Right now, it’s just another shopping plaza with vacant storefronts. But soon it could be a trendsetter.

A developer wants to demolish a section of the Village Shoppes of Pine Plaza and replace it with a three-story, 288-unit luxury apartment complex.

The plaza’s movie theater, shops and restaurants would remain standing on the 24-acre lot at Pine Island Road and NW 44 Street. A new brick paver walkway would lead from the apartments to the shops.

“It’s going to be a very good marriage,” said Ashley Bosch, director of development for Miami-based Rilea Group. “Residents would be able to walk right over to the shops. I think that’s where we’re going in the future. You don’t want urban sprawl.”

If approved, the project could be one of the first in Broward County where one section of a shopping center has been demolished to make way for apartments, say city officials and local experts.

“It could be the beginning of a trend in South Florida,” said Jesse Saginor, a professor at Florida Atlantic University who specializes in real estate trends. “With few places left to build, outdated shopping centers may become the next best place to build multi-family housing. It would not surprise me if you think of how may aging retail centers we have. We have people coming here, and that’s going to create a bigger push for redevelopment into residential uses.”

Sunrise commissioners are expected to vote Nov. 14 on the plan, which calls for eight apartment buildings and a clubhouse.

“If approved, construction would begin in November 2018 and be completed by mid-2020,” said Dennis Mele, attorney for shopping center owner Global Fund Investments and Rilea Group.

Stores at Pine Plaza were going out of business well before the anchor tenant Winn-Dixie closed in June, said Isabel Perera, manager of a bagel shop in the center. Perera thinks the new apartment complex will boost business. Within the next year, all of the stores in the back of the plaza will move closer to the street when their building is demolished.

“We’ll be more visible to people passing by,” Perera said. “And the apartment complex will bring us even more customers.”

“With the overall decline in retail, shopping centers are struggling all over, not just Sunrise,” Saginor said. “Department stores are closing left and right. And that’s freeing up space to put other things there, but more retail might not work. The biggest issue we have is not finding a place to shop. It’s finding a place we can afford to live.”

In some cases, developers are tearing down entire shopping plazas. But this is the first time Saginor has heard of a developer demolishing just a portion to build apartments.

“I don’t know of any retail center where they’ve done this,” Saginor said. “But it makes sense. Millennials and seniors would rather rent than own. They don’t want to have to maintain a lawn or walk upstairs. They don’t need all that additional space.”

Click here to view the SunSentinel video news story ‘Struggling Shopping Center In Sunrise May Get New Tenant: Apartments’


Source: SunSentinel

Thousands of high-paying jobs came to Broward County during the last fiscal year, and the county’s economic development agency projects that the future looks bright for continued job growth.

That was the message at the recent Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance Annual Dinner held at the Signature Grand in Davie.

More than 750 people attended the event, where the economic engine reported it assisted businesses in creating 1,978 new high-value jobs, retaining 1,967 jobs and securing a total of $256 million in new capital investment during the 2016-17 fiscal year ended Sept. 30.

Like past years, the economic development agency offered insights into its gains and wins during the past fiscal year. One of the key accomplishments the Alliance touted in its annual report was the expansion of the Canadian pharmaceutical company Apotex in Miramar, which created 150 new jobs and brought in a capital investment of $184 million.

Another one of its key impact projects was announced just this week. Sixt Rent A Car, a luxury car rental service with more than 2,000 locations in over 100 countries established its North American headquarters in Fort Lauderdale. As a result of the local expansion, the company will be creating 300 new jobs and making a capital investment of $10.4 million to the county.

During the annual meeting, the Alliance welcomed Jennifer O’Flannery Anderson, vice president for advancement and community relations at Nova Southeastern University, as its 2017-18 Chair. She takes over for exiting chair Bill White, co-founder and principal of Compass Office Solutions.

One of the highlights of the annual event is the Alliance‘s Ray Ferrero, Jr. Economic Development Leadership Award, which honors those who have made extraordinary contributions to Broward County.

AutoNation Chairman and CEO Mike Jackson presented the award to this year’s honoree Nova Southeastern University President George L. Hanbury, who he lauded for expanding the university’s programs and elevating its national profile.

“We want this to be a destination not just for service and minimum wage jobs but for middle and upper class jobs,” Hanbury said, during his acceptance of the award.

The event’s keynote speaker Vincent “Vinnie” Viola, owner of the Florida Panthers and chairman emeritus of Virtu Financial, said that he believes the future of South Florida and Broward County looks bright.

“I want to dearly tell you how optimistic I am about South Florida and Greater Fort Lauderdale,” Viola said. “We [the Panthers] expect to be here for a long time.”

Over the past 11 years, the Alliance helped businesses create or retain more than 28,000 direct jobs, 62,000 indirect jobs, resulting in $2.4 billion in annual personal income and $12.3 billion in annual economic impact, it said.


Source: SFBJ

Talk to Palm Beach real estate agents these days, and you’re likely to find them trying to catch their breath as they gear up for a busy season that seems to have spun into action several months ahead of schedule.

Here are a few takeaways from conversations with brokers about the especially busy summer and what house hunters and home sellers on the island might expect during the next seven months.

Weathering The Storm

The outer bands of Hurricane Irma slapped the island Sept. 10 as the massive storm chugged up the state’s west coast. And even though landscaping here took a beating and power was out for several days, the island’s housing stock came through the mostly tropical-storm-force winds with little if any structural damage.

“That’s good news for house hunters,” said principal David Fite of The Fite Group. “The fact that all of our homes weathered the storm so well shows how strong Palm Beach is. It’s a testament to the building codes and the quality of construction.”

Inventory On The Rise?

140 single-family properties are on the market, including houses, townhouses and vacant land, according to a search last week of the Palm Beach Board of Realtors Multiple Listing Service. That’s about the same number available for sale a year ago at this time. Another 230 condominiums and co-ops are listed. Two years ago, that number barely scraped 125.

But several brokers said they expect to see new listings in all categories added by Thanksgiving. And there’s still plenty of room on the market, they agree, for properties that offer premium selling points — newer, newly renovated or on the water.

Speculative Challenges

Developers have been working feverishly to fill the demand for new construction, especially in North End, where smaller properties have been changing hands at a dizzying pace. As of Tuesday, 68 MLS-listed properties have sold on the North End over the past 12 months, 17 more than sold there during the same time period the year before. No wonder that so many North End residents have told town officials that new-construction projects and renovations worry that the character of their neighborhoods is being changed forever.

It’s a trend that’s been in the works for several years. Last season, real estate headlines often focused on never-lived-in houses developed on speculation, mostly on the North End. Those houses changed hands at prices ranging from about $5 million upward to almost $50 million. In fact, three of last season’s eight highest-dollar single-family sales involved never-lived-in waterfront houses, one of which — 101 Indian Road — set a spec record when it sold for $49 million in a deal that saw broker Christian J. Angle of Christian Angle Real Estate at the negotiating table with listing agent Cristina Condon of Sotheby’s International Realty.

But as those houses have sold, builders have been struggling to play catch-up. Several of North End spec houses are still on the drawing boards, thanks to multiple deferrals by the Architectural Commission, which is charged with approving all new architecture in Palm Beach.

Still, buyers can find several houses built on spec, including the most expensive never-lived-in house on the island. That eight-bedroom, French Chateau-inspired mansion of about 36,000 square feet is at 1071 N. OceanBlvd., listed at $64.9 million by Angle. That price nearly $20 million less than when it entered the market in March 2015. The 2-acre double lot faces 242 feet of oceanfront.

The island’s other move-in-ready spec mansion is a furnished lakefront residence at 1340 S. Ocean Blvd., which entered the market a year ago and remains priced at $42.5 million by broker Lawrence Moens of Lawrence A. Moens Associates.

At least three other big-dollar spec houses are rising on Everglades Island. And last month, the Architectural Commission approved an oceanfront Mediterranean-style mansion, to be developed on spec, for a vacant lot at 910 S. Ocean Blvd. in the Estate Section. That property is still for sale in the MLS, and the waiting-in-the-wings developer remains unidentified.

Even so, the price of those properties pales in comparison to the most expensive house listed for sale in the MLS: Netscape co-founder Jim Clark’s historic estate at 1500 S. Ocean Blvd., which Condon is marketing at $115 million.

Land, Ho!

Building spec houses, or any home, requires land of course. Property owners have been busy of late carving new lots from existing estates, an important strategy on an island built out years ago.

Over the summer, a new Estate Section subdivision came online on property that once was the estate of the late John S. Kluge at the corner of El Bravo Way and South County Road. Angle has four of the subdivision’s lots listed at prices ranging from about $6.9 million to about $14.5 million. A neighbor this month paid nearly $7 million for the fifth lot.

And separate developers have submitted plans to the town for two other lavish spec houses, each on a property created by a so-called “lot split” at a larger estate — one on the beach at 901 N. Ocean Blvd. and the other on the lake at 446 N. Lake Way. Designs for both houses are still in the approval stage.

Meanwhile, a 2-acre oceanfront lot that was once part of the oceanfront estate Donald Trump sold to Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev nine years ago sold for $37 million this month at 535 N. County Road. It was the second of three lots to sell there in a subdivision created last year. The other lot sold for $34.34 million last fall, and the third is no longer on the market. Moens handled both sides of the two lot sales.

What other land is available in Palm Beach this season?

The MLS this week showed 27 properties in the land category — but only 10 of those are vacant lots. That leaves 17 houses being marketed as tear-downs, at least some of which have elevations that wouldn’t meet new flood-plain regulations.

“As a result, it’s practically impossible for buyers to insure them without raising their elevations,” said Bill Yahn, who oversees the Corcoran Group’s Palm Beach office. “They’re perfectly nice homes but the elevation is poor. Five years ago, these homes would have been sold as livable houses, and the buyers would have gotten them insured.”

The possibility of flooding was brought home to would-be buyers this summer when Hurricane Harvey caused massive flooding in southeast Texas. Palm Beach officials have repeatedly warned about flooding threats caused by hurricanes.

The Price Must Be Right

All of the sales activity of late has certainly boosted closing prices, according to sales reports. The single-family market’s so-called sweet spot — the price at which a wide swath of buyers won’t balk if a property is of good quality — has risen over the past four years from about $6 million to about $8 million, said Yahn.

But even in Palm Beach, where people often have the resources to turn lavish dreams into reality, the final price is likely to be the subject of hard-won negotiations in this revved-up market, brokers agreed.

“People are not going going to grossly overpay for what they want,” said Brown Harris Stevens broker Ava Van de Water. “They’re smart. They’re savvy. They will pay a premium if a house is just what the buyer wants. But they won’t overpay.”


Source: Palm Beach Daily News

Suffolk Construction wants to revolutionize its industry.

To that end, the Boston-based company, which operates South Florida headquarters in West Palm Beach, will launch incubators in six cities, including Miami.

Dubbed Smart Labs, the facilities are aimed at gathering innovative people tasked with identifying, testing and scaling technologies that could be used to improve the construction experience.

“We believe our Smart Labs are on the front lines of an industry disruption that will change the way buildings are designed and built,” said Chris Mayer, executive vice president and chief innovation officer at Suffolk. “We are excited to reinforce a culture of invention and curiosity – both in our own people and within the industry.”

Suffolk Smart Labs will be equipped with technologies such as data walls, which display predictive analytics and operational performance metrics; virtual reality “caves,” allowing clients to virtually tour a building before it’s created; and job site feeds, where live streaming and time lapse footage of existing projects can be viewed.

Suffolk debuted the Smart Labs concept in New York City this year and will open its second this month, in San Francisco. By 2018, Miami, in addition to Tampa, Boston and Los Angeles, will have a Smart Lab, too.


Source: SFBJ

Michael Rauch and Thomas Robertson, Senior Managing Partners with Rauch Robertson & Co., are pleased to announce the completion of the lease/sale transaction of the National Multiple Listing (NML) property located at 6601 N. Andrews Avenue in Ft. Lauderdale’s Cypress Creek Uptown Business District.

NML has been a business leader and icon in the real estate marketing/print/photography industry for more than 50 years. With the completion of the lease/sale on the ±42,737 warehouse/manufacturing building to Over the Top, Inc., a national linen services company also based in Ft. LauderdaleNML can now move into a new phase of its business operations.

This uniquely-located property features 100% AC and sprinklered warehouse, 2 loading docks, 1 grade level door, electric overhead doors, 2 executive covered parking garages, heavy power, and more than 8,000 square feet of office/showroom.

Over the Top, Inc. was represented by Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

Tom Robertson and Michael Rauch

Mr. Rauch commented, “We are very pleased to have been able to assist this well-respected family of business entrepreneurs and we wish them the best in all future endeavors.”

Robertson added, “We currently represent several prospective active buyers that are utilizing our firm to source industrial properties from 30,000 to 45,000 square feet in Broward County.”