Centrally located between Miami and Fort Lauderdale, the City of North Miami enjoys the benefits of both cities, including international airports, major seaports, and vibrant downtowns. Aside from its enviable location in one of the most dynamic regions in the US, North Miami boasts several distinct features. These include a unique downtown district anchored by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Florida International University’s Biscayne Bay Campus, Johnson and Wales University, and one of the largest mixed-use development projects in Florida: Solé Mia. The city also benefits from a diverse population, an established group of local businesses, visionary leadership, a strong professional staff, and a robust network of partners. However, North Miami’s commercial districts have not achieved the levels of investment experienced by similarly positioned South Florida cities and it continues to serve, primarily, as a bedroom community for surrounding cities. .
To better leverage their competitive position, the City of North Miami engaged TIP Strategies to conduct a target industry analysis. The objective of the work was to provide a clear strategy for identifying the industry sectors and businesses the City should target for development, attraction, and foreign direct investment within North Miami’s industrial and commercial zoning districts. In addition to an extensive economic analysis and a review of trends in entrepreneurial and foreign direct investment, the identification of target sectors was informed by stakeholder interviews, site visits, input from the Steering Committee, and guidance from City staff and elected officials. Four sectors were identified—medical services, hospitality and culinary, environmental sustainability, and arts and design—along with the anchor institutions that help shape and support each sector’s growth. As the analysis was headed to print, the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic crisis took center stage. The recommendations were restructured to acknowledge and address those near-term challenges, however, the strategy remained focused on long-term responses, including an expanded business retention and expansion effort, consideration of pro-development policies and forward-looking infrastructure investments, and a more aggressive target marketing effort.