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fort lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale is booming with development.

It’s become a city of choice for savvy investors, both commercial and residential. Once known as the mecca for spring break and teenage beach movies — think Where The Boys Are with Connie Frances and Girl Happystarring Elvis Presley — Fort Lauderdale has grown up.

Historically, Fort Lauderdale had always been a secondary market to Miami. Then when prices kept rising in Miami, developers started looking for cheaper dirt and came here. We have a relaxed coastal environment, beautiful beachfront and a strong commerce center with 7.5 million of class A office space in our downtown, notes Jenni Morejon, Executive director, Fort Lauderdale Downtown Development Authority (DDA)

We have significant luxury development both in residential and hospitality underway. The residential component has a high-level of amenities, service and finishes in beautiful ocean front locations. On the hospitality side, the Four Seasons is building a beautiful property and there was a $150 million renovation at the W Fort Lauderdale, Morejon adds.

To satisfy the increasing residential base, Morejon points to over 1,000 restaurant seats coming on line over the next several months on Las Olas, Fort Lauderdale’s dining, shopping and entertainment destination for tourists and residents alike.  Las Olos (Spanish for waves) Boulevard is our crown jewel connecting the beach and downtown core.

The privately-owned Brightline, an electric high-speed train, inaugurated service between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach in January. Morjon sees this as another game changer for Fort Lauderdale when the Brightline extends from Miami to West Palm Beach with a stop in Ft. Lauderdale.

Finding cheaper dirt in Fort Lauderdale is The Related Group, a major South Florida developer. The Related Group has developed luxury condominiums since 1979. Today the company is betting on Fort Lauderdale’s rapidly growing luxury branded residential condominium market.

The Related Group is developing  the two-tower Auberge Beach Residences & Spa, a luxury branded beachfront condominium part of the Auberge Resort Collection. Fronting the Atlantic, amenities include signature Auberge dining, World-Class Spa by Auberge, private elevators, wine room, cigar lounge and Fitness Center with views of the Atlantic. Currently Auberge’s North Tower is 90% sold and 75% of the South Tower sold. According to The Related Group, Auberge Beach Residences & Spa set a Fort Lauderdale’s sales record in 2017 for the highest condo sale at $9.5 million. Prices range from $1.5 million to $9.9 million.

This is a signature property and there is nothing like it right on the ocean sitting on five contiguous acres. Our sales show demand is there for the project and product. We didn’t know what to expect and went with a smaller tower first,  explains Patrick Campbell, Vice president at The Related Group.

The oceanfront W Residences Fort Lauderdale are also selling briskly. The 171 residences with prices starting in the $900,000’s is proving to be the right product for the market. With over 100 units sold to date, buyers are excited. Residents at the W will have access to all W Fort Lauderdale hotel amenities with resident signing privileges for convenience. In addition, they receive dining, room and spa discounts at W Fort Lauderdale. Owners also have the option to place their home in the W’s rental pool.

Who is buying in Fort Lauderdale? The Fort Lauderdale buyer is very different than Miami. About 75% of our buyers either have a tie to the area versus Miami where many buyers are investors or from South America, Campbell observes.  Eric Johnston of New Jersey chose the W Residences Fort Lauderdale for his fourth home, buying a two-bedroom two-bath unit in December. Miami did not have what I wanted. The location to the airport, the weather and the W product is what attracted me. I actually would have bought a larger unit if they had one.

Craig Studnicky, principal of International Sales Group, (ISG) has over 25 years of experience in the South Florida residential market. Fort Lauderdale has always been compared to Miami Beach, but now its value in terms of price per square foot is at an all-time high. From 1990 to 2010, the annual difference in price per square footage between these two destinations was roughly 25 percent. In May 2016, this difference jumped to 261 percent due to the slew of new inventory. This means that a buyer can get the same ocean views, amenities, finishes and services in Fort Lauderdale but at almost half the price.

Fort Lauderdale’s retail market is thriving with over 2.6 million square feet of commercial real estate either completed, under construction or approved since 2012.

According to Colliers International Fort Lauderdale Market Pulse Q1 2018|OverviewFort Lauderdale jumped to 6th place in the Top Ten U.S. Markets To Watch. This is the first time Fort Lauderdale even made into the Top Ten. Retail rents in downtown Fort Lauderdale have a 5-year growth prediction of 48% compared to 42% in Miami-Dade. Since 2013, Fort Lauderdale’s downtown retail rents have increased 51% to $35.75 per square foot compared to a 14% increase throughout Broward County (Fort Lauderdale is in Broward County.)

As a vacation destination and national cruise hub, total visitors through Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport rose from 11.3% in 2016 to 32.5 million in 2017. In addition, JetBlue, Southwest and Emirates have launched new routes within the past year to and from Fort Lauderdale expanding the potential visitor market and as an added boost to area residents for business and leisure travel.

William Hardin, PhD, Professor of Finance and Real Estate and Director of the Hollo School of Real Estate at Florida International University in Miami explains market dynamics.  Fort Lauderdale offers relative value compared to Miami. There is good luxury product there now that appeals to the buyer wanting a different pace than Miami.

 

Source: Forbes

Meet the new year, same as the old year. Or maybe better.

Palm Beach County’s economy is expected to continue its strong growth, as the year wrapped up with a still-booming real estate market, combined with continued business growth in the area.

President Donald Trump’s part-time residence at his Mar-a-Lago mansion on Palm Beach has drawn attention to the county both as a business and tourist destination. But even prior to Trump’s January inauguration, the county already was flush with new hotel construction geared to the rise in tourism.

“The county’s newest hotel, the Hilton at the Palm Beach County Convention Center, had a strong first with 85 percent occupancy,” according to Ken Himmel, president of Related Urban, the hotel’s developer.

More hotels are under construction, including an Aloft Hotel in Delray Beach and a Canopy Hotel in West Palm Beach. Tourism wasn’t the county’s only booming field.

“The past 12 months saw growth in a variety of industries,” said Kelly Smallridge, president of the Business Development Board, the county’s business recruitment arm.

Among the companies growing are Bee Access, a scaffolding manufacturer in West Palm Beach; Jupiter-based Parametric Solutions, which engineers and makes gas turbine engines for aircraft and industrial power applications; and GeoGlobal Partners, which designs and makes pumps and valves in West Palm Beach.

“We’re one of the rare counties that has six to eight solid industries,” Smallridge said, ticking off manufacturing, equestrian, tourism, agribusiness, financial services, corporate headquarters and distribution and logistics.

Another growing area: Companies run by entrepreneurs. Moderning Medicine, a Boca Raton-based medical records firm and one of the fastest-growing technology companies in South Florida, said in 2017 it plans to hire 800 people, in addition to the more than 500 it already employs.

Helping boost more corporate growth in the coming year: The Brightline passenger train, slated to start regular service in the coming weeks.

“Companies already are saying they feel more comfortable opening offices in Palm Beach County because they know they can pull employees from Broward or Miami-Dade counties,” Smallridge said.

Of course, the biggest driver of Palm Beach County remains real estate. Growth, particularly in the housing market, was hot in 2017 and will remain so in 2018, experts say. This is despite the lengthy real estate boom that now is stretching into its eighth year.

Housing analyst Jack McCabe said he expected to see a market correction on the horizon, but he now thinks a slowdown will be delayed by the the tax legislation passed by Congress. The sweeping tax law limits deductions for state and local taxes.

“This is bad news for residents in such high-tax states as New Jersey and New York but good news for Florida, which has no state income tax and already is a destination for residents from the Northeast,” said McCabe, of McCabe Consulting in Deerfield Beach.

It’s not just the housing market that will get a boost from the tax bill, business leaders said.

“Executives already have been making inquiries about bringing their companies to Palm Beach County,” Smallridge said. “We’ve seen 20 plus calls over the last month. There’s already a steady stream of inquiries by companies seeking to relocate. Among them are corporate headquarters and financial services firms out of Manhattan, Boston, Greenwich and even Chicago. Tax attorneys in the Northeast are hard at work figuring out how to domicile companies in Florida.

If they consider moving companies, corporate leaders will find rental housing available but for-sale homes difficult to find. That’s because there’s been little new home construction during the past decade.

“Homeowners are staying in their homes longer, prompting a number of residents to remodel existing homes,” said Brad Hunter, chief economist of HomeAdvisor, which connects homeowners with local service professionals to complete home improvement or remodeling jobs.

Although new apartment complexes are cropping up throughout the county, many come with rents that can reach nearly $2,000 a month or more.

“It’s very tough for people to rent right now, and if they do, it’s hard to save up for any down payment for a home,” McCabe said.

Among the new apartment complexes that opened in 2017: The 400-unit Altis apartments in Boca Raton; the 205-unit apartment tower dubbed The Alexander in West Palm Beach. Other projects commenced construction, including the 315-unit Broadstone City Center and the 290-unit Park-Line in West Palm Beach, both of which are expected to attract renters who may use the Brightline train station nearby.

High land prices have made it difficult for home developers to find locations to build. Some are turning to infill sites, such as golf courses, for new homes, while others are looking west. In July, Minto Communities started construction on Westlake, a newly-created city set to contain 4,500 new homes. The city is off Seminole Pratt Whitney Road north of Okeechobee Boulevard.

Also in demand are new offices and industrial space. But both are hard to find, said Rebel Cook of Rebel Cook Real Estate and president of the Economic Forum, a business group.

“Industrial space, particularly small sizes, is virtually impossible to find, crimping growth by companies that want to expand their businesses here,” said Cook. “If you’re a growing company and you want to go from 5,000 to 10,000 square feet, I can’t find you anything here. This is the first time in 35 years of selling warehouses that I don’t have one warehouse for sale. Not one.”

New offices could be coming to West Palm Beach but not right away. In early 2018, The Related Cos. of New York is expected to propose construction of an urban-style office building next to CityPlace in West Palm Beach. In addition, billionaire Palm Beach investor Jeff Greene has pledged he will start construction on One West Palm, a twin-tower office/hotel/housing complex set for 550 Quadrille Blvd. in West Palm Beach.

 

Source: Palm Beach Post

Intense real estate development in Fort Lauderdale may shift from the downtown area and the beach to neighborhoods south of the New River and other areas.

“You’re going to see a tremendous development amount of activity downtown, and that will continue,” said Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler. But in upcoming years, “I think you’re going to see more on South Andrews Avenue.”

Seiler was one of five members of a panel who spoke Wednesday night at the sales center for the Gale Residences Fort Lauderdale Beach.

Another panelist, Ken Stiles, co-CEO of Fort Lauderdale-based Stiles Corp., cited the potential for development of the area around the Broward Health Medical Center at 1600 South Andrews Avenue.

“It’s just waiting for somebody to step in and do something there,” Stiles said. “There’s not a lot of opportunity downtown anymore … so you’re going to have to look elsewhere. Yet assembling large tracts of land in the South Andrews Avenue corridor is a challenge. There are a couple of big landholders there that make it difficult for us to go in there.”

Fort Lauderdale-based developer Dev Motwani said the city’s planned streetcar system, the Wave, will reinvigorate the South Andrews Avenue corridor when it starts operating there.

“Imagine what’s going to happen when the Wave starts operating,” Motwani said. “Housing is an obvious play” for developers in the South Andrews area, “but there’s also retail opportunity. You can bring restaurants and shops that you didn’t have the daytime population for.”

Sean Jones, vice president of Milton Jones Development Corp. in Dania Beach, said he expects more new construction to unfold northwest of downtown Fort Lauderdale in the Sistrunk Boulevard corridor.

“You’re going to see more intense development in the northwest,” Jones said, citing such catalysts as the summer startup of the Brightline passenger train service at its Fort Lauderdale station, located at 101 Northwest Second Avenue.

The Fort Lauderdale economy is on a roll. Employment in metropolitan Fort Lauderdale increased by 28,604 jobs in 2016, more than in Palm Beach County and Miami-Dade County combined, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“But financing development in Fort Lauderdale still can be difficult,” Jones said. “It’s a great place. But many times, banks are looking at things on a national basis, and on a national basis, they’re starting to pull back on financing.”

 

Source: The Real Deal