Meet Miami’s Mega-Deal Master Art Falcone of Encore Capital

Art Falcone, CEO and managing principal of Encore Capital Management, has a lot on his plate at the moment. He is currently in the middle of

The Miami Worldcenter project update: A S4 Billion Project. Right the second phase of construction is be-ginning on Colaba, the project’s luxury apartment residences as well as Luna, a 434-unit apartment tower. Paramount, the luxury condos, is complete and is nearly 90-percent sold. Construction of the hotel and retail components has be¬gun and construction on the office build¬ing and convention center will begin at the end of this year.

The Plantation Walk project update: A $350 Million Project. The first piece of Plantation Walk, the CIA os-A office space. is now open and has Aetna as a major tenant. The first phase of retail and the apartments is currently under construction.

The Margaritaville Resort Orlando project update: A $800 Million Project. The resort (including the retail component) is now open and the team opened the water park, Island H2O Live!, in June.

We caught up with Falcone to see how he is managing his immense pipeline and his thoughts on mixed-use development.

You are building some of the largest mixed-use properties across the state of Florida right now. Why does mixed-use work well?

Mixed-use works well because you are in control of your own destiny. For retail and entertainment segments to be successful, you need a lot of traffic. When that retail and entertainment is in a mixed-use development, you are creat¬ing the traffic from the residences, hotel or office portions. Essentially, the residential or office density fuels the success of the retail portion and vice versa.

How do you select your locations for your project? Of the three examples above, one is in a major city, one is in a suburb and the other is a top tourist des¬tination.
The first thing we look for is driv¬ers. For us, that means we want the property to be within a five-mile radius of high-traffic areas and energy points. At Miami Worldeenter, we are close to museums, parks, South Beach, the bas¬ketball arena and colleges attended by more than 32,000 students. This area of Miami sees an estimated 30 million visitors per year. At Plantation Walk, more than 70.000 cars per day pass by our property on University Drive. Plus, Sawgrass Mills which is nearby is one of the top three tourist attractions in the entire state. We also benefit from nearby colleges and universities with more than 70,000 students and faculty members. At Margaritaville Resort Orlando, we are right across the street from Disney’s Animal Kingdom, more than 70,000 cars per day travel on 192 and there are 23,000 timeshare units within a five-mile radius of the property. In addition to those drivers and ener¬gy points, it’s also very important to find the property at the right price.

Your mixed-use projects contain large retail components. With the retail land¬scape changing so much, how are you going to ensure their success?
I am focusing on incorporating entertainment centers into these mixed-use live, work and play communities that create memorable experiences that the public will want to experience time and time again. From Plantation Walk to Margaritaville Resort Orlando and Miami Worldcenter, we are creating well planned and curated entertainment and lifestyle destinations that will offer out¬door entertainment areas that can serve as concert venues, new chef-driven restaurant concepts, and unique shopping opportunities.

You are developing multifamily proj¬ects across the country. Why do you think there will be an increasing demand for rental units in 2019? What cities/states are most prime for multifamily develop¬ment right now?
The country has been averaging 300,000 new rental units each year for the last several years. Historically, that’s not a high number, and some years were even lower. We think based on propensity to rent, and the amount of baby boomers entering the market, the country can easi¬ly handle 350,000-400,000 units per year depending on market The Rise brand that we created is synonymous with up¬scale urban living and our tagline is “Live LocarThat’s because we understand that people want to live close to where they work and play. We wanted to create ame¬nity-rich developments in prime locations with a lot of pedestrian programming.

Right now the hot cities for multifamily development are Seattle, Los Angeles, the East Bay, Denver, Austin, Dallas,
Orlando and South Florida.

Erika Morphy covers the capital markets, the Mid-Atlantic region and national topics for, an ALM affiliate of the Daily Business Review. Contact her at