Miami’s Industrial Real Estate Has Buyers Lining Up

Miami’s Industrial Real Estate Has Buyers Lining Up

Writer: Sara Warden

2 min read SEPTEMBER 2019 — Miami is an attractive place to live and a business hub, but that also means its real estate doesn’t come cheap. In the huge land expanses involved in industrial real estate, assets cost a pretty penny. But the dynamics of the Miami market mean developers are not shying away from putting their hand in their pocket.

A key example of this is the recent sale of the three-building, 74-acre Centergate development at Gratigny in Hialeah for $178 million, Florida’s biggest sale of the year. Real estate giants CBRE closed the sale on behalf of the buyer.

“Centergate is one of the largest industrial offerings to come for sale in South Florida in recent years,” said CBRE Executive Vice President Jose Lobon in a news release. “Given the challenges to aggregate square footage in our market, Centergate presented a unique opportunity to acquire critical mass in one of the most desirable logistics markets in the nation.”

The sale can be broken down to a price of $111.25/ft2, a steal compared to recent deals in the greater Miami area. At the end of last month, institutional investor The Blackstone Group bought the 14-acre Airport Trade Center property west of Miami International Airport for $56 million, or $152/ft2.

Also this month, CBRE closed another multimillion-dollar industrial real estate deal, selling the five-building Miramar industrial portfolio to Stockbridge Capital. This deal equates to an eye-watering $192/ft2.

“It’s hard to buy industrial real estate in South Florida. It’s very competitive. Particularly when you see something of this size, multiple buildings,” Lobon added. “The opportunity to be able to buy in one stroke over 600,000 square feet of Class A, high-quality institutional industrial real estate in South Florida, those opportunities don’t come around that frequently.”

With these values, it’s not hard to see why other industrial real estate investors have made Miami a prime focus in their business plans. NYSE-listed real estate corporation Terreno has made Miami a cornerstone in its six-market strategy. 

“Terreno acquires, owns and operates industrial real estate in six major coastal US markets. Exclusively. Functional, flexible, infill real estate located at the intersection of growing demand and limited, or even shrinking, supply,” the company says on its website.

E-commerce is one of the reasons why industrial real estate close to the city limits is in such high demand in recent years. Miami is the sixth-most densely-populated city in the United States and the metropolitan area is home to over 6 million people. 

A 2017 study by San Francisco technology company Trove Technologies found that Florida is No. 1 for discretionary income in the South Atlantic region. Discretionary income is the amount left over after paying for the essentials such as rent and bills.

A huge captive population combined with sizeable disposable income is not only good news for e-commerce, but also for the US industrial real estate giants that are betting on the greater Miami area.


To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

Miami Dolphins Kick Off Season With New Training Complex, Partnerships, Roster Moves

By Yolanda Rivas

2 min read AUGUST 2019 — With a new head coach and a rebuild underway, the Miami Dolphins will field a re-tooled look when the NFL’s 100th season kicks off next week. That look extends beyond the players and coaches, with a new training complex in the works and fresh partnerships that emphasize community involvement and impact. 

The Dolphins recently broke ground on the $135 million state-of-the-art training complex and sports performance clinic in Miami Gardens. The facility, named Baptist Health Training Complex, is part of a multiyear partnership with Baptist Health that is projected to open in spring 2021. 

“The Baptist Health Training Complex will be a state-of-the-art football facility with Baptist Health providing a world-class sports performance clinic available to the public so people can have access to the same care the players get,” Miami Dolphins Chief Executive Officer Tom Garfinkel said in a written statement.

The 125,000-square-foot training facility and 92,200-square foot indoor field will be significantly larger than the team’s current facility. The complex will also house an innovation hub, a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy area, a dedicated recovery area that includes cryotherapy and isolation tanks, an athletic training room with an expansive rehabilitation space, meeting rooms, an outdoor practice area with two full natural-grass fields, full indoor practice facility and other amenities. 

Another significant announcement by the Dolphins and its FOOTBALL UNITES™ program was the partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) through Values Matter Miami, which promotes education and values among the city’s students. According to an official announcement, starting in September, the Dolphins will recognize a student each month who best exemplifies a specific value.

“The Miami Dolphins are proud to strengthen our relationship with M-DCPS by supporting the Values Matter Miami Program to directly impact the students of Miami-Dade County,” Jason Jenkins, Miami Dolphins’ senior vice president of communications and community affairs, said in a written statement about the partnership. 

These initiatives are part of the Dolphins goal to inspire a healthier, more educated and united South Florida community. 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

Miami Dolphins: 

Baptist Health: 

Miami-Dade County Public Schools: 

Values Matter Miami:

Lights, Cameras … Showcasing Miami’s Rich Movie History

Lights, Cameras … Showcasing Miami’s Rich Movie History

Writer: Yolanda Rivas

2 min read AUGUST 2019— Miami’s beautiful beaches, art-deco buildings and culturally diverse neighborhoods have been the setting for numerous movies and TV shows over the years. To showcase the city’s history in the film industry, Miami Beach recently launched its “Filmed on the Beach” interactive portal.

The digital film tour webpage features an in-depth look at the movies and shows shot on the island through the years. The portal features maps of South Beach, Mid Beach and North Beach that indicate locations where movies, TV shows and music videos have been shot. 

“We want our residents to better connect to our city’s history as well as inspire future filmmakers to follow in some of the famous footsteps,” Matt Kenny, the city’s director of tourism and culture, stated in a press release. “The interactive tool will be monumental in doing so and reminding individuals why Miami Beach was, and still remains, a cultural icon on the silver screen,” he said. 

Users can explore the locations, types of films and fun facts about each production by scrolling through key points of the city, marked with stars, on the interactive maps. South Beach is the neighborhood with the highest number of productions. This internationally recognized neighborhood has had a total of 32 productions.

In 1964, international attention descended on South Beach with Muhammad Ali’s famous 5th Street Gym and his upset victory over Sonny Liston at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Among the 1960s shoots that stand out are The Jackie Gleason Show TV series and the filming of Elvis Presley’s Clambake. In the 1980s, South Beach and Ocean Drive were transformed into magnets for film, advertising, fashion, art and culture with shows such as Miami Vice

Hollywood’s love for South Beach continued with movies such as Scarface, The Birdcage, the Bad Boys trilogy, TV shows such as The Assassination of Gianni Versace, Burn Notice and Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and numerous music videos.



Distinguished by its luxury hotels, Mid Beach has also been the setting for several films. Many of these notable movies took place around the Fontainebleau Miami Hotel, which according to Filmed on the Beach was the favorite hang-out of Frank Sinatra and served as the backdrop for his 1960 television special. The iconic scene of the golden-painted Bond Girl in 1964’s Goldfinger movie and scenes from Scarface and The Bodyguard were also filmed in the Fontainebleau. 

Last but not least, the beautiful North Beach, which is often a place to get away from the noise of South Beach, has attracted many movies and music video producers as well. Among the most iconic films recorded in the area: The Godfather II. The Beatles’ live performance on The Ed Sullivan Show was also shot here. According to Filmed on the Beach website, it is said that the Beatles spent eight days a week in Miami Beach. Bad Boys III, Bay Watch and music videos from the Jonas Brothers and Pitbull are some of the recently recorded productions in the area. 

To maintain this rich history of the local film industry, Miami’s Film Production Grant Program is offering grants for at least nine feature films, music videos, television shows, documentaries, short films and web series who choose to shoot in Miami Beach.  


To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

Filmed on the Beach: 

City of Miami Beach: 

Miami Beach Arts & Culture: 

Film Production Grant Program: 

Our Picks: Top 5 Miami Neighborhoods to Live, Work and Play

By Yolanda Rivas

2 min read AUGUST 2019 — With warm weather, a diverse population and a strategic location, Miami is a magnet for new residents. From luxury condos to mixed-use developments and single-family homes, the city’s residential sector remains strong. These are five thriving neighborhoods to live, work and play.


The popular art district is a must for many visitors. What once was an area with shuttered factories and warehouses is now recognized as a premier destination for arts, culture and innovation. Wynwood is home to over 400 businesses, including art galleries, antique shops, artisanal food and beverage restaurants and innovative companies. The neighborhood’s street art and hundreds of murals and graffiti are a main driver to the area. The 2018-19 Wynwood Market Report states both multifamily and office inventory in the Wynwood Business Improvement District market are poised to double over the next three years, as projects that are under construction are delivered.


Known as the financial district of Miami, Brickell has much more to offer than just business and office space. With many trendy bars and restaurants, hotels, condominiums and business opportunities, Brickell is among the fastest-developing areas in Miami. The opening of the $1.05-billion shopping and mixed-use Brickell City Centre in 2016 has been a catalyst for growth. The walkability in Brickell and access to the metromover are also some of the benefits for families and businesses in the area. 

“Brickell offers the ultimate live, work and play lifestyle. Apart from its walkability and nightlife, it also serves as a central point between the best Miami has to offer. It’s minutes from Coconut Grove, Key Biscayne, Wynwood and Miami Beach,” Diego Valencia, founder of, told Invest:.


Coconut Grove

Located south of Downtown Miami, Coconut Grove is a pedestrian- and bike-friendly neighborhood that is perfect for an escape from the city’s noise. It has been the sailing capital of Miami and it is known for its lush green landscape, bohemian setting and the beautiful Biscayne Bay waters. The renovation of the iconic, open-air mall CocoWalk is expected to attract national and international brands to the area. “The entire retail and office landscape of Coconut Grove is being redeveloped, and there are a significant number of baby boomers who are living in large homes and are reaching a stage in life where relocation makes sense. This creates opportunities for new buyers and developers,” Jay Phillip Parker, CEO of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, said in an interview with Invest:.



Located north of Downtown, next to Wynwood Arts District and south of the Design District, this neighborhood has great potential as a live, work, play community. Residential and office towers in the area have great views to Biscayne Bay and a strategic location near some main highways, major neighborhoods and arts and culture offerings. Property prices are usually lower than those in Miami Beach or Downtown and construction activity is on the rise.



Doral is one of the fastest-growing cities in Miami-Dade. The city’s population has grown 77% in the last eight years and is ranked No. 2 in Forbes Magazine’s America’s Top 25 Towns To Live Well, which cites the city’s cultural amenities, pro-business environment, and highly educated workforce. 

“Doral is one of the best locations to live, work and play. It has the parks, restaurants and amenities, and it’s located between the major highways and near the airport. A lot of major companies are headquartered in Doral, and many of the industrial players are located in the city as well. The government is very approachable and they understand business needs,” Rich Guertin, regional vice president of PS Business Parks, told Invest:.



To learn more about our interviewees, visit: 

Douglas Elliman Real Estate: 

PS Business Parks: 

Technology Shaping Healthcare Sector in Miami

By Yolanda Rivas

2 min read JULY 2019 — The health sector in Miami, already known for its positive outcomes, is banking on innovation and technology to keep its high ranking as a healthcare provider. Artificial intelligence, telemedicine, virtual reality, electronic medical records, digitized healthcare and blockchains are some of the advances that are transforming the industry. 

The Renfrew Center of Florida is among the local institutions integrating virtual therapy to improve access for patients. Virtual healthcare allows patients to communicate with out-of-town healthcare providers without the necessity of traveling. It represents a more affordable and convenient way to receive care. 

“Virtual therapy is an area of significant growth in the mental health field that allows us to reach people who live in areas where there aren’t therapists or treatment facilities for eating disorders,” Gayle Brooks, chief clinical officer at The Renfrew Center, told Invest:. 

The center recently launched a telehealth therapy group in Florida, which provides support to anyone in the state who is struggling with any eating disorder. “This program works for two types of people: those who come into that group and discover that they need a higher level of care, or those who use it as a tool for their continuing care after they receive a higher level of treatment,” Brooks explained. 

According to a Deloitte survey, 58–69% of physicians expect to increase their use of technology. Tenet Health’s Miami-Dade Group CEO Jeffrey Welch, in an interview with Invest:, emphasized the importance of technology to provide faster and more effective solutions that can lead to healthier individuals living in healthier communities. 

“Every one of our hospitals in the area has at least one robot that can be used for thoracic general surgery, gynecological and colorectal procedures,” Welch said. “The goal is to utilize technology to provide minimally invasive treatment options that can reduce recovery time and get people their lives back, so they can do what they love,” he added.

Accenture’s Digital Health Tech Vision 2019 report showed that 94% of healthcare executives say that the pace of innovation in their organization has accelerated over the past three years due to emerging technologies.

Health institutions, like Miami Jewish Health Systems, are also integrating innovative programs to improve the delivery of care. The Florida PACE Centers (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) is an example of how a diverse and innovative program can keep people out of institutions. 

“Miami Jewish Health has a reputation for being innovative in the delivery of healthcare for the elderly. Our PACE centers, which are responsible for the delivery of all primary, acute, long-term care and supportive services, continue to grow and expand,” Jeffrey Freimark, CEO of Miami Jewish Health Systems, told Invest:. 

Miami Jewish Health also has a major project underway called the S. Donald Sussman EmpathiCare Village, which will be wildly innovative in terms of its free-range open-living environment for patients with neurocognitive disorders.

According to Deloitte’s Healthcare and Life Sciences Predictions 2020 the top external factors that will shape the sector are: more informed and demanding patients, new business models due to digitized medicine, wearables and mHealth applications, Big Data and the influence of technology and science in regulations and patient safety. 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

The Renfrew Center: 

Tenet Health Miami-Dade Group: 

Miami Jewish Health: 

6 New Areas of Study You Didn’t Know Were in Miami

By Yolanda Rivas

2 min read JULY 2019 — Technology has reshaped not only how education is delivered but what courses are being taught, with universities and colleges revamping their curriculums to better prepare students with the skills employers demand. 

In Miami, local public and private higher education institutions have upgraded their academic offerings and have focused on working with local businesses to provide opportunities for more than a quarter-million students. 

Invest: Miami spoke with local leaders in the sector to get an update on their new offerings.

Florida International University (FIU)

FIU recently added a bachelor’s of science in the Internet of Things to provide knowledge and expertise in modern digital communication devices. It is also beginning to develop lifelong learner programs, including weekend, just-in-time and certificate programs related to technological and data-literacy development.

“Skill sets are increasingly becoming multidisciplinary in almost all areas. It’s a whole new world out there, and we want to make sure that our students are at the cutting edge of that,” said FIU President Mark Rosenberg, when he recently sat down with the Invest: Miami team.  

University of Miami Graduate school: 

UM Graduate School will add a degree program centered on climate change and health as part of a set of new interdisciplinary programs in the works. 

“We have to continue to push the envelope and be innovative. Educational programs tend to be concentrated, and I believe we need to continue developing interdisciplinary programs. We must give students an opportunity to practice some of their non-discipline-specific skills as well,” Guillermo “Willy” Prado, dean of UM Graduate School, said.

University of Miami Miller School of Medicine:

The school is revamping its curriculum to focus on using “entrustable professional activities” to determine the competency of a medical student, as opposed to the traditional four-year structure. The approach will allow students to complete an earlier transition from medical school to residency. 

“We are in the process of designing a Miller-specific curriculum that we believe will be the model that other institutions will mimic for years to come. There has been a lot of evolution in the field, and we believe we have an opportunity to innovate and help lead in that domain,” said Dr. Henri Ford, dean and chief academic officer of Miller School of Medicine, in an interview with Invest:. 

Miami Business School (MBS): 

MBS is starting a 10-month M.S. in sustainable business next August. “That will be the first STEM-certified M.S. in sustainable business degree in the country,” Dean of MBS John Quelch told Invest:.

University of Miami School of Law:

The law school established joint degrees with University of Miami schools covering at least 10 specialties. “We’re the most interdisciplinary unit within the university. Many of our curricular offerings and our rich, intensive clinical education program in various substantive areas such as human rights, immigration and environmental justice are deeply interdisciplinary,” Patricia White, dean of the University of Miami School of Law, told Invest:.

UM Division of Continuing & International Education:

UM Division of Continuing & International Education launched certificates in coding and cybersecurity as part of its academic focus on STEM. The division’s dean, Rebecca MacMillan Fox, told Invest: that both certificates “have exceeded our expectations for enrollment and industry demand.” 

The division is also launching a GPRO Certificate Program (Green Professional Building Skills Training) that is customized for the climate and regional needs of South Florida.


To learn more about our interviewees, visit their websites:

Florida International University (FIU): 

University of Miami Graduate School: 

University of Miami Miller School of Medicine: 

Miami Business School (MBS): 

University of Miami School of Law: 

UM Division of Continuing & International Education:

No Slowdown in Sight for Miami Construction

By Yolanda Rivas

2 min read JULY 2019— Employment in the U.S. construction sector continued to trend upward last month, with the addition of 21,000 new jobs, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The strength in the sector, reflected also in the latest Miami regional data, suggest the industry is not slowing as quickly as projected.

According to the most-recent BLS data for Miami, the construction industry added 5,100 jobs in May, a 3.7% year-on-year increase and above the 2.8% national figure for that month. The numbers aren’t surprising, given the amount of development in the Miami area.

“What has been impressive to me over the last year is the number of projects we have under construction,” Andrew Burnett, senior principal at Stantec Architecture, told Invest:. “We have around 26 to 30 projects that are either in construction or looking to start construction next year. A large percentage of them are mixed-use residential, and we’re not only providing architecture and interior design services but often engineering and MEP (Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing) as well.”

As stated in Invest: Miami 2019, residential development remains the top driver of construction in Miami. Although there has been a slight slowdown in the condo market, some experts expect the strong performance to continue.

“I see the right projects and developments continuing to thrive,” Manny Varas, president and CEO of MV Group, told Invest:. “Buyers are taking their time to make better decisions. They’re seeking out developers with strong track records as well as the quality of interiors and finishes that they’re looking for and can count on,” he said.  

In 2018, Miami ranked among the Top 10 U.S. metropolitan areas for commercial and multifamily construction starts, according to Dodge & Data Analytics. The construction in Miami’s residential real estate is characterized by the trend of continued foreign investment in high-profile luxury condos.

Another area with strong demand is infrastructure construction, according to Luis Lugo, Hill International’s senior vice president and regional manager for the Southeast U.S. and Latin America. For example, Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale International Airport, will soon start major expansion and modernization projects and the Miami-Dade Transit SMART program is expected to start construction activity soon. 

“We also do a lot of work with the hospitality industry. We’re building about a dozen hotels throughout the region. That’s a big market for us, and it’s a space in which we excel,” Lugo said. 

Despite speculation about a national economic slowdown, the outlook for Miami’s construction sector is positive. “The market will continue to be strong. A little slowdown is expected, but construction is going to pick up in 2019 and beyond,” Lugo said. 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit their websites:

Stantec Architecture: 

MV Group: 

Hill International: 

Miami Banks Leading Tech Charge

By Yolanda Rivas

July 2019

2 min read  — Advances in technology are having a dramatic influence in the banking sector across the globe. Innovations are impacting the delivery of products and services, making the banking process faster, easier and more reliable. Customer satisfaction and increased competition are driving the tech push, and there is more on the horizon.

“We are changing our core banking system and investing more than $25 million to make that change. It’s an important step for us because we know technology will be the driving force to our growth in the future,” Fernando Beyruti, CEO of Itau Private Bank, told Invest:. 

An article from Bank Innovation explains that banks are spending more than $100 million to replace their aging core systems. Advances in blockchain technology, IoT, fintech, online banking and robotics have helped many financial institutions improve efficiency and accessibility. 

The investment isn’t just to make banking easier now, it is also part of the future. Technology is an integral part of City National Bank’s five-year plan. “We will invest over $15 million in digital transformation for the organization. This will ensure that we continue to be innovative as well as impactful through improving our client experience,” President and CEO Jorge Gonzalez told Invest:.  

Many financial institutions are also partnering with financial technology (fintech) groups to improve their offerings. According to a 2017 report from multinational professional services network PwC, 82% of financial leaders expect to increase fintech partnerships in the next three to five years. 

Cybersecurity and fraud detection are other areas where technology is playing a key role. “When we invest in technology we are also investing in strengthening our cybersecurity,” Gonzalez stated. The investment is not just in the technology, but also in bringing in the right people who have the experience and talent to be able to instill their knowledge throughout the organization,” he said. 

In that regard, First American Bank recently created a senior-level position — information security officer — whose role is to train employees and allocate resources in preparation for possible cyberattacks. “Security threats are on the rise, forcing us to be mindful that our information can be compromised at any time. Through back-room investments and increased training, we are taking the necessary precautions to reduce risk by educating our employees as well as our customers,” Brian Hagan, Florida Market President for First American Bank, told Invest:. 

Although technology adoption can be a challenge for some financial institutions, especially smaller banks that do not have the financial capacity to keep up with the latest innovations, ultimately it can provide a cost-savings. “I think all of us as a banking community in Miami are saddled with compliance concerns. But I think that, with technology, those kinds of costs can be reduced gradually while still maintaining the kind of vigilance that we have to have. There’s a good opportunity for our industry here,” G. Frederick Reinhardt, Chairman and CEO of Brickell Bank, stated in an Interview with Invest:. 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit their websites:

Itau Private Bank:

City National Bank: 

First American Bank: 

Brickell Bank: 


Bank Innovation: 

Southern Command’s Economic Impact in the Region

By Yolanda Rivas

July 2019

2 min read — The U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) moved its headquarters to Miami almost 22 years ago with revised priorities, objectives and capabilities. Since then, the command has had a significant impact on the local economy.


According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, by 2017, SOUTHCOM had a combined economic impact in Miami-Dade of 53,151 jobs. It also had $5.4 billion in sales, a gross regional product of $5.1 billion and a 4% of total gross product since 2011. 

SOUTHCOM is one of 10 unified Combatant Commands in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). And it is responsible for providing contingency planning, operations, and security cooperation in its area of responsibility, which covers much of the Western Hemisphere. It includes Central America, South America and the Caribbean (except U.S. commonwealths, territories, and possessions) and encompasses 31 countries and 16 dependencies and areas of special sovereignty. 

Although the command was given its current name in 1963, its history as a unified military headquarters began during World War II, with the establishment of the U.S. Caribbean Defense Command, located in Panama. It was in September 1997 when the SOUTHCOM moved to Miami. 

The command is now responsible for employing over 1,200 military and civilian personnel representing the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and several other federal agencies. The defense industry has an economic impact of $5.5 billion on Miami-Dade County and it supports 56,476 jobs with an average salary of $70,300, according to data from Miami Dade Beacon Council. 

The SOUTHCOM has played a key role on the overall defense industry impact in the county. Raymond Sarracino, spokesperson from U.S. Southern Command Public Affairs, explained in an interview with Miami Today that “in addition to salary, he or she (military active duty) will also receive $3,000 a month tax free for living expenses, which definitely plays a role in the economic impact of the community.”

The command’s workforce is supported by more than 400 civilian employees who play a crucial role in SOUTHCOM’s efforts to support security and stability in the region. They also have a Public / Private Cooperation (PPC) program which integrates non-governmental organizations, private companies, academic institutions, or other qualifying groups to foster society solutions for 21st century challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

For more information, please visit:

U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM): 

U.S. Department of Defense: 

Miami Dade Beacon Council: 

SOUTHCOM Public / Private Cooperation (PPC) program: