April 23, 2024
Magic City Magic
David Nussbaum is CEO of Proto, a hologram tech firm that now has offices in Miami.

Photo: Proto

Magic City Magic
Whitman Family Development submitted plans for 240 affordable/workforce housing units at Bal Harbour Shops, an open-air, 18-acre shopping and restaurant complex in northern Miami-Dade County. Plans call for 600 residential units, 40% of which would be earmarked for workforce housing under Florida's Live Local Act.

Photo: Whitman Family Development

Magic City Magic
Clothier Thom Sweeney - founded by Savile Row-trained tailors Luke Sweeney, left, and Thom Whiddett - plans to open its third U.S. boutique next year in Miami's Design District, joining existing outlets in New York and Los Angeles. Its handmade garments "combine an elegant English silhouette with Italian softness: and each one can take 80 hours to tailor.

Photo: Thom Sweeney

Magic City Magic
The Miami-based Elevate Prize Foundation selected movie star Matt Damon for its $250,000 Catalyst Award to benefit his work with Water.org, a global charity focused on providing safe sanitation and clean water to millions of people who lack both. His award is one of 10 missed each ear by the Elevate Prize Foundation, created in 2019 by Joseph Deithc, founder of Commonwealth Financial Network.

Photo: Elevate Prize Foundation

Miami-Dade Roundup

Magic City Magic

Michael Fechter | 3/15/2024


Proto, a hologram tech firm, has opened its first Florida studio and office in the Waterford Business District near Miami International Airport.

Proto describes itself as “the original, patented inventor of hologram devices” and touts its ability “to beam anywhere in the world for fully interactive experiences in real time enabling them to save time, money, carbon impact and more versus physical travel.”

Proto has been used in the city before, at Art Basel Miami, the Miami Grand Prix and various educational and cultural events. The company has similar offices in New York, Las Vegas, Nashville, Cincinnati, Toronto, and world capitals including London, Paris, Riyadh, Seoul, Bangkok, Taipei, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.

“All of Miami’s incredible action, innovation and international ties make it a perfect place for Proto to build,” says CEO David Nussbaum. “I mean, it’s called the Magic City, right? And we’re in the magical business of beaming people around the world instantaneously.”


  • Holland & Knight added 46 partners, touting the group as “one of its most diverse, with 57% of members coming from underrepresented demographics within the legal profession.” Five of the partners work in the Miami headquarters, with one each in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville and Tampa.


  • Steven J. Solomon, managing shareholder of GrayRobinson’s Miami office, was named chair of the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired board of directors, and Miami-Dade Beacon Council CEO and President Rodrick T. Miller joined the charity’s board.


  • New Urban Development, an affiliate of the Urban League of Greater Miami and the city’s largest Black-owned real estate developer, is teaming with T.D. Jakes Real Estate Ventures to build 150 units of affordable senior living units in Miami Gardens on land provided by the city and Miami- Dade County. Bishop T.D. Jakes is pastor of The Potter’s House, a Dallas-based megachurch and humanitarian organization. Oliver Gross, the president of New Urban Development, says the partnership will help expand the work his group has been doing to improve housing options in “overlooked and underserved” neighborhoods of Miami-Dade and surrounding areas. New Urban Development and T.D. Jakes Real Estate also are building a 200-unit, mixed-income complex in Hallandale Beach.
  • A 515-unit apartment complex is coming to Miami’s Overtown neighborhood after the city’s Urban Development Review Board approved plans for the eight-story complex. Culmer Village is a block away from a Metrorail station. The Richman Group bought the property for $23 million in 2022. Plans call for 139 studio units and 368 two-bedroom apartments.
  • Construction is underway on Vox Miami Phase II, a 13-story development adjacent to the South Miami Metrorail station near the University of Miami. The Treo Group project includes 163 furnished student housing units with a total of 400 beds and 10,000 square feet of ground floor retail space. Phase I opened in 2021 with 262 student housing units.
  • Dallas-based CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm, has named Gian Rodriguez as its Miami managing director. He was Cushman & Wakefield’s South Florida managing principal, overseeing the firm’s nearly 300-person operation there. Rodriguez, an industrial landlord and tenant representation specialist, has completed industrial sale and lease transactions valued at more than $2 billion.


  • South Florida commuters now can ride Tri-Rail trains into downtown Miami. The system opened in 1989, linking West Palm Beach to Miami International Airport. Downtown riders must transfer trains at the Hialeah Metrorail Transfer Station. Rides within Miami-Dade County cost $2.50 one way, while an end-to-end round trip costs $17.50. Tri-Rail averaged more than 300,000 passengers in 2023, up 17% from 2022.
  • In September, Miami-based scooter and e-bicycle company Bird Global announced a $19-million deal to buy out German competitor TIER Mobility. Three months later, Bird filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy for financial restructuring. The company says it has the cash to pay vendors, suppliers and employees and will continue operating as usual.

Tags: Miami-Dade, Technology/Innovation

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