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Political unrest, anti-business sentiment and state income taxes in places like New York, Chicago and California are all driving people to Florida, developers Gil Dezer, president of Dezer Development, and Jon Paul Perez, vice president of Related Group, said during a Bisnow webinar Tuesday.

“If you don’t live in Miami, you should go get your head checked,” said Dezer, whose company has developed condo towers in New York and South Florida, including the Porsche Design Tower. “I was very happy to be stuck here for coronavirus, for the whole COVID pandemic, to be stuck in our beautiful homes with the beautiful ocean, even though I escaped on my boat a few times — shh, don’t tell anybody. But that’s the beauty and the benefit of living in paradise.” Dezer pointed out that in Miami, protests around the death of George Floyd had been relatively peaceful.

Dezer said his company has been operating steadily throughout the past few months. It recently sold 260 out of the 310 units at a new beachfront condo, Residences by Armani/Casa, which was developed in partnership with Related Group, and reopened a sales office last week. Dezer Development has 10 buildings in the pipeline, Dezer said, including the redevelopment of the Intracoastal Mall plaza, a 12-acre site in Hillsboro Beach where Dezer hopes to build a 22-story project, and future projects in Sunny Isles Beach. Dezer is also operating a drive-in movie theater and selling a Nova Southeastern campus property in North Miami Beach that has potential for 1,000 residential units.

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