People Behind the Scenes: Miami’s Top Innovators

Gigi Ganatra
Harrison & Shriftman
“PR Princess”

A local celebrity in her own right, Gigi Ganatra has taken on the role of Director at the Miami office for Harrison & Shriftman, a publicity, special events and marketing company with offices in Miami, New York City, and LA. This month, Gigi has taken the time to give us a little glimpse into her haute world of real estate, art and marketing.

HL What attracted you to real estate?
GG I was first attracted to the real estate market when I moved to Miami from New York and saw the enormous change in the landscape here. Literally, before my eyes, the coastline metamorphosed and with it came this incredible boom in the social and cultural development of the city. It’s important for me to contribute to the cultural landscape of the city I live in, and working within the real estate industry makes this possible.

HL What does your position entail?
GG I am the director of the Miami office for Harrison & Shriftman. I oversee the marketing, media and strategic partnerships for all of our clients. I work closely with our New York and LA offices to integrate our national clients into the Miami market. Harrison & Shriftman provides clients with original ideas, customized service and personal attention through memorable product promotions, dynamic special events and increased public awareness. We offer a national perspective that our clients appreciate.

HL Who is your favorite artist?
GG I have always supported emerging artists, especially in my community. I started collecting a few years ago and have acquired pieces from Annie Wharton, Gabriel Delponte, and Miguel Parada, all of whom are Miami artists.

HL What has been your favorite use of art in real estate development?
GG The W South Beach Hotel & Residences partnered with Art Basel last year to create the W South Beach Commission and is the sole underwriter of Art Positions. In order to create a one-of-a-kind installation for the hotel, the W South Beach has put together a selection committee of nationally recognized art leaders that will commission an artist on display at Art Positions. This is a fantastic way for a developer to support the local community now and in the future, and is an incredible honor for the emerging artist. I place an emphasis on integrating my clients within the arts community. Real estate developers are selling a lifestyle, and that lifestyle should be infused with culture and sophistication.

HL What has Art Basel’s impact been on the Miami Community?
GG Art Basel has had a tremendous impact on Miami Beach, more so than the city could have predicted. It has provided the city with tremendous growth in culture and creativity. It has attracted galleries, curators and collectors from around the world. Art Basel has opened Miami’s doors to the world and stimulated our now booming artistic culture.

HL What are you doing to help promote the arts in our community?
GG I work with the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) on their Shaker Committee and their annual fundraiser, Pop 007. Bonnie Clearwater, the director of the museum, is a true visionary, and MOCA has embraced many local artists. I also support Gen Art, a non-profit organization dedicated to showcasing and promoting emerging artists and am working with Flagstone Property Group, developer of Island Gardens, who has integrated artists Michelle Oka Doner, Jose Bedia and Maria Martinez-Canas into the landscape of their new development.

HL Most important role you play for the developer?
GG We offer developers worldwide recognition through strategic partnerships with artists, designers, charitable organizations and other luxury consumer brands. We also focus our commitment to the community by integrating our clients into Miami’s diverse cultural landscape. We provide access and expertise on a national scale.

HL Your firm is the developers’ choice, because?
GG Harrison & Shriftman has quickly become the leader in developing innovative and sophisticated media and marketing strategies for developers in the luxury real estate industry. Developers choose Harrison & Shriftman because we approach their projects in an unconventional manner. We come to the table with incredible access to the lifestyle that their projects represent. We have a well-developed, targeted mailing list and we bring taste and style to all of our events.

HL Market Outlook 2007
GG The luxury market in South Florida has always been strong. In 2006 there was a slight correction but prices are holding firm and in 2007 we should see an increase in buyers. I predict that prices will continue to rise but at a slower pace. Miami is unique in that it is one of the few places in the world that still has undeveloped waterfront sites. People from all over the world want to live and work here. It is truly a cosmopolitan city that has become the American Riviera.