Longtime Miamian Jack Lowell has long been the face of downtown’s Metropolitan Miami development, whose signature project – the Wells Fargo Center – is nearly complete. But on Oct. 1 he also became the public face of the Beacon Council, the county’s official economic development agency.
He takes the reins at what could be exciting times for the agency, which raises its budget through a portion of the county’s business tax and through private companies’ membership fees. It’s looking at refreshing the more than decade old One Community One Goal study, which in the mid-90s brought together countless individuals and businesses to chart the path for Miami’s economy.
It’s also looking to put on the first Miami International Air Show in 2012, the Western hemisphere’s version of Le Bourget and the Farnborough Air Show, held biennially outside Paris and London, respectively. The show, Beacon Council President and CEO Frank Nero has said, could attract hundreds of companies and tens of thousands of industry attendees from around the world, generating nearly $100 million in economic impact for the county.
But Mr. Lowell also has his own initiatives he’d like to bring during his year as chair.
“My third goal is, given the nature of this community, to try and get various organizations in the community to coordinate their legislative agendas so we can be more effective particularly in Tallahassee,” he said, “that means getting groups like the convention and visitors bureau, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, the county, the Beacon Council to kind of coordinate agendas and talk to each other and then work with the delegation to try and come up with legislative priorities that actually can get enacted.”
Mr. Lowell discussed the intricacies of the agency, and why he’s bullish on the future of downtown Miami, in Flagler Real Estate Services’ Coral Gables office with Miami Today staff write Zachary S. Fagenson.