Miami trying to lure NYC hedge funds with snazzier Downtown

Downtown Miami and Nitin Motwani (inset)
Downtown Miami and Nitin Motwani (inset)

Developers and the city of Miami are looking to woo New York City-based hedge funds and private equity firms, promising not only the familiar perks of warmer weather and a haven from state and city taxes, but also a bustling Downtown.

“The more people get familiar with what is happening in Miami — the real Miami — the more people are going to say, ‘I’m going to give Miami a shot,’” said developer Nitin Motwani, a board member of the city’s Downtown Development Authority.

The city has recently welcomed a wave of top-flight restaurants and is also home to an emerging cultural scene — assets its real estate community is looking to use as bait for Manhattan financial firms, the Miami Herald reported.

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“You know what’s important to these guys? Where they go to lunch,’’ Marc Sarnoff, the city commissioner who serves as DDA chairman, told the newspaper. “Now, all of a sudden, you have a developed environment to satisfy these guys.”

Still, the six-month old “Finance Sector Initiative” for which the DDA has earmarked $50,000 isn’t expected to trigger a mass exodus from the hedge-fund strongholds of Manhattan and Connecticut just yet, according to the newspaper. The DDA’s public relations firm, Schwartz Media Strategies, could not provide the Herald with the name of a single fund that has made the move because of the initiative.

“We think we’re just at the gaining-traction stage,’’ Sarnoff told the newspaper. [Miami Herald] – Hiten Samtani