For me, building and design were the main course, appetizer and dessert growing up.
VITALS 48; born in Buenos Aires; the eldest of three children to Ricardo, an architect, and Marta, an opinionated architect both of whom often took their son with them to the construction sites on which they worked; holds a masters degree in architecture from the Universidad de Buenos Aires and a masters in Real Estate Development and Finance from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); married for 12 years to Estefanía, also an architect; father of 11-year-old Lorenzo, 9-year-old Federico, 7-year-old Santos and 5-year-old Antonia, the brat of the house who drives her brothers crazy.
CLAIM TO FAME As President of the Condominium Division for The Related Group, one of Miamis most prolific residential development companies, hes been a key force behind many of the iconic condo towers that have transformed South Floridas skyline. Its been amazing to see how much Miami has matured over the last 10 years, he said. I really do think its on its way to becoming one of the great cities of the world.
NEXT ON THE HORIZON Were doing more and more international work. We have two projects in São Paulo, and are getting ready to launch another project in Mexico, and one in Panama. Every Latin American would love to have a bit of Miami in their own country, so were kind of feeding into that.
FIRST JOB EVER I delivered newspapers from my bicycle in Buenos Aires. Then, at 15, my parents sent me to work in a supermarket as a bag boy, and later as an office boy at my fathers firm. They were trying to teach me that to live well you have to work hard.
EARLY INCLINATIONS I lived in a house designed by my parents. Our summer home was designed by my parents. We had a library filled with books about architecture. Both of my parents taught architecture at the university. For me, building and design were the main course, appetizer and dessert growing up.
GLOBAL ADVENTURES After my last year in college, I did a summer internship at a company in Belgium. I wound up staying on with them for 10 years. I was in Belgium for a year, and then was sent to Dubai to work on the building of the airport there. Then they moved me to Cairo, and then to Abu Dhabi. For a while, I was the Indiana Jones of development.
COMING TO AMERICA While working at the Belgian company, I saw that the guys who made most of the decisions were the developers. Thats what I wanted to do! But I needed to learn more about finance and how to structure deals, so I moved to the United States, to Boston, to go to MIT, where I could study real estate development.
COMING TO MIAMI I remember the first weekend we were here. It was 2002 and I said to my wife, lets go downtown. We drove around and the place was deserted. I compare it to what it is today and its just an incredible evolution.
MOST IMPORTANT INFLUENCE Professionally, its definitely been Jorge Pérez. I interviewed him for my MIT thesis, half hoping that he would hire meand he did! I admire him for his strength and perseverance because he could have stopped working a long time ago. Hes not about the next building or the next million; hes about trying to push Miami, about making it grow into a great city. He is a true urban optimist.
HOW A CONDO KING LIVES I live in South Miami on an acre of land. Its near Old Cutler, which is one of the most beautiful roads Ive ever seen. Every morning, I feel blessed to drive under those old banyan trees. We have a 5,000-square-foot home where my kids can run around in the garden and play. And we have a lot of asados there too.
305 ROOTS What keeps me rooted here is a sense that I have found a place where I can grow. I planted my roots here and put my feet in the sand. Im not moving anywhere else. Miami is my town.