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FIU renames think tank for billionaire real estate developer after $1 million gift

Jorge Perez, namesake of the Perez Art Museum Miami, has created the Perez Prize for a contemporary artists.
Jorge Perez, namesake of the Perez Art Museum Miami, has created the Perez Prize for a contemporary artists.

Billionaire developer Jorge Pérez has left his mark on the Miami skyline, building more than 90,000 apartments in Miami since his Related Group opened up in 1979.

Now, his name will adorn a different kind of building: Florida International University’s Metropolitan Center, which will now be known as the Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center following a $1 million endowment from the Related Philanthropic Foundation.

The urban think tank provides applied research and job training initiatives and provides policy solutions to South Florida organizations. The think tank is a part of the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs.





































































“It’s an honor to support and partner with The Metropolitan Center, especially after it’s been such an incredible resource for Related and countless Miami businesses over the years,” said Pérez, the chairman and CEO of Related in a statement. “We share the Center’s goal of serving and empowering residents across the demographic spectrum. We’re excited about the future growth opportunities we will help generate for the community at large.”

The gift will fund work by doctoral students at the School of International and Public Affairs who are researching policy solutions for the development of “a more economically and environmentally resilient South Florida,” the university said. Funding will be targeted to students from underserved communities.

“Miami is changing at an unprecedent page, making research into areas such as affordable housing, resilience and economic growth critical for the city’s future,” said Jon Paul Pérez, Jorge M. Perez’s son and vice president of Related. “The center already has an incredible legacy and I’m certain that together, we can help build a stronger, more inclusive Miami.”

On Wednesday, July 19, 2017 FIU landscape ecologist Michael Ross takes five student researchers through the Biscayne coastal wetlands where big mangroves provide coastal protection from hurricanes and other heavy storms. Before Hurricane Andrew sl

This story was updated to reflect an increase in Related’s portfolio.

Martin Vassolo is a general assignment reporter on the Miami Herald’s metro desk. He was a member of the Herald’s reporting team covering the 2018 midterm elections and Florida’s recount. Previously, he worked as a political reporting intern with the Herald and as editor-in-chief of the University of Florida’s student newspaper, The Independent Florida Alligator.
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