Michael Simkins, President and
Chief Executive Officer
Michael Simkins, President and CEO of Innovate Development Group, is leading one of the most significant projects to hit Miami in the 21st century. The Miami Innovation District, anchored by the Miami Innovation Tower, will transform an underutilized property in Park West into a 24-hour thriving, global, connected “live-work-play” ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship.
The benefits are innumerable, including pumping millions of dollars and bringing thousands of job opportunities to Overtown, spurring sustainable economic development, and building Miami’s brand as a world-class city.
“As a native Miamian – born and raised in this city – I know that our city desperately needs to attract higher paying jobs, foster a culture of investment in technology talent, and support the evolution of a tech-based local economy,” he said. “The creation of a tech innovation district will lead to more opportunities and better cultural institutions, and it will have a very positive ripple effect throughout the entire community.”
Miami will join other major global cities – Barcelona, Berlin, London, Stockholm and Toronto – which are gaining prestige for their evolving innovation districts. At home in the U.S., these districts are also popping up in underutilized areas in cities like Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit and Brooklyn, just to name a few. These innovation districts are driving the wave of local economic development, offering expanded employment and educational opportunities for local populations.
“Overtown has such a rich history and such an incredible culture rooted in music and food, and it got devastated by the construction of I-95 and I-395,” Mr. Simkins said. “The neighborhood is so unique, and it really deserves a little extra effort to bring it back to its glory days.”
Innovate Development Group is up to the task. The company specializes in world-class development and redevelopment projects in communities centered on the intersection of technology, culture and the arts.
Mr. Simkins is part of the eminent movement to make Miami the tech hub of the Americas. “Miami will never be Silicon Valley, and it shouldn’t, but I think we are uniquely positioned to be a very relevant, important tech center of the Americas,” Simkins said.
As a local, Mr. Simkins is tirelessly dedicated to spearheading Miami’s exponential growth.
“The world is paying attention to Miami. I see our city continuing its evolution in the arts, culture and civic spaces with world-class architecture,” he added. “By bringing big corporations here with higher paying jobs, Miami will obtain more notoriety and visibility on a global level.”
The Simkins family, with deep South Florida roots that span decades, is highly respected for supporting collaborative, community-based projects that drive sustainable economic growth and bring global visibility to the region. The family, and Mr. Simkins himself, are involved with various local philanthropic initiatives including juvenile diabetes research – a cause dear to both his wife and mother. He also serves as a board member of the Miami Jewish Federation and Miami Beach JCC as well as the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO).
Mr. Simkins, the youngest of five children, was born and raised in Miami Beach and attended Ransom Everglades and later the University of Miami, where he received a degree in finance. He obtained a law degree from Brooklyn Law School and practiced real estate law at Akerman Senterfitt until 2007, when he decided to pursue his passion for real estate investment and development.
He has been married for 12 years to his high school sweetheart, Nicole Simkins, and has three children, son Eli (6), daughter Jaden (9), and baby Harper, who was born in September 2015. In his spare time, he enjoys surfing, cycling and traveling with his family.