WHO IS MARC ROBERTS?
He's been hiding in plain sight for decades. Behind his glaring
anonymity is a multitude of triumphs against all odds.
The man has packed 100 years of life into half the time.
But few people know his age. The man has bought, owned, and sold a huge percentage of all the best real estate in downtown Miami. But hardly anyone knows it. The man has created or co-created multi-billion dollar projects that have step-by-step breathed life, glamour and wealth into prime sites, including Miami World Center, the Miami Signature Bridge, the Virgin Brightline Station, the American Airlines Arena, the Arsht Performance Art Center, the new Federal Justice Campus and new Federal Courthouse, as well as the inspiring Miami Dade College Museum of Art and Science.
But the throngs of people who enjoy the fruit of his inspired work don’t know where it all comes from. Because most people outside his circle might not even recognize his name. This powerful, resourceful, relentless doer, Marc Roberts, has preferred to remain nameless while he promoted athletes or developed the impossible in real estate.
A MODEST VIEW FROM THE TOP
From high-rise to heightened nightlife experience venues, Marc Roberts
masterminds billions in real estate development projects far and wide.
Big money is nothing new for Roberts, but that's not why he does it. It has a little more to
do with dreams, vision and proving people wrong spectacularly, with apparent ease.
With countless wins by knockout under his belt, Marc is the now the fighting pride of Miami's enterprising world.
Fighting out of the sky-blue corner in South Florida, wearing one of his favorite jerseys…
Official weight: none of your business.
MIAMI WORLD CENTER (MWC)
In 2003, Marc started to assemble a prime downtown area in Miami with Arthur Falcone. His vision was to consolidate the Park West area. Because it was right off of the main highway, it was a prime location. Marc envisioned towers there. Before construction, there were homeless people living afoot the Marina Blue building, the One Thousand Museum, and 900 Biscayne. Every day, some thousand cargo trucks would drive through in order to get to the nearby port. No one invested money in that area yet Marc saw a risky but golden opportunity.
Marc factored in that there was a tunnel planned and that it would create a new path for cargo trucks. He didn’t know if it was 100% but had heard rumors about tunnel construction and new government structures being built, so he took the chance. This was also before he knew about the train station. It wasn’t even a thought back then. Roberts kept assembling the land from ’03 to ’08, and at the time, he had $100 million invested in the deal between him and Arthur Falcone. In 2008, they had to restructure everything; a once-in-a-lifetime financial tsunami had swept over the world. True to form, Marc and Arthur came out as big winners.
After Co-Founding the Miami World Center, Marc set his sights on the rest of the neighborhood (now known as the Miami Innovation District). Marc and partners Michael Simkins and Romie Chaudhari now own most of the Miami Innovation District.
Marc knew Miami was growing after doing research and listening to his accountant. He moved from New York to Miami in 1998 for the weather and no state income tax. He quickly saw the influx of wealthy people moving to Star Island and Sunset Island buying expensive houses on the water. He saw Downtown as an area with huge potential. Although everything was being built up in Miami, Marc saw more affordable living. He also knew that people buying places on South Beach for so much money would seek a party scene off the beach and that Downtown could serve that overflow demand.
Now, no one wants to rent 50 to 80-year-old condos when they can rent a brand-new apartment Downtown. Most older buildings just don’t come with the most beautiful view anymore. Nevermind doorman security, rooftop pools, and access to hundreds of things to do, including events at the AA Arena, a 38-acre park, the Adrienne Arscht Center for the Performing Arts, the Frost Science Museum, plus shopping and restaurants in walking distance. You get it.
Now, Marc and his partners own four prime corners – which consists of 14 acres and over 15 million square feet upon which to build, not including their $830 million dollar Signature Bridge – where they intersect with Interstate 395, and that’s under construction to make room for the bridge and an adjoining 55-acre park right next to Marc’s property.
The Miami World Center is wrapping up a $2.5 billion dollar first phase.The new Brighline train station is finishing up a $3 billion first phase and it goes between Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach. Soon, it will go to Orlando and eventually Tampa. To the west, Overtown is going through a renaissance with tremendous development underway, and One Thousand Museum is closing on condos that are selling for $5.5MM to over $30MM. Within a small radius of Marc’s land, there’s over $8 billion worth of development happening, with thousands of new apartment units right off the highway at Marc’s and his partners Miami Innovation District.
Thousands of Apartments, Condos, Retail Locations, Offices, Hotels, a Convention Center, Train Station, and Park Being Built or Just Completed
In 2008, Marc faced the biggest adversity yet, and emerged victorious one more time. After the tsunami recession of 2008, everything Marc had initially pictured came to life. In hindsight, ‘08 was their opportunity to acquire land for less although initially it presented a huge loss and caused much restructuring and delays. Marc Roberts and Art Falcone never gave up, and pushed through together, from ’08 to present day, relying on their ingenuity to recover their investment.
With the help of his partners, one could say the Roberts family has owned or does now own almost all the land in the neighborhood – 40 ACRES OF NEW DOWNTOWN MIAMI.
MIAMI INNOVATION DISTRICT
Marc is the Co-Founder of both the Miami World Center and the Miami Innovation District. Interestingly enough, he almost bought every piece of land that is now known as the Miami World Center, or MWC, the catalyst for a new Downtown Miami. MWC is being built and activated, and it’s happening right now. The Miami Innovation District is more of a long-term play; Marc and his partners are waiting on MWC to be completed and watch what the market dictates. Depending on what the market dictates, they will then figure out what to do with it (build more, sell it, or joint venture). Luckily, there’s very little debt the Miami Innovation Center, and no zoning restrictions on height other than FAA approval, leaving open every possibility under the Sun.
Marc Roberts foresees that within five years the Miami Innovation District will become a hub for massive tech companies, shopping malls, and condominiums. It will be known as the New Downtown Miami, where all the major infrastructure is currently built. Luckily, the property is zoned for anything except a casino so the options are limitless. This area could be great for a company campus, rental units, retail, a hospital, commercial spaces, you name it.
Marc would love to see companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google, and WeWork build campuses here. It’s such an ideal spot for any tech company. Miami will soon have everything to attract professionals including public transportation via the new Brightline train, not to mention sunny skies and tax benefits.
In just five short years, Club E11EVEN Miami has perhaps become the most famous nightclub in the world. The unique concept in nightlife entertainment is open 24-hrs every day. Not only that, it’s open 365 days per year. It never closes. Think Cirque de Soleil mega club, not to be found anywhere else, from Ibiza to San Francisco.
A WINNER NEVER QUITS
AND A QUITTER NEVER WINS
Valuable lessons in vanquishing adversity.
Born in Newark and grew up in West Orange, New Jersey, his passion for sports took form playing Division 1 basketball for American University, one of the top teams in the country led by coach Gary Williams. The leading scorer in college basketball was Marc’s teammate, Russell (Boo) Bowers. One day, Boo was very lethargic at practice. Coach asked what was wrong and Boo replied that agents had been knocking on his door all day and all night.
Shortly thereafter, as a freshman in college, Marc talked Boo into becoming his agent. Boo obliged. Subsequently, at age 19, Marc began signing up players, umpires, basically anyone he could represent. The local paper published an article about a very young kid representing various athletes, at which point he was contacted by the Plainfield Athletic Club who asked him if he would like to represent three state champion boxers.
As a rookie promoter and agent, Marc raised $60,000 to market his fights, from anyone who would listen to him or his story. Finally, he booked one of his state champion boxers a fight in Hartford, Connecticut for a big match in front of 10,000 people. Although his fighter clearly beat the other fighter, they lost the fight, and Marc quickly learned what a hometown advantage was.
To make a long story short, after many setbacks and struggles to find funding, Marc became the youngest person ever to promote a professional boxing match, at just nineteen years old. Marc became the youngest promoter in professional boxing history, a distinction he still holds today. Thus began what would become a sports and entertainment empire.
From his humble hometown boxing gym sprouted a huge sports empire representing not only boxers but many of the biggest professional NBA, NFL and Nascar athletes on the planet.