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 currently, 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 the stores by the world’s most significant luxury brands.
In the late 80’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. He 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, and later acquired an 8.5 acre parcel of land on Allison Island where they created a New Urbanist residential community, AQUA featuring contemporary art and modern architecture. 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 to further develop the Miami Design District by forming Miami Design District Associates (MDDA), a partnership between Dacra and L Real Estate, a private equity fund focused on luxury retail globally sponsored by LVMH. 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.
An avid collector and supporter of the arts and architecture, Mr. Robins is also the Founder and Chairman of the Anaphiel Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting arts education. Among other initiatives, Anaphiel created the Miami Design District Performance Series presented by the Knight Foundation. The live event series is produced by 19-time Grammy© Award winning producer Emilio Estefan in collaboration with Maestro Eduardo Marturet (Miami Symphony Orchestra) and offers free concerts in the Miami Design District; 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.
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 law school in 1987. Fluent in Spanish, he and his wife Jackie Soffer are the parents of six children.