What does RCC Associates say about Miami?

Invest: Miami speaks to Beverly Raphael, President and Co-founder

When I moved to Florida in 1981, the Miami Design District had just a couple of furniture showrooms. Now, it’s become the SoHo of Miami with high-end shopping destinations like Hublot, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Bvlgari and Tom Ford. Watching it develop has been nothing short of spectacular.

More recently, we completed a three-story Harry Winston store in the Design District and are building two restaurants at Brickell City Centre. One measure of this market’s rapid growth can be seen in the fact that competition in the construction sector today is more intense than ever. Developers and general contractors from the U.S. Northeast have seen what’s happening in Miami and want to get a piece of it. They’ve opened satellite offices here, driving prices up. These developers are taking exciting risks and the high-end residential products they are introducing are giving Miami a posh feel, different from anywhere else in Florida. We’ve also seen an evolution in the aesthetic preferences of retailers. For instance, a lot of European designs are moving from an “Old World” look to a much more contemporary and minimalistic look with clean, straight lines.

Retailers and restaurateurs are trying to create designs that aren’t “cookie-cutter,” looking here and abroad for new concepts. We are also seeing big players entering the retail space; in Downtown Miami, Forbes is helping develop the mega mixed use project Miami Worldcenter, bringing together great shopping, entertainment and restaurants. RCC Associates has responded to this market demand for high-quality retail, restaurant and entertainment spaces. Five years ago, we built Zuma, which continues to be one of the top restaurants in Miami.

Looking ahead, we will continue to benefit from the influx of European, Asian and Latin American money, and I’m confident in the opportunity here. Miami has seen recessions over the years, and it always comes back stronger. We haven’t seen the bulk of the growth yet. This is just the beginning.

What does Perry Ellis International say about Miami?

Invest: Miami speaks to Oscar Feldenkreis, CEO

Today’s retail landscape is dramatically evolving and companies need to quickly adapt. Perry Ellis is no exception. For instance, more consumers—including many millennials—shop online, rather than visiting a store. We continue to increase our investments in web-based retailing and direct-to-consumer advertising, one of our fastest-growing businesses.

Recognizing that reduced spending by foreign tourists, given the strengthening of the U.S. dollar, has impacted retailers, we have weighted our retail strategy toward local consumers. We have also accelerated our calendar to bring our products to market earlier, ensuring they are relevant to consumers’ changing tastes.

As a global firm with roots in this community, we are optimistic about Miami’s future. Our evolution from a family-founded company to a publicly-traded corporation has coincided with Miami-Dade’s evolution into a thriving international city. We are committed to investing in this community, as demonstrated by the recent 40,000-square-foot expansion of our corporate headquarters in Doral.

Our Hispanic heritage, and the fact that our headquarters is based in the predominantly Hispanic Miami-Dade market, gives us an advantage in terms of knowing the preferences and tastes of Hispanic consumers. These insights allow us to educate our retail partners on how best to capture market share in this fast-growing demographic.

A challenge facing Miami pertains to talent cultivation. Perry Ellis has endeavored to address this by bringing on a chief talent officer and by partnering with local universities to train their graduates at our facilities. Plus, our executives teach classes and are guest speakers at local design schools.

While we have offices in New York, Portland and Los Angeles, Miami is our home, and we look forward to fortifying our presence here. Miami shows much cultural potential, as demonstrated by the growth of retail centers such as the Miami Design District, and art institutions like the Perez Art Museum Miami. We believe these developments will drive Miami to become a significant national and international fashion city.

What does CREC say about Miami?

Invest: Miami speaks to Carol Brooks, President and Co-founder

This is an exciting time for Miami’s retail market, as national and international brands are expanding their presence, and new mixed-use developments, mega malls and neighborhood centers will create new investment opportunities. But the Miami-Dade market is still under-retailed based on its urban and suburban population (2.6 million) and the more than 14 million visitors who travel to Miami and spend more than $23 billion annually. In fact, Miami has become one of the world’s premier shopping destinations, particularly for luxury brands.

The rise of the luxury segment in Miami-Dade’s retail market has resulted in escalating rental rates in high-demand areas like Lincoln Road and Wynwood. While rents were $100 to $150 per square foot five years ago on Lincoln Road, today they are $300 per square foot. More luxury retail space is being developed in the Miami Design District, Brickell City Centre and Mediterranean Village in Coral Gables.

Meanwhile, investors and property owners are transforming existing retail complexes into lifestyle centers infused with local character that satisfy consumers’ craving for unique shopping and dining experiences. Because Miami-Dade is such a diverse region, with varied neighborhoods and communities, there is a wide range of new construction and redevelopment opportunities to cater to this sophisticated retail market. In the grocery segment, there are now multiple options for an anchor tenant. Whole Foods, Fresh Market and other high-quality national chains are looking to expand and other brands have recently entered with plans for growth, such as Trader Joe’s, Earth Fare and Lucky’s Market.

While Miami is steadily becoming a more urban hub, infrastructure and transportation improvements are needed to make this a reality. In the next three to five years, Miami’s growth as a retail destination will be felt from its urban core to its most popular suburbs. Instilling local character into a lifestyle retail center or mall has the power to lure new tenants and draw consumers, and as a result, investors will be able to maximize asset value and help tenants achieve long-term success.

 A new urban retail

 A new urban retail

Swire Properties President Stephen Owens discusses the evolution of the urban retail experience in Miami-Dade

How will Brickell City Centre contribute to Miami-Dade’s retail landscape?
Brickell City Centre will transform the retail industry in Miami by offering something that does not yet exist. Currently, there is no place downtown where young people can come together and get a full retail experience that includes shopping, dining and nightlife. Brickell City Centre will introduce an urban mall to the area.
Another innovation we are bringing is integrating our building with public transportation. With Brickell City Centre, we are developing three blocks of retail and connecting all of it using bridges above and below the street that allow people to move more easily within the area, without taking any land away from the public or blocking any streets. At the same time, we keep consumers immersed in the retail experience as we will be placing different vendor experiences those walkways. We have also utilized underground parking, which will be well-lit so shoppers feel safe, and situated the project next to the Metromover to facilitate easy access. Our goal is to make the retail experience a positive one that seamlessly integrates with the urban lifestyle.
 
Swire Properties is based in Hong Kong. What features of the Asian retail experience is Swire bringing to Miami? 
Hong Kong is similar to Miami in that both cities are high-density and nearly all development happens near the water. We have applied a number of features prominent in our Hong Kong and mainland China developments, particularly when it comes to our focus on vertical transportation (elevators) and integrating retail and commerce with public transit. We have one of the highest ratios of vertical transportation of any project ever built in the U.S. – and that is about getting people up and down quickly, safely and comfortably.
How will mixed-use developments contribute to the evolution of Miami-Dade’s retail landscape?
In the U.S. mixed-use developments have been around for 30 to 40 years, but are taking off in Miami recently, as witnessed by the emergence of Brickell City Centre. One factor is simply the population growth of downtown – more and more young professionals have moved in and they tend not to use cars. The current retail centers in the county are in suburban malls; there is nothing to speak of within the urban centers. In part, this gap existed because of the relatively low number of residents in the urban core. Eventually, we had Bayside Marketplace – though that catered primarily to tourists – and then Aventura Mall, Lincoln Road and Bal Harbour Shops started to take off, as well, bringing luxury brands into this market. Yet we were still lacking a strong retail offering in the center of the urban core and because of the density, a mixed-use development made the most sense.