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June 5, 2014
Meet Karyl Argamasilla, Miami CREW Prez
In the summer of 2001, Karyl Argamasilla had just passed the bar and been on job interviews with a number of major South Florida law firms, many of which seemed interested. She had, she tells us, a lot of options at that moment. Then came hiring freezes in the wake of 9/11.
The freezes were only temporarily, but they indirectly led Karyl to a job with a boutique real estate firm that was hiring an attorney. (There's an old saying our grandmother used to share: "When life closes a door, go work at a boutique real estate firm.") Thus she was doing hands-on real estate tasks that she might not have experienced at a large law firm until years had passed. She also found her professional passion in real estate law. The legal aspects of putting deals together—acquisition or development or finance—are endlessly fascinating, she says. These days Karyl's of counsel at Bilzin Sumberg, in its Miami office. Karyl took a selfie recently with students at Young Women's Preparatory Academy, whom she mentors.
Karyl first got involved with CREW Miami in earnest in 2006. By 2010, she was on the board of directors, she became chapter president at the beginning of this year, when CREW Miami is poised to host the org's national convention (in late September/early October, when everyone in the country is starting to remember that summer ends, so maybe they should go somewhere that it doesn't). CREW has an important role in professional networking, and raising the visibility of women in a traditionally, and still largely, male industry, she explains. But it's also important in introducing the profession to a new generation. This year CREW introduced two new levels of membership for new entrants: Student (for those studying real estate), and Associate (for professionals with less than two years' experience in the biz). Snapped: Karyl and May's luncheon panel.
CREW Miami has started a number of initiatives to attract, or at least introduce, young women to the industry. CREW Careers, for instance, is a program that mentors girls in middle- and high school, essentially letting them know that such a career is possible. “We talk to them about commercial real estate, which is a world they usually don't know anything about,” Karyl says, "and we have ongoing relationships with some of the students." CREW Miami also does U CREW twice a year, with Florida International University in the spring, and the University of Miami in the fall, providing professional information to older students. Snapped: a CREW Miami fishing crew.
Top Off! Break Ground!
South Florida development in a word: busy. This week saw another topping off, at Elan 16Forty, a 261-unit apartment project in Downtown Fort Lauderdale by Greystar that will be complete in September. The project has been on a fast-track delivery schedule, with Stiles Construction as the GC. More than 400 workers gathered to for a BBQ lunch and the raising of the evergreen.
Before you top off, you have to break ground (anyone who tried to top off first learned a hard lesson about gravity), and there's plenty of that going on in South Florida, too. Yesterday a JV between West Palm Beach's Eastview Development and NYC-based GTIS Partners turned some shovels for Biscayne Beach, a 399-unit condo in East Edgewater. The 51-story tower will “bring the beach” to the city's core with a private members-only Beach Club overlooking Biscayne Bay. Cervera Real Estate is handling the sales.
Miami Hits the Beach (With a Book)
Miami's the second-best read city in the nation, according to retail behemoth Amazon, which ranked cities of more than 100,000 by the sales of books, newspapers, and magazines (including paper and electronic versions). Only Alexandria, Va, tops Miami in that regard, with Knoxville coming in third and Amazon's hometown of Seattle fourth. A lot of other Florida cities were in the top 20: Orlando, Gainesville, Clearwater, and Tallahassee. What's your summer reading? Tell us at email@example.com
YOU TELL US: A Microunit Revolution?
Tiny apartment units are popping up all over, already making waves in cities like San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, New York City, Boston, and DC. Developers say they're the perfect abode for Millennials and people who land in cities with a suitcase, laptop, iPhone, and not much else (your dreams don't need much space), and projects being built are getting gobbled up fast. But naysayers foresee a backlash against the small units, arguing the cost to custom-build a livable unit makes it not such an affordable proposition. We'd love to hear what you think: Are microunits the future of multifamily? Click our survey above to tell us your thoughts, and we'll publish results in a future issue. Also, check out our feature on microunits in our National Real Estate issue.
Throw back the little ones, and pan-fry the big ones. Send ideas and suggestions and book suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org