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CEO & Presidente de Dacra
Craig Robins is an entrepreneur, real estate developer, and art collector based in Miami, Florida. As the CEO and President of Dacra, the real estate development company he founded in 1987, Robins focuses on developing creative communities that integrate art, design, and architecture to accelerate asset value creation and enrich urban life.
Dacra has spearheaded some of the most successful and transformative commercial, residential, and mixed-use projects in Miami’s history, including South Beach, the Lincoln Road area, Allison Island, and the Miami Design District. The latter is an 18-square block neighborhood dedicated to fashion, design, and art that incorporates the work of emerging and established architects, site-specific public art, and stores by the world’s most significant luxury brands. The Miami Design District is the first LEED-certified Gold Built Version 4 Neighborhood in the world.
In the late 1980’s through the early 1990s, Robins played an integral role in the repositioning and revitalization of Miami’s South Beach through Dacra’s restoration of Art Deco landmarks, and the creation of new commercial and cultural opportunities. Robins realized that creative public programming would rapidly foster a sense of community, and his projects were defined in part by performances, public art, and dynamic events that were inclusive of residents and visitors to the area. In parallel, Dacra also developed mixed-use projects throughout South Beach including Lincoln Road and Espanola Way. Later Dacra acquired 8.5 acres on Allison Island and created a New Urbanist residential community — AQUA. The rapid appreciation of the asset value of the Miami Beach properties was attributable in part to Robins’ strategy of defining Dacra’s projects as destinations in the national and international conversation, a strategy he continues to employ today.
Robins began acquiring property in the once-abandoned Miami Design District almost twenty years ago, and in 2000 set about transforming the neighborhood into one of the most important global centers for cutting-edge design, fashion, food, and art – a position it occupies today. In 2010, Dacra entered into a partnership with L Real Estate (now L Catterton) to further develop the Miami Design District by forming Miami Design District Associates (MDDA), a partnership between Dacra and L Catterton, a global real estate development and investment fund, specializing in creating luxury shopping destinations. In 2014, a minority percentage of MDDA was sold to a joint venture between real estate companies GGP and AAC, who are adding their additional acumen and resources to the project.
In 2005, the neighborhood’s rapid renewal inspired the creation of Design Miami/ and subsequently Design Miami/ Basel, design fairs that have evolved into the world’s premier global forum for collectible design. Robins is the Chairman of the show, which he owns in partnership with MCH Swiss Exhibition, the producers of Art Basel. Both Design Miami/ events occur concurrently with Art Basel and are cross promoted.
As an individual investor, Robins is focused is on early-stage investment in digital first brands and disruptive technologies — many of which have sustainability at the forefront.
An avid collector and supporter of the arts and architecture, Robins is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Perez Art Museum Miami; an active supporter of ICA Miami; and a member of the University of Miami School of Architecture Master in Real Estate Development and Urbanism Advisory Board. Robins’ long-term commitment to design earned him the 2006 Design Patron award presented at the White House by the First Lady, which recognizes an individual’s patronage of design within the business and civic sectors from the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. He is also on the Board of the Sylvester Cancer Center at UM Health.
Robins was born in Miami Beach in 1963. He attended the University of Barcelona in 1982, received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan in 1984, and graduated from the University of Miami School of Law in 1987. Fluent in Spanish, he and his wife Jackie Soffer are the parents of six children.