Michael Capponi

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Michael Capponi
Capponi new.jpg
Michael Capponi
Born Michael Jean Francois Capponi
(1972-04-05) April 5, 1972 (age 43)
Occupation Developer, Nightlife Executive & Humanitarian
Known for Founding Haiti Empowerment Mission
Capponi Group

Michael Jean Francois Capponi (born April 5, 1972) is a prominent entrepreneur, real estate developer and nightlife executive.[1][2][3][4] He is best known for helping to develop Miami Beach's night life[5] and his humanitarian work, especially in Haiti.[6]


Nightlife and entertainment[edit]

Capponi's 31st birthday at Nygard Cay, Bahamas

Page Six's Richard Johnson dubbed Capponi "the godfather of Miami nightlife."[7] Capponi contributed to the revitalization of South Beach, which began in the late 1980s.[8] In 1989, at the age of 16, he promoted a one-nighter called One, Global Tribe at the Cameo Theater in Miami Beach with Ruben Pagan.[9] Other nightlife ventures followed. For his role in promoting South Beach, in April 1992 British magazine, Vogue, named him to its Who's Who of Miami Beach list.[10] He was only 19 years old at the time.

His contributions to South Beach's development continued into the 1990s and, on September 12, 1993, the Miami Herald crowned him "the SoBe Prince" of nightlife.[11] Also in 1993 the Miami New Times called him "a promoter with a higher calling, a nightlife star"[12] Since then, he has been the force behind nationally acclaimed nights at venues such as Warsaw, BED, Mansion, SET, LIV and Story.[13] [14] In 2004, the Miami New Times named Capponi Miami's Best Nightlife Promoter.[15]

Capponi has for years thrown extravagant and star-studded birthday bashes benefitting various charities. In 2012, Donna Karan hosted Capponi's 40th birthday benefit at Capitale for the Haitian city of Jacmel.[16] Capponi has celebrated past birthdays in a treehouse mansion in Nygard Cay; aboard a pirate ship at the now defunct Jimbo's; and in an airplane hangar at Opa Locka Airport, to name a few.[17]

In 2014, Capponi, along with software engineer Gideon Kimbrell, co-founded InList, a members-only mobile nightlife app that simplifies the booking process for upscale nightlife reservations. InList's curated list of events in nightlife capitals across the United States is updated daily, serving as a complete and centralized guide for its members.[18] In September 2014, InList launched officially at an event with Katie Holmes at the Dream Downtown in New York City.[19]

Development and construction[edit]

Capponi Group – Ten Museum Park, Miami

In 2004, Capponi co-created Ten Museum Park, a 50-story, 200-unit crystalline structure in downtown Miami's Arts and Entertainment District with developer Gregg Covin and architect Chad Oppeheim.[20][21] Ten Museum Park sold 95 percent of its units just nine days after going on the market.[22] The following year he formed Capponi Properties, which develops high-end, luxury homes.[23] Capponi is responsible for multiple major home renovations including Market America founder JR and Loren Ridinger's Casa de Suenos.[24] In 2008 the Developers and Builders Alliance honored Capponi with the Renovation Firm of the Year Award.[25] In 2011 he sold a Sunset Island #4 home for $5.175 million, the highest price point on the island at the time.[26]

Terra Veritatis, the $40 million estate on Miami Beach built by Capponi Group

In 2013, Capponi was a finalist for the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce's Better Beach Awards for the preservation and revitalization of Terra Veritatis, the 16-bedroom estate, which spans 2.5 acres (1.0 ha) of Miami Beach real estate.[27] The Wall Street Journal called the $40 million project as "the most expensive renovation in the Miami area."[28] Capponi and Gary Shear formed another company in 2013, Capponi Shear Construction, a general contracting firm.[29]

In 2014, Capponi joined the development team with Moses Bensusan of Costa Hollywood, an urban beachfront development, by architect Hamed Rodriguez.[30] The 500,000-square-foot resort consists of 307 fully furnished apartments.[31]

Costa Hollywood, Florida

Work in Haiti[edit]

Capponi in Jacmel, Haiti with the top students of the Haiti Empowerment Mission, January 2014

After the January 12, 2010 Haiti earthquake, Capponi organized a plane with a relief team consisting of Miami Beach firefighters and doctors.[32] He continued to return to Haiti and in March 2010 set up a tent community for 3,000 victims in Belvil, Petionville Haiti.[33]

In December 2010, Capponi started a project to revitalize Jacmel, a historical town in Haiti.[34][35] This initiative was to help stimulate a self-sustained tourism economy for Haiti.[36]

Capponi formed the Jacmel Advisory Council, a group of persons from the international community, committed to helping revitalize Jacmel, while preserving its arts, culture and traditions.[37] The board promotes best practices to provide a socio-economic system for thousands of Haitians living in the south east region.[38]

In January 2011, Capponi relocated 28 families from his camp in Belvil to Jacmel, Haiti into a self-sustained village with transitional shelters.[39]

In 2011, Capponi was recognized as a Humanitarian of the Year by Sustainatopia, alongside Donna Karan, Maria Bello and Selita Banks.[40]

In 2011, he also founded the Haiti Empowerment Mission, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization aiming to empower the people of Haiti through education, training and jobs.


Humanitarian initiatives[edit]

Capponi at his tent city in Belvil, Petionville, Haiti – March 2010
Capponi along with Miami Beach firefighters being honored at Miami Beach City Hall for their search and rescue efforts for the January 2010 Haiti earthquake

Capponi took a three-year hiatus to undergo drug rehabilitation, multiple surgeries, as well as recover from meningitis. He returned to South Beach in 1998.[41] This transitional period in his life sparked an interest in humanitarian causes.[42] He worked with several organizations on local initiatives and disaster relief.

In 1999, Capponi worked with Mayor Neisen Kasdin on a local Kosovo Relief Drive, raising food and clothing for the victims. He collected more than 15,000 pounds of donated items for the Feed the Children organization.[43] Immediately after the September 11, 2011 attacks, he organized fundraisers for the American Red Cross, raising over $100,000 for the victims. For his efforts he was presented with the Key to the City of Miami Beach by Mayor Neisen Kasdin, as well as the Trailblazer award from the American Red Cross.[43]

In November 2002, he co-chaired a fundraiser with Matt Damon for Damon's long time friend, Lisa Maniscalco, for Leukemia cancer research.[44] In November of that year, he helped produce the Miami Starlight Gala to raise money for Bay Point Schools. The event was created by Roy and Lea Black.[45] In March 2003 Capponi served as vice chair with Anthony Shriver for Best Buddies Midnight in the Garden of Eden Gala.[46]

When Hurricane Charley hit Florida in August 2004, Capponi again teamed up with the American Red Cross and organized relief efforts for the victims. He worked with local nightlife venues to raise money and provide support.[47] The partnership continued in December 2004, with a fundraiser for the Thailand tsunami victims.[48]

In 2006, Capponi teamed up with Miami Rescue Mission to fortify and expand its annual Great Thanksgiving Day Banquet, which feeds over 2,500 homeless people in Miami. In 2012, Capponi announced the construction of a 78-bed men's shelter for Miami Rescue Mission.[49]

Capponi speaking at the press conference announcing Capponi Group to construct a new homeless shelter for the Miami Rescue Mission

In 2007, Capponi joined forces with Shareef Malnik to create the Make-A-Wish Nightclub at the InterContinental Hotel in Downtown Miami. Capponi has been vice chairman of the event for the past seven years.[50]

In 2008, Capponi and director Michael Bay hosted the Toast to United Way, benefitting United Way of Miami-Dade County.[51]

Following the August 30, 2008, Hurricane Gustav that hit Western Cuba, Capponi visited Cuba in September with United States humanitarian license to assess damage from the hurricane.[52] Over the next the month, he put together fundraising efforts for the victims of Gustav as well as Hurricane Ike which hit shortly after in Cuba, Haiti and Texas.[53]

Notable properties[edit]

  • Terra Veritatis: $32 million renovation of M.C. Dean CEO William Dean's Miami Beach "Party Pad" at 4949 Pine Tree Drive[54]
  • Akoya Penthouse: Miami Beach's Highest Luxury penthouse[55]
  • Miami Executive Aviation: Renovation of Miami Executive Aviation[56]
  • Casa de Suenos: Renovation of North Bay Road Mega Mansion[57]

Awards and honors[edit]

Capponi being honored at the Sustainatopia 2011 conference as one of the Humanitarians of the Year
  • 2011 – Shuzz – Philanthropist of the Year - For outstanding contributions of time, leadership and financial efforts in Haiti[58]
  • 2011 – Sustainatopia Honors – Humanitarian Award[59]
  • 2011, April 16 – City of Miami Beach presented by Mayor Matti Bower – Key to the City[60]
  • 2010 – Miami International Fashion Week – Humanitarian of the Year award[61]
  • 2010, February 3 – City of Miami Beach – Presented by Mayor Matti Herrera Bower and Commissioner Michael Gongora – Certificate of Recognition – Michael Capponi for outstanding community service in organizing the rescue trip to Haiti for assisting the earthquake victims.[62]
  • 2009 – Florida International Magazine – Power Players[63]
  • 2008 – DBA, Developers and Builders Alliance – Renovation Firm of the Year, Capponi Group[64]


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