Ron Simkins, Chief Operating Officer
Ron Simkins, Chief Operating Officer of Innovate Development Group, is one of the Simkins family members leading the groundbreaking Miami Innovation District.
The project, slated to be one of Miami’s most pivotal developments of this century, will be anchored by the Miami Innovation Tower and transform underutilized Park West properties into a thriving 24-hour “live-work-play” ecosystem that will merge innovation and entrepreneurship and propel Miami onto the global stage.
“The concept of developing a whole sub-city within a 10-acre area, complete with the innovation tower, businesses, shops, restaurants and a residential component, is extremely exciting for our city,” Mr. Simkins said. “I’ve lived in Miami my whole life, and this project will elevate us to world-class status.”
The Miami Innovation District, he believes, would help the city join the ranks of other major global cities such as Barcelona, London, Berlin and Stockholm, which have garnered international respect for their innovation districts. These districts not only spearhead economic development, they also expand jobs and educational opportunities in the cities they call “home” as well as the surrounding communities.
Indeed, the project is expected to bring thousands of jobs, and millions of dollars, to Downtown and the Overtown neighborhood as well as help establish Miami as the tech hub of the Americas.
The Miami Innovation District will feature the most modern buildings with the most sophisticated automation and design. The tower will be an iconic figure that will be known around the world, and provide an immediate identity to Miami, much like the Statue of Liberty does to New York and the Space Needle to Seattle.
Mr. Simkins’ vision is to attract major corporations to the Park West area, particularly tech companies and start-ups that will create higher-paying jobs, which he said are sorely needed for Miami to solidify its growth and longevity. Another challenge the project hopes to address is Miami’s traffic congestion.
“One answer is to create a place for people to live, work and play, to become more of a city where not everyone will need a car to drive,” Mr. Simkins said. “Locals can commute, ride their bikes and walk.”
The Simkins family envisioned the Miami Innovation District as a round-the-clock, vibrant and accessible ecosystem where people have access to everything they need – their places of employment, dining, and entertainment – all within walking distance, or minutes away via public transportation. In addition to easing traffic on congested highways and roads, this project will offer first-rate amenities centered on quality of life, a prerequisite of any major city.
The Simkins family has deep roots in the South Florida community spanning decades. The family members lend their time and efforts to a number of charitable causes, including juvenile diabetes research and the establishment of the Miami Beach Jewish Community Center. Mr. Simkins has personally been involved with Best Buddies for more than 20 years and actively supports various Optimist Leagues. He also serves on the board of the Jewish Federation’s Real Estate Division.
Mr. Simkins, 52, who was born and raised in Miami Beach, obtained a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Southern California. He has been married for 12 years to his wife Amira, and together they have four children, Taylor (22), McKenzie (19), Ryan (16), and Alex (15). His hobbies include playing tennis and boating.