The Built World Podcast: Arnaud Karsenti – Managing Principal & Founder, 13th Floor Investments

In this episode, we sit down with Arnaud to explore his remarkable journey as an entrepreneur. As a first-generation American with French roots, Arnaud inherited a passion for entrepreneurship from his parents, who were also business owners. From an early age, he immersed himself in the world of business, learning invaluable lessons while working alongside his parents.

Arnaud’s entrepreneurial spirit was evident even in high school when he ventured into the world of DJing, laying the groundwork for his future ventures. His journey took a leap forward during his time at Duke University when he founded College Boxes, a moving and storage service tailored for college students. The success of College Boxes eventually culminated in its acquisition by U-Haul.

Returning to Miami in the early 2000s, Arnaud and a close friend embarked on his first real estate venture by acquiring small duplexes in the vibrant neighborhood of Little Havana. They began assembling properties and then flipped them to developers who would then build larger multifamily projects since zoning allowed for more density and height. 

Arnaud’s pursuit of excellence led him to pursue further education, earning an MBA from Harvard University. Armed with enhanced knowledge and expertise, he returned to Miami and founded 13th Floor Investments in 2008. Initially focusing on distressed assets, Arnaud pivoted the company’s strategy in 2011 in response to changing market dynamics.

In 2013, Arnaud embarked on a groundbreaking project, collaborating with Inigo Ardid from Key International to develop 400 Sunny Isles, marking a significant milestone in his career. From that point forward  the rest is history. 

Throughout the episode, Arnaud shares invaluable insights and wisdom gleaned from his experiences, emphasizing the importance of mentors, cultivating trusted relationships with investors, and leading by example as the water carrier for the 13th Floor Investments team. Tune in for a wealth of inspiration and practical advice from a seasoned entrepreneur and developer. 

Please find this episode of The Built World on Spotify and iTunes.

The Built World Podcast: Brian Bandell – Senior Editor Real Estate, South Florida Business Journal

In this episode, we crack open a Corona and jump into the fascinating world of South Florida real estate with the one and only Brian Bandell. We dive into Brian’s journey from the Associated Press to Reuters to the South Florida Business Journal where he has been for the last 20 years reporting on health care, business and now real estate for the last 7 years. Did we mention Brian is also a novelist, with four thrilling books under his belt? 

We dish about everything from The Brightline and its potential to transform transit-oriented development along the Florida East Coast railway, to the hidden gems of Hollywood, Flagler Village, and Overtown. We also touch upon the rezoning opportunities in Hollywood, Curry Park (West Palm Beach) and Riviera Beach – because who doesn’t love a good upzoning discussion?

But wait, there’s more! We delve into South Florida’s office market, population swings, property taxes and who really benefits from Florida’s no state income tax. 

And just when you thought we couldn’t cram any more excitement into one episode, we hit you with the impact of higher interest rates, rising insurance premiums and construction costs. Plus, we break down the Live Local Act and its impact on the elusive unicorn of workforce housing.

So grab a drink, sit back, and join us as we navigate the wild world of South Florida real estate with Brian Bandell – the man, the myth, the real estate legend.

Please find this episode of The Built World on Spotify and iTunes.

The Built World Podcast: Steven Wernick – Managing Partner, Wernick&Co

In this episode, we delve into the remarkable journey of Steven Wernick, a trailblazing land use attorney, and his pivotal role in the revitalization of Miami’s iconic Wynwood neighborhood. Steven’s distinctive blend of legal acumen and planning expertise, coupled with his fervor for neighborhood revitalization, positions him as a unique urbanist dedicated to the well-being of local communities and their residents.

Discover Steven’s journey from Boston University to earning a Masters in Regional Planning and Real Estate Development at Chapel Hill, followed by his pursuit of a law degree at the University of Florida. Through his collaboration with the Wynwood Business Improvement District (BID) since its establishment in 2013, Steven worked alongside visionaries like Joe Furst, David Polinsky, and David Lombardi to drive impactful zoning changes that played a pivotal role in reshaping Wynwood into one of Miami’s most iconic neighborhoods.

The episode provides a comprehensive exploration of Wynwood’s transformation, shedding light on the strategic initiatives proposed by the BID and the collaborative efforts that fueled this urban renewal of Miami’s hottest neighborhood. Additionally, we shift our focus to the inspirational story of Greenville, South Carolina, under the visionary leadership of Mayor Knox White, who has played a key role in reimagining the city over the past twenty-five years.

Situated between Charlotte and Atlanta, Greenville’s industrial prowess, boasting a BMW factory and Michelin’s North American Headquarters, adds depth to our discussion of urban revitalization. Join us as we analyze these two compelling case studies, drawing valuable insights from Steven Wernick’s experiences and expertise in the realm of urban transformation.

Please find this episode of The Built World on Spotify and iTunes.

The Built World Podcast: Ricardo Caporal – Founder & President, Mattoni Group

In this episode, join us as we savor Woodford Reserve Double Oaked bourbon with serial entrepreneur Ricardo Caporal. Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, Ricardo immigrated to Miami at the age of 6. He attended Babson College and then went on to pursue graduate-level executive studies in real estate at Harvard University and marketing management at Kellogg School of Management.

Ricardo established Mattoni Group in December 2008 with an aim to locate and create unique real estate investment opportunities. With 15+ years of private equity real estate investment and management experience, Mattoni Group investments include a diverse portfolio of assets and loans across the United States, with multifamily assets comprising the bulk of the portfolio. To date Ricardo has taken a leadership role in over $1.5B in capitalized transactions. Mattoni currently manages several funds and separately managed accounts dedicated to both real estate and non-performing real estate loans. Currently, Mattoni Group is invested in over 5,000 multi-family units. 

Have a few laughs with us as we learn more about Ricardo’s entrepreneurial journey from starting a car wash business in high school to building a multi-million dollar real estate firm. 

Please find this episode of The Built World on Spotify or ITunes.

The Built World Podcast: Nitin Motwani – Managing Partner Miami Worldcenter Associates

In this episode we kick it with Nitin over some beers. Nitin got his first taste of real estate when his parents purchased  a rinky-dink hotel in Fort Lauderdale in the 1980’s. After graduating from Duke University, Nitin decided to pursue a master’s degree in real estate development from Columbia University.  In 2004 he moved back to South Florida and started networking with local real estate leaders. Nearly 20 years later, Miami World Center is an almost completed mixed-use development that sits on a 27 acre assemblage in the heart of downtown Miami.  

Join us as Nitin shares his journey on how he became one of the most influential developers Miami has seen in the last two decades. 

Please find this episode of The Built World on Spotify or ITunes.