Stephen Bittel is a Miami native and the founder of a commercial real estate company called Terranova. An expert at predicting housing trends, Bittel has successfully engaged in the southern Florida real estate market since the 1980’s, first adapting to increasing suburbanization, and more recently predicting a move toward urban neighborhoods.

Since the early 2000’s, Terranova has been investing in retail centers in urban location such as Miami Beach and Coral Gables. In 2016, the city of Miami partnered with Terranova and worked to improve urban development in Miracle Mile through a major project to make downtown areas more attractive and economically vibrant. The city’s endeavors paid off rapidly, with commerce and tourism notably improving within a year of the project’s completion. Terranova and the city of Miami hope to achieve similar results in Lincoln Road, where a major rejuvenation project is currently on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Despite the restrictions and precautions that businesses and individuals currently face, Terranova is optimistic that the large, pedestrian-friendly, open-air shopping centers of Miracle Mile and Lincoln road will thrive in a post-pandemic world. Their outdoor design allows for easy social distancing and their community-oriented nature makes them less dependent on tourism than many of Miami’s attractions. Terranova’s community-focused strategy is bringing urban Miami together even in the face of the pandemic as, now more than ever, people crave connection and togetherness while operating under appropriate precautions.

Stephen Bittel is the chairman and founder of Terranova Corporation and a proud Miami native. He received an undergraduate degree from Bowdoin college in 1978 and graduated from University of Miami Law School in 1982. He is actively involved in his community, serving on the board of many Miami-based foundations, including Jackson Memorial Hospital Foundation and Achieve Miami.