Paradise found: Can Francis Suarez make Miami the next Big Tech mecca?

first_img(Photos by Sonya Revell)You could call it the tweet heard around the world.In early December, Delian Asparouhov, a principal at venture-capital firm Founders Fund, threw out a proposal moving Silicon Valley to Miami. Francis Suarez, a real estate attorney who stepped into the mayor’s chair in 2017, quote-tweeted the investor. He asked, “How can I help?”Suarez’s response went viral with more than 2 million impressions and thousands of likes. The mayor later likened it to “catching lightning in a bottle.” He was suddenly in conversation with major venture capitalists and tech executives from around the country, grateful for a friendly ear in what has become a political climate openly hostile to Big Tech. Keith Rabois, a member of the “PayPal Mafia” and an early investor in Opendoor, SoftBank Group CEO Marcelo Claure and Shutterstock founder Jon Oringer are among those palling up with the 43-year-old mayor on Twitter. Rabois has become the city’s most prominent evangelist among the tech community. ADVERTISEMENT“I have met more new interesting people in Miami in 3 weeks than all of 2020 in the Bay Area,” Rabois tweeted Jan. 4.For those marquee names and those who look up to them, Miami marks a sharp contrast to the governments that have “marginalized and rejected” them in the past, Suarez said in an interview with The Real Deal last month. “I’m letting them tell their story. There’s nothing more powerful [than that].”It’s an overture that has South Florida real estate salivating. Developers, brokers and office landlords are anticipating a Big Tech gold rush that would build on the recent success Miami has had with financial firms. Last month, Rabois paid a record $29 million for a waterfront mansion in Miami Beach, and the following month announced his intent to attract at least 1,000 “founder caliber” technologists to the Magic City in 2021 as well as VC firms and established startups. That’s a lot of office space and a lot of high-end homes.But Miami has a long way to go on several metrics important to Big Tech. It lacks efficient large-scale public transit and is well behind established tech hubs on health care and education. A surge in population might push the city’s infrastructure to the brink. Some warn that all the hype (and growth) could be short-lived. And Suarez, for all his enthusiasm and PR savvy, has very limited powers as mayor to bring about the sweeping changes that the tech industry will likely want.If Miami really hopes to become the next Silicon Valley or Boston, it will need to address those infrastructure deficits, said Bernard Zyscovich, an urban planner and architect who Facebook tapped to study the Bay Area from an urban design and mobility perspective.There is “no way” Miami can provide the same “brain trust” as Silicon Valley in the short term, Zyscovich said.  “Over time, Miami could become a place which generates its own feeder system for recruitment. But in the short term, recruitment is limited to Miami being a desirable place for startups and incubators. It has to be a large number of small scale investors that come here that can run their businesses from their computer.”Oringer, who relocated to Miami Beach in the fall after keeping a pied-à-terre for years, described Miami’s situation as a “chicken or egg problem.”“If we can find entrepreneurs down here, if we can launch enough businesses, if we can attract enough talent, we’ll be able to build lots of interesting companies down here,” he said. “People asked me the same questions in the early 2000s when I started Shutterstock in New York. New York was a finance town filled with Wall Street people. It had a little bit of tech, but if you wanted to start a tech company, you moved to San Francisco. I resisted that.” Testing the waters“Visiting Miami right now and I think I’ve seen more people from SF here than I saw in SF last year,” JD Ross, a co-founder of iBuying startup Opendoor, tweeted Jan. 10.It’s a trend that’s been on since at least the summer, with South Florida’s residential brokers finding themselves inundated with requests for luxury waterfront rentals and for-sale homes. The single-family home market, particularly in Miami Beach and Palm Beach, saw a surge, and sellers called the shots.In the second half of 2020, there were more than 3,000 sales of single-family homes priced at over $1 million, an increase of 99 percent, according to Analytics Miami. In Palm Beach, which saw the greatest gains, $1 million-plus single-family home sales more than doubled year over year with nearly 1,300 closings.The wealthy buyers hailed from several industries: hedge funds, finance, real estate and entertainment. Martin Brand, Blackstone Group’s co-head of U.S. acquisitions, bought a waterfront home in Palm Beach, and Goldman Sachs managing director Douglas Sacks picked up a condo at Eighty Seven Park in Miami Beach.Many buyers also purchased teardowns and empty lots. Builders are busy.Jason Anderson, vice president of Coastal Homes, said buyers are upping the ask for amenities, including bowling alleys, indoor basketball courts and even built-out tunnels connecting properties divided by the street. Rabois’ Venetian Islands mansion came with a $1 million aquarium.Miami’s waterways are bustling with hedge fund managers and tech investors, many of whom have recently become first-time boat owners. Boat slips, which were already in demand, are being snapped up. It’s the cool way to get around. “They’re boating weekdays: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Every day is a boat day,” yacht broker Boomer Jousma, who’s seen his sales double in 2020, said, referring to the influx of New Yorkers in South Florida. “They’re entertaining on the water. They’re meeting on the water; they’re social distancing.” Another sign that the migration is less seasonal and more permanent? Schools are filling up.“In the middle of Covid, where people would otherwise be potentially guessing private schools, there’s waiting lists,” Steve Hurwitz of JLL said. “People have already made those decisions.”Land of the (tax) freeIt’s not just the tech bros planting flags in South Florida. Though Suarez seems to have put Miami on the map with that industry, the city has long been working to attract blue-chip financial firms to the region. The pandemic, which normalized work from home, merely accelerated a migration that’s been underway for years, experts said. Florida’s lack of state income tax, pro-business leaders and warm weather have long drawn the wealthy.Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital Group, Tom Barrack’s Colony Capital, Carl Icahn’s Icahn Enterprises and David Tepper’s Appaloosa Management have all relocated to South Florida.“The tours I used to have were with folks with second homes and second offices,” JLL’s Hurwitz said.And there’s more to come. In early January, Blackstone  took 41,000 square feet at the MiamiCentral development in downtown Miami, where it will hire more than 200 employees.Billionaire hedge funder Ken Griffin, already the owner of some of Miami’s priciest real estate, is nearing a deal to lease space at the under-construction office tower 830 Brickell, according to Business Insider, where Microsoft is also close to a deal. Goldman Sachs is also considering a larger expansion into South Florida, and Virtu Financial has toured spaces in Palm Beach County. Google is eyeing an expansion in the Miami area, and Spotify last year inked a lease in Wynwood.Thrive Capital, Joshua Kushner’s investment firm, is also in the market, according to sources. Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and the Winklevoss twins have expressed interest in investing in Miami. Kelly Smallridge, president of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, acknowledged that there are no guarantees the businesses coming into town are here to stay. “However, our retention numbers are very high, and you can’t get away from no state tax on income,” Smallridge said. She is behind the effort to build up “Wall Street South” and said there are about 30 financial services firms in the pipeline in Palm Beach County. (Paul Singer’s Elliott Management is among them with plans to move to a 40,000-square-foot space at Related Companies’ 360 Rosemary office building in West Palm Beach.)Danet Linares, vice chair of brokerage Blanca Commercial Real Estate, said new-to-market tenants have toured more than 1 million square feet of space in Miami-Dade over the past six months with Class A rents still increasing. Countywide, Class A rents rose to more than $48 a foot in the fourth quarter, according to Colliers International data. Brickell is still the most expensive with asking rents of nearly $60 per square foot. Though there is increased buzz surrounding the office market in South Florida, the vacancy rate was at 10.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020, up from 9.2 percent a year earlier, according to Colliers. The hospitality and retail industries are still reeling, and multifamily landlords aren’t able to collect rent from lower-income renters. In a way, it’s a tale of two cities, sources said.Documentary filmmaker Billy Corben called the push for tech “the latest real estate hustle” in Miami.“There is a commercial real estate depression happening right now,” said Corben, who’s known for the “Cocaine Cowboys” and “Screwball” documentaries. “No one wants to say the D word, especially down here where everything is about spinning reality. But the reality is you have one of the poorest cities in America and its residents and business owners are crying out for real and immediate help, without any response from their government.”Moving’s easy. Living’s harder. Let’s assume Big Tech does make the big move to Miami. Will the city be equipped to integrate it?Transportation has long been a big issue for South Florida. Brightline, a train that runs from downtown Miami to West Palm Beach, is planning an expansion, as is Tri-Rail, a more affordable commuter rail option.Suarez said that it was hard to predict what transportation requirements would be in a remote-work world, and pointed to Miami’s investment in walkable neighborhoods.David Goldberg, general partner at Alpaca VC (formerly Corigin Ventures) noted that the cities attracting companies — Boca Raton, Miami, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami Beach — are all far apart from each other, preventing the kind of cluster that tech firms love.He also made reference to the area’s more easygoing ways as a potential hurdle.“Is there a hard-charging hustlers mentality?” he said. “Or is it a bit slower, less ambitious, potentially shady?” A thin talent pipeline is another concern: “You don’t have the Stanfords, MITs and Berkeleys churning out entrepreneur talent,” said the University of Miami graduate. Still, Goldberg made the jump to the city with his wife in August. He’s working out of a private office at the LAB Miami, one of the first startup hubs. When asked where his partners are based, he responded, “I don’t really know what that means anymore. I’m in Miami. Ryan [Freedman] is in Aspen. Aubrie [Pagano] is usually in New York, but she’s in Brazil right now.”He added he’s been checking in on the tech scene in South Florida every couple of years, waiting for the inflection point. In 2014, he met with “everybody important” within 24 hours. “Now, I get introduced to five or six a day,” he said.Though business leaders are promoting the pool of local talent, it’s also no longer necessary to recruit locally. Oringer and his business partner are launching Pareto Holdings to invest in startups that will be based in Miami — “whatever based means these days,” he said. He envisions a combination of remote and office workers, and said it will likely be much easier to hire remotely.“I cannot imagine we’ll snap our fingers and work in our headquarters again,” he added.Cometh the hourSuarez’s powers as mayor are limited, and when he proposed becoming a strong mayor in  2018, Miami residents trounced the measure, leaving the city commission and the city manager with most of the clout. (There are 34 municipalities in Miami-Dade County, 31 in Broward and 39 in Palm Beach County. Suarez is mayor of just one city.)That legislative weakness, according to attorney David Winker, could see Suarez’s push to bring companies over backfire.“By not having a strong mayor, you have the tension that Miami’s open for business, but when you get here, you have to deal with a commission that may not be open for you to do business,” Winker said, referring to the ongoing battle between the popular Little Havana nightclub Ball and Chain and the city.Businesses relocating to the city of Miami, for example, could be eligible for tax breaks promoted by business development agencies that include the Beacon Council. In some cases, those incentives packages are subject to approval by the Miami-Dade County Commission, or in the case of those offered by the DDA, subject to approval by the DDA’s board. Suarez can only veto decisions made by the Miami City Commission, which does not offer incentives.“The mayor is a mascot in the head coach’s office. By charter, he does not have a lot of official power,” Corben said. “Ultimately, the buck stops with the commission, and the buck stops with the bureaucracy. The moment any of these people out west have to come out here and have to deal with someone in government, not Suarez, they will head right back for the hills.” Condo market consultant Peter Zalewski cautioned against buying into the hype. “Politicians sell a dream and a vision,” Zalewski said. “The problem is he [Suarez] doesn’t have the juice to be able to pull this off.” Still, there’s no denying the astounding success of Suarez’s PR blitz.Aaron Gordon, a partner at Schwartz Media Strategies, described the last two months as “rocket fuel” for the city’s corporate prospects.“It took a bold, forward-looking mayor with a Twitter handle to open the floodgates,” Gordon said. “Francis has become the face of Miami’s tech scene in the span of four weeks, the same way Dwyane Wade was the face of the Miami Heat and Dan Marino the face of the Miami Dolphins.”Suarez, who is the son of former Miami Mayor Xavier Suarez, is quick to respond, lighthearted and accessible. He’s what business leaders wish their government leaders would be like, Gordon said.On a recent podcast, Suarez said that any city that is not competing to grow its tech community is being negligent toward its residents who could benefit from high-paying tech jobs.“I want to seize the momentum. You don’t always get opportunities like this,” he told TRD. For the tech community, it’s the gesture that counts.Some say it’s almost irrelevant that he doesn’t manage the city’s budget, or that he can’t direct who gets awarded what contracts, while others point out his power to sway the Miami commission and his connections to major developers.Nitin Motwani, the developer of Miami Worldcenter and a DDA board member, said the incentives wouldn’t make or break a company’s decision to move to Miami.“It’s not a life changing amount of money with these companies,” Motwani said. “What the incentive does is exactly what we wanted to do. It reinforces our message: How can we help? We want to show you that you’re important to us. People are so excited to come to a place like Miami knowing the community is embracing them.” Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlinklast_img read more

Primary production by benthic microalgae in nearshore marine sediments of Signy Island, Antarctica

first_imgDuring the austral summer of 1987/1988, three 24 h in situ primary productivity measurements were made at a nearshore sublittoral site on the east coast of Signy Island, Antarctica. The first experiment in December, coincided with the peak of the benthic algal bloom as shown by benthic chlorophyll measurements and a primary productivity rate of 700.9 mg carbon m−2 day−1. In January, the experiment was undertaken during the peak of the phytoplankton bloom when light intensities reaching the benthos were greatly reduced. A rate of 313.4 mg carbon m−2 day−1 was measured, half that of the previous month. In March the phytoplankton bloom had died off, benthic light intensities had increased and production was 391.8 mg m−2 day−1. The experiments indicate changes in benthic microalgal activity during the summer, linked to changes in the benthic light climate. Compared with previous measurements of phytoplanktonic activity at Signy, the microphytobenthos seems to be an important source of primary production. A production estimate of 100.9 mg carbon m−2, for the ice-free summer period, lies within the range of values of results from other polar studies.last_img read more

Feeding and energy budgets of Antarctic krill Euphausia superba at the onset of winter. I. Furcilia III larvae

first_imgPhysiological condition and feeding behavior of furcilia larvae were investigated in autumn (April 1999) in the southwestern Lazarev Sea prior to the critical overwintering period. Furcilia stage III (FIII) larvae were most abundant, so only these were used for all analyses (dry mass [DM], elemental and biochemical composition, gut content) and experiments (metabolic and ingestion rates, selective feeding behavior). Chlorophyll a (Ch1 a) concentrations in the mixed layer were <0.1 mug L-1. Respiration rates of freshly caught FIII larvae were between 0.4 and 1.2 mul O-2 mg(-1) DM h(-1), similar to larvae fed for 7 d on high food concentrations (4 mug Ch1 a L-1). Excretion rates ranged between 0.01 and 0.02 mug NH4 mg(-1) DM h(-1). Their atomic O:N ratio of 72 indicated that lipids were the main metabolic substrate of FIII larvae in the field. The daily C ration ranged from 0.4% at the lowest food concentration of 3 mug C L-1 to 28% at the highest enriched food concentration of 216 mug C L-1, whereas clearance rates decreased with increasing food concentrations. In natural seawater, 115 ml mg(-1) C h(-1), and in natural seawater enriched with ice biota, 24 ml mg(-1) C h(-1), the clearance rates on specific phytoplankton taxa revealed no significant difference across a food size range of 12-220 mum. The study suggests that during periods of low food supply in the water column, larvae have to exploit ice biota to cover their metabolic demands.last_img read more

Former University of Arizona Basketball Player Transfers To BYU

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPROVO, Utah-Per a Thursday report from Bruce Pascoe of the Arizona Daily Star, former University of Arizona guard Alex Barcello is transferring to BYU.On his Twitter account, Barcello, who is a junior in his eligibility, confirmed he is “thankful and excited for this opportunity.”Barcello is a 6-2 170-pound graduate of Corona del Sol High School of Tempe, Ariz.In two seasons for Sean Miller at Tucson, Ariz., Barcello averaged 2.9 points, 0.9 rebounds and 0.7 assists per game while shooting 39.2 percent from the field (51.8 percent on 2-pointers) in spot duty. Tags: Alex Barcello/Arizona Daily Star/Bruce Pascoe/BYU Basketball/Corona del Sol High School August 1, 2019 /Sports News – Local Former University of Arizona Basketball Player Transfers To BYU Written by Brad Jameslast_img read more

O’SULLIVAN, TIMOTHY J.

first_imgA funeral mass was offered June 21 at St. Anne Church, Jersey City for Timothy J. O’Sullivan, 64, of Jersey City. He passed away June 15 after a long battle with oral cancer, at his home surrounded by his family. Tim was born in New York City to Theresa and his late father Timothy. He is survived by his wife Dianne, daughter Kari Marie, many aunts, uncles and cousins. Tim also leaves behind a brother-in-law John Wisniewski, sister-in-law Annette and niece Kristi. He was a Marine Cargo Specialist who worked many years at the Military Ocean Terminal (MOTBY) in Bayonne, New Jersey. Later he was transferred to Fort Monmouth. Tim was a dedicated employee who received many Recognition Awards for service.Services arranged by the Leber Funeral Home, Union City.last_img read more

McErlain’s scoops major new contracts with Tesco

first_imgMcErlain’s Bakery has ramped up its business with Tesco, securing deals to supply 460 stores in the UK and all 38 of the retailer’s in-store bakeries in Northern Ireland.The Magherafelt-based bakery, which produces products under the Genesis Crafty brand, already supplied Tesco in Northern Ireland, but it will be the first time the firm has supplied its stores in the UK.MD Brian McErlain told British Baker that the business began supplying the UK outlets with a range of its own-brand products Fruit Scones, Big Pancakes and Soda Bagels last month, in a deal worth around £1.2m a year.Meanwhile, in a deal worth up to £500k a year, the bakery has been developing breakfast products for Tesco’s Finest range, which were launched in its in-store bakeries across Northern Ireland in the past few weeks, said McErlain.The range comprises four varieties of scone and three types of traditional Irish soda bread. He said they were currently only available in Northern Irish stores, but if the products were successful, he hoped to roll them out to additional outlets, and was keen to increase the amount it supplied to the UK. He added that the bakery was in talks to supply a number of its products south of the border to the Republic of Ireland.The combined Tesco deals, along with an additional foodservice contract, have meant the bakery has needed to take on extra staff. “We added 25 people at the bakery in April, taking our total to 145,” said McErlain.Last year, it launched a new Irish bakery range at Marks & Spencer, after becoming only the 16th food and drink firm in Northern Ireland to gain M&S supplier accreditation.>>Genesis Crafty in Marks & Spencerlast_img read more

The Motet Announce Four-Night New Year’s Eve Run

first_imgThe beloved Colorado funk act, The Motet, will be ringing in 2018 on the West Coast, with a string of newly announced dates to close out the end of December this year. For their upcoming four-night New Year’s Eve run, the six-piece ensemble will be posted up in Oregon. To kick off the run, on December 28th, the group will hit the Historic Ashland Armory in Ashland, Oregon. The following night, on December 29th, The Motet will move on to the Domino Room in Bend. To close out the run and 2017, the funk act will hit Revolution Hall in Portland, Oregon, for a two-night run across December 30th and 31st.[Photo: Emily Butler]last_img read more

Today’s data center beats yesterday’s by 64x

first_imgAging data center servers and storage can put the brakes on IT performance for many businesses. That’s especially true in light of today’s big advances in server CPU speeds, densities and virtualization. Outdated servers and storage can also send TCO soaring. At the same time, it can cripple future-readiness. That’s because old hardware usually lacks the horsepower and scalability to keep pace with growth demands.For example, a recent study showed that four advanced server nodes with just 2U of rack space and Virtual SAN software could do 16 times the work of older hardware operating from an 8U rack space. That’s a performance-density gain of 64x.Hidden (and growing) costs of aging hardware Let’s step back and look at what growing businesses face.  When they need to add more users and applications, their existing servers and storage may have limited capacity to scale. Not too long ago — and even today — IT staff might add bare-metal hardware to the mix, expanding the data center’s footprint. Of course, that requires more space, cooling and energy, all adding up to higher costs.While some may call those costs the price of growth, other costs should be considered. Older gear that slower CPUs, disks, and interconnections can add latency to performance. It also can need more maintenance and raise the risk of downtime. The latter can cause costly disruptions to production or customer service. Either one can undermine customer satisfaction and employee morale.Point is, an outdated data center can become an increasing liability, often without its owner being fully aware of that fact. Yesterday’s approach of simply adding hardware to keep capacity ahead of the growth curve can lead to using more rack space than necessary, underutilizing existing hardware assets and limiting IT’s ability to respond to business needs in more precise ways.Data center tech matchup: Yesterday vs. today In late June, Dell commissioned a study by Principled Technologies, Inc., to compare the performance of five-year-old, bare-metal servers and storage to a future-ready configuration supporting software-defined storage. The latter consisted of Dell PowerEdge FC430 and FD332 nodes, with Intel solid-state drives (SSDs), residing in a Dell PowerEdge FX2s chassis. This modular server and storage architecture ran VMware Virtual SAN software.The goal of the comparison was to quantify the benefits, especially the ROI, of upgrading an older data center to today’s latest technologies. Both the old and up-to-date server/storage setups ran the same set of simulated email, database and file server workloads.  The Dell Performance Analysis Collection Kit (DPACK) was used to test each configuration’s performance.While the newer configuration was expected to outperform the older one, the core question was: by how much? Researchers found that three server nodes in a 2U rack space could handle 10 times the workload of the legacy configuration, which operated in 8U of rack space — a 40x gain in performance-density.But that’s not all. Adding another Dell PowerEdge FC430 server node to the new setup — without increasing rack space — boosted its workload capacity 16 times over the older configuration. This means the performance-density is 64 times better.Big implications for gaining — and keeping — a performance edge Clearly, the implications of a 64x boost in data center performance on a company’s operations and competitive edge could be significant, although a specific ROI would depend on an individual data center’s setup and existing costs.But the bottom llne is simple: For growing businesses, a fully updated data center strategy — using virtualized servers and software-defined storage — can provide much more performance for much less cost. It also can improve scalability, flexibility and agility for even greater growth yet ensure optimum asset utilization at all times.For all businesses, such a big boost in data center performance can sharpen their competitive edge in several ways. Employees can be more productive. Processes can be more efficient. And digital services provided to customers or in support of customers can be delivered faster and with little if any downtime.Customers interested in conducting a performance analysis on their own data center configurations can get started with DPACK at no charge. Anyone interested in learning more about the comparison study is invited to download the 33-page report, “Free up rack space by replacing old servers and storage,” published by Principled Technologies.last_img read more

West Virginia Regulatory Staff Seek Answers on FirstEnergy Coal-Generation Plans

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Darren Sweeney for SNL:West Virginia regulatory staff have asked FirstEnergy Corp.’s utilities to explain why buying an existing coal-fired power plant is the best option for meeting future generation needs. The utilities also were asked to provide the additional costs needed to retrofit a supercritical, coal-fired plant to meet federal environmental requirements.Monongahela Power Co. and fellow FirstEnergy subsidiary Potomac Edison Co. submitted their integrated resource plan late last year to the Public Service Commission of West Virginia. Mon Power, which supplies the generation needs for Potomac Edison’s West Virginia service territory, predicted a capacity shortfall of more than 850 MW by 2027 and said that purchasing existing generation facilities or co-firing its coal plants with gas are likely the best options to meet this need. (Case No. 15-2002-E-P)Guggenheim Securities LLC analyst Shahriar Pourreza noted in a March 15 research report that opponents of the plan are concerned that FirstEnergy is attempting to place one of its merchant coal plants into the West Virginia utilities’ rate base.Retrofitting would cost approximately $55 million to $80 million for each unit at the coal plants, which Mon Power breaks down to $85 per MW for the three units at Harrison and $140 per MW for the two units at Fort Martin.The utilities said they did not factor in the additional costs needed to meet the minimal EPA requirements under the Clean Power Plan since the regulations remain under litigation and “have yet to be defined in the state implementation plans.”Regulatory staff, however, also are skeptical of the effect on reliability during the retrofitting.“How can the Company remain in compliance with [PJM Interconnection LLC] requirements when at any given outage to retrofit a generating unit with co-fired natural gas burners, generation will be down by at least 546 MW?” the PSC staff asked.Full article ($): W Va. regulatory staff seek answers on FirstEnergy utilities’ coal generation plans West Virginia Regulatory Staff Seek Answers on FirstEnergy Coal-Generation Planslast_img read more

‘Fastest-growing solar market in the U.S.,’ Texas signs $100 million deal with project developer

first_img‘Fastest-growing solar market in the U.S.,’ Texas signs $100 million deal with project developer FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Texas Public Radio:A deal announced Monday could mean a $100 million towards solar projects in Texas. Austin-based solar power company PowerFin Partners will develop and build the projects and Toronto-based real estate investors Fengate will finance the deals as part of today’s announced co-development deal.“Financing of solar projects is pretty difficult,” said Tuan Pham, president of PowerFin. “(The deal) allows Fengate to focus on the financing and us to focus on the operating, development, and construction.”PowerFin is best known for developing projects like CPS Energy’s residential solar program, Fengate director Greg Calhoun pointed to both projects as innovations in the solar market and part of the reason they decided to partner with PowerFin. Another big reason was accessing Texas’ solar market.“Texas is the fastest growing solar market in the U.S.,” Calhoun said. “There’s a great resource here. There’s population growth, so the macroeconomic story makes sense. The resource story makes sense.”It is the second $100 million solar development commitment that Fengate has announced in three months. Fengate will partner with Alberta, Canada-based Greengate Power Corporation.More: Texas Could See $100 Million In Solar Investmentslast_img read more