Business Florida 2013 - The Regions
Fort Lauderdale, Jupiter, Key West, Miami, Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie
With almost twice as many households in downtown Miami today as in 2000, developers are taking notice: Brickell CitiCentre, a $1-billion combination retail-office-hotel-condo project is in the works on three downtown blocks, and a Walmart supercenter is planned for Miami’s hip Midtown neighborhood. Fort Lauderdale is seeing a downtown construction surge as the first of many planned apartment units take shape, fueled by an influx of young professionals.
Distribution and Trade
Exceptional accessibility makes this region attractive to companies engaged in domestic and/or international distribution. In 2012, the Miami Customs District, which includes airports and seaports from Palm Beach to Key West, edged out San Francisco to become one of the top 10 customs districts nationwide for the dollar value of international trade it handles.
• First came Scripps Florida to Jupiter, then Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies to Port St. Lucie. Today, these renowned research institutes anchor growing life sciences clusters:
Near Torrey Pines, the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute of Florida has settled into its new 100,000-sq.-ft. facility where research centers on the human immune system’s capability to battle infectious disease and chronic conditions.
Near Scripps, employees of Max Planck Florida Institute have moved into a new $64-million building to continue their study of brain function and neural circuits. And coming soon to the Jupiter cluster: the new headquarters of Somahlution, a North Dakota-based company focusing on organ transplant science.
• The University of Miami Life Science & Technology Park opened its first building in fall 2011, the start of what UM and developer Wexford Science & Technology hope will become a life science/technology “ecosystem” incorporating five buildings and 2 million square feet of laboratory and office space adjacent to UM’s Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. Tenants include Florida’s bioscience industry association BioFlorida and several foreign firms establishing their first U.S. foothold.
• Solar: FPL’s $600-million Martin Next Generation Solar Energy Center in Indiantown — the world’s first hybrid solar facility and the largest solar thermal plant outside of California — generates approximately 155,000 megawatt-hours to power 11,000 homes.
• Wind: Missouri-based Wind Capital Group received the green light in spring 2012 to proceed with plans for Florida’s first commercial wind farm in western Palm Beach County, a project expected to generate enough power for up to 40,000 homes.
• Biomass: Under construction in Indian River County, INEOS BioEnergy’s $130-million demonstration plant is expected to produce eight million gallons of cellulosic ethanol and six megawatts of electricity per year, enough to power 1,400 homes using vegetative waste.