West Palm Beach

After months of back-and-forth, the city commission of West Palm Beach finally approved the creation of an Okeechobee Business District.

The recent unanimous vote paves the way for a number of proposed developments, including the Related Companies’ 25-story office tower at 134 Lakeview Avenue. Related has not yet announced if it will go forward with its One Flagler project, according to the Palm Beach Post.

The district, proposed by Related last year, was voted down by the commission in September. Since then, the proposal was revised to encourage the use of transportation alternatives, like trolleys and bicycles, as well as some environmental-friendly alternatives, according to the publication.

The Okeechobee Boulevard corridor features some prime waterfront parcels on Flagler Drive and Okeechobee Boulevard. Currently, zoning in the area only allows for five-story buildings.

The measure now heads for state approval and will return to the commission in August for final city approval.


Source: The Real Deal

Finally, it seems, we have gotten a handle on Millennials — their desires, their habits and ideas of how to live life.

Now with Millennials a known entity we turn our attention to the next generation: a cohort that has been dubbed Generation Z. Born between the mid-1990s to early 2010, many are just starting to enter the workforce. And they will be just as, if not more, a potent force than Millennials as they make up 25% of the population.

To find how Gen Z will affect commercial real estate — both within as brokers and without, as apartment and office occupiers — we turn to Pushpa Gowda, the Miami-based Global Technology Engagement Director for JLL.

“In 2015, Millennials became the largest generation in the American workforce, according to Pew,” Gowda tells GlobeSt.com.

Little surprise, then, that real estate decision makers are tuned into what millennials are looking for given their significant purchasing power.

“But,”Gowda continues, “they now need to turn towards the next generation and understand importance nuances between these cultural cousins. This generation will be influenced, marketed to, and sold differently than past generations, including real estate, where there is a great opportunity for Gen Z to help shape the future of real estate sales, particularly as Gen Z becomes an increasingly important real estate buyer.”

Here, are seven ways this will happen.

Being Brokers

1. They’ll be very good at online cold calling. “Generation Z is the first to have truly grown up completely immersed in social media from birth – which shapes the way Generation Z makes major purchasing decisions. We’ve seen brokers begin to use social media, other than LinkedIn, to generate leads and new business opportunities.” Generation Z won’t know anything else and will likely be very successful in “online cold calling, Pushpa concludes.

2. Technology will be critical for recruiting and retention. Brokers relying on technology for their business is fairly new, Gowda says. Generation Z will expect the latest technology and will expect it to be seamlessly incorporated into business processes. “This will become critical for recruiting and retention.”

Apartment Dwellers versus Home Buyers

Generation Z outnumbers their Millennials peers by large margins, ultimately positioning them as the force driving the home buying and building market soon, Gowda says.

3. A suburbs revival. As Generation Z is just beginning to come of age, they are slowly entering the housing market, Gowda says. Yet while many are currently renters, they aren’t content staying renters for long, in part due skyrocketing rental prices across the country but more so because they are more family-oriented and will be settling down. They will be raising children. “It may not look the same as their elders’ generation, but they will need housing, and they will want to ease their work-life balance,” she says. For that reason, she adds, “the suburbs are not dead, and even though we’ve seen a lot of shift toward downtowns across the country, don’t count the suburbs out just yet.”

This will force companies to reexamine their headquarters when considering long term moves, she adds.

Office Occupier Trends

Workplace environments have changed dramatically, thanks to Millennials who have reshaped the very concept of work. But Generation Z will spur its own workplace revolution, Gowda says. “These new college graduates are not coming from environments where they sit in one place for hours at a time, as universities have adapted the student experience. This will directly translate to their expectations in the workplace.”

Generation Z is bringing with them an entirely new set of expectations that companies and buildings must strive to achieve in order to remain relevant and competitive to attract this next generation of workers, she says.

4. Less amenities, more flexibility. Generation Z is social, collaborative, and less focused on amenities, requiring flexible spaces that can be adapted to collaborative projects or individual work, Gowda says. In fact, 69% of Generation Z would rather have their own workspace than share it with someone else, while at the same time 74% of Generation Z prefer to communicate face-to-face with colleagues, so both private workspaces (or quiet zones) and collaboration spaces are important. “It will be interesting to see this play out at as Millennials become managers of Generation Z, this will likely be a good match with some differences to accommodate.”

5. Flexible roles too. “Expect Gen Z to be focused on more than just flexible spaces, they want flexibles roles too, Gowda says. Seventy-five percent of Generation Z would be interested in a situation in which they could have multiple roles within one place of employment. “Corporations will need to consider how to physically organize departments throughout the physical office to encourage hybrid roles.”

6. It’s the technology, stupid. “Generation Z is in need of corporate workplaces that support the highly interactive and tech-enabled environments they’ve grown up in,” Gowda says. In fact, 40% of Generation Z said that working Wifi was more important to them than working bathrooms. This is in line with Generation Z expecting not only technology basics but also the latest technology. ”Corporations should make certain to provide a variety of workplace sizes and styles accessible 24/7, as choice and individuality are defining characteristics of Generation Z.”

7. Free-flowing environment. But technology is just one element, Gowda says. “Generation Z demands a free-flowing environment that supports all their needs, from workout rooms, workspaces designed for any given day and spaces that build community and collaboration.”


Source: GlobeSt.

Broward County is seeking a planning firm to design a “unique” blueprint to build out 140 acres near the BB&T Center in Sunrise.

The issued request calls for an architectural or master planning firm to design a master plan for the land around the arena, which is home to the Florida Panthers professional hockey team and a venue for concerts and other entertainment events.

“I am very excited,” said County Commissioner Nan Rich, who noted that affordable housing is a real possibility for the spot. The plan is to create a “real mixed-use” and make a “really nice community.”

The redevelopment project could take at least 10 years to complete. The land is bordered by the Sawgrass Expressway to the southeast; Northwest 136th Avenue (Panther Parkway) and the Sawgrass Mills mall to the northwest; Pat Salerno Drive to the south; and the Preserve neighborhood to the east.

“It is the county’s intent the redevelopment of the BB&T Center property be the nucleus of a community that will anchor western Broward County as Fort Lauderdale anchors eastern Broward County,” according to the request posted online. “It is anticipated the new development will be a community for people to live, work and play that includes office, residential, full-service hotel(s), retail/entertainment and structured parking … ”

“That could mean a self-sustained community,” Rich said. “That’s the direction of lots of development today.”


Source: SunSentinel

Oakland Park, the suburban city just north of Fort Lauderdale, began as a bustling farm town called Floranda in the early 1900s.

Among the first settlers were Mr. and Mrs. Joe Johns, who arrived to their swampy patch in South Florida in their Model T Ford in 1914. The Johns’ farm was the site of the community’s first grocery store. The boom ended in 1926, when the great hurricane smashed Florida peninsula.

Three years later, residents replaced Floranda with Oakland Park, a name that pays homage to the massive oaks in the city that withstood the storm’s monster winds. By the 1950s, the city became a satellite vacation spot for snowbirds unable to find hotel accommodations in Fort Lauderdale. In 1956, brothers Jack and Bob Thornton opened Mai Kai Restaurant, a Polynesian restaurant that cost $400,000 to build and was famous for its tiki decor, dance shows and potent rum cocktails. At the time, it was the most expensive price tag for a restaurant construction project in the U.S.

Today, Mai Kai is one of Broward County’s top tourist destinations and is one of two locations in Oakland Park listed on the U.S. Register of Historic Places. The other is the Oakland Park Elementary School, which was built in 1925.

As far as real estate development, Oakland Park mirrors other suburban municipalities in Broward with post World War II, low-rise multifamily and office buildings and outdoor shopping centers.

Signs Of Change

In the spring of 2013, Funky Buddha Brewery opened its full-scale production beer-making facility and tap room in a converted warehouse in the heart of Oakland Park’s downtown. By securing the craft beer company to anchor the city’s culinary arts district, Oakland Park’s leaders made it clear they were ready to transform a drab downtown into a lively destination.

In the last five years, other hip restaurants and retailers targeting a younger, sophisticated demographic have followed Funky Buddha into the culinary arts district, said Jaime Sturgis, CEO and founder of Native Realty Co. For instance, remodeling services company Allied Kitchen, Bath and Home opened its second showroom at 616 West Oakland Park Boulevard in 2016. Luxury lifestyle fitness company G21 opened a gym, meditation room and smoothie bar at 3400 Northeast 11th Avenue in November 2017. And Antique to Chic, an antique furniture retailer is relocating from its current Wynwood location to the Match Point building at 1510 East Oakland Park Boulevard.

Sturgis handled the sale of the Match Point building to Antique to Chic.

“Oakland Park was a sleepy city for a very long time,” Sturgis said. “It was a place for working class families. In the last five to 10 years, the demographics have started to shift. People have more disposable income and Oakland Park has become more progressive and youthful.”

Residential Take

“The demand for residential is strong because you have many employment drivers so close in proximity. Broward led the state with job growth and there are great economic elements. If you can find urban infill, east of I-95 sites around employment drivers, and develop a product that is in demand, I believe you can do very well,” said Adam Bedzow, Ceiba Groupe managing principal.

Commercial Take

“The value in the office market is pretty considerable when you compare the rental rates in downtown Fort Lauderdale. There is definitely opportunity for tenants who are willing to go a little north. You are starting to see things you haven’t seen a lot of, such as industrial buildings getting converted to retail uses. All that helps drive growth in the market,” said Brady Titcomb, JLL vice president.


Population: 43,660
Median Age: 39
Median Income: $46,447
Average Household Net Worth: $227,890

Price Trends

– Median residential sales price per square foot: $177, roughly 2% less than the Broward County average
– Decrease in average rent over the last year: 13% to $1,800

Most Expensive Residential Sale: A three-bedroom, two-bathroom waterfront house at 1732 Northeast 35th Street sold for $680,000 on May 10

Least Expensive Residential Sale: A two-bedroom, one-bathroom house at 371 Northeast 51st Street sold for $75,000 on April 24

Most Expensive Home On The Market: A four-bedroom, four-bathroom house at 1777 Northeast 39th Street is listed at $692,000

New Developments

Ever since a moratorium on small-scale residential projects was lifted in October, development in Oakland Park has picked up its pace. In January, Bedzow’s Ceiba Groupe unveiled plans for a rental townhouse project on a 6.6-acre site at 1000 Northeast 58th Street. Plans show 114 townhomes totaling 181,000 square feet, plus a clubhouse, a pool and 252 parking spaces.

“We are focused on identifying areas where people want to live and are underserved with a certain type of products,” Bedzow said. “The rental pool is still growing and there is unmet rental demand. We see Oakland Park as a great location that hasn’t seen new rental construction for a long time.”

Ceiba Group will face a lot of competition from other multifamily developers. Local developer Amos Chess and Don Deitchman are planning to redevelop two former strip clubs into a mid-rise apartment building with ground-floor commercial space. The development, known as O2, is located at 3339-3347 North Federal Highway. It will have 165 units totaling 119,000 square feet and another 31,795 square feet of retail.

Chess and Deitchman also want to develop Round Corner, a mixed-use project that would wrap around the historic Kennan Building at 3101 and 3201 North Federal Highway. The developers would build a new 274-unit apartment building that would include some micro units, 20,100 square feet of commercial space and parking garages. The Kennan building would be renovated.


Source: The Real Deal