Having just joined Swire from their Hong Kong headquarters, what can you tell us about Miami’s similarities and differences?
Hong Kong is geographically predisposed to be the trade link with China and the rest of the world. You have the protection of Hong Kong with rule of law as well as the professional services that trade requires. It is a great place to be headquartered while you are doing business in China or other parts of Asia. Similarly, Miami is the interface between U.S. and Central and Latin America. It is in a country with reliable laws as well as providing professional service infrastructure – legal, accounting, management consultancy – that a global company would expect. Much like Miami, Hong Kong has one of the busiest ports and airports, serving as an Asian transportation hub, as Miami is for Latin America. They are both geographically well positioned. In Hong Kong, you can quickly reach China, Singapore and Thailand, while in Miami, you can reach New York or Buenos Aires daily.
Brickell City Centre’s Phase One was released in 2017. How have sales for the tower performed?
The buyer profile remains largely overseas, but the mix is forever changing. We have seen a lot of Argentinean and Venezuelan interest, with a slight decline from Brazil. While those interested in buying are still representative of a largely international market, we are beginning to see more interest from people living in New York who are looking for an urban center with a beach. The market, has definitely slowed. There is a whole host of reasons why, from a strong U.S. dollar to political uncertainty in the region. However, what we are seeing, is just a pause for breath, which is healthy for the market. I don’t think there will be a large-scale correction because you can see the breaks already being applied.