Miami: Tech Hub (Maybe)
Assume that there’s a tech boom coming to South Florida (it’s a thought experiment like Einstein used to do, only about real estate). Does Miami have what it takes to accommodate growth in that industry? JLL SVP Donald Cartwright, whose leasing bailiwick is the Southeast Financial Center, argues yes, even in the CDB and Brickell, which are better known these days for conservative-in-their-space-choices law and financial firms. Donald (snapped with colleague Nicole Vassilaros) predicts a wave of repurposing of existing spaces in the CBD to accommodate tech and creative employees as Millennials flood the labor market, and want to be in South Florida. That demographic is projected to represent 50% of the tech industry workforce by 2020.
In a recent study JLL cited five new US tech frontiers: Detroit, Charlotte, LA Westside, Indianapolis--and South Florida. Microsoft’s announcement of its first US-based Innovation Center at the Downtown incubator Venture Hive focused the industry’s attention on this part of the country, for one thing. More than that, tech companies with an international outlook are coming here for our access to Latin American markets and bilingual professionals, says Donald, adding that Miami’s becoming more attractive to large tech companies because of the CBD's evolution into more of a 24-hour city.