It was a heartening experience to talk to cover subject Carlos Rosso about his mid-career pivot: He’s 55—a very stylish and charismatic 55—and after being a South Florida fixture as a top executive at the Related Group for two decades, Rosso is finally on his own, as the principal of Rosso Development. After developing some of the region’s most coveted condominium towers under Jorge Perez, Rosso has made a separate splash with the launch of One Park Tower at SoLé Mia and the Standard Residences Midtown Miami, the first of its kind in the world.
The latter, especially, represents a canny and audacious move, with the halo effect of the Standard name sure to garner interest and headlines all over the world. And Rosso is not stopping at South Florida; he’s also developing Lake Hue Residences, Lodge and Marina, in Bariloche, in Patagonia, an especially scenic region of Argentina.
Like many others, Rosso was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in the sense that the profound disruption caused him to reassess what was important in his life: family and independence—and fun. “I’m really trying to enjoy myself during this next phase,” he told SFBW. “At the end of the day, quality of life is the most important thing.”
I remember going to a lawn party in affluent Connecticut a year ago, expecting the well-heeled guests to want to return to 2019. It was a traditional setting and a wealthy corporate crowd. But to my surprise, phrases like “quality of life” and “a better lifestyle” and “I’m done with that” started bubbling up from the conversations. It was then I realized that a profound communal shift had taken place in the country’s professional class.
This seismic shift was exemplified by so many conversations over the past year, one of the most recent when I was at the Standard Spa in Miami Beach. I met a guy named Aaron Chan, who headlines our Agenda department in this issue. It turned out that Aaron is a health care expert from Boston, part of the Great Migration to South Florida. Though his industry is very different from Carlos Rosso’s, he, too felt a necessary reinvention was in order. So, this registered nurse who specialized in hospice care and post-transplant care made a change, in more ways than one. He embraced his entrepreneurial talents and launched a medical startup; then when the pandemic seemed unending and he realized he could live anywhere, Chan moved to Edgewater and now carries his laptop and his mini-Bernedoodle Doods to the Standard Spa and the 1 Hotel to work and network. He wants to launch a podcast to highlight Miami’s entrepreneurial movement.
I didn’t ask Aaron if quality of life is the most important thing. I already know.