Here’s what SoFla real estate pros hope the Xi-Trump meeting at Mar-a-Lago will accomplish

Miami /
Apr.April 05, 2017 06:25 PM

In the run-up to his first meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago this week, President Trump hinted on Twitter that the two world leaders would engage in some tough discussions.

“The meeting next week with China will be a very difficult one in that we can no longer have massive trade deficits and job losses,” the president said in a series of tweets on March 30. “American companies must be prepared to look at other alternatives.”

South Florida real estate professionals courting Chinese investors are hoping Trump softens his stance by the time Jinping gets to Mar-a-Lago, the private club that has become such a center of power for Trump and those close to him that it is dubbed the “Winter White House.”

“It is in our economic interest that there not be any breakdown in trading and doing business with China,” said Ronald Fieldstone, a partner at Arnstein and Lehr. “You would hope that a strong trading alliance, no restrictions on travel and limited currency controls on China’s part come out of these talks.”

While Chinese investment in South Florida real estate is not as big a force as it is in markets such as New York and Los Angeles, interest in the market here has been steadily increasing over the past two years, said Fieldstone, who specializes in EB-5 visa funded projects. EB-5 capital has become a big catalyst of Chinese real estate investment in the U.S., with Chinese investors putting up to $4 billion into real estate projects through the program in 2015, according to data from Rosen Consulting Group.

“There’s been a lot of movement of Chinese capital coming to South Florida, some of it through the EB-5 visa program,” Fieldstone added. “You want to keep that moving ahead.”

Brokers that see wealthy Chinese as potential buyers for South Florida condos hope that the international publicity will spur interest in their product.

“I have about 25 Mandarin-speaking people who work for ISG,” said Craig Studnicky, principal at International Sales Group. “They are completely stoked by this visit from the president of China to Palm Beach. It will raise awareness about South Florida in the eyes of the Chinese for sure.”

Lauren Cohen, founder of e-Council, a consulting firm specializing in EB-5 projects, said that “Chinese EB-5 investors, in general, look at New York and the West Coast first, but some do invest in projects in South Florida,” she said. “[Jinping’s visit] could definitely put Palm Beach on the map.”

Cohen expects the mood at Mar-a-Lago to be informal and relaxed, despite the heavy topics on the table such as North Korea and missile testing.

“The only negative is if the president mistreated Jinping or does something that is not appropriate,” she said. “I don’t foresee that happening.”


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Eric and Lara Trump with 502 Bald Eagle Drive in Jupiter (Getty, Google Maps)
Trump town: Eric and Lara buy home near Don Jr. in Jupiter
Trump town: Eric and Lara buy home near Don Jr. in Jupiter
Fontainebleau Miami Beach, Jeffrey Soffer and former President Donald Trump (Ebyabe/Wikipedia, Getty, iStock)
Gambling portability a no-go in Florida this year for Jeffrey Soffer, Trump
Gambling portability a no-go in Florida this year for Jeffrey Soffer, Trump
Gil Dezer (Photos by Sonya Revell)
The Closing: Gil Dezer
The Closing: Gil Dezer
Brad Parscale and 2319 Desota Drive (Getty, Google Maps)
Brad Parscale, ex-Trump campaign manager, sells Fort Lauderdale home
Brad Parscale, ex-Trump campaign manager, sells Fort Lauderdale home
Donald Trump with sons Eric and Don Jr. and 1125 South Ocean Boulevard (Getty, Google Maps/Illustration by Alexis Manrodt for The Real Deal)
Trump lists beachfront mansion next to Mar-a-Lago for $49M
Trump lists beachfront mansion next to Mar-a-Lago for $49M
Photo illustration of Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago (iStock, Getty/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for TRD)
Trump argues to live in Mar-a-Lago — as an employee
Trump argues to live in Mar-a-Lago — as an employee
535 North County Road and Mark Pulte with former President Donald Trump (Google Maps; Pulte Family Foundation; Getty)
Spec home built on Trump’s former Palm Beach property under contract for $140M
Spec home built on Trump’s former Palm Beach property under contract for $140M
Trump Plaza’s condo board votes to remove ex-president’s name from West Palm towers
Trump Plaza’s condo board votes to remove ex-president’s name from West Palm towers
Trump Plaza’s condo board votes to remove ex-president’s name from West Palm towers
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...