January 20, 2020
Miami-based LIV Swiss Watches direct-to-consumer microbrand

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LIV Watches

Miami-Dade Roundup

Miami-based LIV Swiss Watches direct-to-consumer microbrand

SPOTLIGHT - Watch Party

Husband and wife Sholom “Chaz” and Esti Chazanow founded Miami-based LIV Swiss Watches in 2012, selling limited-edition Swiss-made watches direct to consumers at discounted prices. In 2014, they decided to finance the production of their first custom watch model, using the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform. It was fully funded within 12 hours, and the company has continued to launch watch models via Kickstarter. Investors essentially pre-order a watch by backing a new model, which can run from $390 to about $1,200.

A 2016 campaign was fully funded in 34 minutes and raised more than $1 million, setting a record for a timepiece. Its May 2018 four-watch campaign was fully funded within 10 minutes and raised $400,000 in 48 hours.

More recently, LIV has created its own crowdfunding platform, “LIV Launch Rewards,” which allows backers to pre-order limited-edition watches. Esti Chazanow credits their success to a strong base, saying they love what she calls a “direct-to-consumer microbrand.” Chaz Chazanow has been CEO of Miami-based watch maker and distributor Swiss Group since 2011.

FINANCE
City National Bank will purchase the parent company of Executive National Bank, which has three banking centers in Miami- Dade. Carl Icahn will move his investment firm, Icahn Enterprises, to Sunny Isles from New York City and White Plains, N.Y.

HEALTH CARE
Regenerative medicine developer Vivex Biologics hired Peter Wehrly as its CEO. Noven Pharmaceuticals hired the chairman of its board, Dr. Naruhito Higo, as CEO, replacing Jeff Mihm, who resigned.

LAW
Greenspoon Marder hired Craig M. Nash, non-executive chairman of timeshare company Interval International and former CEO of Interval parent company ILG, as of counsel.

Berger Singerman named executive committee member Jordi Guso its new managing partner, with James Berger serving as president and Paul Steven Singerman and Mitchell Berger continuing as co-chairs.

RETAIL
Miami-based Apple retailer Cool Holdings recently acquired the 41-store Simply Mac chain from GameStop, adding to its 16 OneClick stores. Simply Mac stores are mostly located in small cities without Apple retail stores, often close to colleges.

TECHNOLOGY
Technology investment fund SoftBank Capital invested $3 million in Miami Beach-based wellness company Meditation.Live.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is investing $925,000 in technology infrastructure for the Underline, a 10-mile linear public park under the county’s Metrorail raised transit system. The grant will pay for hiring chief operating and information exectives to create a “technology master plan.”

TOURISM
Miami-Dade County signed agreements with Carnival, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Virgin Voyages for berthing at PortMiami for extended terms. Plantation-based Virgin Voyages, for example, agreed to make PortMiami its only Florida homeport for 10 years and its only Florida east coast homeport through 2051. MSC Cruises, which signed a 62-year berthing agreement with the county, will relocate its U.S. corporate offices to PortMiami from Broward County.

REAL ESTATE
Walmart sold a parcel in Midtown Miami to Midtown Development, which owns several neighboring parcels. Midtown is also developing the nearby Midtown 6 mixed-use building. Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood saw its first major office and residential buildings open in 2019: The 289-apartment Wynwood 25, the 175-apartment Bradley, the 52,000-sq.-ft. Wynwood Annex office building and the 86,000-sq.-ft. Cube Wynwood office building. Five other residential buildings are under development: The 241-apartment Wynwood Square, 189-apartment Wynwood Green, 276-condo Wynwood Quarter, a 220-apartment co-living building (un-named) and another coliving apartment building that hasn’t announced how many units it will have. South Florida-based Macken Cos. plans to redevelop nearly three acres on West Dixie Highway in North Miami Beach into a mixed-use project called 5 Park. The site currently houses 18 storefronts and two office buildings. Baptist Health South Florida and Houston-based Belmont Village plan a $50-million senior living project in Coral Gables called Belmont Village Coral Gables.

 

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