Beautiful Business

Even if you aren’t a fan of modern and contemporary art, you have to appreciate the impact of art and design on the South Florida economy.  Miami’s Art Week, which includes Art Basel Miami Beach, Design Miami and Art Miami, has an economic impact that one source estimates could be $1 billion.

This month’s cover story pays homage to developer Craig Robins, who launched Design Miami. Robins’ Dacra Development dates to 1987 and has developed more than 2 million square feet of real estate projects, fueling the renaissance of South Beach and the Design District, where he is a major landlord.

Like one of our previous cover personalities, Phillip Frost, Robins’ interest in art goes back to his experience in college. While Frost studied in France, Robins studied in Spain.

Robins worked with Tony Goldman and Mark Soyka in the mid-1980s when the restoration of art deco hotels was just starting to take off. He also partnered with Island Records founder Chris Blackwell to help renovate numerous properties. Those who haven’t lived in South Florida for the last three decades might not realize that the art deco hotels used to be filled with retirees on fixed incomes.

One of my initial exposures to Robins’ work was Aqua, a new urban residential community that was created on Allison Island. Robins smartly enlisted famed urban planners Duany Plater-Zyberk and 10 architects, whose different designs give the project an organic look instead of the homogeneity found in many projects. 

After Aqua and South Beach, Robins focused on the then-troubled Design District. The district had experienced an exodus of tenants in the 1980s and 1990s. Many of them fled Miami, which had a wave of crime and unrest, for the Design Center of the Americas in Dania Beach.

Robins launched Design Miami in 2005 to coincide with Art Basel. That gave a good reason for international collectors to cross over the causeway and visit the mainland. Robins is a noted art collector and helped found the Institute of Contemporary Art, whose new home was scheduled to open Dec. 1. He also is on the board of trustees of the Perez Art Museum Miami. 

It’s thanks to visionaries like Robins that South Florida has become an international hot spot.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.