Miami “Silicon Valley of the South”? Hardly, data shows
Cooling economy is making family offices, VCs skittish about backing high-risk startups
In the past two years, South Florida’s real estate industry has been abuzz over the tri-county region becoming the next Big Tech mecca.
Venture capital firms opened offices in Wynwood. Politicians joined the fanfare: Miami Mayor Francis Suarez tweeted “How can I help?” in reference to Bay Area firms moving to Miami.
Some even rechristened the city “Silicon Valley of the South.”
But actual office leasing by technology companies hasn’t matched the region’s reputation as a magnet for these firms. Generally, tech leasing has been on the decline since 2021, and by some metrics, has failed to surpass pre-pandemic levels, according to data and brokers.
In my experience, we are anecdotally hearing of it [tech firm demand]. We are not seeing a lot of it,” said Robert Orban, a Miami-based tenant broker with Cresa. “I hear, ‘Well, we are attracting tech.’ … It’s definitely on everyone’s mind, and I think it’s going to come to fruition, but not for a few years, and maybe many years to get on par with Boston or Austin — if ever.”
In late 2020, when most of the U.S. was still under a pandemic lockdown, South Florida’s early reopening, as well as lack of a state income tax, put the region on the map as a top choice for new-to-market firms. Suarez’s tweet, which came in December 2020 and went viral, was in response to venture capital firm Founders Fund partner Delian Asparouhov’s suggestion on Twitter to “move Silicon Valley to South Florida.”