“We’re not sort of in — we’re all in:” A look at Ken Griffin’s plans to reshape Miami
Griffin said he will personally pitch companies like Apple
Billionaire Ken Griffin revealed details of his plans to put his stamp on Miami — including a waterfront office tower with a helipad, marina and restaurants — that could cost the Citadel founder and CEO $1 billion to develop.
It’s well known that Griffin and his companies, Citadel and Citadel Securities, are relocating from Chicago to Miami. The office tower, which Chicago-based Sterling Bay will build for Citadel, is expected to rise on the bayfront site at 1201 Brickell Bay Drive. Citadel paid $363 million for the lot, and another $286.5 million for the nearby office building at 1221 Brickell Avenue, this year. The company, which leases office space at Southeast Financial Center in downtown Miami, also signed a lease for space at the 830 Brickell office tower that is under construction.
“We’re not sort of in — we’re all in,” Griffin said in an interview with Bloomberg in September.
The planned tower could rise more than 1,000 feet, on par with a number of other skyscrapers in the Miami pipeline. It could be built in five or six years, according to Bloomberg, though it will likely take longer.
Griffin said he will personally pitch major U.S. companies like Apple as potential tenants.
“I’m going to work to create a building that’s iconic in Miami,” Griffin said. “If it takes longer to fill the building, so be it. It’s more important to me to create the right environment to draw human capital that drives Citadel.”
Griffin, a Daytona Beach native, has paid more than $1 billion over the last decade for real estate from Palm Beach to Miami Beach. He has assembled hundreds of millions of dollars worth of residential properties in Palm Beach, where Citadel will also have an office, and owns homes on Miami Beach’s Star Island and in Coral Gables. This summer, he paid a record $107 million to buy a waterfront home on Miami’s Brickell Avenue.
The huge influx of wealthy buyers to South Florida has made the region less affordable. Alberto Ibarguen, head of the Knight Foundation, told Bloomberg it is an “inorganic infusion of upper-middle-class and rich individuals that are suddenly coming in and widening the wealth gap even more.”
Still, Griffin may have little difficulty attracting supporters.
“Someone like Ken will have no trouble navigating around Miami because he will have instant new best friends,” said billionaire Phillip Frost, Griffin’s neighbor on Star Island. “He will be sought out, no question about that. His job will be to fend them off.”
– Katherine Kallergis