The city of Miami was originally named Mayami, meaning “Big Water,” by the native Calusa Indians. Initially colonized in 1566 by the Spanish, the British gained control of Miami after the French and Indian War in 1763 and eventually sold it to the United States of America for $5 Million in 1821.
Miami was slow to settle but in the 1870s it gained some attention from wealthy developers and investors who claimed and bought land. Miami experienced a boom in 1920 after WWI and another period of growth after WWII when servicemen settled in the area. In the 1960s, a migration of Cuban refugees transformed Miami into an international city. Subsequently, its international flavor catapulted Miami as a center of commerce and finance in the 1980s and 1990s. During this time period, Miami became a hot spot for Europeans who discovered Miami Beach, popularizing the Art deco hotels and adding to the city’s cosmopolitan flair.
Since 2001, Miami has become a major center for finance, commerce, culture, media, entertainment, the arts, international trade and technology oriented companies. Many large, publicly-traded technology companies, including Citrix, Catalyst Pharmaceutical Partners, MasTec, Inc. and TerraMark Worldwide, are also headquartered in and around Miami. And let’s not forget that Miami is known as the “Cruise Ship Capital of the World”. Through its steady growth, the Miami metropolitan area has become one of the largest urban areas in the U.S., after New York, L.A., Chicago and Philadelphia.
Miami is poised to keep growing evident in public, private and non-profit investments and a new wave of hospitals, medical centers, research institutes and biotech firms. Recently, the University of Miami and Scripps finished the first phase of the University of Miami Life Science & Technology Park. The Beacon Council, a public-private partnership, is Miami Dade’s economic development partnership which promotes and facilitates business investment.
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