Economic yearbook 2011
Complete nearly $1 billion in infrastructure projects, including wrapping up major work at Miami International Airport, deepening the seaport's harbor, completing a tunnel link to I-95, restoring rail connections between the airport and seaport and finishing up water use improvements.
Diversify the economic base, with biomedical research, aerospace and advanced manufacturing playing a larger role.
Stepping up to the Plate
ROOKIE PLAYER: Codina Partners — Longtime developer Armando Codina, one of the most familiar names in Miami-Dade real estate, formed a new company, Codina Partners, in 2009 with his oldest daughter, Ana-Marie Codina Barlick. The Coral Gables-based company has purchased large stakes in everything from the massive Downtown Doral mixed-use project, to distressed residential properties in Broward County and near Jacksonville, to a vacant parcel in Coral Gables.
EMERGING STAR: Condo Vultures — In late 2006, former journalist Peter Zalewski had a pretty good idea that south Florida's condo market was about to go south. He founded Bal Harbour-based Condo Vultures, which has become the leading source of information on the market. Analysts use the company's proprietary database to pull together key information about distressed condos and other "vulture" targets. Condo Vultures has expanded its coverage from downtown Miami to much of the tri-county area, as well as to Phoenix, Las Vegas and Southern California. A separate realty company, Condo Vultures Realty, specializes in sales of condos.
HEAVY HITTER: Baptist Health South Florida — The Coral Gables-based non-profit hospital group, a frequent honoree on national "best places to work" lists and one of the county's largest employers, more than doubled its income last fiscal year to $271.9 million on revenue of $2.18 billion. In part, that was due to an expansion from Miami-Dade into Broward County, but smart investing helped, as did lower malpractice and insurance expenses.
Ted Shaw, chief transition officer, Jackson Health System — Ted Shaw has the thankless job of improving the Miami-Dade public health system's abysmal financial condition. He has earned the respect of both the county commission and the Public Health Trust, which oversees Jackson. With Jackson CEO Eneida Roldan leaving when her contract ends May 31 — or earlier if the system finds a new executive — the onus is on Shaw to see the troubled system through to stability.
Justin Kennedy and Tobin Cobb, co-CEOs, LNR Property — In October, LNR brought on experienced commercial real estate money managers Justin Kennedy and Tobin Cobb to make sure the company survives the real estate crash. The two former Deutsche Bank executives are charged with running the nation's largest handler of commercial mortgage backed securities, which suffered when revenue from those bonds dropped in the real estate crisis. In December 2009, Moody's wrote that LNR's liquidity profile was weakening, but it has attracted investment recently.
Kirk Fordham, CEO, The Everglades Foundation — The veteran political operative will be a key voice in Washington for passage of the Water Resources Development Act (which will bring authorization for the next round of Everglades restoration projects). He also will need to bring Gov. Rick Scott up to speed on Everglades issues. Also on his plate: Directing his science staff's work with the South Florida Water Management District as it develops plans for the 27,000 acres the state acquired from U.S. Sugar and working with the federal government and other groups to help assemble the proposed new Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge.
The Everglades Foundation's Kirk Fordham advocates for restoration work. [Photo: Everglades Foundation]