Chairman Stephen Bittel talks real estate, trends, and building better communities.

Parkinson’s Foundation New Centers of Excellence

July 25, 2018 – The Parkinson’s Foundation designated three new Centers of Excellence yesterday  expanding their care network to 45 centers, worldwide.   These exceptional centers currently treat 127,000 patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD).  Twenty-three of the Centers are participating in the Parkinson’s Outcomes Project the largest clinical study of Parkinson’s.   A center can only receive this sought after status by meeting the highest levels of care, research, education and outreach standards.

So far, our Terranova family has collectively given and raised over one million dollars for the Parkinson’s Foundation.  We desperately wish it were more, and it will be as we keep donating and raising more each year.  Bringing attention to this cruel disease gets more people focused on better treatment and engaging in the search for a cure.   It’s just not enough, and not nearly too soon.

Many of you know that our Terranova President, Mindy McIlroy got that awful call with her PD diagnosis, just over 4 years ago.  It’s a day I will never forget.   Mindy fights through stiffness and fatigue every day with a remarkable sunny disposition and positive attitude.  While others might have taken a step back in life, Mindy fights forward, not giving anything up in her professional life as she continues to take on more responsibility, and growing the richness of her personal life as well, continuing to travel, garden, and be a passionate advocate on the Parkinson’s Foundation board.

Continuing to give to help someone that has played such a material role in our lives, both personally and professionally, seems so meager compared to her fight.  This battle is personal to every one of us who know and love her, and it is the selfishly personal reason we have taken this effort so seriously.   For my birthday last week, I posted a Facebook fundraiser, generating almost seven thousand new dollars from 77 donors, some whom I have never met.   The longer our PD experience goes, it seems that everyone has a friend or relative facing the same prognosis, including several relatives of our Terranova family.

When we made the commitment to fund the Centers of Excellence designations at three Cleveland Clinics:  Dubai, Weston, and Las Vegas as well as the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and the Medical University of South Carolina, we sent the money in a single payment versus the more typical multiyear funding. We also committed to keep raising money with a goal of finding another million dollars to make an even bigger difference.  So, you can help today by clicking on the link right here.

If you have a friend or family member that needs another opinion or a different level of care or information, call 1-800-4PD-INFO, because that is why we are in this fight, and don’t hesitate to reach out to me.  Together we can and will improve treatment and find a cure, but only together. I have asked and cajoled and begged and thanked so many of you for all you have done to help, and I so wish I could tell you we have a cure and it was enough, but we are just not there yet.  So once again, I am asking from the bottom of my heart for you love and help to join all of us at Terranova in making a difference.

Stephen Bittel

Napa, Yosemite, and Rapid City – West Coast Family Vacation

July 12, 2018 – Just back from a one week family vacation where we visited some remarkable parts of our country.  The week in Napa was a wine and food centric five days, amidst an agricultural heaven featuring the freshest local fruits, vegetables, cheese and wine.  Within this incredible area of natural beauty and abundance, was the visible reminder of the charred trees and lonely foundations of homes burned in last summer’s wild fires.  Even more troubling were current fires just north of the area.  Despite all this area has to offer, nothing seems to be able to control the recurrent fire hazard triggered by human action coupled with drought, which many consider a component of our looming environmental crisis.

We next visited Yosemite National Park, a place many consider the most physically beautiful place in our country.  John Muir, Galen Clark and their group of forward thinking environmentalists, long before it was popular to be one, persuaded President Abraham Lincoln to set aside this area including the Mariposa Grove of sequoia trees in a California Trust, preventing development and preserving the area. The waterfalls and views were extraordinary, but the charred trees from prior fires were more than a bit troubling.  We were told nature has always experienced burns, as almost a natural way of nature’s survival of the fittest. The diversity of the visitors from all over our country and world was exceptional, very much like the Miami I have long called home.

The final leg was a quick visit to Rapid City, South Dakota to check off a long-standing bucket list site, Mt. Rushmore.  Four unique giant head sculptures cut out of a granite mountain featuring George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt.  The project was entirely privately funded with money raised by local people, and now run by the National Park Service, but still with private funding. Well there was not much diversity here, but it was an amazing example of how one person dreams an idea, raises the capital to do it and then make sure the governance is in place to preserve it going forward for generations to come to admire.

As we headed home at the end after enjoying the company of a lot of family members, I could not help but marvel what a remarkable country of individual dreamers we Americans have been, envisioning big ideas and projects for the future, and having the boldness to execute our plans, making them happen. The fire damage we witnessed, may we’ll be what happens if we are not careful with the precious resources of our republic.  All we need is a little care to preserve what we have, to enable us to make the future better.

Stephen Bittel

Terranova’s Lincoln Eatery Food Hall – A Miami Beach Destination

June 20, 2018 – Our Lincoln Eatery food hall is wrapping up construction this week as we turn over stalls for our tenants to begin their work.   A unique collection of local food chef/entrepreneurs are joining together in what one writer termed, the sharing economy of food.  Preleasing is at almost 75% signed and or committed, with just a handful of spaces still available.

What a learning exercise this has been for our team, led by Mindy McIlroy, Terranova Executive Vice President and Vanessa Francis, our leasing leader on this project. We visited food halls all over the country from New York City to Denver, from New Orleans to Los Angeles, and everywhere in between, talking to tenants and operators about what was working and what could be improved.  We learned from designers and chefs, from contractors and managers.  No two models seemed the same, but each brought an energy and excitement to the local food scene.

We agonized over every detail from seating to counters, tiles to flooring, sound systems to televisions, lighting to bathrooms.  And ohhhhh, don’t forget the wallpaper in the bathroom, with each one more colorful and unique than the next. Detailed thought went into grease traps and hoods, electrical service, wi-fi and cooling, column covering and ceilings, and the list could go on forever.

We are looking forward to a December opening featuring all kinds of activities from morning to evening so we are ready and experienced to welcome guests for Art Basel in early December. The project was both fun and agonizing as we worked hard to figure out the right choices in a nascent industry often yielding more questions than answers.

The Lincoln Eatery will be a community gathering place from morning to evening, where local friends and visitors alike can gather to share ideas and smiles, to sate their hunger, to grab a coffee and pastelito or a croissant. As the day goes by, and the meal changes, deli sandwiches, hot pizza and sushi, as well as popsicles and nitrogen ice cream will all be deliciously available.  Located just off Lincoln Road, on Meridian Avenue, strategically by the Miami Beach Convention Center and the City of Miami Beach City Hall, the location guarantees enormous amounts of pedestrian traffic at all times of the day, every day of the week.

The decision to develop the Lincoln Eatery was driven by a desire to offer a place for people to connect in person vs. online; to create an anchor for an expansion of the Lincoln Road experience north on Meridian; and to provide a comfortable and casual, popularly priced dining experience for local beach residents and the millions of visitors every year.   Of course, we are inviting you to join us to watch as the dream becomes an active reality.  Watch us as we move forward on social media (@lincolneatery) and make sure you invite your friends to stay tuned as well.

Look forward to seeing you at the opening!!

Stephen Bittel