South Florida cities rank among the top tech markets in North America, according to a recent CBRE study.

TheĀ commercial real estate services and investment firmĀ used 13 metrics to create a score based on the competitive advantage of each market and their ability to attract and grow tech talent pools.

Miami and Fort Lauderdale are gaining tech jobs and are seeing increases in their millennial workforce, the report revealed.

While these markets pose vitality in the future, they are expensive to operate in for tech workers and employers. Among the top 10 most expensive office markets on the list, Miami was the only small tech market with an asking rate above $35 per square foot.

Click here for a SFBJ slideshow to find out where Miami and Fort Lauderdale rank nationally for tech talent.

Click here Ā for CBRE‘s full report.


Source: SFBJ

The ink isnā€™t dry on Blackstone Groupā€™s $18 billion buy of a U.S. warehouse portfolio, and itā€™s already negotiating to sell part of it.

The company, which finished its transition into aĀ corporationĀ this month, is drumming up interest from potential buyers for pieces of the GLP Pte portfolio, Bloomberg reported. Prologis is in private discussions to buy one such portfolio, valued at $1 billion.

Blackstoneā€™sĀ $18.7 billionĀ deal for the Singaporean companyā€™s 179 million-square-foot warehouse portfolio is one of the largest industrial real estate deals ever.

Selling non-core or non-strategic pieces of a recently required purchase isnā€™t uncommon. Blackstone applied the same strategy in 2007 when it sold off parts of its $40 billion acquisition of Equity Office Properties Trust.

On the whole, the warehouse sector has seen little supply, high demand and high prices, with available industrial and logistics real estate rising slightly for the first time in 34 quarters, according to a CBRE report. Demand for warehouse and distribution reached anĀ 18-year high in 2018.

Large owners are optimistic that there will continue to be institutional investment in industrial real estate. As Prologis negotiates for a piece of Blackstoneā€™s new holdings, itā€™s also in advanced talks to buy anotherĀ $4 billion portfolioĀ from Black Creek Group which spans 37.6 million square feet.

Colony Capital is weighing the sale of itsĀ $5 billionĀ industrial in holdings on the heels of selling another warehouse portfolio for $104.6 million.


Source: The Real Deal


Prolific industrial builder Bridge Development Partners LLCĀ purchased 34 vacant acresĀ for $36.9 million to build a three-building center in Davie.

Bridge Point 595 will be southwest of Interstate 595 and Floridaā€™s Turnpike.Ā The 677,314-square-foot industrial park is set to open in the third quarter 2020. Two buildings will measure 290,295 square feet each and the third will be 96,724 square feet.

Chicago-based Bridge Development bought the land fromĀ Forman Industrial Land LLC, an affiliate of the Forman family whose late patriarchĀ Hamilton Forman was a prominent South Florida landowner who ventured into real estate projects.

Bridge Point 595 speaks to the healthy South Florida industrial market, which has some of the lowest vacancy rates among all asset classes. Population growth, e-commerce and the scarcity of large parcels are boosting the sector. Thatā€™s heightened interest from institutional investors, which have been scooping up properties and encouraged merchant buildersĀ who build to sell.

Bridgeā€™s construction spree since 2012 added 2 million square feet in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Bridge recently sold its 221,815-square-footĀ Bridge Point Riverbend west of Interstate 95 in Fort Lauderdale to institutional investorĀ ASB Capital Management LLC for $38.2 million.

Its other projects includeĀ Bridge Point Commerce Center, a mammoth industrial project on 185 acresĀ southwest of Floridaā€™s Turnpike Extension and Northwest 47th Avenue in Miami Gardens. The 1.1 million-square-foot first phase will be finished by monthā€™s end. Future phases will take the total size to 2.1 million square feet.


Source: DBR


How hot is the residential real estate market in parts of western Palm Beach County?

Hot enough that builders are seeking zoning changes to permit them to abandon already approved commercial projects and convert them into high-density residential developments with limited commercial parts.

Ā “The shift shows that builders can get a greater return on their investment by going residential,” said Jesse Saginor, a Florida Atlantic University professor who monitors real estate trends in South Florida. “There is not much of a wait to find buyers, regardless of the price point, for new homes in Palm Beach County.”

The latest example involves the vacant northwest corner of Hypoluxo and Lyons roads in suburban Lake Worth. It may soon be the site of Windsor Place, a 393-unit development that calls for 157 townhomes, 236 rental units and 30,192 square feet of commercial space, including a grocery store and a drive-through restaurant.

In 2005, previous owners obtained approval for 115,078 square feet of commercial space that included a 41,000-square-foot anchor store along with 184 townhouses. The new proposal seeks to more than double the number of residential units and represents a significant decrease in the amount of commercial space. The parcel is one of the last remaining, sizeable, undeveloped tracts west of Lake Worth Beach.

The development company behind the project is Hatzlacha WP Holdings, founded by Charles M. Scardina, once a senior vice president of Ansca Homes. Scardina was involved in a lengthy legal battle with his former partners, which settled in late 2017. Shortly after that, he bought the 40-acre parcel for $15.2 million.

But Scardina now says in a report filed with the county that the initial plan will result in ā€œan improper use of the siteā€ as there is too much other commercial development in the area. The report noted the changes were necessary because the original project ā€œtoo closely mirroredā€ the adjacent Town Commons shopping center on the east side of Lyons Road.

Earlier this year, another company owned by Scardina made similar arguments for his Terra Nova project at Hagen Ranch Road and Atlantic Avenue west of Delray Beach.

Scardinaā€™s Principal Development Group proposed a change from a mostly commercial project to one with 275 rental units and a drive-through restaurant. A group of area homeowner associations banded together to create the Common Sense Development Coalition to fight the plan on the grounds that the residential density is too intense. Scardina is working with coalition members to see if he can address their concerns.

And recently, another commercially approved project at Jog Road and Boynton Beach Boulevard is undergoing a change as the new owners seek permission to build an assisted living facility, which will reduce land devoted to commercial uses by 4 acres.

Ā “There is little land left in Palm Beach County to build homes,” said residential builder Alex Akel. “It is possible that residential builders may even buy up existing shopping centers and convert them into project that would include housing.”

Much has been written about how the tax law changes have fueled a luxury-home boom in South Florida but Saginor said the impact has been felt across all price points. Saginor of FAU said there is just as much a demand for homes between $300,000 and $800,000 as there are for luxury homes.

Additionally, with the rise of online shopping, brick and mortar stores are in decline. Strip center stalwarts Toys R Us and Sports Authority are gone. Booksellers, video stores and record shops are nearly extinct. Macyā€™s, Sears, JCPenney and Office Depot are shrinking.

Meanwhile, it is not clear whether Scardina will face the kind of fierce opposition for Windsor Place that he faces at Terra Nova west of Delray Beach. Plans call for Windsor Place to abut the 1,100-plus unit development at Bellagaio, which is northwest of the proposed development. The project calls for apartments in seven three-story buildings with each building containing 32 or 34 units.

A 4-acre lake separates the two developments. Access will be from both Lyons and Hypoluxo roads. The grocery store will be at the intersection. According to the builderā€™s traffic study, the development will generate an additional 3,738 trips a day on the already heavily congested Hypoluxo-Lyons road intersection.

Ā “Bellagio and other area HOAs are in active discussions with the developer,” said Pam Rothman, president of the Bellagio Homeowners Association. She declined further comment.

Repeated efforts to obtain comment from Scardina and his consultants were unsuccessful. Scardina asked the county Planning Division on June 18 for more time to submit detailed plans as he seeks the support of Bellagio and other nearby developments ā€” Valencia Shores, Savannah Estates and Villagio.

The zoning changes would result in:

  • A significant increase in housing density.
  • New zoning classifications for both residential and commercial parts of the development.
  • Elimination of 59 guest parking spaces for the rental units.

If approved, the builder expects Windsor Place to be completed in 2023.


Source: Palm Beach Post

The Counselors of Real Estate, an international organization for commercial real estate professionals, ranked what its membership body recently voted on as theĀ current and emerging issuesĀ it expects to have the most significant impact on real estate.

Topping the organizationā€™s list in a detailed report just released was U.S. infrastructure, which it characterized as severely lacking, and lagging behind many other developed countries.

ā€œInadequate infrastructure creates a hard ceiling to economic development, and real estate values are tied to sustainable growth,ā€ Julie Melander, the 2019 chair of The Counselors of Real Estate, said in a press release about the ranking.

The nationā€™s roads, bridges, tunnels, railways, airports, the power grid, water systems, and levees are all in need of improvement and have failed increasingly often, the organization said.

President Trump has pledged to address infrastructure woes, and the White House and Congressional leadership have discussedĀ funding for infrastructureĀ to the tune of as much as $2 trillion, but action commensurate with the scale of the problem has not materialized.

Housing in the U.S. was the second item on the list, and the organization put an emphasis on the impact of growingĀ inequalityĀ and the rising tide of unaffordability in housing, particularly for the middle class.

ā€œHousing affordability is threatening the stability of the middle class, which will hit other parts of the economy as well,ā€ Melander said.

The recently-imposed limit onĀ state and local income tax deductions, along with Baby Boomers having trouble selling their homes were additional housing-related challenges outlined by the organization.Ā Challenges related to weather and climate were third on the list, while slow technological progress including outdated physical plant systems in many buildings, economic challenges and high levels of institutional and personal debt also made the list.


Source: Miami Agent Magazine