CABA Conference Roundtable Optimistic On Economy; Traffic, Not So Much
Facebook is opening an office in Miami. Entrepreneurial and high-tech incubators are sprouting. The Panama Canal expansion will be unveiled in 2015, bringing new business to PortMiami. The Miami Design District is flourishing, and Art Basel draws tourists from around the world to Miami.
It was all good news offered during a roundtable Friday at the Cuban American Bar Association's conference on Legal Aspects of Doing Business in the Americas.
But one lawyer posed a question that cast a damper on the luncheon. Peter Quinter, a partner at GrayRobinson who specializes in customs and international trade, asked panelists what's being done to improve traffic in South Florida.
Quinter lives in Boca Raton and travels to PortMiami and Miami International Airport nearly every day. He noted he spent three hours in traffic the previous day.
Panelists had little hope to offer Quinter.
"I left my home in Plantation four hours early just to get here in time for lunch," said Eduardo Torres, South Florida director of the U.S. Export Assistance Centers.
Pamela Fuertes, vice president of the Beacon Council, grew a little defensive, saying, "What other city has a port right in its downtown? This is actually a good problem to have."
Still, she added, "I'm a little edgy about traffic these days, too. I'm taking it one day at a time."
When the tunnel connecting the port and the MacArthur Causeway opens next May, traffic should improve, she said, adding the city's Downtown Development Authority and Miami-Dade County are exploring solutions.