2015 Let the good times roll

“South Florida should be excited about 2015. There is tremendous excitement in tech around the startup and accelerator community.”

Rolando Aedo

Executive VP / CMO

Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau

In 2015, it is anticipated Greater Miami and the Beaches will reach a major milestone of approximately 15.2 million overnight visitors with expenditures exceeding $24 billion. The international market will continue to lead growth with more than 7.7 million overnight visitors. This continues the trend of international visitors surpassing domestic visitors, which started in 2013, and Miami having the highest percentage of international visitors of any U.S. destination. Despite the fact that hotel room inventory is projected to increase by 1.3 percent, demand for rooms in the destination is expected to increase by 2.8 percent, demonstrating the global strength of the Miami brand. As the No. 1 industry in Greater Miami, this continued growth plays an integral role in creating and sustaining more than 125,000 jobs in our community.

Bob Birdsong

President

OK Generators

The South Florida economy is making a strong comeback. You only need to see how many cranes are erected across the tri-county area to know that this major economic indicator is in full comeback mode. This, coupled with the lowest unemployment rate in years, static low interest rates and consumer buying at recent highs, all indicate that the economy is well on the way, albeit at a controlled pace, to making a strong recovery. Since our industry relies on commercial construction, our outlook is very good. On the flip side, money flow usually lags new project commencement by over a year, so there will be a lean time while it catches up.

Lenny Chesal

CMO

Host.net

South Florida should be excited about 2015. There is tremendous excitement in tech around the startup and accelerator community. This scene has exploded with countless workspaces and labs opening, and the recent opening of FAU’s Tech Runway put an exclamation point on this activity. We have IT Palooza at NSU and eMerge Americas helped expose the huge opportunity we have as the tech hub of the Americas. European countries have had multiple trade missions looking to establish a presence and do business with Latin America. This is an area on the brink of exponential growth. Businesses will continue to move to the “cloud” in record numbers. Host.net just celebrated five years of continuous uptime of our 4cNxGn Smart Cloud platform. Our clients trusted us to connect and protect their critical data and infrastructure and have experienced “zero down time.”

“It continues to be a first-tier U.S. market for international investors and buyers from Latin America, and it is becoming increasingly attractive to investors from Asia and Europe.”

 

Erik Day

CFO

Warren Henry Auto Group

The South Florida economy will continue to demonstrate strong economic activity due to the large amount of foreign nationals purchasing real estate, favorable taxation compared to other states, and life in a tropical paradise near the Caribbean, Latin America and Western Europe. Since the recession, South Florida has seen a tremendous influx of foreign nationals, which has helped to make it one of the most internationally diverse markets in the country. Warren Henry, which focuses primarily on luxury and high-line automobiles, will continue to see strong growth fueled by a robust local economy, the continued influx of affluent foreign nationals, a strong pipeline of exciting products coupled with high customer retention and lease penetration. This will continue to drive repeat business and additional growth to levels never before experienced in the company’s history.

Edgardo Defortuna

President and CEO

Fortune International Group

Given its strong fundamentals and brisk capital flow from abroad, we are bullish on the South Florida economy. It continues to be a first-tier U.S. market for international investors and buyers from Latin America, and it is becoming increasingly attractive to investors from Asia and Europe. Few places on Earth offer our eclectic blend of arts, culture and superior lifestyle. Fortune International Group will continue to focus on meeting the demands of our global clients by delivering product of superior quality. We will look to expand our presence in emerging luxury markets, such as China and the Middle East, and remain highly selective and strategic before embarking on new projects. Creative thinking is a must to deliver value-creation opportunities in today’s real estate marketplace. 2015 is going to be another exciting year.

Jerry Fedele

CEO

Boca Raton Regional Hospital Inc.

The economy will continue to expand at a faster pace than the nation overall, driven by construction, a favorable entrepreneurial environment and increases in population as more individuals chose retirement given improved investment portfolios. South Florida may experience increasing inflation as construction drives up cost of development and growth in employment drives up wages. Boca Raton Regional Hospital/Healthcare South Florida will buck national trends of declining hospital utilization as more retiring baby boomers gravitate here. Due to increasing costs and revenue pressures, South Florida will catch up with the rest of the country as clinicians opt for employment by hospitals and health systems. Boca Regional will continue to see better than market increases in revenue and utilization as a result of new programs, more ambulatory business lines, new outpatient centers and hospital-owned physician practices.

“2015 will be robust in South Florida. The real estate markets, both residential and commercial, have not only stabilized and recovered, but are accelerating.”

Cynthia Fraser
Director, Talent Management
& Employee Relations

DHL

The job market is coming back and employers will have to be on their toes to put their best foot forward and make sure they are competitive in both pay and benefits. As there are more opportunities for candidates, they seem to be focused on the cultural fit with an organization. Once a candidate is hired, the company will have to work harder to keep employees engaged and motivated as well as provide opportunities for career development growth. In the South Florida market, where there are a limited number of larger, national organizations, we find employees are actively assessing or exploring other opportunities.

Alexander Freund
President/CIO

4IT

In South Florida, the recovery will continue into 2015, slowing and probably stopping in Q4 2015. The oil price decline will dry up excess cash from South America. Foreclosure properties going on the market should halt increases in home prices and rental rates. The high-tech industry in South Florida will finally begin to bear fruit. IT and technical employees will be scarce. At 4IT, small businesses will continue moving IT infrastructure to the cloud. Tech labor will be constrained, creating opportunities for services that increase IT efficiency and drive process improvements. Security will dominate, as more companies will suffer losses from hacking and data theft. Every business is a target as the hacking community continues to grow and improve. 2015 will be a good year for 4IT.

Monroe Gang
CEO

Atlantic Partners Corporation

2015 will be robust in South Florida. The real estate markets, both residential and commercial, have not only stabilized and recovered, but are accelerating. Seasonal residents are becoming permanent, and I personally have fallen into this category. Financial services companies and technology firms are emerging or moving their company operations here [drawn by] the cost of living and improved public schools. Business community partnerships with local universities over the last decade are paying big dividends for both employers and college graduates. At Atlantic Partners, we just celebrated 30 consecutive quarters of growth. We are doing more business in Florida than ever before. The firm had its best year since inception and to say we are in an accelerated growth phase would be an understatement. We anticipate 2015 to be even better and estimate growing revenues by 30 percent.

“The delineation of Miami as the economic engine of South Florida accelerated through 2014 and will continue at a quickening pace through 2015.”

 

Jeremy Larkin
President

NAI Miami

The delineation of Miami as the economic engine of South Florida accelerated through 2014 and will continue at a quickening pace through 2015. Population growth will drive job growth.  With a limited skilled labor force and unabated, rapidly rising healthcare costs, labor costs will increase at levels above inflation. Occupancy costs in all sectors in Miami will rise, with key markets rising at an annualized pace of over 10 percent in 2015. In the remaining portions of South Florida, the costs will be moderate and in pace with inflation. Deliveries of the newest condominiums will commence on a significant scale, dampening both rental rates and sales prices for most markets throughout South Florida. Overall, South Florida will see a positive economic year and Miami will continue to establish itself as an emerging global city.

Angel Medina
President

Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust

Sometimes it’s tough to be a contrarian. As the bull markets in stocks and bonds continue to mature, three trends have re-emerged from dormancy. There has been an increasing temptation within our industry to adopt a “me-too” approach of providing index-like returns, while charging full fees. This is often accompanied by a desire to stay close to the herd and not deviate from consensus thinking, accompanied by a collective amnesia about the pain of downside markets. The emerging consensus is that 2015 will finally see the global recovery that many have longed for. We’re not so sure their wishes will be fulfilled given the continuing slowdown across Europe and much of Asia. Likewise, while we see some near-term risk of modestly higher rates, we see little emerging inflation or business demand to drive rates higher; in fact, global deflation may be the bigger risk. We remain cautiously positioned with well-diversified portfolios actively hedging downside risks.

Steve Palmer
COO

Stiles Corporation

Overall, I believe the South Florida economy will continue to strengthen, but will be more subdued than the surge from 2005 to 2007. Certain sectors in real estate are hot, such as apartments and condominiums, but the apartment market will begin to change as construction costs rise faster than rents and only the best deals and locations will be successful. At Stiles, I believe our business will continue to grow across all segments and that our diversity and flexibility will allow us to take advantage of numerous opportunities that will be available.

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