Could MIAMI become the new US economic powerhouse? City of Florida ‘Most Dynamic in the World’ Says Mayor
The mayor of Miami has claimed that his city is the “most dynamic city in the world.”
Francis Suarez, the city’s Republican leader, spoke ahead of the release of the 14th annual “Miami Report,” produced by Miami-based development firm ISG World. Suarez is on their advisory board.
Suarez, 45, spoke of how the Saudi Arabia-based Future Investment Initiative (FII) just held their annual conference in Miami, saying it was a sign of Miami’s strong ties to the Arab world.
“These are some of the best capitalized countries in the Middle East,” he said Fox news on Monday.
He said Qatar has “a huge investment in our city,” noting that the UAE has “invested hugely,” as has Israel.
Francis Suarez, left, is seen next to Craig Studnicky, the CEO of ISG World, ahead of their 14th annual “Miami Report” detailing the city’s growth
Cranes can be seen on the Miami skyline as the Florida city construction boom continues
“But we’re moving on — I just got back from Tokyo and Korea and we want a direct flight to Tokyo,” he said.
“We probably have a direct flight to Saudi Arabia. We already have a direct flight to the UAE, Qatar and Israel.
“We want to be, what I call, the central collection point for capital and the central deployment point for capital in the world.
“That’s my vision, and I think that’s what’s going to create the most wealth for most of Miami, as we call it, ‘Miami for all.’
“We want to make sure everyone in our city benefits.”
LOW TAX ATTRACT BUSINESSES
Florida had the nation’s fourth fastest-growing economy between July 2021 and July 2022 — growing at an annual rate of 3.5 percent, according to federal data.
Companies and individuals have been lured by the tax policy: there is no income tax and the corporate tax rate is 5.5 percent.
By comparison, in New York City, top rate taxpayers can pay 10.9 percent income tax and corporate tax 8.85 percent.
In Los Angeles, the income tax rises to 12.3 percent and the corporate tax rises to 9 percent.
Suarez said he welcomed the decision by firms such as hedge fund Citadel to move from Chicago to Miami last September.
Suarez, the city’s first-ever Miami-born mayor, is seen with Cuban exiles in July 2021
The move immediately made Citadel founder Ken Griffin, who has a fortune of $29.6 billion, Florida’s richest man.
“We moved about $2.5 trillion [assets under management] businesses in Miami,” Suarez said.
“You’re talking about Citadel, you’re talking about Blackstone, you’re talking about Starwood Capital, you’re talking about Millennium.
“These are some of the biggest names in venture, the biggest names in private equity, which is why we’ve created about 9,000 jobs over the last few years, over $9 billion in wages, which is why we’re number one in the nation in wage growth, and it has created an enormous amount of wealth for our citizens.”
Craig Studnicky, the CEO of ISG World, said the boom in Miami was “unprecedented.”
“What was 122 companies just six months ago has now turned into 134 large companies moving to South Florida, and they’re taking a lot of their people with them,” he said.
“Not only is this unprecedented for Miami, I know I looked it up — this is unprecedented for any American city.
“And we are now in tremendous momentum thanks to the efforts of Mayor Suarez.”
Suarez and Stucnicky both cited high housing demand as a sign of Miami’s success.
ISG World’s report found that the number of single-family homes and apartments for rent in all three counties surrounding Miami fell 24 percent between the fourth quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023.
The average single-family home increased in value by 8 percent, from $1,233,500 to $1,335,594.
Suarez said more affordable housing was being built.
Suarez said more homes are being built to keep up with rising demand
“Right now we have units to build in the pipeline, somewhere in the neighborhood of 40,000 housing units,” Suarez said.
“We just came out of a $100 million round of affordable housing.
“We think affordable housing is a key factor in helping these businesses grow because not everyone is a C-suite employee. We have to make sure that everyone who works in the company has a place to live.’
Suarez — a rising Republican star reportedly considering a presidential candidate — announced last week that his city had its lowest per capita murder rate since 1964.
He said it was due to rejecting calls to defund the police, as in other parts of the US, and investing in the police instead.
Suarez said Miami currently has its lowest homicide rate since 1964
“We’ve increased funding for our police force, making our police department the largest in our history,” he told Fox.
The result: crime dropped to one of the lowest levels in Miami history. We deployed the most advanced technology we could afford to equip our police force and protect our citizens.”
In the first three months of 2023, the city’s homicide rate is down 36 percent.
In 2022, 11 murders were reported during that period. Seven murders have been reported this year.
The number of shootings is down nearly 60 percent compared to the same time last year.