By Hank Tester

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – With the cancelation of Art Basel this year due to concerns about the pandemic, the high roller art aficionados it usually attracts are not in town.

That has had a big economic impact, not only on art sales.

“Art Basel is a big impact, about a $1.5 billion impact to the Miami economy,” said real estate developer Daniel Kodsi.

For developers like Kodsi, it’s a lost chance to strike gold with the art crowd who not only buy art but real estate as well.

During last year’s Art Basel, Kodsi’s Royal Palm Companies sold 20 condos. Kodsi’s organization developed the Paramount Miami Worldcenter, the 60-story, $600-million, skyscraper at Miami Worldcenter.

“Groups like us, we are in the real estate development business. We have events. We bring people in to look at our real estate,” Kodsi said.

He said the art-filled week kicks off the high season for high-end residential real estate. But this year, not so much.

In previous years during Art Basel, developers have used the art fairs as an opportunity to showcase their new projects, especially to out-of-town buyers, wealthy globetrotters seeking a warm-weather escape.

The festival has served as a global showcase for real estate developers and brokers to exhibit architecture, interior designs, and to sell homes, mansions and condominiums. The art events previously provided an opportunity for potential buyers and sellers to meet face-to-face.

This year Kodsi and other developers missed opportunities to showcase their current developments and hype future ones to a crowd that will buy not only art but condos and more.

“We were not able to showcase the building. It would have been a great opportunity for us this year to showcase our Paramount project here in the downtown Worldcenter,” he said.

The missed real estate and development opportunities are just more casualties of COVID which has already impacted jobs, growth, and cash flow.