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Live-work-play? More employees opting to live closer to workplaces

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This week’s question to South Florida CEOs who are on the Miami Herald CEO Roundtable: Real estate developers constantly talk about the importance of live-work-play communities. Have you seen a growing number of employees opting to live closer to their workplace in order to avoid commute times?

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While I’m aware of some of our employees opting to live closer to work, on a personal basis, I know many people who, after becoming empty nesters, have opted to move closer to their workplaces in downtown locations.

John Benz, president, CEO, Community Care Plan

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We believe that most employees value greatly the proximity to their workplace because of our very dense traffic. Also, our organization prioritizes in offering work to those who live closer to our place of business. Work proximity and employee retention are closely tied together.

Armando Caceres, CEO, founder, All Florida Paper

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Absolutely. Many of our younger employees live in Brickell and walk to work. Downtown Miami has become a very attractive place to live.

Kelly-Ann Cartwright, executive partner, Holland & Knight Miami chair of the firm’s Directors Committee

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The live-work-play community philosophy is optimal, but a little challenging to pull off for people already established either in their careers or in their family life. That being said, for those who are just starting (or starting over), there is much to gain from spending less time commuting and more time developing their professional life or enjoying their personal life.

Ralph De La Rosa, president, CEO, Imperial Freight

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We offer all Al-Farooq Corporation employees the flexibility to come in early or arrive later to avoid hectic commute times. That said, about half of our employees live relatively close by.

Jalal Farooq, principal, Al-Farooq Corporation

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Our faculty, students, and staff commute to our campuses from across the South Florida tricounty region. We recognize that some commutes are extensive and we offer flexible work arrangements and encourage the use of technology to allow for modified work schedules. In addition, the university offers a Public Transit Program, which can also reduce commute time and bypass congested roadways.

Dr. Julio Frenk, president, University of Miami

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Employees are moving closer to work to avoid commute times whenever possible.

Kaizad Hansotia, founder, CEO, Gurkha Cigars

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Absolutely. Employees want to work closer to home in order to maintain a better work life balance. A shorter commute means more time for family, friends, errands, exercise, etc. Not to mention, avoiding the stress that comes with South Florida traffic.

Javier Holtz, chairman, CEO, Marquis Bank

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We recently moved our office from Miami Beach to Coconut Grove, one of the main reasons being so that employees are closer to work. Most Mast Capital employees have benefited from much shorter commutes, and others are electing to move closer. Live-work-play communities continue to attractively lease and create demand as individuals value their time above all else.

Camilo Miguel Jr., founder, CEO, Mast Capital

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Conceptually, live-work-play communities offer a great lifestyle and can be beneficial to individuals, businesses and the overall economy. Specific to CCHS, a high population of our associates live in Broward, with more than a quarter of those living in Sunrise, where we are headquartered. While commute times do weigh heavily on the minds of most Associates, much of the new residential construction in the Greater Sunrise area are condominiums and we have yet to see a meaningful shift to these communities.

Steve Upshaw, CEO, Cross Country Home Services

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Meet the new members of our CEO Roundtable

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