In another sign of South Florida’s strengthening ties to China, the Asian Real Estate Association of America has selected Miami as the host city for its 2017 Global Luxury Summit next April.
The organization’s board announced its selection of Miami during its 2016 Global Luxury Summit in Honolulu last week, according to Cervera Real Estate, which sent three executives to attend the summit.
The decision comes eight months after the AREAA set up its Miami chapter. Miami joins the list of major U.S. cities that have hosted the event in previous years: Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Chicago.
The Global Luxury Summit is expected to bring together about 1,000 real estate professionals from 35 chapters around the country. According to AREAA’s website, topics covered generally include international investment, emerging markets, working with international clients and executing cross-border transactions.
AREAA launched its Greater Miami Chapter in August, naming Francisco Angulo of Coldwell Banker president and Jesse Ottley, president of development division for Cervera, vice president of the chapter. Since its inauguration, AREAA’s Miami group has become one the fastest growing chapters in the world, with 230 members, Ottley told The Real Deal.
“I think it’s for that reason that the association saw an opportunity for a burgeoning market like Miami to have a global summit,” Ottley said. It will be a three-day event, he said.
Cervera’s Frank Peng, vice president of Asia business development, is on a trade mission in China this week, working on bringing flights from Beijing to Miami and creating an affiliation with a Chinese real estate firm, Ottley said.
As Latin American economies and currencies have faltered in recent months, the Miami real estate industry has increasingly looked to China as the next promising market to tap.
Paramount Miami Worldcenter brought in a Feng Shui consultant to design the project. The Estates at Aqualina named its two towers with lucky numbers in Chinese culture. And Shanjie Li opened a Cantonese restaurant in the Brickell area to cater to Chinese tastebuds.
Developers and brokers also have been translating brochures into Mandarin Chinese, traveling to Beijing and Shanghai to woo Chinese buyers, and taking note of increased interest in their listings from Chinese investors.
Ottley said Cervera has seen demand from Chinese buyers in projects it represents, including the Ocean Resort Residence, Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach, where five units have sold to Asian buyers.
Chinese developers are also eyeing Miami. Last week, the first condominium project in Miami Beach by China City Construction received approval for a variance, allowing the 18-story tower to move forward. China City Construction also plans a project in Miami. In 2014, the company paid $74.7 million for a 2.4-acre site that encompasses an entire city block along the west side of South Miami Avenue in the Brickell area.