Archive for “February, 2016”

Downtown Miami’s pre-construction condo market is resilient

The pace of pre-construction condo contract activity has slowed, but are still plenty of good news, and many signs that the overall real estate market in Miami is resilient.

Experts agree that the real estate market is deep, with both new commercial and residential projects continuing to gain support from lenders, developers and professionals.

The multifamily sector continues to grow: Atlantic | Pacific Group broke ground on two new rental apartment towers and Greystar announced plans for a high-rise apartment building near Dadeland Mall.

More ground-up industrial warehouses are also on the way in anticipation of the completion of the Panama Canal, which dovetails nicely with continuing upgrades to PortMiami and Miami International Airport.

The office sector is also driving interest: Brickell City Centre is allowing tenants like anchor Akerman to move into its new offices. More new projects are also on the way including luxury, Class A office condo Ofizzina, which The Solution Group, an Influence Communications client, is building in Coral Gables.

Ofizzina, Coral Gables

Ofizzina, Coral Gables

All this commercial activity is fueled in part by the continued confidence in the residential market, in particular in downtown Miami. To that end, the vast majority of downtown Miami condominiums that are becoming available in 2016 are pre-sold, according to a new report.

Integra Realty Services generated the report that tracked sales for 12 months ending in January 2016. The data came from several neighborhoods including Brickell, Wynwood and Overtown, according to the Miami Herald.

Developers also responded in the right way to a sales slowdown of pre-construction units in 2015 by postponing or canceling projects, which resulted in 2,000 units being produced instead of 3,600, according to the Miami Herald.

Another market boost came from the announcement that The Canvas condominium in Miami’s Arts & Entertainment District received a $70 million construction loan. Bank of the Ozarks provided the funding for the 513-unit project.

Bank of Ozarks also provided nearly $74 million in financing to the developers of the mixed-use Landmark South in Doral project, according to the South Florida Business Journal.

The Related Group is also set to break ground on GranParaiso, the fourth tower in its massive condo project in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood.

Despite some indications that it might wait to develop its new property, China Construction Company is moving ahead with plans to build a 42-unit condominium on the oceanfront site it bought from Don Peebles. Engel & Völkers Miami, an Influence Communications client, brokered the sale.

 

Ofizzina, Coral Gables

Welcome to the Team, Sofia!

We are proud to officially announce and welcome the newest member of our professional team, Sofia Herrero. As Communications Assistant for the firm, Sofia will support projects for several of our clients in both media relations and public engagement.  Her skills include videography and film editing, script writing, graphic design, and social media management.
Prior to joining Influence late last year as part of our internship program, Sofia gained experience in newsrooms and radio stations in Miami-Dade, Broward and Alachua counties.
We are proud that Sofia continues the Influence Communications tradition of community service. Her charity of choice is Make-A-Wish and she continue to serve the organization locally in her free time.
Welcome, Sofia!
Sofia can be reached here or at our office (305) 741-3051.

FDOT, Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami Beach Gear up for Bike Month with Influence Communications

Bicycle Month – March in Florida and May nationwide – provides an excellent opportunity for people to reconsider two-wheeled transportation.
Influence Communications will be working directly with the Florida Department of Transportation and local municipalities to help promote more, safer cycling through the implementation of open streets programs, improved intergovernmental communication, and direct engagement of local bicycling and running businesses and organizations.
What are Open Streets?
https://vimeo.com/78886448
Open Streets, originally called ciclovia, are weekly events in much of the Americas. The idea is to encourage community integration, walking, and bicycling by temporarily transforming public streets into linear public park space. Our own Kathryn Moore, in addition to her work in public engagement strategies, is an expert in the field of active transportation policy, promotion and implementation, having traveled and spoken in support of these programs across the United States and Latin America.
Now, together with the Influence team, Kathryn is providing her expertise to the City of Miami Beach and Miami-Dade County. If you’re in Miami-Dade or Monroe Counties and think your city should consider ‘open streets,’ contact us today at (305) 741-3051 or via email.

Big Weekend Ahead – Miami’s President’s Day

Miami isn’t all beaches and bikinis! Even with the weather cooling down the past few days, Miami has one hot weekend ahead. South Florida is about to be hit with one of the busiest weekends of the year; Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, and The Miami International Boat Show – plus two Arts Festivals (Art Wynwood and Coconut Grove Arts Festival) create a spectacular assortment of activities for those falling in love, or those who just need a great #SundayFunday post for their Instagram.

As Floridians, we can admit – boats are our friends.  What else is better than mooching off that friend with a boat every weekend through the summer?  Maritime and suntan lovers unite in our community of yacht crowded driveways, making The Miami International Boat Show the ideal place for South Floridians to navigate while sipping un cafecito.  This President’s Day weekend, an estimated 100 thousand people, from over 80 countries, are expected to attend one of the city’s most beloved events.

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The show is more than just boats, boats, boats though; with entertainment, workshops, sports demos, and eleven dining options, the event is truly an all-day family affair. Thankfully, boat show goers have until Monday to check out the attractions, including their collection of thousands of powerboats, sailboats, and personal watercraft.  The real splash this year, however: the location.  For the first time, the boat show is ditching the Miami Beach Convention Center for the beaches of Virginia Key.  With their new location, attendees are encouraged to use a different mode of transportation – you guessed it, boats.  Free water taxis  and shuttles will be dropping off guests directly to the Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin location.

Most might be tempted to make the trek back to their homes after visiting the Miami International Boat show, but Miami’s President’s Day weekend is not for the weak.  A city filled with art lovers creates the ideal spot for both the Coconut Grove Arts Festival and Art Wynwood.  Although the events may sound similar, they have completely different appeals.  First, the CGAF, a long-running tradition for Coconut Grove since 1963, is a “Celebration of the Arts”, featuring traditional visual mediums, as well as a Global Food Village.  There is also plenty of entertainment with performers throughout the entire weekend.  Another great reason to check it out?  It’s only $15 a day.

Art Wynwood, celebrating its 5th year, is an International Contemporary Art Fair located in the new heart of culture and youth in Miami.  This fair, complete with 70 galleries, will obviously appeal to the herd of millennials who need to post yet another picture of their #Panther coffee online; Art Wynwood though is sure to attract all ages with Shark Tank Host and Lifetime Photography Artist, Kevin O’Leary‘s First International Photo Exhibition: “Irreconcilable Images.”

The three big players – the Miami International Boat Show, the Coconut Grove Arts Festival, and Art Wynwood – will definitely bring in thousands of guests throughout this holiday weekend; if you’re looking for something that is more laid back for you and your love on Valentine’s Day, Miami still has plenty of options. On Friday, Tropical Park will be kicking off this cupid-filled weekend with a “Latin Jazz All-Stars” night, complete will Grammy-nominated pianist José Negroni. There also activities for those with a tighter budget this Valentine’s Day. For a romantic Sunday afternoon, look to Haulover Park for the 24th Annual “Kite Day at Haulover Park,” just make sure to bring a blanket (and a kite)!  With farmers markets, yoga classes, and live music everywhere you look, Miami has enough to pack into this four-day weekend, you’ll wish you could take five.

Yes, President’s Day is a great weekend for Miami, and all of South Florida. Everyday in Miami has potential, though, and be sure to check out events happening right here from Influence.

- Sofia Herrero

The Political Power of Hispanic Millennials

Millennials. In recent years, the term for those born in the 80s and 90s has exploded with coverage of the idea that these “naive” self-involved, tree-hugging activists will someday rule the electorate.  What the media has missed, though, is how millennials identify.  (Hint. It isn’t white.)

The power of millennials is vast and expanding; the political realm is constantly trying to lock down the youth vote, with little real grasp on their motivations.  These young people could be the key to any political campaign, and with the 2016 election season in full swing, a candidate’s ability to capture the hearts – and votes- of millennials could be a ticket to the White House.

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President Barack Obama is revered as the one to bring the White House into the technology age, spending over 47 million dollars on his digital campaign in 2012. Throughout his time in office, Obama continued to use social media, having the public ask the POTUS questions in special YouTube interviews.

One real difference between the makeup of the millennial generation and those before them is its diversity. Millennials are multicultural and multi-racial, blurring the lines of gender rules and demographic criteria.  Hispanics, increasing in numbers across all age demographics, account for almost half (44%) of millennial eligible voters (Pew Research Center), leaving whites with only 25 percent of the new electorate.  This could be crucial in the 2016 showdown for president, as two key states, including our home state of Florida, have huuuuge (Trump voice) Hispanic populations.

Florida is an interesting case.  With 18.1 percent of all Floridians identified as Hispanic, our needs are unique, particularly compared to places like Iowa and New Hampshire, arguably some of the ‘whitest’ places in the entire country.  Interestingly enough, the density of the Hispanic population in Florida is not as significant as certain areas of the state, such as Miami Dade County.   As of the 2010 census, over 65 percent of the county’s population is Latino, made up primarily of Cubans, Venezuelans, Colombians, and Hondurans.  Despite such a potentially powerful demographic, Miami Dade still secured the spot as Florida’s lowest voter turnout rate in the 2014 midterms (less than half of voters actually showed up).

The Hispanic voter may be difficult to reach; the millennial Hispanic voter is nearly impossible.  The generation consumed with making a difference actually has a 20 percent lower voter turnout rate than the rest of the country. Why?  Turns out that millennials actually think they are too busy to vote.  According to the Miami-based Knight Foundation, millennials are less likely to vote, particularly in local elections, because of their distrust of our government.  Millennials don’t believe their involvement will have any results.  Combined with their lack of interest, millennials will not reach the polls without some help.

But how do these political powerhouses identify with the millennials enough to make them to vote?  Many “experts” assume millennials = technology, and in an effort to relate to those who cannot rip their fingers away from a screen, political junkies have created apps, like Poltifiact and Dollarcracy.  These platforms could ideally engage more millennials, but realistically, only reaches those would already care.  The average person only has so much time to go through their social media feeds, you think millennials want to read a snooze-fest?  While those who are passionate about policy would love a non-traditional medium to explore politics; most young people still prefer television as their news source.  If using social media, tools that already exist – YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, are low-cost ways to build traction in any campaign.

More than how to reach millennials, the message candidates send to these voters makes the difference.  This generation is one of idealism, equality, and love.  By identifying with their issues, like gay marriage, education, and climate change, winning the hearts of millennials is a breeze.  It may seem impossible for the bigwigs of Washington to relate to the young vote, particularly the young Hispanic vote.  The importance for millennials is to feel that a candidate actually cares about them, their families, and their futures.  It can be done.  It is clear that 2016 will show the exact importance of the hearts of millennials, and whoever can secure their votes, could secure the White House.

- Sofia Herrero

Broward MPO Steps Up Its Public Engagement

KRM CL Marohn Strong Towns

Chuck Marohn, Strong Towns and Kathryn Moore, Influence Communications

The Broward Metropolitan Transportation Organization (MPO) partnered with Influence Communications to step up its public engagement for the landmark 3rd Annual Safe Streets Summit on Friday, January 29th in Deerfield Beach.

National leaders in transportation policy, planning and engineering joined local elected officials to tackle the challenge of making some of the most dangerous cities in the country safer through Complete Streets policies. Over 200 people were in attendance while others followed online using social media #S32016, making this the largest summit of its kind ever in South Florida.

Broward County is at the center of one of the country’s most dangerous regions for pedestrians and bicyclists and the Broward MPO, under the leadership of Executive Director Greg Stuart, is leading efforts to make our public streets safe for everyone who uses them.

The summit is “a great example of what Metropolitan Planning Organizations all over the United States could do to begin to turn communities from congested into healthy,” remarked Kit Keller, Executive Director of the Association for Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP).

The Broward MPO’s approach to transportation policy emphasizes public engagement strategy as a means of communicating the importance of all forms of transportation. In partnering with Influence Communications, members of the public who either could not attend the summit were able to submit their questions directly to leadership of the US Department of Transportation, FDOT, and several local agencies and cities.

Charles Marohn, Founder and President of the Strong Towns movement, applauded the public engagement approach of Broward MPO and Influence Communications: “This is what I tell [other] engineers! You’ll never find high return investments in your community sitting behind your desk.”

For more information about the Broward MPO Safe Streets Summit and Complete Streets policies, visit S3Broward.com or visit the MPO on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Check back here for more photos and our interviews from the Safe Streets Summit, coming soon.