In terms of Asia, with the construction of CityCentre and the proposed construction from Genting (which purchased The Miami Herald property with plans for a major resort), we are seeing top-level capital being invested into our city. Both CityCentre and Genting stem from the Far East, and will be PR drivers that will attract other brands and capital to our city. I also feel investments from Asia will follow along after these groups once [there are] more direct flights and increased import-export trade, due to the Panama Canal [and] Miami Tunnel expansion.
Q: Do you expect banks will begin lending again on condominium construction?
Already at some of the projects we are currently selling, lenders are offering financing, yet they are being extremely conservative. Banks are seeking opportunities to participate in the new wave of development, especially due to the deposit structures, requiring up to 70 percent down to close.
As the economy continues to stabilize, we will see more activity from lenders.
Q: What do you think Miami will be like in five years?
Hopefully, we will be hosting the Olympics! I think Miami is going to be a beautiful, exciting city — especially due to the large number of improvements currently underway, such as the Miami Science Museum and the Art Museum. Retail locations will also catch up in a lot of the residential buildings.
Major developments like CityCentre will help Miami mature — similar to an adult who becomes more comfortable in his or her own skin as one ages. Certainly the city is going to be more pedestrian and mass-transit friendly, and I am counting on an influx of sustainable development and dedicated green spaces.
Q: What are the biggest risks to Miami’s recovering housing market?
The global economy is our largest risk. Miami is often insulated from our domestic economic shifts when compared to other metropolitan cities in the United States. Miami is greatly interdependent on economies throughout the world, especially Latin American countries.