COVID speeds up financial and tech company relocations to Florida
The migration trend doesn’t just include private-equity firms, hedge funds and other high-finance companies.
- San Francisco-based Zumper, an online apartment rental platform, will open an office in Miami with up to 150 employees.
- CrossBorder Solutions, a provider of corporate tax software and services, moved from Tarrytown, N.Y., to St. Petersburg, where it plans to hire about 300.
- Windstar Cruises, a small-ship cruise line, will relocate its headquarters from Seattle to Miami, attributing the move, in part, to employees’ ability to adapt to remote work.
- Pfizer will lease more than 100,000 square feet in Tampa.
- New York-based gun manufacturer Dark Storm Industries is considering moving to Brevard County, where it would build a 25,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing plant.
- Cyber-security firm OPSWAT moved its headquarters from San Francisco to Tampa. The move, which followed OPSWAT’s 2019 acquisition of Tampa-based cyber-security firm Impulse, is expected to generate 100 new jobs over the next three years.
- JetBlue reportedly is considering moving its headquarters from Long Island City to Florida.
- Milford, Conn.-based sandwich chain Subway will open an office with up to 100 employees near Miami International Airport.
John Stecher Blackstone Group
‘Diversity of Perspective’
Last fall, New York-based Blackstone Group, the world’s largest private equity firm, announced it would open an office in downtown Miami with 215 employees focused on in-house technology initiatives.
Chief technology officer John Stecher says Blackstone chose Miami because of the city’s large and diverse pool of tech talent as well as its vibrant nightlife, cosmopolitan atmosphere and direct flights to New York. He says Blackstone will try to fill most jobs locally with workers from the region’s colleges and universities and existing tech companies.
“If everybody is from New York and goes to Yale, everybody thinks a very specific way,” Stecher said during a November panel discussion hosted by Wyncode Academy, a private coding school in Miami. “Being able to capture and bring into the fold folks from Latin America, Miami and Florida, in general, goes to building the highest quality team because you get diversity of perspective.”
In another sign of Blackstone’s confidence in the economic future of Miami, Blackstone Real Estate, a separate unit from the technology division, recently paid $230 million for two office buildings at Miami Central, a mixed-use, transit-oriented development spanning six blocks downtown. Among the tenants is Blackstone’s tech unit, which has leased 41,000 square feet.
“We are high conviction, thematic investors focused on investing in growing markets with strong demographic tailwinds and talent pipelines,” David Levine, senior managing director of Blackstone Real Estate, said in a statement.
Read more in Florida Trend's May issue.
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