MIAMI—With the first-ever eMerge Americas conference underway inSouth Beach, the tech world is looking at Miami—and some industryplayers are setting up shop here. Shiver Entertainment, a new videogame development firm led by industry veteran and former Zynga andElectronic Arts (EA) COO John Schappert, hasleased 16,000 square feet on the second floor of The Offices atSunset Place, which is jointly owned by Simon PropertyGroup and Institutional MallInvestors.

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The lease is of the largest new-to-market tech firms to enterMiami in recent years. Shiver's new space is located at theintersection of US 1 and Red Road in South Miami's downtowndistrict. The company expects to hire about 60 employees in timefor the grand opening of its new studio in late 2014.

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Tere Blanca, Alison Pages, andAlexander Cahlin of Blanca Commercial RealEstate, which serves as the exclusive leasing broker forThe Offices at Sunset Place, represented the owners in thetransaction. Jacque Huttoe of HuttoeGroup represented Shiver. Neither Simon nor InstitutionalMall Investors could immediately be reached for comment.

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“The Offices at Sunset Place is an ideal location for technologyfirms like Shiver Entertainment,” says Pages, executive vicepresident of Blanca. “Sunset Place's retail,restaurant, and entertainment offerings, along with South Miami'svaried price points for housing and proximity to public transitlinks and the University of Miami, make this a natural location forcreative firms.”

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Shiver is backed by tech industry heavy-hitters Schappert,Jason Andersen, and John Osvald.Schappert started his career as a programmer on hits likeMadden NFL Football. He and Andersen founded TiburonEntertainment in 1994, which was acquired by EA in 1998. Afterjoining EA, Schappert served in various executive positionsincluding COO. He also served as corporate vice president atMicrosoft, overseeing Xbox LIVE and Microsoft Game Studios.

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“We'd like to help establish Miami as a tech hub for video gamedevelopment and publishing,” says Schappert. “Miami is a wonderfulplace to live, work and play with great schools, affordablehousing, and incredible weather. The unique and flexible space wewill occupy in South Miami will inspire our creative teams whilegiving us plenty of room to grow.”

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Andersen co-founded Shiver as vice president of technology. Hepreviously founded Budcat Creations, which Activision acquired in2008. He has worked on some of the industry's largest franchises,including Guitar Hero, NHL Hockey, and Clay Fighter.

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Co-founder Osvald, serves as vice president of production.Osvald helped Zynga establish its data-driven product designmethodology. He has worked on a variety of hit games includingFarmVille, FrontierVille, andCastleVille.

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The firm's new space will be designed and built-out to suitShiver Entertainment's specific needs. G. AlvarezStudio's Gigi Alvarez andChristian Vidal are designing the office, whichwill include meeting and quiet rooms, substantially high andexposed ceilings, open-plan areas, an arcade, and several fun,light-filled social areas.

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