Hedge funder Ken Griffin says Miami could unseat New York as a global finance capital.
Over the past three years, South Florida became a magnet for financial firms due to the tri-county region’s early reopening from the pandemic lockdown, lack of a state income tax and overall business-friendly environment.
Griffin’s wager on Miami is largely seen as the biggest indicator of the city’s growth as a financial mecca. The billionaire, who moved his Citadel and Citadel Securities’ headquarters to Brickell from Chicago, has plans for an office tower on Brickell Bay that will cost more than $1 billion, Bloomberg News reported.
“We’ll see how big Wall Street South becomes,” Griffin told the publication on Tuesday at the Citadel Securities Global Macro Conference in Miami. “Maybe in 50 years it will be Brickell Bay North how we refer to New York in finance.”
Griffin, who was born in Florida and spent time in Boca Raton, is all in on South Florida real estate. The hedge funder plans an office tower for his companies at 1201 Brickell Bay Drive, a 2.5-acre site he scooped up last year for a record $363 million. Until that project is completed, he leased space for Citadel and Citadel Securities at the 830 Brickell tower that’s under construction and expanded the companies’ footprint at the Southeast Financial Center at 200 South Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami.
In Palm Beach, Griffin dropped $83 million for the office building at 125 Worth Avenue in July and also owns the adjacent 151 Worth Avenue building.
The billionaire’s expansive residential bet on South Florida includes the $106.9 million purchase of Adrienne Arsht’s waterfront estate in Miami’s Coconut Grove last year. It set a record as the first residential deal in Miami-Dade County to top $100 million.
Still, Griffin isn’t entirely turning his back on New York, where Citadel plans a 1,350-foot Manhattan skyscraper. New York is the “the epicenter of thoughtful people passionately engaged in their careers,” he said at the Citadel event.
But, he reiterated, the Magic City could overtake the Big Apple.
“Miami, I think, represents the future of America,” he said.
–– Lidia Dinkova