Broward • Indian River • Martin • Miami-Dade • Monroe • Palm Beach • St. Lucie
Southeast is an exceptional place to live and work because a little piece of everything that makes Florida great is represented across these seven counties: Miles of bright blue ocean and sandy coastal beaches; five deep-water ports; four international airports; easy multi-modal access via rails and roads; a multicultural/multilingual workforce; outstanding educational institutions; world-class health care; and fun things to see and do.
LOGISTICS & TRANSPORTATION
Companies in need of seamless logistics are finding multiple options in Florida’s Southeast. Consider these developments:
Miami International Airport (MIA) marked its busiest year ever in 2022 with a record 50.6 million passengers compared to its closest Florida rival – Orlando International – at 50.1 million.
Miami International Airport came in fourth place among the largest North American airports in pleasing passengers, according to J.D. Power’s 2023 airport customer satisfaction survey, up from No. 9 in the previous year’s rankings. Overall, Miami-Dade County welcomed more than 26.5 million visitors in 2022, generating more than $20.8 billion.
American Airlines launched eight new routes from MIA for the northern hemisphere in 2023, thus solidifying the airlines’ presence in a market it already dominates. Six of the new routes include Portland, Oregon; Buffalo, New York; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Lexington, Kentucky; Wichita, Kansas; and Wilmington, North Carolina. The remaining two launched year-round daily service between Miami and Sacramento, California.
Beginning Feb. 3, 2024, American will open service between MIA and Governor’s Harbour Airport (GHB) in the Bahamas. The exclusive MIA-GHB route will be flown twice weekly using an Embraer E175 aircraft with a total of six airports serviced, including Nassau’s Lynden Pindling International Airport.
In addition to new routes, American plans to boost frequencies on several MIA routes on a seasonal basis. For example, the carrier will fly six times daily to Cancun, Mexico, from December 20 to January 7, and three times daily to Cartagena, Colombia, from Dec. 5 to April 3.
During the winter season, American Airlines expects to operate 140 peak-day departures from MIA to more than 70 destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America and overall, 2,250 weekly flights to 90 from U.S. airports.
And now that DHL Express has expanded its shipping between Miami and Latin America, cargo flies six days a week between MIA and Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires.
Looking ahead, newcomer Condor Airlines, a low-cost German carrier is gearing up to offer three nonstop flights between Miami International Airport and Frankfurt starting in May 2024 using Airbus A330neo airplanes, which Condor says use about a half-gallon of jet fuel per passenger to travel 160 miles. The planes can hold 310 passengers, including four in “prime seats” and 26 in business class.
The Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys was considered an engineering marvel when it opened to traffic in 1982. Since then, it has offered 40 years’ worth of breathtaking views and safe travel between Marathon in the Middle Keys and Key West at the end of the line. It has served the Florida Keys well, but recently there’s been talk of an upgrade. The Florida Department of Transportation’s “5-year tentative work plan” calls for rehabilitating and eventually replacing the bridge, with estimated construction costs hovering between $500 and $600 million.
Key West celebrated its 200th anniversary this past July. The good times there just never stop.
Train travel makes sense to commuters seeking to reduce travel time and avoid traffic along Florida’s east coast . In 2014, construction began on the Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach stations. Four years later, it was joined by Miami, then Boca Raton and Aventura. What began as two stations quickly morphed into six along Florida’s east coast. Most recently, on September 22, 2023, Florida’s Brightline train opened an Orlando stop, which terminates inside Orlando International Airport. Expansion plans to extend the train to Disney World and across the state to Tampa are in the works.
PortMiami is the largest cruise home port in the world and is among the leading international waterborne container ports in the U.S. For fiscal year 2022, the seaport handled 4.02 million passengers. During this same period, approximately 10.2 million tons of cargo and 1.2 million TEUs, a decrease of approximately 4.50%, were processed through the seaport. On the tourism side, FY 2022 surpassed all other years with 136.9 million overnight visitors compared to 110 million in FY 2021.
FINANCE & TECHNOLOGY
Global financial firm Rothschild & Co. plans to occupy 5,000 square feet at Miami’s most prestigious address: 830 Brickell. Other tenants include Microsoft, Citadel, multiple international law firms, New York-based insurance firm A-CAP, private equity firm Thoma Bravo, CI Financial, Marsh Insurance and AerCap. The building is expected to be completed and fully occupied by the end of this year.
Genesis Global, a London company that creates platforms for financial institutions to develop applications, is promising to hire at least 140 in Miami with salaries of nearly $145,000 over the next three years.
Plantation-based augmented reality company Magic Leap has released the latest iteration of its device, Magic Leap 2. Smaller and lighter than its predecessor but with a greater field of view, the headset and computer that power the device are targeted to developers and professionals rather than consumers.
Miami is No. 23 of the 50 best cities for tech workers, according to EdWize, an online education and e-learning site. Miami ranked 10th best in broadband internet speed and 13th for tech jobs.
Florida Atlantic University engineering and computer science researchers received $1.2 million from the National Science Foundation to improve the functioning of prosthetic hands. Current prosthetics allow only one grasp function to be controlled at a time, which puts a screwdriver, can opener and more complicated tasks pretty much out of reach. But since the researchers’ project uses a novel skin sensor and combines muscle training and machine learning, performance is improved.
Fireside, the Mark Cuban co-founded streaming app that gives creators a novel way to host interactive live shows, is moving its headquarters to Miami, citing its need to co-mingle in a healthier environment that offers incredible diversity. Launched in 2021, Fireside has raised more than $30 million from investors in the technology, sports and media industries.
Vitamin and supplement gummy maker GummyWorks has leased a new warehouse where it plans to employ 350 in Airport Logistics Park adjacent to Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach.
CTS Engines, an aircraft machine maintenance company, has signed a long-term lease to consolidate and expand its headquarters and operations from multiple sites in Fort Lauderdale to a new, 300-employee headquarters and operations site in 216,224 square feet in Osprey Logistics Park. The 427,238-sq.-ft. industrial park anticipates completion in the fourth quarter in Coral Springs.
Ten Southeast Florida high schools were named among the top 70 nationwide in U.S. News & World Report’s 2023-24 “Best U.S. High Schools.” The School for Advanced Studies, which is located in Miami, earned the No. 3 position nationwide.
Florida’s Southeast is home to 16 institutions of higher education, including Florida International University, which is ranked No. 64 among top public schools and No. 25 among most innovative.
Enrollment in the Miami Dade College School of Engineering and Technology’s three college-level artificial intelligence programs have skyrocketed since their initial fall term launch. Around 300 students are currently taking AI courses. College credit certificates, associate and bachelor’s AI degrees are now being offered at the college, the first of their kind in the state.
Florida’s State University System consists of 12 schools; two of which are Florida International University, a leading producer of Hispanic bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and Florida Atlantic University, where students participate in more than 600 undergrad research experiences each year.
Once again, Florida’s Southeast has good reason to crow about its health care capabilities, as, for the 20th consecutive year, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami is awarded the No. 1 position in ophthalmology by U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals 2023-24.”
Also garnering recognition: The Lynn Rehabilitation Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital, which earned No. 45, and Memorial Regional Hospital, Hollywood, with a No. 24 for rehabilitation.
Pediatric facilities in Southeast Florida were widely recognized by U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Children’s Hospitals 2023-24” too. Miami-based Nicklaus Children’s Hospital led the pack with four pediatric specialties: orthopedics (No. 31); cardiology and heart surgery (No. 37); neonatology (No. 45); and pulmonology & lung surgery (No. 48). And weighing in with just one specialty each: Holtz Children’s Hospital at UM-Jackson Memorial Medical Center, pediatric diabetes & endocrinology (No. 45); and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital at Memorial Hollywood, pediatric orthopedics (No.49).
Meanwhile, at UHealth-University of Miami, the 12-story Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center – Transformational Cancer Research Building continues to take shape. Slated to open in 2024, the 244,000-sq.-ft. TCRB will serve as a unique hub for cancer research, innovation, wellness and patient-centered care.
Elsewhere in the region, the first cohort of critically needed future nurses have taken their places at Indian River State College’s expanded School of Nursing in Port St. Lucie with the aim of doubling the school’s number of nursing graduates to address a statewide nursing shortage. Armed with $14.2 million from the state Legislature’s latest budget, the school has renovated two buildings totaling more than 50,000 square feet. of classroom space to create an 11-bed simulated nursing unit where students can be exposed to a wide range of on-the-job experiences in a timely atmosphere.
Since its inception in 2009, the bachelor’s in nursing program has graduated 995, a number that should increase as more nurses graduate from college and enter the workforce. Looking to the future, the college hopes to also graduate 300 ADNs and 60 licensed practical nurses by 2025.