💰 Billionaire Name Game

JPMorgan gets Messi; Koch gets medical; Santander gets banky

Happy Friday Highest & Best! Billionaires and banks are dropping names all over South Florida this week:

⚽ JPMorgan Chase bought the naming rights to Inter Miami’s soccer stadium

💰 Koch foundation drops $75 million for a West Palm Beach medical center

🏦 A FOURTH new office building for Miami’s financial district….

💸…While tech startups leave Miami for San Francisco (Uh-oh?)

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Let’s get to it!

The Soccer Home of Messi Shall Now be Called “Chase”

JPMorgan is renaming Inter Miami’s soccer stadium (Photo: Inter Miami)

Lionel Messi mania has reached the highest levels of the U.S. banking system.

JPMorgan Chase, the country’s largest bank, announced this week that it bought the naming rights to the soccer stadium where Inter Miami —and Messi, its new superstar — currently play.

The 21,500-seat venue in Fort Lauderdale, a temporary home for the team while it builds a new complex in Miami, will now be called “Chase Stadium," according to a team statement.

The deal is JPMorgan’s first foray into soccer sponsorship. Moreover, it gets rid of the vowel-challenged moniker, “DRV PNK,” that the stadium had gone by until now. (It was pronounced “Drive Pink”).

And it seems to cement the New York-based bank’s growing presence in Florida. JPMorgan has nearly 3,000 employees in Miami and more than 14,000 across the Sunshine State, the company said.

Inter Miami is expected to move out of its current stadium by 2025, the year Messi’s contract expires.

The team’s owners, which include retired soccer star David Beckham, are privately funding a new permanent home in Miami, to be known as Miami Freedom Park. Construction on that 25,000-seat stadium, part of a larger soccer and entertainment complex on 131 acres of city-owned land, began last summer.

Catch up on recent Highest & Best issues:


Billionaire Koch Gifts $75 Million for West Palm Doctor Office

Proposed NYU medical office in West Palm Beach (Photo: NYU Langone)

Floridians need more New York doctors.

So suggests Julia Koch, the widow of billionaire industrialist David Koch, and the world’s second-wealthiest woman.

This week her family foundation gifted $75 million toward the construction of a new medical facility in West Palm Beach. The future “Julia Koch Family Ambulatory Care Center” will be built by NYU Langone Health — a major hospital and health care system in New York City, which has been looking to expand its reach in South Florida.

“Palm Beach County is full of New Yorkers, many of whom now live there year-round,” Kenneth Langone, chair of the NYU Langone Board of Trustees, said in a statement. “For the rest of us, it’s a home away from home—with one big deficit: a lack of comprehensive care from the full spectrum of NYU Langone doctors.”

The new eight-story center will have space for 50 physicians and serve 150,000 patients annually, which would would “dramatically increase the scope of care” that the health system can provide in the region, NYU Langone said.

The gift from the Julia Koch Family Foundation comes just weeks after NYU purchased a four-story office building in West Palm Beach for $33 million —more than three times what the seller bought it for. (See previous coverage here).

NYU Langone’s expansion in West Palm Beach comes as many of Wall Street’s bold name financial firms (and their well-heeled employees) are moving to or opening offices in the neighborhood.

Get Knocked Down, Then Get Up Again

Rendering for 40-story “Santander Tower” (Photo: Miami UDRB)

Banco Santander plans to raze its current office building in Miami’s financial district and replace it with…another one.

A city review board approved the Spanish bank’s plans this week to build a 40-story office tower on the Miami site it’s owned and occupied for nearly two-decades.

The planned “Santander Tower,” at 1401 Brickell Ave, will have 613,000 square feet of office space and another 108,000 square feet for restaurant-related tenants, according to documents filed with the city.

That’s a sizable upgrade from the current 14-story building on the site.

The proposal marks the fourth new office tower in Miami’s financial district planned or under construction.

Just last month, Sterling Bay, a Chicago developer announced that it’s partnering with Key International to co-develop a 51-story office skyscraper at 848 Brickell.

In case it needs repeating: Miami’s strong office market is running in mirror image to the office disaster that’s roiling other major urban centers.

Office vacancies in the U.S. are at an all-time high of 19.6%. Companies are scaling back their workspaces and owners of large urban office towers are seeing rents fall and the value of their properties plummet.

The contrast is striking to anyone who sees it. I thought this tweet from earlier this week summed it up nicely:

Canary in the Miami Office Coal Mine?

Tech startup firms who made a "hard pivot" towards Miami two years ago are going back to San Francisco, the Wall Street Journal reported this week.

The story features venture capitalist Keith Rabois who declared San Francisco “miserable on every dimension” and in 2020 urged startup founders to join him in ditching the city for Miami, for its “relative safety, lower taxes and tech-friendly mayor.”

Now, several of the startups that Rabois has backed are relocating or opening offices outside of Miami, claiming that it’s easier to attract engineering talent elsewhere, the Journal reported.

Rabois, an early investor in companies like Airbnb and DoorDash, remains in Miami, but will himself be spending one week per month in San Francisco for a new employer, Khosla Ventures.

Investment in Miami-area startups plunged 70% to just $2 billion last year, the Journal reported. San Francisco area startups fared relatively better, dropping 12% to $63.4 billion last year.

That’s it for today!

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