When the real estate market and economy crashed in the US, starting around 2006, Florida suffered more than the other states in this country. Millions of jobs were lost and the values of properties, especially in Florida decreased by more than 50% in some instances.
Florida’s economy has always been tied very closely with Canadian investments in Florida. Florida, the third largest state in the United States, only behind California and Texas, had a long and difficult recovery. Construction companies, and many of their trained employees, left the State of Florida to seek work elsewhere.
Many in Florida never realized how important Canadians played a part in the recovery of the Florida economy. Canada is Florida’s fourth largest international investor. There are estimated to be nearly 300 Canadian companies with a strong presence in Florida.
The largest Canadian investment included industries relating to real estate, along with the tourist industry.
Many of those Canadians who have helped in the recovery of the Florida economy have never been recognized publicly for their work in reducing the rate of unemployment in Florida, as well as helping in restarting the Florida economy. Names like Jean Guy Sylvain, Claude Chan, owners of several well-known major hotels in the Province of Quebec, such as Le Concorde in Quebec City, quietly developed major projects in Florida, such as Aztec Condominium RV Resort in the greater Fort Lauderdale area and Universal Palms hotel, with over 200 completely renovated rooms and suites, also in the greater Fort Lauderdale area. Pool and Patio Depot in Pompano was also another example of a Canadian company expanding to Florida. Those projects involved the spending of over 100 million dollars in Florida during the recession and greatly increased the tax base of those properties, benefiting both, local governments and the State of Florida.
Aztec RV Resort was developed on a large parcel of vacant of land (105 acres) into a 5-star RV Condominium resort, during the second worst recession in the history of the US. The beautiful resort contains 645 large RV Condominium lots and 5 acres of every type of games and clubhouse and fitness facilities, not seen in any other RV resort in the eastern United States.
These are the Canadian type developers that most Floridians never hear about as they do not have the time attending social meetings and meeting with the press in Florida because they are builders of successful businesses they personally build and supervise themselves. They are the type that took over a failing 28 story hotels in Quebec City, Le Concorde, formerly owned by Lowe’s hotel chain, and successfully reopened the hotel and now just opened an unbelievable Urban SPA in the hotel, which makes you feel like you are in the middle of tropical Florida, when exercising or receiving a massage while overlooking the historical Plains of Abraham.