Friday’s Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting provided a forum for prominent, home-grown developer Russell Galbut to vent about the tangled web of bureaucracy that has become standard operating procedure in the city of Miami Beach.
Not one to mince words, Galbut was certainly not shy about expressing his dissatisfaction with the Byzantine process that has, in his view, cost Miami Beach dearly, as companies chose to take their business elsewhere rather than become snared in a maze of never ending regulations, paperwork, and indecision.
And Mr. Galbut certainly seemed to have the facts and figures to back up his dissatisfaction, citing Miami Beachs’ recent loss of luxury retailer LVMH to the design district as the latest example of the City’s unfriendly attitude toward business and development. Galbut went on to say that his development experience in San Francisco, where he accomplished in four weeks what would have taken five years in Miami Beach, further convinced him that major change is needed if Miami Beach expects to attract investment.
Many audience members applauded Galbut’s frankness and echoed his painful experiences in Miami Beach with their own horror stories about consistent delays, extraordinary filing expenses, and needless bureaucracy.
Galbut concluded his tirade with a concrete, five-point call for action. Among his suggestions were requiring individuals with decision making authority to actually either live or work in Miami Beach and to immediately dismiss committee members who consistently miss meetings.
Galbut’s arguments were convincing, and it was hard to walk away without hoping that someone in City Hall would eventually get the message and take action. With cities around the country and throughout the world clamoring for investment and tourism dollars, Miami Beach can ill afford to continue to be perceived as a difficult place to do business.
The Charre Group is a real estate brokerage and investment banking firm that specializes in the sale and financing of hotels and resorts primarily in Florida and the Caribbean. For more information, go online at www.thecharregroup.com or call 305.529.6336.