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Largest Law Firm Tenancy Reaffirms Miami is the Financial Center of the Americas
March 29, 2016
Miami's infrastructure to support a thriving business sector continues to expand in step with the movement of global capital to the city. Akerman LLP, a top 100 U.S. law firm with core strengths in the financial services and real estate sectors, and serving clients across the United States and Latin America, has moved its largest office to the landmark Brickell City Centre, becoming the largest law firm tenant at the epicenter of one of the leading financial districts in the United States.
 
"For decades, Akerman has been a long-time fixture in Downtown Miami and has not only watched the district come-of-age but has in many ways helped fuel its rise as a global city," said Alyce Robertson, Executive Director of the Miami Downtown Development Authority. "The firm’s dominance in the financial services arena, and its new home at Brickell City Centre, will further solidify Downtown’s relevance as an economic powerhouse and the financial center of the Americas that will serve as a magnet for other like-minded organizations as they vie for entry into this market."
 
Coined the new Rockefeller Center, Brickell City Centre is a symbol of downtown Miami's economic regeneration and financial might. The city boasts more international banks than any other U.S. center outside of New York, earning it the nickname “Wall Street of the Americas.” A number of alternative investment related companies now have a presence in area, including a growing number of private equity firms and hedge funds recruited through the Downtown Miami Development Authority's (DDA) Financial Sector Initiative.
 
Neisen Kasdin, Vice Chair & State Cabinet Representative of the DDA and Akerman's Miami Office Managing Partner, who has been representing the developer Swire Properties as real estate and land use counsel said, "Brickell City Centre is one of the most important, large-scale developments in the country. Its use of sophisticated urbanism design creates an inter-connected and sustainable project across three city blocks that symbolizes another transformational moment in Miami's history. This level of investment and growth further solidifies Miami's place on the global stage."
 
The mixed-used project includes an outdoor shopping complex, two office buildings and two premier condominium towers, as well as the first EAST hotel outside of Asia by Swire Hotels, EAST, Miami The combination of these elements reflects the city's thriving business environment—a launch pad for entrepreneurs, a destination for global investors, and a haven for the ultra-wealthy.
 
Brickell City Centre also features the $30 million CLIMATE RIBBON™, a unique artistic and pioneering piece of environmental architecture in North America. The enormous overhead trellis uses an innovative approach to creating an open-air retail center. A passive climate management system, the CLIMATE RIBBON™ serves as a  distinctive design emblem of downtown Miami and a model for sustainable luxury in major U.S. retail cities.
 
"We believe our two office towers at Brickell City Centre will set new standards for Miami's office space and further Brickell's growth as a leading global financial district," said Stephen Owens, President of Swire Properties Inc. "Akerman's commitment to Brickell City Centre is integral to the success of this project."
 
Akerman's office adds another dimension to Brickell City Centre's forward-thinking design. The firm's dynamic workspace introduces a relatively new concept to the Miami legal market. Collaborative, shared workspaces and equal-sized offices are trending among firms of size and distinction in financial gateway cities like London and New York, and now Akerman is building it in Miami.
 
"Akerman's new space is designed to bridge the needs of today with the opportunities of tomorrow," said Andrew Smulian, Akerman Chairman and CEO. "The changing law business has an insatiable appetite for new ideas, and we saw this project as an opportunity to reimagine not only where we work, but how we work. This is part of our continuing commitment to embrace disruption and experimentation in order to advance the work of our clients. We turned concepts such as collaboration and transparency into convention, and created a working environment that is both forward-thinking and efficient."
 
The Akerman office also represents a new wave of entrepreneurial spaces in downtown Miami, integrating many of the design elements seen in local start-up incubators and co-working offices like The LAB Miami. The open and flexible design at Brickell City Centre allows Akerman lawyers and other professionals to work more collaboratively and efficiently, and provides the ability to expand and reposition various teams as client needs change. Occupying seven floors at Three Brickell City Centre, Akerman is the largest law office in the region to integrate this design technique.
 
In addition, Three Brickell City Centre is the only office building in the area with a Metromover station attached to its structure, providing a blueprint for greater mobility and efficiency. The Metromover is an elevated public transportation system spanning downtown Miami. It also is confirmation of the DDA's vision for a better-connected region. Linkages between communities and businesses not only supports the "live, work, play" lifestyle in downtown Miami, but also promotes cross-border investment and economic sustainability.
 
Miami's social make-up, climate and favorable tax structure for businesses continue to be a draw for global investors. The city also offers a geographic and multicultural advantage that continues to attract North-South investment from across the Americas. More and more Miami plays an important role in the national financial services agenda, becoming part of a triangle of capital flowing from Miami and New York to the Latin American hemisphere.

About Akerman LLP
Akerman LLP is a leading transactions and trial law firm known for its core strengths in middle market M&A, within the financial services and real estate industries, and for a diverse Latin America practice. With more than 600 lawyers and government affairs professionals and a network of 20 offices, it is ranked among the top 100 law firms in the United States by The American Lawyer (2015). Akerman also is ranked among the top 50 law firms for diversity inThe American Lawyer's Diversity Scorecard (2015).

About Miami Downtown Development Authority
The Miami DDA is an independent agency of the City of Miami funded by a special tax levy on properties in its district boundaries. It is governed by a 15-member Board comprised of three public appointees and 12 downtown property owners, residents and/or workers who are tasked with overseeing the direction of the agency and setting policy. The agency is committed to grow, strengthen and promote the economic health and vitality of downtown Miami. As an autonomous agency of the City of Miami, the Miami DDA advocates, facilitates, plans, and executes business development, planning and capital improvements, and marketing and communication strategies. Visit www.MiamiDDA.com for more information.

About Brickell City Centre
Brickell City Centre is a landmark $1.05 billion, 5.4 million square feet, mixed‐use development in downtown Miami from Swire Properties Inc, one of South Florida’s leading international developers of real estate known for its $1 billion master‐planned development of Brickell Key. The project’s first phase includes a luxury and premium shopping center, two residential towers, a hotel with residences, and two mid-rise office towers. The project is LEED®-registered for Neighborhood Development – currently one of the largest in the U.S. Sustainability elements include the $30 million CLIMATE RIBBON™; a masterpiece of art and science, the elevated trellis will span 150,000 square feet, connecting the project’s three city blocks and acting as an environmental management system. As the largest private-sector project currently under construction in Miami, Brickell City Centre began vertical construction in 2013 and the first phase of construction is scheduled for completion beginning winter 2015. Phase II is scheduled for commencement end of 2017. More information is available at www.brickellcitycentre.com.


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