October 21, 2021

Florida TaxWatch Economic Commentary

Economy heating up in South Florida

| 9/30/2015

Foreign Investments Help Drive Growth

While foreign investors are using innovation and product development as one way to tap into South Florida’s economy, they are also having a major impact in other areas. With the attraction of growing industries and incentives like the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program,7 foreign direct investments are funding many projects in the South Florida area. Two major projects in particular that are seeking foreign investment are SkyRise Miami and The Panorama Tower. SkyRise Miami, touted as the Eiffel Tower of Miami, is seeking to pull in as much as $270 million from foreign investors.8 This project is expected to cost approximately $430 million and require 5,335 construction jobs to complete,9 and will require more than 13,000 jobs for the ongoing operation of the facility. The second project, the Panorama Tower, a mixed-use 82-story building, is expected to cost roughly $800 million to complete, employing roughly 1,300 workers during construction, and creating 800 permanent positions for ongoing operations.10

The economic impact of these projects on the city could be very significant. During the development phase alone, the SkyMiami is estimated to have a more than $650 million economic impact.11 While both of these projects will have a direct impact on jobs and money brought into the economy, they will also create the opportunities for growth in other areas of the economy. Everything from retail to hospitality will be impacted by the investment and growth of premier tourist attractions like SkyRise Miami, as well as mixed-use projects like the Panorama Tower.

Financial Sector Also a Player

Another major player in the growth of South Florida is the financial services sector. According to Mark Vinter, a senior economist at Wells Fargo, “The growth of financial services in South Florida is about four times faster than in the rest of the country.”12 One reason for the success in finance has been the emergence of commercial and industrial loans.13Due to the rise in commercial growth and spending in the South Florida area, the demand for lending to these companies has grown significantly. This type of financial lending also benefits the economy because it is used to create or grow a business, which in turn creates job opportunities while helping money flow through the economy. Continued success in these areas is a positive sign that the South Florida economy will continue to grow.

Statewide Action for Second Stage Companies

Florida lawmakers are also making business expansion more feasible throughout Florida. GrowFL is a state-sponsored program based out of the University of Central Florida that supports for-profit companies with the highest growth potential. While this program does not provide cash incentives or tax breaks, it does facilitate the creation of new jobs throughout the state. From July 2011 to June 2013, companies participating in the GrowFL program created nearly 2,000 jobs.14

7 USCIS administers the EB-5 Program. Under this program, entrepreneurs (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for a green card (permanent residence) if they make the necessary investment in a commercial enterprise in the United States, and plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers. This program is known as EB-5 for the name of the employment-based fifth preference visa that participants receive..
8 Reiser, Emon. “Miami to Reach New Heights with Foreign Investors.” South Florida Business Journal (2015). Print.
9 Ibid.
10 Ibid.
11 Ibid.
12 Seemuth, Mike. “The Year Ahead: A Glimpse at the Economic Outlook for South Florida.” Miami Herald 4 Jan. 2015. Print.
13 Ibid.
14 Florida TaxWatch. Cultivating Florida’s 2nd Stage Companies. January 2015..
15 item.
16 item.
17 item.

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