montage of fabulous architecture, or the business owner that creates a unique concept that draws customers from not only all over Miami-Dade, but also from all over the world, or the resident who comes up with an idea of how our government can make it even better to live here. It is their creativity and passion that makes Miami Beach what it is and will continue to be for generations to come. CITY REPORT: What do you hope the City of Miami Beach achieves over next 10 years? STEINBERG: While too often in government, elected officials often choose to kick the can down the road instead of dealing with looming issues, our Mayor and City Commission have taken an aggressive approach to deal with sea level rise in Miami Beach to not only improve the quality of life in the near future, but also to sustain the existence of Miami Beach. We are moving aggressively to renovate the Miami Beach Convention Center to further improve an already robust travel industry—which is the economic engine that drives Miami Beach. By making Miami Beach more resilient to sea level rise and providing a state–of–the art Convention Center this decade will leave Miami Beach positioned to thrive for decades to come.

DEEDE WEITHORN CITY REPORT: What do you think makes Miami Beach unique? DEEDE WEITHORN: Miami Beach is unique because we are the leaders of the South Florida economic community.

STEINBERG: One of the constant balancing acts that the Miami Beach administration is engaged in is allowing businesses to foster while protecting the quality of life of our residents. Our residents want to live in a dynamic vibrant location, but they also want to be able to have some peace and quiet. The secret sauce of Miami Beach is having leaders who understand these two are not mutually exclusive, but can coexist making the experience of living here even better.

CITY REPORT: How do you see your role in the relationship between government (public) and business (private)? How do you find a public/private balance while still keeping the residents in mind?

CITY REPORT: What do you think are the greatest opportunities for Miami Beach’s economic development and growth?

CITY REPORT: What do you think are the greatest opportunities for Miami Beach’s economic development and growth?

STEINBERG: The greatest opportunity for Miami Beach lies in the creativity of its current and

WEITHORN: Our greatest opportunity this decade is the revitalization of North Beach

WEITHORN: As an accountant, I am often tasked with finding solutions that benefit our residents, businesses, employees, and visitors. The key to keeping the residents in mind is transparency in government.

where I reside. We are working hard to find the right plan for its future. CITY REPORT: What do you hope the City of Miami Beach achieves over the next 10 years? WEITHORN: For Miami Beach to remain a world–class tourist destination.

JONAH WOLFSON CITY REPORT: What do you think makes Miami Beach unique? JONAH WOLFSON: We have both a strong economy that is resilient and often insulated. But we also have a strong residential community. Having top quality components on both of those fronts is rare. CITY REPORT: How do you see your role in the relationship between government (public) and business (private)? How do you find a public/private balance while still keeping the residents in mind? WOLFSON: We have to be pragmatic. To lead, sometimes you have to say no. One day it could be to the businesses and the next it could be to the residents. If you side too often or too vehemently with one side or the other, you will cause harm. And “do no harm” has to be a massive tenet of any leader. CITY REPORT: What do you think are the greatest opportunities for Miami Beach’s economic development and growth? WOLFSON: Tourism is what we do. People come here for the sun, beaches, nightlife, restaurants, and bars. Yes, people come here to get rowdy. We need to understand that and embrace it. Trying to reinvent the wheel and getting into different areas that aren’t “us” is not wise. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be creative within the promotion of tourism. The City lost many hotels during the condo conversion years. We are a tourist economy. We need to get some of these hotels back. CITY REPORT: What do hope the City of Miami Beach achieves in the next 10 years? WOLFSON: To maintain and improve upon what we have from a tourism and residential standpoint without damaging either. Walk that tightrope doing what’s right for both while not hurting either. Be pragmatic. MB




HOSPITALITY & TOURISM There is no doubt the key economic driver for Miami Beach is the travel industry.

Artwork by Alain Godon


iami Beach does a stellar job promoting itself as a great destination,” said Jeff Oris, director of economic development for the City. And as part of that promotion, Miami Beach has benefitted from the fact that last year Miami-Dade County set a record with 14.2 million overnight visitors, according to the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau (GMCVB). Year-over-year daily hotel rates rose more than 8 percent, to about $117 per night and visitors also spend about $22.8 billion

while in the area. Miami outperforms most US markets for tourism because of its strong demand. Another aspect of Miami Beach’s thriving tourist business is the fact that it is no longer seasonal. According to the GMCVB this past July, Beach hotels had a 77 percent occupancy rate. “The benefit of having a year round business is that hotels can get good employees because they don’t have to layoff staff in the off-season. And a better staff benefits the guests, which benefits their experience, and because they had a great time they are likely to return,” said Wendy Kallergis,

Visitors And Their Spending

Source: City of Miami Beach

Hotel Room Inventory And Occupancy Rate

Sun & Fun In A Bottle It really is possible to bottle what Miami Beach offers. In early 2014, the City of Miami Beach launched Miami Beach Suncare. The City established a licensing agreement with Destination Brands International to develop and market five products—three types of sunscreen and two bronzers. “We really do capture the essence of Miami Beach in our products. The products include natural sea elements, which contain vitamins, minerals and proteins which nourish the skin. This helps to set our products apart,” said Desiree Rodriguez, vice president for sales and marketing for the Doral-based Destination Brands International. According to Rodriguez, Destination is very excited about the Miami Beach skincare line because it recognizes the power of the Miami Beach brand. “Consumer research shows there is a 92 percent brand awareness with consumers for Miami Beach nationwide. This is huge,” she said. “Miami Beach’s name will sell. Miami Beach is associated with beautiful beaches and beautiful people. Everybody wants to be in Miami Beach.” In addition to the City benefiting from the marketing of the suncare, it will receive royalties based on sales, and a portion of the sales will go to the City to aid in beach cleanup. “How many cities can offer opportunity to take a little bit of it with you? The suncare captures the essence of Miami Beach in a bottle,” said Rodriguez. “For the City, it is a unique way to brand and market themselves at no cost. And at the end of the day it will help tourism.” MB

Source: City of Miami Beach 2015


CITY REPORT: HOSPITALITY & TOURISM president and CEO of the Greater Miami and Beaches Hotel Association. And with the building and renovation of its hotels, the City is continuing to up its desirability. The New York real estate tycoon Richard LeFrak is making a play in Miami Beach with his 1 Hotel and Homes South Beach. Meanwhile, the Menin Hospitality Group is expanding its investment in South Beach with its multi-million dollar luxury Gale Suites at Kaskades, an annex of its all-suite Gale South Beach. Ian Schrager is returning to Miami Beach with The Miami Beach Edition for the first time in 17 years, since his launching of the Delano, which started the rebooting of Miami Beach as a resort destination. Many other new hospitality brands are making their first forays into the market including Metropolitan by Como, Aloft and The Redbury South Beach. Not only do the upgraded and new hotels attract tourists, but also the high profile chefs that occupy the hotels’ restaurants, celeb chef Tom Colicchio has signed on to develop the restaurant at 1 Hotel. Michael Schwartz has an eponymous restaurant at the iconic Raleigh hotel, and Michael Mina and his Michael Mina 74 is attracting a steady crowd at the Fontainebleau. Another draw for visitors and residents are the events that take place on Miami Beach including: South Beach Food and Wine Festival, Art Basel, Miami Beach Polo, the Winter Music Festival, and the new Maison and Object Americas trade show which is making its entry into the Americas with a show in Miami Beach. Maison et Object is a showcase of home design/décor for professionals. It currently has annual events in Paris, Asia, and Singapore. One specific sector of the tourism population that is important to the City is the Lesbian, Gay,

1 Hotel & Homes South Beach Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community. According to the Miami Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau (MBCVB), 1.7 million LGBT tourists travel to South Florida annually and spend $1.2 billion dollars, a great percentage of that is on South Beach, and this expenditure seems to increase every year. “I would think South Florida will crack 2 million LGBT visitors in 2015. It is such an important destination. It is known internationally as a friendly LGBT destination,” said Steven Adkins, president/CEO of the Miami Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and the chairman of the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority.

Freebees’ electric car being used by Miami Beach Police Department 14


There are also several new businesses that recognize the economic opportunity of catering to tourists. Freebee has 15 vehicles on Miami Beach that provide free rides around the area. The vehicles are basically tricked out golf carts. Freebee makes its revenue from the advertising that appears on top of and wrapped around the Freebee cars. The Freebee marketing plan also includes giving riders free samples, coupons, and other goodies from its sponsors. The clients who have taken advantage of this new marketing opportunity include: the Miami Marlins, Ciroc, Related Group, Vita Coco, The Cleavlander, Yardhouse, and the Miami Beach City Police department. Also benefitting from the tourist boom is Lincoln Road, which has seen an incredible rise in value. Prices are now reaching $5,000 per square foot for building purchases and $300 per square foot for rent. Lincoln Road’s resurgence is partly due to institutional investors scooping up sites and international brands interested in becoming tenants. In its efforts to sustain the vitality of its tourism sector, the City believes the refurbishment of the Convention Center will keep it competitive and will serve to bring in more high-end exhibitions that will attract high–end visitors. “The expansion of the Convention Center is critical to the success of so many apsects of the Beach. Tourism brings in so much money and the Convention Center is a catalyst to impact our economy,” said Adkins. “We all recognize the value of the Convention Center to the community.” MB

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REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT Miami Beach is seeing some of the highest per–square–foot prices in Miami–Dade.

Artwork by Alain Godon


hen it comes to development on Miami Beach, it has the same issue as Manhattan—it is an island with a limited amount of space. For Miami Beach, this is 7.1 square miles. “There is a very limited inventory for both single-family homes and condos from existing and new developments. There is a lot of demand in Miami Beach, but like New York City, Miami Beach is an island with limited growth,” said Daniel de la Vega, president One Sotheby’s International Realty. According to a July study for Miami’s Downtown Development Authority, the average condo sales price in 2013 was $541,083 in Miami Beach compared to $463,976 in downtown Miami and $425,976 in Aventura and Sunny Isles Beach. Although downtown Miami is seeing price gains fueled by foreign buyers, it is clear that Miami Beach condos are still getting the highest sale prices. “I am seeing Miami Beach achieve its highest prices per square foot because of the limited market,” said de la Vega. De la Vega also believes that these prices are likely only to continue to go up because of the competiveness of the market. “Developers are competing on a few sites which will drive land prices up, which will then drive the sale prices up. There are a lot of barriers of entry to the Miami Beach market.” However, there are a significant number of projects underway. Terra Group and John Moriarty and Associates just topped off the 18-story 10unit luxury tower GLASS 120 Ocean, the last high-rise permitted to be built in Miami Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood.

South Beach. His $100 million revamp of the former Gansevoort Hotel will include 417 hotel rooms and 163 residential units. It is reported that he has already contracts for a total amount of $120 million. There is no doubt that luxury builders are focusing on high-end opportunities in the beachfront market. Pricing limits for oceanfront condos are constantly being tested. In the mid–beach neighborhood, a Faena House penthouse listed for a record $50 million is

A new development proposal for a large tower on Washington Avenue between Sixth and Seventh streets was recently presented at a meeting of the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Panel. The tower that Andrew Resnick, grandson of well-known developer Abe Resnick, is proposing, would have 70 condos, 171 hotel rooms, and 40,000 square feet of office space above the ground floor retail. New York developer Richard LeFrak is making his debut in the market with 1 Hotel and Homes




The Ritz-Carlton Residences Miami Beach 126

Lionheart Capital

Terminal Island Project


Newgard Development

Vintro II Hotel Condo


Vintro Villas LLC and Encotel LLC

Versailles On The Ocean


3425 Collins LLC

One Ocean


Related Group

Faena House


Faena Group

1215 On West


Domus Group & BSD Investments

Palau Sunset Harbor


SMG Management

Iris on the Bay


The Spear Group

Marea South Beach


Related Group

Residences Miami Beach Edition


Seville Acquisition

NoBe House


Tzadik Management

321 Ocean Drive


Aria Development Group



Terra Group

Beach House 8


Valerio Morabito & Ugo Colombo



Anlantiqua LLC

Source: City of Miami Beach

South Point and Miami Beach Marina




Aerial view of luxury hotels and condos in Miami Beach under contract. And at Ian Schrager’s Residences at the Miami Beach Edition condo project, three units were sold to one buyer for a total of $18.4 million. Don Peebles’ 13-unit condo project Bath Club Estates—a 9,200 square foot triplex penthouse featuring an additional 9,000 square feet of outdoor space is priced at $50 million. The development explosion has also been a boom for Lincoln Road. “The volume of pedestrian traffic on Lincoln Road has increased 100 times over the last 30 years,” said Robert Kaplan, principal Ackman-Ziff Real Estate, who just closed the deal to sell the former home of the Arts Center South Florida, 800 Lincoln Road, for $88.2 million. “There are countless opportunities. Lincoln Road is in the fourth inning of a nine-inning game. Currently Lincoln Road is dated and offers the opportunity to remake it as one of the world’s great streets. We are going to see amazing things,” said Kaplan. Born and raised in Miami, City National’s President and CEO Jorge Gonzalez believes Miami Beach is a global city and has global appeal. “I travel throughout the world and Miami Beach is the epi-center of what people want to talk about.” “I have seen the transformation first hand since the 1970s. It is obviously a completely different world. It is nothing less than remarkable for what has been achieved in such a small space.” MB 18


Miami Beach | South Beach MLS Inventory Analysis - New Condos Built Since 2006 and Available for Sale 18 Months Ago, 12 Months Ago and Currently Active $1,200


$1,130 800

763 $910







567 484


$600 400

321 300


200 $200 100


$0 18 Months Ago

12 Months Ago Available Inventory

6 Months Ago

Currently Active

Avg. Price PSF

Source: ISG

Live. Work. Play.

For more information regarding the business environment, contact the City of Miami Beach Economic Development Division:



HEALTHCARE Mt. Sinai Medical Center prepares to enter a new phase of its history with a $250 million capital improvement project.

Rendering for new Mt. Sinai Medical Center Tower




s the City of Miami Beach’s only hospital and largest employer Mt. Sinai Medical Center serves as an epicenter for the City. The hospital’s history goes back to 1949—a time at which Jewish and other minority physicians were finding it difficult to get on staff at other are hospitals. Its mission was to ensure anyone qualified to be on a hospital staff would have the opportunity to practice medicine free from discrimination. The development of Mt. Sinai Medical Center can be seen in parallel with the development of the United States’ healthcare system. The original Hospital tower opened in 1960, prior to the launch of both Medicare and Medicaid. It was a state-of-the-art hospital for a community comprised mostly of retirees. Medicare and Medicaid changed the healthcare landscape. Mt. Sinai opened a new emergency room in 1973. At the time there were also three other hospitals on the Beach— Miami Beach South Shore, St. Francis, and The Miami Heart Institute. Mt. Sinai’s emergency room was originally built to accommodate 25,000 annual visits; today it has 55,000 annual ER visits. Now, Mt Sinai Medical Center is the only hospital on the Beach and the changing demographics, evolution of medical technology, and the needs of the community have served as the impetus for the hospital to enter a new phase of its history. President and CEO Steven Sonenreich offers his thoughts about this exciting time for Mt. Sinai Medical Center.

CITY REPORT: How have healthcare services changed over the past decade?

CITY REPORT: MIAMI BEACH: What is the plan for the new Hospital?

CITY REPORT: What is your role as the Hospital’s president and CEO?

STEVEN SONENREICH: We are about to deploy a $250 million capital improvement project ($15 million is from the City of Miami Beach). We are really building a brand new hospital. The replacement tower is expected to break ground in the fall of 2015. The new Hospital will have 154 private rooms, 12 state-of-the-art operating rooms, and a brand new emergency department that will double its capacity to 37,000 square feet from 16,000 square feet. In addition, the new emergency department will also house the emergency operations center for the City of Miami Beach.

SONENREICH: As the City’s largest employer with 3,700 employees, it is my job to make sure that we continue to have a world-class hospital. I have to constantly be strategically thinking about how we are able to be in the best position to support our mission—provide high–quality healthcare for the community, continue to serve as a top-rated teaching hospital, and take care of individuals who are less fortunate. Weconstantly analyze the data to continue to successfully position the hospital as community demographics and, changes in medical technology.

SONENREICH: With the opening of the new hospital tower, we will repurpose the existing structure because healthcare is going to continue to change over the next several decades. The constant development of new technological medical devices will continue to drive down inpatient utilization, but will drive up outpatient utilization. With the City’s aging population there is more of a need for subacute care and nursing facilities. We have gone from a life expectancy in the 1960s of 68 to a life expectancy now of 78, with a large component of the population living well into their 80s and 90s. And as this population shift continues, we need to repurpose our existing facilities to change with the times. CITY REPORT: How has the use of the Hospital’s services changed over the years? SONENREICH: Hospitals have to change and evolve as communities change. Back in the 1970s, Miami Beach hospitals were able to thrive just on the City’s population—75 percent of the patients came from Miami Beach. Today, 75 percent of our patients come from outside Miami Beach. Mt. Sinai is a surgical destination hospital. People want the convenience of seeing their primary care physicians close to where they live and work. But when it comes to surgery people will travel to a hospital with top surgical capabilities. We believe that with the new Hospital people will travel throughout the region and beyond to access the best cardiac, cancer and orthopedic surgeons.

Steven Sonenreich, President/CEO, Mt. Sinai Medical Center CITY REPORT: Does the community support the Hospital? SONENREICH: We have tremendous support from the community. Probably 50 percent of our donors are residents of Miami Beach. We actually have multigeneration donors. I think it is uncommon for an institution to have multigenerational support. People consider the Hospital as part of their family legacies. The local government has also been very supportive. We are part of the safety net of this community. We work together to not only think about the City’s needs during natural disasters, but also in terms of the challenging world we live in today and our need to be prepared for man-made disasters. CITY REPORT: Why do you see this as a critical point in the Hospital’s history? SONENREICH: It is an exciting time for the Hospital. What can be more exciting than building the great medical facilities of tomorrow that are going to be patient-centric with state– of–the–art technology? Our goal is to have the best doctors and equip them with the best technology. This is absolutely the start of a new era for Mt. Sinai. MB 2015





CULTURE The impact arts and culture has on the social and economic vibrancy of the community is unmistakable.

Artwork by Alain Godon

SoundScape, Miami Beach

Bass Museum of Art Miami Beach


ith Art Basel entering its 13th year, it is clear Miami Beach has become an arts and culture destination. In 2013, 75,000 international visitors attended the show. The impact arts and culture has on the social and economic vibrancy of a community is unmistakable. It is also true that the arts provide the foundation for diversity of neighborhoods to thrive. SoundScape, the 2.5-acre public part at the intersection of 17th Street and Washington Avenue, adjoining the Frank Gehry–designed New World Center, has not only become a great destination to watch symphony performances on its 7,000-square-foot projection wall, but also has become the heart of the City’s arts and cultural institutions. It is surrounded by Miami Beach Cinematheque, an independent film house located in the former historic city hall; the modern art and design museum Wolfsonian–FIU; the Filmore; the recently renovated Miami Beach Botanical Garden; the expanded Bass Art Museum (Miami Beach’s first building with an exhibition space for the fine arts, which just celebrated its 50th anniversary); the Miami Beach Holocaust Museum; the Miami City Ballet; and the renovated Miami Beach regional public library. 2015


CITY REPORT: ARTS & CULTURE Recognized as a catalyst in the renaissance of Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road, for the past 30 years, the Art Center South Florida, has served as an enclave for artists by providing affordable studios and workspace to more than 1,000 visual artists. Although it recently sold one of its buildings on Lincoln Road, it will continue to have a presence on the street. This month, it is celebrating its anniversary with a new exhibition 30 Years On The Road, a retrospective exhibition that highlights the Art Center’s role as a creative hub and showcasing the work of many South Florida artists who have benefitted from working with the Arts Center. The Center is planning to use the money from the sale of its 18,000-square-foot building, 800–810 Lincoln Road, to continue its efforts and expand its exhibitions, educational outreach programs, and increase its resources. The City’s support for the arts is not only reflected in its cultural institutions but also in its Art in Public Places program and the architects who are working to shape the City. Started in 1984, the Art in Public Places program currently has 17 pieces in collection. Its 18th piece will be installed this month at the North Beach Bandshell. The first piece of public art acquired by the City, Roy Lichtenstein’s Mermaid, was bought with contributions from residents. “I think it is really unusual for a city to have the quality of art we have—we have the first public work by Roy Lichtenstein (the Mermaid by the Filmore) as well as a work by Dan Graham (1100 block of Lincoln Road) who is currently installing a piece on the roof terrace at New York’s Metropolitan Museum,” said Dennis Leyva, the City’s public art coordinator. Leyva believes that Miami Beach has always had a connection to the arts. “I think this connection really goes back to the Art Deco district. The concept was a blending of design, architecture and style.” Thus, he thinks it isn’t unusual for the city to have projects done by Herzog and de Meuron, Frank Gehry, Rem Koolhaus, Norman Foster and Zahad Hadid. “It may no longer be Art Deco architecture, but the best architects are designing buildings in Miami Beach. And as we’ve seen, you can’t really separate art from architecture. Some buildings really are works of art, monumental sculptures, that happen to be buildings,” he said. “I think Miami Beach has always been on the cutting edge of supporting arts and culture. It is in our DNA.” MB Miami Beach SoundScape at New World Center



Stravinsky’s Circus Polka at the New World Center Digital animation by Emily Henricks | photo by Rui Dias-Aidos

The Community’s High Note Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas’ idea to bring together postgraduate and pre-professional musicians to prepare them for the future has just started its 27th season. The New World Symphony and its Frank Gehry, designed home, the New World Center, are a testament to Miami Beach’s continued interest and support for the arts. “During our 2009-2010 season we played 70 concerts and had 35,000 in our audience. In the 2013-2014 season we played 80 concerts and had 100,000 attendees,” said Howard Herring, president of the New World Symphony. The New World Symphony also recognizes that arts and culture are important components to a vibrant and sustainable community. As part of its mission, 35 percent of its concerts are free, there are 30–minute mini–concerts with $2.50 tickets, three family performances are offered over the course of each season, and the Symphony has an intensive education/performance program with several local schools. “With the kind of programming we are doing and more traditional and alternative performance formats, Miami Beach is beginning to be seen as an innovator for the arts. We are a place where experiments are being tried; we are making a statement with our high artistic level; and we are deeply rooted in the community,” said Herring. “What is happening is we are becoming a town defined by its culture. People still come here for the beach and to have a good time, but thousands are coming here for the cultural offerings. And the cultural institutions will continue to add life to the city in remarkable ways. Read the statistics on cultural tourism—they stay longer, spend more money, and become loyal to a particular experience. Culture plays an enormous role in creating a sustainable model for bringing people to the city.” MB


NORTH BEACH On the fast track for renovation and renewal.

Artwork by Alain Godon


ntil now North Beach was a quiet enclave that seemed to have been stopped in time,” said Daneil Veitia, owner and president of Urban Resource and a member of the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon panel on North Beach. Miami Beach’s North Beach is one of the City’s three districts. It is generally defined as the area of Miami Beach north of 63rd Street to the City limit located on 87th Terrace. “North Beach is the most undervalued areas of the city,” said Jeff Oris, director of the City’s economic development division. Recognizing the opportunity, the City administration has made a commitment to improve North Beach. This combined with the limitations for real estate development on South Beach, puts North Beach on the fast track for renovation and renewal. “It is the perfect storm. The administration’s focus to improve North Beach and all the private equity investments that are happening in the area, it is the right time to expect significant change,” said Veitia. Previous initiatives designed to stimulate North Beach were stymied by the economic downturn. But, now it is definitely keeping its promise. It just had the ribbon cutting for the restored Normandy Isle Fountain. The two– tiered concrete and tiled Fountain is located in the heart of the historic Normandy Isle neighborhood. The Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Panel of North Beach orchestrated the $350,000 restoration.

Photo of restored Normandy Isle Fountain The Normandy Isle neighborhood was planned and built in 1925 by Henri Levy. The Fountain was one of the first structures built on Normandy Isle. Levy was a French-born Jew who moved to Florida in 1922 from Cincinnati. As an honor to his French heritage, the streets in Normandy Isle got a dash of savoir faire, with names such as Marseille and Calais Drive. Part of the effort to reinvigorate North Beach includes promoting its four historic districts, showcasing Miami Modernism (MiMo) architecture to Miami Beach—Morris Lapidus’ Mid-20th Century District; North Beach Resort District; North Shore National Register District; and Normandy Isles National Register District. The City has developed the website and a brochure to highlight the design elements

of the unique MiMo architectural features like acute angles, delta wings, sweeping curved walls, and soaring pylons. The belief is the website brings international exposure to the area and helps to bring tourists and potential investment to North Beach. The City believes that this initiative is not unlike the process of education about Deco architecture that took place in South Beach many years ago. In 2011, a $1 million restoration of the historic MiMo-inspired outdoor amphitheater, North Shore Park Bandshell was completed. The Bandshell is intended to be a centerpiece of North Beach, and serves as a cultural arts and entertainment destination. Another cultural arts initiative that is expected to stimulate the economy of the area is the opening of the Aerial of North Beach and Normandy Isle



CITY REPORT: NORTH BEACH independent non-profit O Cinema at the former Byron Carlyle Theater. In addition to restoration projects, the City has made it easier to get around North Beach. In late October, it launched the North Beach trolley. The free daily trolley makes a loop connecting Allison Park, the Publix on 69th Street, North Shore Open Space Park, Stillwater Park, and the North Shore Branch Library. All of these projects and initiatives are designed to help with North Beach’s revitalization. The goal is to infuse energy and vitality into the area to ignite economic development. “North Beach has lots of single story buildings that are already zoned for multi-unit buildings. You can build more mass and density and it isn’t outside of what is allowed in the area,” said Oris. “It is an under developed market and already has things in place that don’t require major changes. North Beach offers great opportunities for development.” There is no doubt that developers are seizing the opportunity. The Terra Group is doing a development on 87th Street and Collins Avenue and is asking $1600 a square foot. Jeff Spear is developing Iris on the Bay townhomes.

Rendering of NoBe House, North Beach “I looked at this project going back three or four years ago. It was a project that got caught up in the recession,” said Spear. “There is no doubt that people want to live on Miami Beach and although it is in the North Beach, it is still part of Miami Beach. Also because we bought the property from the bank, we are able to pass on to buyers a really good value. We are selling the townhomes from $350 to $400 per square foot.” Although Oris and his team have completed the North Beach Revitalization Plan, the Blue Ribbon Panel for North Beach has requested a more comprehensive North Beach Master Plan to be produced. “North Beach is a sleeping giant that if awoken it can become a big economic engine for the City,” said Veitia. MB

Rendering of Iris on the Bay, Normandy Isle




Deauville Hotel and Beach Resort 412 Deauville Associates Peloro Miami Beach

114 SMG Management


69 The Mimosa LLC

Iris on the Bay


8701 Collins Avenue

35 Terra Group

The Spear Group

South Shore Beach Development 28 South Shore Landowners NoBe House



20 SMG Shamrock/ W Capital Group

Bath Club Estates

13 Peebles Group

10 South Shore Drive


Tzadik Management

K&R Two

Source: City of Miami Beach 28


The North Star It seems that the North Beach section of Miami Beach is having its day in the sun. Not only is the area getting the attention of the City for economic development, but real estate developers are staking their claims that this will be the next hot area for growth. “Many years ago South Beach was like North Beach. Then it was redeveloped. The last bastion of value in Miami Beach is North Beach. Now South Beach is very expensive, but this is not the case in north Miami Beach,” said Adam Hendry, managing director of Tzadik Management and the team behind the North Beach condo development NoBe House. NoBe House on 8505 Harding Avenue is a two building development with 28 condos priced around $400 per square foot. Although North Beach is currently an area that is mainly rental with lots of older buildings, it seems that over the next five to ten years this is likely to change. “After the ground breaking for NoBe House I received so many calls from institutional investors and large hedge funds that are looking at North Beach. With NoBe House, we are ahead of the tidal wave of redevelopment that is about to happen in this area,” said Hendry. Like with all real estate it is about location, location, and location; and with North Beach it is likely its location that is garnering its attention. Just north is Bal Harbour, west is a bridge that easily connects to Biscayne Boulevard and I-95, and there isn’t likely to be any more land created next to the beach. When asked why North Beach is suddenly getting all this attention, Hendry explained, “Sunny Isles was overlooked for 70 years and now you can’t recognize it. The same thing happened on South Beach. Recently there was so much interest and focus on Brickell that it wasn’t necessary to look at North Beach. But now there aren’t as many opportunities in downtown Miami and so from a supply standpoint, the only place left is North Beach.” MB

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ORAL REPRESENTATIONS CANNOT BE RELIED UPON AS CORRECTLY STATING THE REPRESENTATIONS OF THE DEVELOPER. FOR CORRECT REPRESENTATIONS, MAKE REFERENCE TO THIS BROCHURE AND TO THE PURCHASE AGREEMENT FURNISHED BY A DEVELOPER TO A BUYER. NO FEDERAL AGENCY HAS JUDGED THE MERITS OR VALUE, IF ANY, OF THIS PROPERTY. We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing throughout the Nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising, marketing and sales program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, sex, religion, handicap, familial status or national origin. The information contained herein, including, without limitation, any and all artist’s or architectural conceptual renderings, plans, floor plans, specifications, features, facilities, dimensions and amenities depicted or otherwise described, are based upon current development plans, which are subject to change or abandonment without notice. No guarantees or representations whatsoever are made that any plans, floor plans, specifications, features, facilities, dimensions or amenities depicted by artists’ or architectural renderings, or otherwise described herein, will be provided, or, if provided, will be of the same type, size, quality, location or nature as depicted or otherwise described herein. This is not intended to be an offer to sell, or solicitation to buy, a dwelling in Iris on the Bay (the “Community”) in any jurisdiction where prohibited by law. In no event shall any solicitation, offer or sale of a dwelling in the Community be made in, or to residents of, any state or country in which such activity would be unlawful. Marketing by




Philip Levine has completed his first year in office as Mayor of the City of Miami Beach.

or Levine this is his first foray into public office. Levine started his own company on Miami Beach in 1990, building it into a multi-million dollar business that produced onboard TV advertisements, magazines and port marketing materials for cruise ships. He then merged his company with Onboard Media to create the world’s largest duty-free shopping and media firm in the cruise industry. He sold the company to LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton in 2000. Levine continued his entrepreneurial mission with the development of another cruise ship media company, Royal Media Partners. The company exclusively works with Royal Caribbean International. Mayor Levine seems to be determined to bring the get-it-done spirit of an entrepreneur to local government. CITY REPORT: MIAMI BEACH: Why did you decide to run for Mayor?

MAYOR PHILIP LEVINE: I love Miami Beach. I have lived here for 27 years. It is the greatest city in the world. I started to see issues and problems that weren’t being addressed. I also thought that people should not be in leadership positions to benefit themselves but for the benefit of the people. I felt Miami Beach was going in the wrong direction. No one was doing a lot of the things that needed to be done. I always thought about running 30

Photo by Jorge Parra



for office at some point, but it has to feel right for you personally. I believed with my background in the private sector I could make a real positive contribution to the quality of life for the residents of Miami Beach. I had the time. I had the resources. I had the desire. And in the end those are the three things you need. CITY REPORT: What is the hardest part about going from a businessman to a politician? MAYOR: The hardest part is that you live more in a fishbowl. Otherwise there isn’t really a difference. In business you don’t demand others to do things, you convince people. And in government it is the same thing. It is all about persuading and convincing. CITY REPORT: What is the difference between working in the public sector versus the private sector? MAYOR: There is no difference at all. Everybody wants to win. Everybody wants to be purposeful. Everybody wants to be successful. People don’t just work for money; they work to be part of something bigger. CITY REPORT: How do you bring your private sector thinking to local government? MAYOR: When I was running for mayor, I knocked on 6,000 doors. I listened to the residents.

I don’t call them residents; they are customers and the shareholders of the company Miami Beach. Miami Beach is a city manager form of government, so I look at the City Manager as the CEO. I am the chairman of the board and the commissioners are the board members. It is not our job to run the city; it is our job to advise the city manager as to policy and for him to take direction based on this and feedback from the customers. CITY REPORT: How have your past experiences prepared you for the job of Mayor? MAYOR: I think it is a combination of my ability to communicate, execute, and motivate. These are the skills I learned as an entrepreneur that I’m applying to my role as mayor. CITY REPORT: Where do you hope the City of Miami Beach will be by the end of your term? MAYOR: I hope that we’ve begun significant development in North Beach and that we have begun to mitigate some of the effects of flooding. I look forward to a city government that works for its people. This is where we need to go. We need to treat our residents like customers and shareholders. MB



he City of Miami Beach may be limited by the fact that it is a 7-square-mile-island, but it certainly is not limited in its potential to thrive. “The great thing about this City compared to most is it really is starting to look at itself 50 years from now, and what it is going to take to get there,” said Jeff Oris, director of economic development for the City of Miami Beach. Everyone seems to agree that the expansion of the Convention Center is critical to the success of Miami Beach. “Tourism brings in so much money here and the Convention Center is a catalyst to impact our economy,” said Steven Adkins, Chairman of the Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority. The City continues to mature. “For a long time it was known as a vacation spot not for its sophistication and culture that you think about today. And where is the City going over the next decade? It will be a place that is more grown up. A place with lots of different pieces and a good mix of industries. This is the foundation of all great cities,” said Jorge Gonzalez, president/CEO City National Bank. “Think about it, the true transformation of Miami Beach

has only occurred in the past 30 years; it takes time to develop a business city.” Technology is also a big driver to take the City to the next level. The City has incorporated a variety of technological advances to help it run more efficiently. To date the City has introduced the ParkMobile Pay by Phone Parking App, that allows residents to use their smart phones to pay for parking; ParkMe Miami Beach, an app that is linked to a live parking locator to provide real time information on municipal parking availabilities throughout the city; and Report It, a mobile app that allows residents to report a concern or issue. In addition, The New World Center is seen as a hub for its technological capabilities and has been used to host SiME and Atlantic Live Start-Up Miami. “We are a preferred location for the start up community. We know that our building is inspiring and allows you to contemplate the future and we work hard to remain on the cutting edge of technology,” said Howard Herring, president of the New World Symphony. “We have 17 miles of fiber optic cable, every room is connected to the Internet, we have four projectors outside, great acoustics, break out rooms, lots of ways to use the building, and we did that on purpose. We wanted to build a facility to be a community asset and that has proven to be the case.”

Technology is also seen as a potential area for economic development for Miami Beach. With such incubators as Rokk3r Labs appealing to technology start ups, and the Miami Chamber of Commerce’s effort to lead the charge to explore the opportunity for Miami Beach to have a motion capture studio. Although there was talk about using the Miami Beach owned Byron Carlyle Theater, located in North Beach, as a motion capture studio, this has been stymied by the theater becoming an O–Cinema. However, Sheila Duffy-Lehrman, chair of the digital technology task force and a member of the Board of Governors for the City of Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, is continuing to pursue the effort. A motion capture studio is when blue and green screens are used to capture natural movements and then these movements are digitally combined with various backgrounds to create an artificial environment. “We are absolutely moving forward. We are currently vetting several locations on South Beach and others in North Beach. We are continuing to look for a public–private partnership and to combine the studio with an education component,” she said. “The Chamber is out there providing the leadership to prospect ways to make the community a better place to live, work and play. There’s excitement of the possibility of what could be and we are out chasing it.” MB 2015



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A Few Firms Talk Business

For South Florida commercial real estate professionals who toiled through the national recession, the waning months of 2014 could not be a better time to be serving clients in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. International and domestic investors are looking to South Florida as a place to invest their capital. Throughout most of the region, the industrial sector is enjoying a construction surge and high demand as vacancy rates decline. At the same time, the office and retail sectors are enjoying a strong recovery thanks to the intense interest of institutional and individual investors. For managing principals at Cresa South Florida, the focus is strictly on catering to tenants who require customized services. For an independent contractor team at Marcus & Millichap, nonstop workdays are driven by investors who seek strong returns in retail. And for the president of Cornerstone International Realty in Doral, South Americans are driving a flurry of raw land deals that will eventually aid growth in international trade. The following profiles offer snapshots of the companies’ post-recession successes and the prospects that lie ahead.

By David Lyons | Photography by Steve Boxall

CORNERSTONE INTERNATIONAL REALTY A native of Colombia finds fertile territory in expansion-minded Doral as South Americans seek new and long-term business opportunities in the US. Hector Catano


n order of importance, Hector Catano’s priorities are God, family, business, and golf. It’s at the intersection of the latter two that the native Colombian has found prosperity as a 14-year commercial real estate broker who, with a pair of partners, established Cornerstone International Realty in Doral less than two years ago. “I’ve been in the business in this local area primarily in the industrial market,” said Catano, who is a Doral resident. “It has become very easy to make it in my own backyard.” Born in Medellin, Colombia, in 1981, Catano migrated to Venezuela and then to the US in 1991. He began his real estate career at Westvest Associates in 1999, eventually earning the title of managing director. While at WestVest, Catano was involved in more than $250 million worth of transactions that encompassed industrial warehouse space, office space, and investment deals. Some of his more prominent deals included the sale of PBSJ’s 100,000-square-foot office building in Doral, the lease of more than 138,000 square feet in Medley to Naca Logistics and the sale of a 100,000-square-foot warehouse near the cargo gate at Miami International Airport. In 2012, Catano, a partner, and another colleague formed Cornerstone International Realty in the western part of Doral. The firm employs 10 people. “In the early stage of my business I made strategic relationships where they allowed me to put my fee and some of my money into the properties. I’m not the typical realtor out there who is just looking for a fee. I like to fly below the radar. We are not a corporate type of company.

We are more for the foreign investor—the Latin American investors, those local businessmen who are looking to expand their business,” said Catano. “I went on my own through some strategic partnerships and have been very successful,” he said. A short distance from his office, he shoots rounds with clients at the Trump National Doral, and when the WGC-Cadillac Championship takes center stage, he views the action from an 18th hole sky box, not far from one occupied by celebrity developer Donald Trump. “A lot of my business I do on the golf course,” said Catano. “I am a proud owner of the box; I like to bring my clients here. Golf is great for the soul. It’s great for business.” Catano credited his international background for helping him to develop his understanding of the needs of Latin American clients. They will invest, he said, if they can envision long-term market growth over a ten-year period. “If there is a path of growth, they have more risk tolerance,” he said. “These investors know what they want. They have the capability to purchase and are ready to go.” It helps, of course, that Miami is a northern gateway to Latin America where freight forwarders, customs brokers, and multinational corporations drive a significant demand for industrial and office space. At the moment, the inventory is tight. “Miami is different because you have the port that is growing; you have the tourists; and then you have the Latin American headquarters,” he said. “We have many reasons why this growth has been a blessing to brokers.” E


Catano said he would prefer not to tout his commercial accomplishments. But, as 2014 draws to a close, he said, Cornerstone International Realty is about to close on multiple raw-land transactions encompassing 98 acres. He said the company is also in the process of refurbishing an office building it recently purchased in the heart of Doral. During the summer, the firm announced four leasing transactions involving warehouses and land in Doral, Miami, and North Miami Beach.



CRESA SOUTH FLORIDA Cresa South Florida, the Miami arm of the national tenant representation firm, is committed to conflict-free work on behalf of its clients.

LEFT TO RIGHT: John Marshall, Managing Principal; Charlie Barton, Managing Principal; Barbara Liberatore Black, Managing Principal; Alan Kleber, Managing Principal; Matthew Goodman, Managing Principal; David Preve, Managing Principal 66



or Alan Kleber and his colleagues at Cresa South Florida, the deal was a validation of the way their firm does business. In early December 2013, Florida International University and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.(RCL), a Cresa client, signed an agreement to build a 130,000– square–foot, $20 million facility at FIU for the cruise operator’s shipboard performers. The facility, which is scheduled to open next year, will give FIU students access to training and internships in the cruise and hospitality industries. The agreement, which was three years in the making, was envisioned by Kleber, a managing principal at Cresa. He advised the Miami-based cruise line about the possibilities that could arise from partnering with the university: a new source of young talent for its onboard entertainment operation and an opportunity to give back to the community by helping to educate FIU students. Kleber and fellow managing principals Barbara Liberatore Black and Charles Barton characterized the deal as a reflection of the firm’s collaborative culture. It is unlikely, they asserted, that any other firm could have pulled it off. “It was a solution that germinated from this very conference room,” said Kleber. The keys, he added, included the aggregation of intellectual capital from firm members and internal information sharing to accomplish a goal for the client—RCL. Among the needs the firm’s advisers addressed: requirements for a residential component, cost neutrality, and a strategic solution to RCL’s business objectives. “That would not have occurred if it was at a different company,” said Kleber of the collective deliberations. ”It was not your typical real estate transaction. It was a business transaction that required a consultative approach comparative to a traditional brokerage approach.” Besides shepherding the firm’s client toward an agreement, Cresa’s project management division is serving as the developer. “A lot of skill sets got brought into the decision making that never would have happened but for our open culture,” said Barton. “That deal I can say never would have happened but for Alan and Cresa bringing all of these forces to bear. It takes an attitude and being cooperative and not competitive.” In Miami, there are six managing principals. Besides Barton, Black and Kleber, the others include: Matthew Goodman, John Marshall and


David Preve. The office employs 28 people, nearly double the number three years ago. Cresa specializes in advising occupiers in developing and executing solutions based on a business case methodology that addresses the convergence of both the traditional real estate transaction and the financial/operational considerations that impact the development of the optimum facility strategy. Three Miami office members are active in Cresa’s national leadership. Kleber and his colleagues said their firm’s operational structure is diametrically different compared to the way other real estate firms do business. The structure of these other firms provides a management intensive structure whereas directives and marketing resources are pushed down to their independent contractors that compete internally and operate as independent businesses with conflicting interests. Cresa’s organizational structure is unique as it is partner-owned and operated; it is not a group of independent businesses. Rather, we are a committed enterprise that operates as one company and as one team all focused on driving results for its clients. “We believe that the fundamentals of the real estate business are broken and unfair to tenants,” said Kleber. “The industry has historically been built to service the supply side and profit from the same. We’re really swimming against the current in regards to establishing a platform that addresses the requirements and needs of the demand side of the marketplace.” He contended that tenants in search of office, industrial, or retail space are becoming more astute about broker conflicts. “The obvious conflict is—the broker represents the tenant and there are a couple of listings that a company also represents,” he said. “You just have to wonder if they [tenants] are getting objective advice at the end of the day?” Noted Barton: “It’s pretty remarkable that in the legal industry and the accounting industry—the first thing they do when they pick up a client is do a conflict check.” Looking ahead, the company, which has focused heavily on the office market, has jumped into the industrial sector to take advantage of burgeoning growth in South Florida’s transport and distribution industry. Black said Cresa is attracting a number of professionals from other companies who want to defect. “We have quite a few people who have knocked on our doors very privately and said, ‘we’re tired of a broken industry and we want to be part of what you are doing.’” E

Cresa South Florida got off to a strong start in 2014 when law firm client GrayRobinson signed a 35,358-square-foot lease at the Wells Fargo Center in downtown Miami. Managing principal Barbara Liberatore Black represented the law firm, which intends to move to the center’s 31st and 32nd floors in January 2015 from its current Brickell Avenue location. In April, firm managing principals Alan Kleber and John Marshall teamed to guide Miami Children’s Hospital to a 79,156-squarefoot lease for its headquarters at 5301 Waterford Way in Miami’s Blue Lagoon area. Later in the spring, Boston-based DentaQuest, the nation’s third largest dental benefits administrator, doubled its call center space by relocating from Coral Gables to downtown Doral. Other notable leasing agreements included the relocation of the Consulate General of Brazil from Brickell to a larger space at 3150 Miami Green Way in Coral Gables. Eric and Steve Gaunt were the Cresa advisers. The search took two years and the final decision required approvals by Brazilian law makers and the US State Department. Cresa was also busy in Broward County, as client Progressive Casualty Insurance expanded its space at Commercial Place I and II. Zachary Wendelin was the adviser. Also in the spring, Wendelin advised Stemtech International, a California stem cell nutrition company which is relocating its headquarters to a 34,279-square-foot facility in Pembroke Pines.



I S SE N B E RG B R I T T I G RO U P O F M A R C U S & M I L L I C HA P A Miami-based team at Marcus & Millichap parlays its expertise in the retail sector to boost returns for domestic and foreign investors in Florida.

LEFT TO RIGHT: Eric Wasserman, Investment Associate; Joseph Cabrera, Business Manager; Irene Viera, Transaction Coordinator; Ronnie Issenberg, Vice President Investments; Gabriel Britti, Vice President Investments; Roee Ben-Moshe, Investment Associate; Brie Miller, Marketing Director.


efore the champagne corks pop and the fireworks usher in 2015, Ronnie Issenberg and partner Gabriel Britti have a lot of work to do. From a lakefront office on Miami’s Blue Lagoon Drive, the two brokers, both independent contractors for Marcus & Millichap, lead an eight–member team that focuses on linking investors with net– leased properties occupied by credit tenants bearing national brands including: Wendy’s, McDonalds, 7 Eleven, Walgreens and Dollar Stores.. Between now and then, their clients mostly investors seeking stakes in high-end retail properties must make up their minds and for tax reasons execute deals before the end of the year. Since the early 1990s, Issenberg has worked in the investment real estate field, first managing portfolios of multi-family properties, then becoming affiliated with the Marcus & Millichap National Retail & Land Groups. He and Britti, who started in 2007, have been working together for close to 7 years. “When we branded ourselves as a team, we decided to market ourselves as Florida specialists,” said Issenberg. Known as The Issenberg Britti Group of Marcus & Millichap, the team last year arranged 73 deals worth nearly $240 million. Using the company platform, the group has engineered property sales in 36 states, but concentrates on Florida, with the help of four agents. This year, Issenberg and Britti said they’re on path to complete 100 transactions. The team’s focus is net-lease properties, which buyers of commercial real estate view as a conservative vehicle for capital preservation and steady cash flow. “We do over 100 transactions a year in net–lease brokerage everything from credit tenants such as Walgreens, Rite-Aids, Loew’s, 7-11s and Pier Ones,” said Issenberg. “We also focus on franchised sale leased back quick– service restaurants everything from Wendy’s to Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.”


Under a net-lease scenario, the tenant pays not only the rent, but some or all of the expenses such as taxes, utilities, and maintenance that the property owner would normally pay. These leases allow investors to be an absentee landlord who own the real estate, but play absolutely no role in the management and maintenance of the business and building occupying the land. “The tenant signs the lease,” said Issenberg. “They continue operating the business as usual and they don’t own the real estate anymore.” Britti said many investors who own industrial parks or self-storage operations are selling those businesses and cashing in to buy passive income investments such as net lease properties. Absent the management responsibilities of running a business, the returns are higher. And in Florida, there are no taxes. Issenberg and Britti said 20 percent of their clients are foreign investors who see net lease properties as secure, safe investments. Britti said the bulk of the clientele are US citizens from all over the country who are looking for annual returns that exceed the 2 to 3 percent returns other conservative investment vehicles are currently giving. The properties they list are not confined to Florida. Their tie in with Marcus & Millichap gives them a national profile of properties to offer clients. The pair also works with investors who seek to delay the payment of capital gains taxes on the sale of previously owned properties so they can buy new ones. Under Section 1031 of the federal tax code, the deferrals mean extra cash for investors to trade up to larger or more diversified portfolios. But the law requires investors to meet certain time requirements to complete the maneuver, known as a Section 1031 Exchange. Under the law, exchangers must complete their swaps within 180 calendar days, or by their tax filing date, whichever is earlier. They also have 45 days to identify the properties the want to use to replace the ones they sold. Issenberg said 45 percent of his team’s clients are 1031 Exchange buyers. “That’s why the fourth quarter is a flurry of activity because everybody has to take action,” he said. “We have five closings a week, and each week is a rewarding challenge.” E

The group operates in conjunction with its own agents and others within the Marcus & Millichap national network. Issenberg and Britti said they have 31 closings scheduled to be completed before New Year’s Eve. They said the largest of their portfolios were sold in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia,Texas, and New Mexico. NOTABLE LOCAL CLOSINGS 2014 9 FLORIDA WENDY’S Price: $17,377,828 (Average CAP Rate of 5.5%) Address: Throughout South Florida

CITE RETAIL Price: $10,000,00 Address: 2001 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami (Downtown), FL

INVESTMENT HIGHLIGHTS: • New 20 Year Absolute NNN Leases • Broke US CAP Rate Records • Excellent In-Fill Locations

INVESTMENT HIGHLIGHTS: • Located on heavily trafficked Biscayne Boulevard • Strong National Tenants NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014


From Ivory Tower To Edgewater Condo Despite naysayers at Harvard, classmates from Austria and Argentina prove their thesis that quick profits could be made from the rubble of South Florida’s distressed real estate market.

By David Lyons | Photography by Donna Victor

Fernando Levy Hara and Stephan Gietl 70



From Ivory Tower To Edgewater Condo

nvestor–developers Fernando Levy Hara and Stephan Gietl hail from separate continents: South America and Europe. But when they met in 2009 as students at an executive business program at Harvard, they agreed on a thesis that would stun their professors: Sooner rather than later, there was serious money to made in the wake of the US real estate crash. A recovery, they argued, wouldn’t take 10 years, as their professors believed, but in a scant four years. “Our thesis was our business plan on how to take advantage of the market,” recalled Gietl recalled. “We were forecasting recovery in 2013. The jury for the thesis said we were too optimistic.” Now, Levy Hara, who is Argentinian, and Geitl, who is Austrian, are themselves faculty members who appear as instructors at executive degree programs conducted at Harvard. And their signature South Florida project—The Crimson luxury condo tower in Miami’s Edgewater section—is the latest validation that they hit the post-crash rebound cycle at the right time. In a tribute to their Harvard days, the project is named after the venerable Ivy League institution’s school color. Their post-crash odyssey is a reflection of how the Miami area real estate market rebounded ahead of experts’ forecasts and ahead of most markets around the US. The two men also represent the strong international influence that dominates today’s residential real estate market. By identifying distressed South Florida properties with potential and persuading overseas investors that the US market was actually a fertile place for profits, their mcKafka Development Group of Aventura acquired properties worth $50 million and sold 400 condo units to investors from other countries. The Crimson, an 18-story waterfront tower at 601 NE 27th Street, broke ground earlier this year. In January, Banesco USA Bank of Coral Gables advanced a $16 million loan to start building. With construction at roughly the halfway point, the project is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2015. The Crimson ranks among mcKafka’s most ambitious projects to date. Previous projects include the acquisition and turnaround of condo units at the Village East and the Las Olas by the River in Fort Lauderdale, as well as 282 multi-family units in Sarasota. Both men turned to the American market in the wake of collapses and crises in their respective home regions. 72


Rendering of The Crimson penthouse

Rendering of The Crimson bay window

Rendering of The Crimson pool deck “What drove me here was a huge financial and economic crisis in Argentina,” recalled Levy Hara, who arrived in Miami in 2000. In the ensuing six years, he developed condo projects in Miami Beach and Orlando. “Everything was sweet until 2006. When the market busted, it was a test,” he said. “Fortunately or unfortunately, I was born and educated in Argentina where we have a recession every ten years.” In effect, he had learned how to react and proceeded to find ways to profit from the US recession. Gietl found himself in a similar position when the recession hit Europe. A former private-equity executive, he operated a development firm called European Property Development, a major player in the Czech Republic. In Prague, he oversaw one of Central Europe’s largest retail and office centers. “When the crisis came there was not a lot to do anymore,” said Gietl. “The market dried up in 24 hours. Bankers called up and said, ‘If you want a loan, forget it.’ Austrian banks were extremely exposed. They had to restructure their balance sheets so there was no lending at all.” In 2009, Gietl saw a magazine ad for the Harvard executive business program in real estate, applied and was accepted. After the two men met and devised their business plan, they started buying condo notes in South Florida at 50 percent of the replacement costs. “Nobody wanted to buy assets,” said Levy Hara. “We found there was an opportunity of a lifetime to buy real estate.”

Attracting investors was the chief challenge as news reports about the economic collapse cast a pall over the marketplace. “It was very difficult to explain to the international investors why it was good to invest here,” recalled Levy Hara. But many were sold on the marked difference in business conditions between the US and other countries, as well as a chance to triple their money. Abroad, taxes, bureaucracy. and regulations maintain a near-stranglehold on the investment community, said Levy Hara. Gietl believed Europe was too stagnant for investors to grow their money. These days, both men log heavy travel miles. McKafka, located in a small office condo, employs between 15 and 20 people. Levy Hara’s wife, Jaqui, is heavily involved in dayto-day operations. The couple has two grown sons in college. Gietl is a frequent flier to Europe, visiting business contacts and family. Despite a worrisome rebound in US prices and land values, he likes his prospects here. “I’m sure that for the next few years, especially in the luxury high-end, we will do very well,” he said. “What has been overlooked so far is the multi-family. We see occupancy rates here in Miami at more than 98 percent. Until the occupancy [rate] is not falling further, you will see more and more projects coming to the market. That’s a strong indicator for high demand.” Levy Hara sees opportunity in Sarasota, a city that needs to replenish its multi-family housing inventory, particularly for senior citizens. Added Gietl, “If the business keeps up like this, I have no intention to leave.” E NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014


ADMIT RESPONSIBILITY Oasis Outsourcing has become one of the largest US companies of its kind, handling payroll and other personnel tasks for 4,700 companies.

By Mike Seemuth | Photography by Jorge Parra

Mark Perlberg


hen he earned his law degree in 1981, Mark Perlberg seemed destined for a successful career as an attorney. Few students outperformed him at Boston College law school, where he graduated magna cum laude and had grades that ranked in the top 10 percent. The Brooklyn native got his professional start at a New Jersey law firm as a business litigator, counseling companies in commercial disputes. His law career didn’t last long because what he really wanted was a company of his own. So the attorney-turned-entrepreneur embarked on a curvy career path that led to management jobs and ownership opportunities at a hodgepodge of companies—one that sold utility-bill payment services, others that did money transfers and accounting audits, even a printer of personal checks for bank customers. After guiding so many different companies in a variety of fields, Perlberg now relieves administrative responsibilities common to all companies: payroll processing, employee benefits administration, labor law compliance, and other personnel-related tasks. Perlberg runs West Palm Beach-based Oasis Outsourcing, which is a licensed professional employer organization (PEO), a special type of company that does outsourced personnel administration for a fee, usually a percentage of payroll. Formed in 1996 as a subsidiary of the Wackenhut Security company, Oasis has been an independent enterprise since 2003, when a private equity firm bought control and hired Perlberg as chief executive officer. “I had never heard of a PEO until 30 days before I became CEO, so it’s not like I brought a lot of previous experience to this,” said Perlberg. But he proved a quick study and Oasis bloomed. Now starting its second decade of independence with Perlberg at the helm, Oasis Outsourcing has become one of the largest US companies of its kind, handling payroll and other personnel tasks for approximately 4,700 companies and more than 145,000 worksite employees. Compared to 2003, “we’ve grown by more than 100,000 worksite employees ... Our internal organization is probably more than four times the size when we spun out [of Wackenhut],” said Perlberg. “Our earnings are probably 10 times higher than they were back then.”

We don’t disclose the precise figure on a net-revenue basis. We’re not quite $1 billion. But we’re getting there. — Mark Pelberg President & Chief Executive Officer, Oasis

Payments by the client companies of Oasis typically are based on “a small percentage of the [clients’] payroll. That’s our administrative fee,” said Perlberg. Net revenue, or the fee income from clients, is approaching a 10-figure annual amount. “We don’t disclose the precise figure on a net-revenue basis,” he said. “We’re not quite $1 billion. But we’re getting there.” Opening new offices is one way the company is getting there. Perlberg said Oasis probably will open three new offices in 2015. Oasis had 21 offices at the start 2014 in addition to its West Palm Beach headquarters, including eight locations in its home state: Boca Raton,

Jacksonville, Fort Myers, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, Sarasota, and Tampa. The rest of the offices are spread across Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New Jersey, New York, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, and St. Louis. “Less than half our business is in Florida,” said Perlberg. “It used to be over 90 percent ... still, Florida is our largest single state.” Several large public companies do business as professional employer organizations and compete with Oasis for clients. These rivals include ADP, a dominant payroll processor with a subsidiary operating as a PEO, and a Houston, Texas-based company called Insperity, a pure PEO led by one of the most experienced management teams in the business. “When you talk about the two of them, you’re talking about two formidable companies,” said Perlberg. New Jersey-based ADP is the largest payroll processor in the world, and although not primarily a professional employer organization, “they are the largest PEO in the country,” said Perlberg. And at Insperity, “the people who run it are [PEO] industry pioneers ... It’s a highly profitable company, and it’s a sizable company. It has been around for a long time,” he added. But other than ADP and Insperity, Oasis Outsourcing faces few rivals anywhere near its size. “There’s more than 700 PEOs in this country. Most of them are quite small,” said Perlberg. “It’s a relatively collaborative industry. We want PEOs to do well,” he said. Perlberg, who is currently serving a term as chairman of the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations. “That doesn’t mean we don’t compete. But our general attitude is, as PEO penetration increases and awareness increases and PEOs thrive, we’ll all get our share,” said Perlberg. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014


Admit Responsibility Indeed, education may pose a bigger challenge than competition for Oasis and other professional employer organizations. Perlberg said the market for professional employer organizations would increase if more business owners understood the value of PEOs as outside administrators of personnel matters. Employers that handle their own payroll, for example, also have to comply with such court orders as garnishment actions.

Mark Perlberg “If you’re a small employer, you probably don’t deal with that very often,” he said. At Oasis, on the other hand, “we have a garnishment department.” Do-it-yourself employers also must comply with an increasing array of state and federal laws governing labor, pay, benefits, and taxes. Federal laws covering employment include the Internal Revenue Code, the Fair Labor 76


Standards Act, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Act, plus many others well known by their acronyms, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), and the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA). “Regulation has just exploded. ... It’s just crazy to deal with everything you have to deal with when this type of [PEO] service is available,” said Perlberg, who heads an internal work force of 630 employees at Oasis. “If I wasn’t here and I was running a 25-person company, there’s absolutely no question that I would utilize a PEO.” Running a small to medium-size company is an experience that Oasis clients share with the company’s CEO. Perlberg says he got his entrepreneurial start by co-founding a utilitypayment processing business “that we ultimately sold to Western Union about 25 years ago.” Perlberg worked for Western Union from 1989 to 1995 and worked his way up. His last job was running Western Union business operations in Latin America. Following a six-year tenure with Western Union, Perlberg moved to Atlanta to become a regional manager of John H. Harland, a leading printer of bank checks. He worked there from 1996 to 2000 and served as vice president and general manager, north region. “It was a business in transition,” he said, citing efforts by Harland to diversify into software and other services for financial institutions. Perlberg’s last employer before joining Oasis was Profit Recovery Group, an Atlanta-based company that audited the accounts of major retailers with suppliers, looking for such errors and omissions as double payment for the same item or failure to apply a discount. “We would audit their relationships with suppliers and identify monies the company was entitled to,” he said. Perlberg served as president and chief operating officer of Profit Recovery Group. His three-year tenure there ended in 2003 when the private equity fund H.I.G. Capital acquired control of Oasis and recruited Perlberg to become the CEO, shortly after Oasis gained its independence from Wackenhut. Wackenhut formed Oasis as a PEO subsidiary in 1996 after acquiring internal expertise in national systems for personnel administration. Before Wackenhut formed its PEO subsidiary, it had designed national systems for payroll processing and benefits administration, which included “a lot of the things that a PEO does,” said Perlberg. “I saw it as a great opportunity,” he said of Oasis. “It was a solid company in solid shape, not in any way a turnaround. The drill and the challenge was: How do we grow?”

One winning strategy of Oasis has been marketing itself through insurance brokers that sell group medical plans to small and medium-size companies. About one-third of Oasis clients have an affiliation with the professional employer organization through an insurance broker. So while other PEOs make medical benefits a mandatory part of their service package, Oasis offers such benefits as an option. “Everybody’s got a somewhat different way of approaching this,” said Perlberg. Although Oasis and other professional employer organizations technically become the co-employer of employees at client companies, no PEO is responsible for the day-to-day management of their clients’ work force. Employee recruitment, development, discipline, and termination remain the responsibilities of client companies. “We’re not controlling what’s going on at the worksite. You are running your business. We are not trying to interfere with how you run your business,” said Perlberg. Legal liability for illegal acts at worksites also remains with client companies. Oasis can arrange for a client company to obtain insurance covering employer practices liability, but no professional employer organization can eliminate the legal exposure of client companies for employee actions. “If you have a manager who is harassing an employee, I would not pretend that because you formed a relationship with Oasis that we are absolutely going to stop that, or that you aren’t going to face some potential exposure for that,” said Perlberg. “What we can do is a whole lot to mitigate that exposure. We can provide training. We can provide development.” Two private equity funds are betting that Oasis can do all that and more. Nautic Partners LLC, which has $2.5 billion of equity under management, became the largest shareholder of Oasis in 2006, when H.I.G. Capital sold its ownership interest. In 2011, Nautic liquidated some of its Oasis shares and the PEO got a second shareholder, Altaris Capital Partners LLC, a private equity fund with $750 million of investments under management. Perlberg and other top managers are Oasis shareholders, too. Investor support may strengthen over time if the number of business owners who affiliate with PEOs grows. “People will always be interested in a solid business that’s growing,” said Perlberg, citing the untapped potential of Oasis and other professional employer organizations among the vast majority of US companies. “The industry penetration is still less than 10 or 15 percent.” E


LEFT TO RIGHT STARTING BACK ROW: Margaret Callihan, Chairman, President & CEO, SunTrust Bank South Florida, Mary Jo Eaton, Executive Managing Director, Florida CBRE, Pamela Rauch, Vice President, Development & External Affairs, FPL, Katie Lestan, Divisional Vice President, Health Systems, Walgreens, Giselle Cheminand, President & CEO of GCI Worldwide Corporation, Founder of the EWLC Conference

Meghan Clary, Juliet Roulhac & Rae Chorowski

The 2nd Annual Leadership Conference Extraordinary Women Leading Change The 2nd Annual Leadership Conference Extraordinary Women Leading Change presented by GCI Worldwide Corporation in partnership with the American Heart Association, brought together 200 high-level executives from South Florida.

LEFT TO RIGHT: Laurie Sallarulo, CEO of Leadership Broward, Felecia Hatcher, Entrepreneur and White House Honoree as 2014 Champion of Change for STEM Access and Diversity, Giselle Cheminand, President & CEO GCI Worldwide Corporation, Georgia Lehoczky, Market Pharmacy Director, Walgreens, Ginger Martin, President & CEO ANB

LEFT TO RIGHT: Pamela Rauch, Vice President, Development & External Affairs, FPL, Margaret Callihan, Chairman, President & CEO, Suntrust Bank South Florida, Giselle Cheminand, President & CEO GCI Worldwide Corporation & Founder of the EWLC Conference, Katie Lestan, Divisional Vice President, Health Systems, Walgreens, Mary Jo Eaton, Executive Managing Director, Florida CBRE NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014



2014 Legends Honorees Monty Trainer, David Lawrence Jr, Alicia Cervera Sr, Burton Landy, and Stanley Tate

Dave Lawrence Jr, Roberta Lawrence, and Burton Landy

EXECUTIVE South Florida’s Legends Honorees Reception On September 17, 2014, Northern Trust hosted a reception to honor EXECUTIVE South Florida’s Legends Honorees.

Alicia Cervera Sr and Anuca Valverde, Cervera Real Estate

Ron Mann, President/Publisher, EXECUTIVE South Florida; Daisy Gonzalez-Diego, and Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, Miami Dade County Public Schools 78


Matt Malone, Miami Club Rum and Tom Oliveri, Northern Trust

Tate Family LEFT TO RIGHT: Janie Tate, Jimmy Tate, Joni Tate, Stanley Tate, Sandy Tate, and Kenny Tate

Dr. Eduardo Padr贸n, President of Miami Dade College and Stanley Tate Rodney Barreto, Barreto Group; City of Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff; and Monty Trainer

William Talbert, President/CEO GMCVB and Ron Mann, President/Publisher, EXECUTIVE South Florida

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho and Asbel Viciedo (Mr. V) APV Trust

Alberto Lamadrid, Alicia Lamadrid, Alicia Cervera Sr, Alicia Cervera Lamadrid, and Alberto Antonio Lamadrid

Charlie Cinnamon and Monty Trainer

Juan del Busto, Del Busto Capital Partners; Maria del Busto, Royal Caribbean Cruises; and Stanley Tate NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014



Sue Romanos, Linda Alexander, Laurie Ann Goldman

The Commonwealth Institute Advisory Board

11th annual Leadership Luncheon Celebrating Women in Business The Commonwealth Institute hosted its 11th annual Leadership Luncheon celebrating women in business and spotlighting their success as leaders.

Laurie Ann Goldman & Katie Kempner

Laura Kaplan

Elaine Blattner, Juliet Roulhac, Arlene Johnson 80


Laurie Ann Goldman & Katie Kempner

Al Peraza, President / COO of Mercantil Commercebank, virtuoso pianist Lola Astanova, Mayor of Doral Luigi Boria, and Eduardo Marturet, Music Director and Conductor for The Miami Symphony Orchestra

Rafael Diaz-Balart; Al Peraza,; Eduardo Marturet; and Miguel Palacios, Executive Vice President, Domestic Personal and Commercial Banking

Mercantil Commercebank Celebrates 35 Years with MISO Concert Mercantil Commercebank recently celebrated its 35th anniversary with a performance by The Miami Symphony Orchestra—led by Maestro Eduardo Marturet—which served as the inaugural concert for the new Donald J. Trump Ballroom at Trump National Doral Miami.

Al Peraza, President and COO of Mercantil Commercebank, Gladys Peraza, Dania Lopez, and Robert Lopez

Virtuoso pianist Lola Astanova

60 Year Legacy of Shaping Future Leaders Enroll Today

K-3 through 12th Grade College Prep. School | 305-221-7754 ext. 773 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014



Michael Wolk


rom the looks of things, there is no doubt that Michael Wolk, chairman/creative director of Michael Wolk Design Associates, would agree with a 2013 scientific study that found working in a cluttered space positively influences people’s abilities to think creatively. Wolk designs beautiful environments in which to live and the furnishings used to create these contemporary spaces. His timeless, unconventional, and fresh interiors are infused into such spaces as the lobby of the Trump International Beach Resort, interiors for the Porsche Design Tower currently under construction, and a new outdoor furniture collection for Pavilion furniture. Although these sleek and uncluttered environs are in complete contrast to his own working space, Wolk believes his cluttered surroundings inspire him.



“I don’t see my office as cluttered. I know where everything is. I have a mental map and know the location of stuff and can easily get to what I want. The only time I get confused is if someone cleans up my office,” he said. “It is my comfort zone. It helps me feel like I’m not creating in a vacuum. To me, clean spaces are lacking some of the inspiration—shapes, colors, textures, memories and other things that inspire me.” His inspiration includes a collection of hand-wound clocks, his original Woodstock Festival tickets, a Frank Lloyd Wright marionette, family photos, and his collection of used sketchbooks—every one since his college days. Wolk clearly believes we are influenced by our environment and would certainly agree with Albert Einstein’s statement: “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what then, is an empty desk a sign?” E

Photo by Jorge Parra

Chairman/Creative Director, Michael Wolk Design Associates

You are unique. Your investment plan should reflect that. You are uniquely you. With your own specific goals for the future. So why not work with someone offering a unique way to help you achieve them? With Goals Driven Investing at Northern Trust, your assets and risk preferences are aligned with each of your goals for a fully customized approach. With careful attention paid to the effects of taxes, expenses and inflation in order to maximize opportunity and minimize risk. You are unique. Be treated that way. To learn more, call Edward J. Joyce at 305-372-1000 or visit us at

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Executive South Florida Magazine . November/December 2014  
Executive South Florida Magazine . November/December 2014  

Covering the dealmakers, innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders in the business community.