Big shout out to many of you who flew in from across the country and Puerto Rico to attend our third Caribbean roundtable in Miami. It was evident from the discussions and presentations, that the Caribbean region continues to offer a wealth of opportunities as well as challenges. Our theme at yesterday’s roundtable was centered around ULI efforts in resiliency and rebuilding.
The panel discussion started with a report by Mr. Tom Roth of Grass River Property on Puerto Rico. Tom travelled the island last year as part of the ULI Advisory Service Panel thanks in part to the the support of The Kresge Foundation and our local District Council. The ULI Advisory Services Panelists spent a week in the Municipality of Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, to provide expert advice on enhancing recovery efforts after the catastrophic and deadly 2017 Hurricane Maria. Tom Roth’s presentation during our roundtable highlighted some of the lessons in dealing with rebuilding, seizing the opportunity to build on higher ground, and the availability of Federal funds for rebuilding homes for Puerto Rican familes.
To download the full report: https://americas.uli.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/ULI-Documents/ULI-ASP_Report_ToaBaja_PR_Final.pdf
While at this moment it is still very dangerous to access Abacos, Bahamas, Gene Budler of DCK presented some real time images of his recent relief trip to Abacos. The images of the destruction are truly unbelievable with tons of waste, destroyed homes, and obliterated life infrastructure. As the relief cycle continues, we will be tracking the situation. There is a clear need for stronger, better planned, and more resilient construction. It is our hope to be able to help the Bahamas with some solutions to the massive rebuilding efforts. If you are interested in helping there are multiple organizations. One such group recommended by Gene is MedStar out of Houston, Texas.
As part of our on-going effort to increase our engage with the Caribbean, we are planning a Caribbean study cruise in 2020. The idea of the cruise is to bring together some of the top minds in resiliency for an comprehensive educational summit. In addition to the seminars, we plan on visiting several islands that have been affected by the recent hurricanes. If you are interested in helping organize the study cruise please reach out to either Max or myself. As a reminder, this roundtable is open to non-members as guest to start but is a benefit for ULI members. To join please visit: https://americas.uli.org/membership/join/ If you have any questions, please call 1-800-321-5011 or contact Max Helden.
We are looking to plan a December networking event for this group and then will schedule the next content-oriented roundtable for 2020.
Thank you all again for your participation and to our very kind sponsor Paramount Miami World Center for hosting the event and lunch. You can learn more about our ULI Caribbean Engagement at https://seflorida.uli.org/get-involved/caribbean-engagement/