97 companies considering moving, expanding here, Beacon official says
By Risa Polansky
The Beacon Council is working with 97 companies actively evaluating Miami-Dade County as a location to expand within or relocate to and expects up to 12 to commit within three months, the responsible official revealed Tuesday.
If the county's official economic development organization could attracting all 97, the companies would create 4,900 jobs, producing $520 million in new capital investments, said Holly Wiedman, Beacon Council executive vice president.
Thirty-five of the companies already have Miami operations and are considering expansion, she said, potentially adding 2,500 jobs and $369 million in new capital investments.
The 62 companies evaluating the county for relocation — 47 from outside the US — could create 2,300 jobs and add $151 million in new capital investments, Ms. Wiedman said.
The bulk of the companies are considering Miami for local or regional branches, while about 5% may locate world headquarters here, 30% may establish distribution centers and 10% may set up manufacturing operations.
Of the potential new companies, most seek a location for Latin American regional headquarters, Ms. Wiedman said. Industries include bioscience, aviation, marine, high tech, financial services and film and entertainment operations.
Should all 97 choose Miami, they could use 4 million square feet of commercial space in a county with 8.7 million vacant square feet of industrial space and 4.56 million vacant square feet of office space, Ms. Wiedman said.
Last year, according to its annual report, The Beacon Council assisted 21 companies in either expanding within the county or relocating here — including Nokia's Latin American Division headquarters — creating more than 1,150 jobs and attracting $63.5 million in capital investment.