NAIOP South Florida Hosts Annual South Florida Economic Development Panel

Tri-county economic development leaders discuss current trends, high-profile projects and anticipated challenges ahead

Jules Morgan of NAIOP South Florida, Event Moderator Darcie Lunsford of Butters Realty & Management, Kelly Smallridge of Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, Jenni Morejon of Fort Lauderdale Downtown Development Authority, James Kohnstamm of Miami-Dade Beacon Council, Bob Swindell of Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance

NAIOP South Florida, a Commercial Real Estate Development Organization, recently hosted its annual NAIOP South Florida Economic Development Panel at the Tower Club in Fort Lauderdale, where top players in commercial real estate listened to leading economic development professionals weigh in on the considerable transformation that has taken place across all three counties, with South Florida continuing to shine as one of the country’s most desirable destinations for businesses.

Moderated by of Butters Realty & Management Executive Vice President, Darcie Lunsford, the conversation included an optimistic recap of South Florida’s recovery in the wake of the pandemic, with mention of numerous active projects in the pipeline across the tri-county region.  The group also discussed how the considerable influx of businesses and residents to South Florida is creating new economic headwinds for the region in terms of affordable housing, talent recruitment, limited choices for schooling, shortages of quality office space and gaps in transportation.

Panelists included Miami-Dade Beacon Council Executive Vice President James Kohnstamm, Business Development Board of Palm Beach County President and CEO Kelly Smallridge, Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance President and CEO Bob Swindell and Downtown Development Authority President and CEO Jenni Morejon.

“The recurrent theme that came out of this year’s well-attended economic development panel was that South Florida is a top destination in the U.S. to live and do business, offering companies looking to relocate here a pro-business environment and an attractive quality-of-life,” said NAIOP South Florida Executive Director Jules Morgan. “While signs show that the economy is slowing, the commercial real estate industry continues to thrive as demand continues to surge. It’s a great time to be part of this regional industry and events like these allow key professionals to build meaningful business connections that ultimately make an impact on our entire region.”

For more information about NAIOP South Florida, visit