Miami the new Silicone Valley?
Have you heard the tale of the Two Billboards?
It’s sooo Miami!
Earlier this year, a venture capitalist paid for advertising on two billboards on a San Francisco highway to grab attention for his latest Twitter grand idea.“Ok, guys, hear me out – what if we move Silicone Valley to Miami? He asked on a tweet that went viral on social media.
Back came the immediate response. “How can I help?” tweeted Francis Suarez, the Mayor of the City of Miami.
The ad guys got in on the act and erected two billboards in prime San Francisco locations –and later Times Square, NYC.
Thinking of moving to Miami? DM. Mayor Francis Suarez.
The Grand scheme captured the corporate imagination and spread like wildfire as it gathered pace and propelled a High Tech exodus from California to Florida.
Prior to the pandemic, firms were relocating to South Florida because of lower house prices, great weather, no personal income tax and business friendly regulations.
The Two Billboards' conversation started a tidal wave of relocations thanks to a new freedom to ‘work from home.’
The cost of that housing being the number one factor that drives many employees out of San Francisco to other parts of California or more affordable and cites further afield.
As an example, at the beginning of summer, according to a report in Miami’s Biscayne Times, the median price of a modest one-bedroom apartment in Miami was $1,500 compared to a $3,000 monthly rental in San Francisco.
Miami real estate offices are currently crawling with out-of towners from California and New York looking to buy or rent in the Sunshine State. Tech companies with 100 employees or more are eyeing up desirable commercial property. Several billionaire founders and investors from equity and venture capitalist funds have put their money where their mansions are and bought multi-million dollar oceanfront residential properties.
Prior to the pandemic, and Suarez’s “How can I help?” tweet, out of state companies worried that they wouldn’t be able to recruit talent or raise capital in Miami, now companies from New York, Northern California and Boston are snapping up commercial leases. A critical mass accumulated.
Miami’s current business district is attracting clients, and developers are all set to provide the infrastructure and technology required to accommodate hundreds of workers in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematical) industries.
The tech, hedge funds, law firms and financial centers previously overshadowed by tourism, hospitality and health care, are signaling their arrival by building whole villages places to work and live - not so much Silicone Valley more Beach City by the Sea.
Executives of Business Improvement Districts have observed that over the past year, the momentum has attracted a clustering of technology, financial and wealth management creating one of the largest emerging tech hubs in the nation.
Tech companies were already talking about turning Miami into a mint for cryptocurrencies now they have an opportunity to deal from the center of an energetic and forward looking city, inspiring state of the art innovations and advancements.
When the Mayor of the City of Miami, Francis Suarez, asked, “How can I help?” he opened the door to a massive influx of West Coast entrepreneurs, individuals and businesses bursting with economic and social opportunities.“Hey, guys, hear me out. What if we move Silicone Valley to Miami?” Great idea. The Magic City in the Sunshine State, we’re on it!
Further Information :
Ellen Frazer-Jameson is a journalist, author, actress. theater producer and drama coach. She co hosted the largest live late night radio show in Europe for the BBC and has appeared on national TV shows and taken leading roles on stage. She lives in Miami and London and loves to dance Argentine tango.