Florida Market Overview – Webinar & Summary

Click here to view the original article posted by Juniper Square.

Juniper Square’s Strategic Account Directors, Carrie Frugé and Jennifer Sutherland, recently spoke to three leading commercial real estate investors in Florida: Matt Adler, Founder and Managing Principal at Adler Partners; Daryl Shevin, CFO and Principal at 13th Floor Investments; and Neil Merin, Chairman at NAI/Merin Hunter Codman.

Proceeding with caution in uncertain times

Although the panel agreed that the Florida market has a bright future despite unknowns, they were also aware of the current realities. 

Merin stated, “The buyers and 90% of the capital that’s out there are looking to see how cheap they can buy things. And that’s freaking sellers out. So sellers aren’t putting properties on the market.” 

Buyers feel this is a huge bargain moment. “The way I see it, sellers think it’s January and buyers think it’s July,” said Shevin. 

Getting through the current market environment

Merin said the “new normal” requires viewing tenant evaluations through a different lens. “Unless your tenant’s in the PPE supply business, they may not be your tenant next week. Underwriting is going to be a little different now, during this pandemic period. As we consider properties, we’re not just going to look at their financial statement. We want to understand—is this a business that holds up? In retail, six months ago, we used to look for Amazon-proof properties. Now we have to look for COVID-proof tenants.”

Another important tactic mentioned for getting through the downturn is frequent, detailed communication with investors to keep them informed and gauge their needs.

For Merin and his team, technology enables this. “Our primary tool of communication with our investors is Juniper Square. We bring everything into the portal. This allows us to pay monthly to our investors, and report monthly along with the return.”

Being proactive is the key, according to Adler. “You don’t want to be an event communicator. Regularly reporting makes you focused on being very transparent on what the facts are, and not just on waiting for something to happen. That’s a very dangerous game, if you’re waiting for that lease to be signed or that deal to close.” 

Looking forward to what lies ahead 

As America continues adjusting to life and business during the pandemic, Merin, Adler, and Shevin are rethinking how they approach building management. In addition to protocols such as social distancing, masks, and having ample supplies of hand sanitizer available, Merin cautioned to keep things in perspective. 

“At some point, the pandemic will become a distant memory and we won’t have the same fears we do now. In the meantime, you have to observe the fear of the people who work for you, and the people you’re serving as your tenants. You need to be responsive.”

Shevin offered examples of how his business is shifting its residential staging model. “We converted one of our model homes so that the den had a home office. It’s very easy to tell someone, ‘You can make that area a home office.’ But when they walk in and they see the home office, and they see it all set up, it tells a different story.”

Many people love working from home, which is driving relocation from cities like New York to Florida. Merin expects this to continue as workers escape long and crowded commutes, high costs of living, and cold weather

Merin also predicted that interest rates will continue to stay low, it’ll be easier to borrow money, and the trillions of dollars the government has pumped into the industry will ensure liquidity for the foreseeable future.

As Adler stated, “In 2008 real estate and banks were the catalyst of the financial crisis. This time, banks are part of the solution.”

Click here to watch the full conversation

Brokerage Events Market Reports

Neil Merin Named 2020 Power Leader in Real Estate – 3rd Year in a Row!

The following is an excerpt from the original article which can be found here.

Ever since South Florida was pioneered in the 1800s, real estate has shaped the region’s economy. More than 100 years later – through depressions, recessions, and economic tumult – that continues to be the case.

The persistent force behind the local real estate market remains the property owners, developers and real estate brokers who power what remains a significant driver in the South Florida economy.

Though persistent, the individuals reflect the uniquely dynamic nature of South Florida’s real estate marketplace. While 39 are making at least their fifth appearance on the list, 15 are newcomers to the list. Most are frequently mentioned in the pages of the South Florida Business Journal, as they make their mark across the community.

As South Florida emerges from the fallout of recent events, these modern-day pioneers will be the ones who continue to shape the region’s economy and our future successes.

Brokerage News Articles

MHCommercial Real Estate Fund and Waterfall Asset Management Acquire Prestigious Palm Beach Office Project – Golden Bear Plaza – for $49,750,000

— NAI/Merin Hunter Codman has been retained for the management and leasing of the property –

West Palm Beach, Fla. – MHCommercial Real Estate Fund LLC (“MHC”) a Florida based discretionary private real estate fund has formed a joint venture with Waterfall Asset Management, LLC (“Waterfall”), a New York based institutional asset manager, to acquire Golden Bear Plaza, an iconic 243,000 SF, Class-A, office complex located in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida for $49,750,000.

Golden Bear Plaza, a three-building project originally developed between 1985 and 1990 by Jack Nicklaus’ development company, is a locally recognized landmark with panoramic views of the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean that serves as home to some of the most prominent tenants in South Florida including AT&T, Otis Elevator Company, Pike Electric, Dycom Industries, NextEra Energy, SlimFast and Zimmer Biomet 3i.

The 90% occupied property is the third acquisition for MHC which was formed in the fall of 2019 by Dung Lam, Neil Merin and Jordan Paul, Principals of West Palm Beach, Florida based NAI/Merin Hunter Codman, Inc. along with Florida based real estate veteran Joe Sprouls to acquire income producing properties with strong cash flow potential in dynamic markets throughout the Southeastern United States. Corey Winsett, MHC Director of Acquisitions and Asset Management, spearheaded the due diligence for MHC working with Shutts & Bowen LLP who served as counsel for the purchaser under the direction of Art Menor.

“We are very pleased to have successfully closed this transaction in a challenging environment,” said MHC Principal Jordan Paul, “Golden Bear Plaza is a trophy asset that aligns perfectly with MHCommercial Real Estate Fund’s investment goal to acquire high-quality assets in growing Southeastern markets. The property benefits from a strong and diverse tenant base and we are particularly pleased to have an exceptional financial partner in Waterfall Asset Management.”

The project represents the first office acquisition in South Florida for Waterfall, a New York based registered investment advisor with approximately $8.8 billion in assets under management as of February 1, 2020. Patti Unti, Managing Director in charge of commercial real estate equity for Waterfall said, “The acquisition of Golden Bear complements our portfolio with the addition of a well performing asset within a desirable sub-market while partnering with a best-in-class local operator, MHC.”

Financing for the project was provided by M&T Bank under the direction of Senior Relationship Manager Steve Potting. MHC Principal Dung Lam, who structured the financing with M&T Bank stated, “The acquisition of Golden Bear fits very nicely with our investment thesis and hurdles. We were able to structure a phenomenal loan with M&T Bank that will allow us to realize this asset’s potential. This was our first deal with M&T Bank and we hope it’s the first of many as we deploy the remaining capital in our fund.”

NAI/Merin Hunter Codman will provide property management and leasing services for the new ownership group under the direction of MHC Principal Neil Merin, SIOR, CCIM who said, “After 17 years of providing leasing and management services at this iconic office project, we are excited to step into an ownership role and continue to operate this first-class office project as part of our portfolio”.

Jason Sundook, SIOR and Lesley Sheinberg will oversee leasing for NAI Merin Hunter Codman and may be contacted at 561-471-8000.

Click here to read the full Press Release.

Brokerage General Press Releases Property Management Transactions

PRESS RELEASE: Major Boca Raton Office Campus in Foreclosure Sale

— NAI/Merin Hunter Codman bringing former Canon Solutions Campus to market. —

West Palm Beach, Fla. – The former Canon Solutions America, Inc. customer experience and showroom center, located in the Park at Broken Sound, is being offered for sale by Court Appointed Receiver Neil Merin, Chairman of NAI/Merin Hunter Codman. The receivership is the result of a foreclosure action filed due to a loan default which occurred when Canon’s long-term lease expired. Consisting of 143,290 square feet of office space situated on 12.24 acres in Boca Raton’s premier mixed-use development, the site and building is one of the largest commercial real estate offerings in Boca Raton, Florida.

According to Mr. Merin the property is being offered on an “as-where is” basis. “This is a significant piece of real estate that has generated much interest as a result of the foreclosure,” Mr. Merin stated, “I expect to market the property and accept bids for just a few weeks before selecting a buyer.” The property is located at 5600 Broken Sound Boulevard NW, Boca Raton, Florida 33487. It was constructed in 2002 to the highest corporate levels as a build-to-suit for the former tenant. Features of the property include a full backup generator facility, over 450 on-site parking spaces, an on-site full-service cafeteria with indoor and outdoor seating, and the offices all feature raised floor electrical distribution for easy reconfiguration and layout. Additionally, due to the large site size, there is potential to add significant additional building area to the existing structures.

For additional information about this opportunity please contact Neil. E. Merin, SIOR, CCIM at 561-471-8000.

Click here to view the full Press Release.

Brokerage Press Releases Property Management