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Real Estate Visionaries Behind Transformation of Miami’s Wynwood Neighborhood Offer Insights to Students and Alumni

November 12, 2015
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jessica goldman and joe furst speak to students and alumni

Moderator Marianne Canero, MBA '14, with speakers Jessica
Goldman and Joe Furst.

Passion, persistence and communication skills are the foundation for a successful career in real estate, according to two visionary leaders of Goldman Properties, a development company that has spurred the revitalization of Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood in the past decade.

“Find your passion, be a sponge and learn as much as you can from really smart people,” said Jessica Goldman, the company’s CEO, to School of Business students and alumni at a Real Estate Homecoming Reception, November 12 at the Dorissa Building in Wynwood. “Then, believe in your vision, be able to communicate it to others and don’t ever give up.”

Marianne Canero (MBA ’14) global director of real estate for GEM (Groupo Economico Maldonado), moderated a discussion with Goldman and Joseph Furst, managing director-Wynwood, on how Goldman Properties led the transformation the neglected industrial neighborhood into a thriving walkable, arts-oriented community with restaurants, galleries, retail stores and creative businesses.

“The DNA of our company is revitalizing neighborhoods, said Goldman, whose father, the late Tony Goldman, founded the company in New York in the 1970s.  In South Florida, Goldman Properties played a key role in the revival of Ocean Drive on Miami Beach in the 1990s, and turned its attention to Wynwood in the early 2000s.

“We saw there was incredible street art in a centrally oriented neighborhood with opportunities for growth,” she said. “We looked at creative strategies to make Wynwood more appealing, such as using the backs of warehouse buildings as canvasses for great art.”

With recent city approval of a comprehensive zoning plan, Wynwood is poised for the next stage in its “smart growth plan,” said Furst, who also serves as chairman of the Wynwood Business Improvement District. “Things will look different in five years, with the addition of multi-story buildings, such as offices, a hotel and a garage,” he said. “It will be very important to integrate those new buildings into the neighborhood. We will continue to appeal to artists and galleries, while attracting more retailers, developers and investors.  Wynwood already has some incredible sales metrics.”

alumni and current students at reception

Alumni and students of the School enjoyed insight,
advice and industry stories from speakers Jessica
Goldman and Joe Furst of Goldman Properties.

Several members of the school’s Real Estate Advisory Board attended the reception, which was hosted by Alexander Degwitz, vice chairman of GEM, which owns the restored Dorissa Building, home to a private art collection as well as the offices of Suviche, Gibson Guitars and Royal Dutch Distillers, which all sponsored the reception.

Dean Gene Anderson and Andrea Heuson, professor of finance and co-director of real estate programs, welcomed attendees to the reception. One alumnus, Richard Mancini, MBA '13, an analyst with Torchlight Loan Service, said the school’s graduate program provided a strong launching pad for his career. “Having an MBA from the University of Miami opened the door to some great professional opportunities,” he said.

Reflecting on the varied career opportunities in real estate – including brokerage, finance, development and construction – Furst said, “Successful real estate professionals are magicians who create value for others and find personal satisfaction along the way.”

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