2024 Power South Florida

The players driving a Miami area that keeps rolling along

By February 20, 2024 7:45 AM

Florida maintained its status as an outlier market in 2023 — office shrugging off the national doom and gloom, apartment rents rising (albeit more slowly) — even as other Sun Belt markets saw their own pandemic booms dissipate. What’s more, the past 12 months witnessed a slew of projects getting shovels in the ground and cranes shooting skyward over them, despite one of the toughest lending markets in recent history. 

That’s not to say it hasn’t been a challenging time with higher costs, tighter margins and fewer lenders willing to play ball. But it’s during such times that the real players show up. 

SEE ALSO: Commercial Observer’s Ranking of South Florida’s Most Important Real Estate Players

This collection of investors, owners, builders, brokers, developers, architects, legislators and just plain dealmakers on Commercial Observer’s annual Power South Florida list have positioned themselves successfully to capitalize on opportunities — and leveraged a mix of hustle and creativity to get things done. 

No South Florida list would be complete without a lineup of condo developers, who are reshaping the skyline from Miami to West Palm Beach with a collection of gleaming branded towers, boutique beachfront residences, and seemingly endless indulgent amenities (amenities curated, shall we say, by some of the names on this list). 

In fact, the Miami brand itself is taking on new currency. It wasn’t too long ago that iconic New York brands and restaurants were rushing to open outposts in South Florida. Now, it’s the Miami brands that are making bank in New York and Las Vegas, including the extravagant Club ZZ’s, and seminal brands like the Fountainbleu and LIV. Even New York staples now have Miami rivals: El Bagel and Miami Slice are two more Florida exports.

Of course, with great growth comes greater impact. South Florida has plenty of runway, and that means policy and planning decisions made now will have tremendous influence on where the region goes next. That’s true for climate resiliency, affordable housing and creating a livable, accessible 21st century region that continues to make New Yorkers (if not Los Angelenos and the rest of America) envious — one that makes the best of everything South Florida has to offer, from the ocean to the Everglades. 

This list was reported and written by Tom Acitelli, Rebecca Baird-Remba, Cathy Cunningham, Andrew Coen, Julia Echikson, Larry Getlen, Chava Gouarie, Max Gross, Mark Hallum, Abigail Nehring, Brian Pascus, Nicholas Rizzi and Nicholas Trombola. It was edited by Acitelli, Gourarie, Gross and Skip Card. Jim Sewastynowicz edited the photography. Jeffrey Cuyubamba designed the layouts.