February 1, 2023
EO Miami 2023

The 1,049-foot Waldorf Astoria Hotel & Residences is predicted to be the tallest residential tower south of New York upon completion in 2027.

Photo: Waldorf Astoria Hotel & Residences

EO Miami 2023
"We plan to add at least 100 employees during the first half of 2023 as the firm continues to implement its growth strategy across a variety of practice areas and markets and invests in its operations," says Steven Sonberg, Managing Partner, Holland & Knight.

Photo: Holland & Knight

EO Miami 2023
Felice Gorordo, CEO, eMerge Americas, says despite rapid tech sector changes, the demand for tech is still growing.

Photo: eMerge Americas

EO Miami 2023
University of Florida professor Jiaying Jiang, who studies crypto exchanges and emerging technologies, expects industry leaders to move quickly to try to restore confidence.

Photo: UF

EO Miami 2023
"Tourism, particularly in Miami-Dade, has been amazingly resilient. We’re well positioned to weather any slowdown,” says Rolando Aedo, COO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Photo: Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau

EO Miami 2023
Construction on the Residences, the 70-story luxury condominium tower at 1428 Brickell begins this year.

Photo: Rendering: Residences

2023 Economic Outlook

Miami's economic forecast for 2023

Regional business leaders talk about the outlook for the year ahead, plus demographics and statistics

Perspectives on the Year Ahead

MAURICE HABIF
Managing Director, JLL, Miami

  • INSURANCE ANXIETY: “Insurance is always front of mind for Florida owners and investors. Rising construction costs and pricing for properties has led to a dramatic increase in required total insurable value. Coupled with recent claims, this results in a difficult insurance market with little visibility for owners and buyers into future expected insurance premiums. Stability in this market will be crucial to keep transactions moving smoothly in Miami.”
  • HOUSING: “The multi-housing market in Miami-Dade County in 2023 is poised to outperform many of its counterparts across the country. With limited land for new development and a continued wave of migration to Miami, of both people and jobs, housing remains in incredibly high demand.”
  • TRENDING: “We are seeing a very strong interest in other forms of rental housing that are not simply market-rate communities. This includes such sub-property types as build-for-rent townhome or single-family home communities, senior housing, manufactured housing, student housing and affordable housing.”
  • RISING INTEREST RATES: “There is much less leeway as it relates to closing on an opportunity with negative leverage. For the multi-housing market, some of the greatest opportunities will come in the form of acquisitions with assumable debt and the growing interest in alternative residential classes while two of the biggest challenges will be rising interest rates and insurance costs. With interest rates serving as one of the biggest hurdles we expect to face in 2023, properties with longer-term, fixed-rate, assumable debt suddenly become incredibly attractive.”

STEVEN SONBERG
Managing Partner, Holland & Knight, Miami

  • GROWTH: “Due to the firm’s strong financial management over the years and its practice diversification, it is well positioned to continue to weather uncertain economic times. We are optimistic about the firm’s future and plan to continue pursuing investment opportunities.”
  • HIRING OR FIRING? “We plan to add at least 100 employees during the first half of 2023 as the firm continues to implement its growth strategy across a variety of practice areas and markets and invests in its operations. The firm’s growth in 2022-23 is expected to remain consistent with historic norms. The firm has been successful in adding talent across its offices, but there are still many job openings. Some positions call for an in-office presence, whereas other positions are hybrid or remote. We have added recruiters during 2022 to help fill openings faster.”
  • CAPITAL INVESTMENTS: “We continue to invest in the firm’s technology to offer market-leading capabilities and tools, and we are investing in the firm’s office space to address changing needs and work patterns.”

Economic Development Opportunities in 2023 …

FELICE GORORDO
CEO, eMerge Americas, Miami

  • TECH GROWTH: “What we know to be true for South Florida, and Miami specifically, is that the tech scene is only continuing to grow. Whether the talent is homegrown or comes from other cities, companies or industries, South Florida has shown no signs of slowing down, and 2022’s third-quarter numbers proved just that. Companies in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale metro area pulled nearly $1.3 billion of venture capital across 74 deals.” Amid turbulence around the world that includes layoffs at Facebook parent Meta and the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, Gorordo forecasts that Miami-Dade will remain an attractive destination “as more tech talent seeks new opportunities.”
  • VENTURE CAPITAL: “While there are rapid changes happening in the tech sector, the demand for tech is still growing. In Miami-Dade, we have seen a sharp increase in the number of deals and a strong intake of VC dollars in the last couple of years. From our vantage point, we don’t see Miami’s growth stopping anytime soon.”
  • EMERGE AMERICAS CONFERENCE: “Our (2022) conference brought together a record number of attendees, with more than 20,000 people from 50 countries and 4,000 unique participating organizations, and we are currently on track to surpass those numbers in 2023.”

Crypto’s Fallout

JIAYING JIANG
Associate Professor of Law, University of Florida

Miami went all in on crypto, becoming a place where the fast-rising industry produced thousands of jobs and digital currency could be used to buy anything from dinner at a trendy restaurant to a high-rise condo or a yacht. But the collapse of crypto exchange FTX leaves the digital currency sector in upheaval as the new year begins. Miami-Dade County — which had a $135-million naming rights deal with FTX on the arena where the Miami Heat plays — wants the company’s logo to come down. Five celebrity endorsers who are Florida residents are among the 11 being sued along with FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried in a federal class-action lawsuit claiming fraud.

University of Florida professor Jiaying Jiang, who studies crypto exchanges and emerging technologies, expects industry leaders to move quickly to try to restore confidence.

  • FALLOUT: Those who will hurt most are individual investors — those who do not have proper protection, Jiang says. “I know some people with a lot of money in the FTX. An acquaintance, he told me he lost $2 million.” Startups will also suffer, she says. “Because people have lost confidence in the industry, it will be difficult for them to get money in the next round.”
  • CHANGES: The market cap of crypto worldwide has fallen to about $850 million. The peak in 2021 was $3 trillion. Crypto companies need to set up recovery funds, to mitigate the impact, Jiang says. “We will also see self-regulation.” Crypto leaders will want to disclose their reserves, how much money is in the exchange and provide transparency, she says. There could be self-regulatory organizations to monitor compliance.
  • FEDERAL REGULATION: “We will see more enforcement actions. The Securities Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, they are all investigating.” If crypto is determined to be a security, it will be subject to regulation and disclosures, she says.
  • LONG VIEW: For 18, 24 months, “we won’t see much activity,” Jiang predicts. If there are new regulations, there will be more protection for consumers, and more stringent regulation of crypto firms and their ties to other firms. She anticipates development of both federal regulation and self-regulation, mostly in alignment except that crypto firms may resist voluntary disclosure of their financial ties.

JAMES KOHNSTAMM
Executive Vice President/Economic Development, Miami-Dade Beacon Council

CHRISTOS COSTANDINIDES
Vice President/Research & Strategic Planning

With more than $5 billion in venture at 1428 Brickell capital raised in the prior year, last year’s performance was on track to finish as strong. “We’re bucking a trend we’re seeing nationally, where a lot of those dollars are drying up. It’s raising our profile, where we were 9th and 7th and now 6th in the nation for venture capital raised,” says Kohnstamm. “We’re seeding companies that hopefully will be raising and growing in ’23, ’24, ’25 with a lot of job creation.”

On workforce issues, Kohnstamm says: “We’re optimistic, but talent remains our biggest opportunity and our biggest challenge. It was before, it is today, and it probably will be in the future. We have the talent here, but they (new companies) are going to be competing for some of the same talent. Can they find the right people here at the right price? We have to continue to be an attractive destination for talent. We can’t price ourselves out of the market.”

“There’s clearly tightening” in the economy, says Kohnstamm. “There’s the announcements of tech firms cutting back. They might not materialize as we thought. Some might be bigger than we thought.” Constandinides adds that past delays in construction of office space in central business districts of metro Miami- Dade will be a constraint in 2023, with rates per square foot at record highs.

MAJOR DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENTS

  • THE RESIDENCES: Developer Yamal Yidios recently revealed plans for a 70-story, 80,000-sq.-ft. luxury condominium tower, the Residences at 1428 Brickell. The 189-unit development will integrate photovoltaic glazing in the glass facade, making it Miami’s first luxury condo partially powered by solar energy. Construction is to begin this year.
  • WALDORF ASTORIA HOTEL & RESIDENCES: Developers PMG, Greybrook, Mohari Hospitality, S2 Development and Hilton broke ground on Miami’s first 1,000-foot-tall project, the Waldorf Astoria Hotel & Residences. The 1,049-foot tower at 300 Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami is designed to look like a stack of cubes. The building is predicted to be the tallest residential tower south of New York upon completion in 2027.
  • HOUSING: Miami’s Brickell neighborhood is seeing a flood of new apartments and condominiums as a result of company relocations and office expansions in downtown Miami: Henry Pino of Alta Development recently purchased a half-acre in Brickell for $15 million, with plans to build a 38-story tower with 320 apartments; Harvey Hernandez of Newguard Development Group is planning a 2-million-sq.-ft. project that includes a pair of condo towers and an apartment building along the Miami River; Menesse Condos and Investee, along with their Miami-based partner Lucid Investment Group, will build a 24-story apartment building with 350 units just south of Brickell City Centre.

ROLANDO AEDO
COO, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau

“We’ve done amazingly well in 2022 without a couple of our key engines operating at full speed. One of those is our meetings and conventions industry. We’re getting busier by the minute. There is a lot of pent-up demand and back-to-business that will be coming back online. We’re expecting a very, very busy meetings and conventions year in 2023. We have made a massive commitment to the meetings and conventions industry. It is a $1-billion incremental investment to build out what we’re calling our convention center campus.”

Post-pandemic hotel room rates that were at record highs in 2022 because of pent-up demand for domestic leisure travel will moderate in 2023, Aedo says, accommodating bookings of business travel and meetings and conventions.

“Hotel investment has been quite robust. We have a significant pipeline of hotels at a variety of service levels that are in development, in construction, and will be opening soon, which will help support not just people coming for holiday and for leisure, but also allow us to put together those room blocks for meetings and conventions.

Tourism, particularly in Miami-Dade, has been amazingly resilient. We’re well positioned to weather any slowdown.”

The CVB is partnering with Florida International University’s school of hospitality, CareerSource Florida and others to cultivate a pipeline of new employees.

Aedo expects the region’s cruise industry to gain momentum in 2023. “During the pandemic there was massive capital investment in our terminals. These are signature buildings right in the heart of downtown Miami. This is a long-term play. I think 2023 bodes well for them.”

BUSINESS BRIEFS

MIAMI-DADE

  • Miami-based video-calling platform Caribu has joined Mattel. Caribu connects children with distant relatives and friends for storytime and virtual play dates. Half of Caribu’s team will join Mattel in developing a Caribu app.
  • Miami-based startup Neocis, a dental robot manufacturer, has raised more than $40 million. Its Yomi surgical system guides dentists as they perform dental implants. The company has raised more than $160 million.
  • Spindl, a Miami-based technology startup, has raised $7 million. The company analyzes click-through links from sources such as Discord, Reddit and ad impressions to compare with purchase behaviors in web3.
  • Brave Health, a Miami-based virtual mental health provider, has raised $40 million in its latest fundraising round to help Medicaid patients access virtual services. The startup has raised a total of more than $60 million overall.
  • Bombardier, a maker and servicer of business aircraft, opened a service facility at Miami-Opa locka Executive Airport.
  • Florida International University’s construction trades program in the College of Engineering and Computing is the first in the nation to create a solar energy technician apprenticeship program.
  • Metro Commercial Real Estate, a retail real estate services firm, has selected Tony Cervone as executive vice president/principal based out of the newly opened Miami office.
  • Miami Gardens has launched “Virtual City” Metaverse Experience in the first phase of an immersive experience being built around 3-D virtual reality technology. The technology allows viewers to experience sites across the city.
  • Miami’s Cutler Bay neighborhood has approved a $100-million mixed-use senior living project. The Contemporary & Medsquare development project will include medical offices, retail space and 196 apartments.
  • Housing Trust Group and AM Affordable Housing, a non-profit founded by former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning, recently broke ground on an affordable housing project for seniors in Miami’s Perrine neighborhood. The $44-million development, called Tucker Tower, will have 120 apartments.

MONROE COUNTY

  • The Society of American Travel Writers named the Florida Keys’ Old Seven Mile Bridge one of three global 2022 Phoenix Awards winners. Restoration of a 2.2-mile span of the bridge, which serves as a linear recreational park stretching into the Gulf of Mexico, was honored as a sustainable and cultural tourism initiative.

Tags: Miami-Dade, Economic Outlook, Feature

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Watch thousands of runners participate in the 2023 Miami Marathon
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