Martin Z. Margulies is a hands-on and successful developer who has a passion for the art world and a heart for philanthropy
Who is Martin Margulies? He's known in Miami's business and social circles as a self-made multi-millionaire. On a personal level, he's someone who values the creative process, both as a real estate developer and an art collector. He's done both at a high level for a long time.
His creations largely have been luxury housing complexes, and he likes to stay involved at job sites to produce quality projects. His buildings, each with its own flair, dot the South Florida landscape — some coming to be known as neighborhood landmarks. He also sees it as a contribution in a sense, giving those with the means some fine places to live.
Then there's Martin Margulies the art collector. He's become one of the best known in South Florida. He appreciates the artists' creative endeavors; he studies the paintings, sculptures and other works for their aesthetics and, ultimately, decides whether to purchase.
His collection — both at home and at his warehouse in the gritty and stylish Wynwood district — is said to be valued in the hundreds of millions. But he doesn't seem to relish putting a price on it all, and he's vague about it.
For him, he says, art as an investment is secondary to what it means and what it stands for. He also enjoys mixing with people in the art world — the artists, the gallery owners, the dealers, the collectors and assorted characters.
Despite his success, he doesn't come off as pretentious or superior, and there's an ordinary-guy streak in his personality.
And there's Martin Margulies the philanthropist. He has invested and earmarked millions for charities for, as he puts it, the "disenfranchised," the homeless and others who have suffered misfortunes. He doesn't seem to clamor to be known as a saintly figure, and he has a savvy-businessman vibe. Still, the record speaks for itself. He has done some good deeds.
There's also Martin Margulies the father. He seems very concerned about the legacy he leaves his four adult children. He says it has been important to him to instill the right values in them, namely, to be good, productive citizens. He wants them to have their own identities, rather than live in the shadow of his reputation and wealth. Recently, he gushed about his daughter, Liz, and her debut last week on a TV reality show about a group of young women trying to make it in New York's art world.
He discussed his life, his passion for collecting art and developing real estate, and his thoughts on Miami and its politics during an interview with Miami Today reporter Scott Blake at the construction site of his latest and possibly last housing project — Bellini Williams Island in Aventura.
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