Philly Legal: These Sectors Are on the Right Side of the Law

by Yolanda Rivas

2 min read SEPTEMBER 2019 — Over the last few years, Philadelphia’s legal sector has seen a steady flow of law firms entering the market as well as local firms expanding in and outside the region. As the market gets more concentrated, many firms are betting on key growth areas to expand their practices. 

According to Invest: interviews with leading legal voices in the Philly area, health and life sciences, technology, real estate and finance are some of the sectors keeping attorneys busy. With a diverse business ecosystem in Philadelphia, firms like Zarwin Baum DeVito Kaplan Schaer Toddy, P.C. are experiencing high demand in commercial business, especially in the areas of banking, leasing, real estate financing and real estate development.

“We also have seen growth in our employment practices area, in part due to the #MeToo movement, which is generating many more workplace claims. Commercial litigation is also a growth area for us,” Mitchell Kaplan, managing shareholder at Zarwin Baum, told Invest:. “But we are currently seeing the most growth in our data privacy and cyber-liability department. That department gets involved in the training of businesses to prevent data leaks and breaches. We provide training, prevention and breach response,” Kaplan said. 

Similarly, St. Louis-based Armstrong Teasdale LLP is growing its intellectual property presence in Philadelphia as a result of the increasing demand in technology litigation around the country. “Intellectual property services, whether it be trademark, patents or copyrights, are required by any business. We support our clients with many trademark and retail issues. For example, in the science, healthcare and pharmaceutical fields, we do a lot of patents and protection of intellectual property. There is high demand for intellectual property services in Philly,” Armstrong Teasdale’s Eastern U.S. Partner and Leader Richard Scheff said in an interview with Invest:. 

According to an article from The Legal Intelligencer, Pennsylvania-based firms saw demand growth of 2.6 percent last year, slightly above the industry average of 2.3 percent. One of the benefits of Philadelphia’s legal sector is the presence of 20 Fortune 500 companies and over 75 Fortune 1000 companies. 

Besides technology and intellectual property services, financial institutions and real estate companies are particularly robust areas for Philadelphia’s legal sector. “Blank Rome’s Real Estate and Financial Services practices are very strong, particularly in Philadelphia. Both continue to be core areas of our law firm with a strong national presence,” Alan J. Hoffman, chairman at Blank Rome LLP, told Invest:.

Finance and technology also form part of Duane Morris LLP’s Top 5 sectors in terms of revenue and areas of focus. “About 85% of our revenue is in the following industries: financial institutions, health and life sciences, technology and telecommunications, infrastructure (including construction and energy) and finally, retail and consumer products. Those areas are our focus across the firm and in Philadelphia, which is our largest office with over 200 lawyers,” Matthew Taylor, chairman & CEO at Duane Morris LLP, told Invest: 

Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group’s Q2 2019 report projects a good year in 2019 relative to earlier post-recession years, although it will be a challenge for the industry to see a repeat of 2018’s strong performance.

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

Zarwin Baum DeVito Kaplan Schaer Toddy, P.C.: 

Armstrong Teasdale LLP: 

Blank Rome LLP: 

Duane Morris LLP: 

Miami is a prime destination for new food & beverage concepts

By staff writer

June 2019


Miami’s food and beverage sector is known for its diversity, and 2019 is expected to buttress that reputation, with numerous high-profile restaurants set to spice up the local scene. The arrival of international eateries that are making Miami their first U.S. location is also helping to prop up the economy.

“The tremendous growth we’ve observed (in the real estate market) can be attributed in part to the fact that Miami has become much more important culturally than it ever has been. Even in terms of restaurants, this market never had the selection it now has,” Jackie Soffer, CEO and chairman of real estate development group Turnberry Associates told Invest:. “For instance, we just opened a restaurant in the Aventura Mall with Ayesha Curry and Michael Mina, both well-known, nationally acclaimed chefs, called International Smoke,” she said. 

Restaurants are a driving force not only in Miami, but in Florida’s economy. According to a report from the National Restaurant Association, restaurant and food service jobs represent 12% of employment in the state. 

One of the most anticipated openings for fall 2019 is Orilla Bar & Grill, by Argentine chef Fernando Trocca. This will be the popular Argentine restaurant’s first location in the U.S. Trocca partnered with bartender Ines De Los Santo and restaurateur Martin Pittaluga, according to an article in Eater Miami. 

Esplanade at Aventura, an open-air shopping, dining and entertainment complex under construction, recently announced five restaurants that will debut their first U.S locations there. These eateries, which are set to open in spring 2020, are: Carolo and Blanco Bistro, both from Mexico; Jarana, the newest restaurant concept from Peruvian celebrity chef Gastón Acurio; SU Japanese, based on Brazilian-based restaurant Kitchin; and Mixtura Market Hall, which is the first food hall announced for the complex. Miami’s rich dining landscape offers options for every type of flavor, from Latin American to Pan-asian, Caribbean to Middle Eastern,

“There’s high demand in the restaurant industry: The Miami Modern (MiMo) area is continually growing and the whole Biscayne Corridor is changing because of its proximity to key areas such as the beach and downtown,” Michelle Gonzalez, Broker/Owner of Floridian First Realty, told Invest:. “There are other areas such as Kendall and Homestead that have space for growing their culinary offerings and where we’ll definitely see more restaurants opening up.” 

Gonzalez added that trendy restaurant concepts, such as juice bars and cafes, new hotels and breweries, are also reshaping Downtown Miami, including its look and feel. 

For more information about our interviewees, please visit: 

Turnberry Associates:

Floridian First Realty:

National Restaurant Association:


Experience Aventura Mall

By staff writer

March 2019

With over 300 stores ranging from luxury retail to mass market, an onsite resort and golf course, seemingly limitless dining options and museum-quality art, it should come as no surprise that the Aventura Mall ranked number two on Travel + Leisure’s list of “America’s Most Visited Shopping Malls.”

The mall is the largest in Florida, and with a whopping 28 million annual visitors, it is a testament to the value of experiential retail and how it can be utilized to draw in customers and capital.

As the e-commerce industry continues to rise nationally, malls such as Aventura highlight the value behind experiential retail — i.e., offering customers a multifaceted and immersive retail setting that allows them to do much more than simply shop.

“The stores that need to be experiential tend to cater to the higher-end demographic. Cocowalk and the Aventura Mall’s expansions are examples of this,” explained Hue Chen, president of Saglo Development, in a recent conversation with Invest: Miami. “Retailers need to continue to add to their offerings in ways that make their businesses unique to their customers. It’s important to be memorable.”

What sets the Aventura Mall apart from other large, experiential malls is its emphasis on sophistication and cultural enrichment.

“The Collection,” a collection of sculptures and art installations found throughout the mall, showcases work from world-renowned international and local artists such as Robert Indiana, Claire Fontaine and Brian Butler. The Collection is so expansive that visitors can sign up for guided tours of the mall to learn more about the art featured.

In addition to art, visitors to the mall can take advantage of its many events scheduled throughout the year, ranging from fashion shows, to launch events for major clothing brands such as Lacoste, to food festivals.

As if the mall wasn’t already well equipped to attract tourists, there is also a luxury hotel — the JW Marriott Turnberry Resort and Spa — onsite that offers a golf course and free transportation for visitors to and from the site.

When Invest: Miami spoke with Jackie Soffer, CEO and chairman of Turnberry Associates and principal owner of the Aventura Mall, she highlighted the mall as one of the reasons Aventura itself has become a “well-known shopping destination” that continues to draw in vacationers.

“Weve grown the mall, which is now easily one of the top malls in the country and has over the years changed for the better in terms of its sophistication and quality of tenants,” Soffer told Invest:. “We are continuing to expand Aventura with plans for new hotels and an office building.”

The mall expanded in 2017 and opened a new three-level wing that features retail outlets such as Zara and Topshop Topman, as well as modern architecture by Carlos Zapata. This speaks volumes for the innovative and forward-thinking nature of the Aventura Mall and its leaders, as that same year 7,000 malls closed their doors nationwide. There’s no question the nature of American retail is changing, but the Aventura Mall is staying well ahead of the game!

To learn more about the mall and its offerings, as well as our interviewees, visit the following websites:

Aventura Mall:
Turnberry Associates:
Saglo Development:


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.