2020 SFBJ Market Review Panel featuring Neil E. Merin, SIOR, CCIM

The following is an excerpt of the article originally posted by the South Florida Business Journal by Brian Bandell. View Full Article: PDF | Link

There were many frightening months in the South Florida real estate sector in 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic, but experts expect the market to bounce back.

Just how quickly that recovery occurs depends on the type of real estate.

Single-family homes and industrial properties are already thriving. Office and retail space have a cloudy outlook, depending on how much the trends of remote work and e-commerce, respectively, impact business. The fate of hotels depends on the type of visitor they serve, and how quickly they’re likely to resume traveling.

Those were some of the takeaways from the Business Journal’s seventh annual Market Review panel, held virtually and broadcast online Dec. 15

Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors + CPAs and First Horizon Bank sponsored the discussion, which was moderated by Senior Reporter Brian Bandell.

Some of South Florida’s top players in the areas of retail, industrial, office and residential real estate recently gathered for the Business Journal’s seventh annual Market Review panel, a virtual affair where the experts reviewed some of the current – and future – trends impacting the tri-county region.

The spirited conversation highlighted how the Covid-19 pandemic is fueling certain real estate sectors while hurting others, and what the region’s top industry could experience in 2021.

MEET THE PANEL:

Art Lieberman, Director of tax services, Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors + CPAs

Neil E. Merin, SIOR, CCIM, Chairman, NAI/Merin Hunter Codman

Dev Motwani, President and CEO, Merrimac Ventures

Peggy Olin, CEO, OneWorld Properties

Stephanie Rodriguez, Senior VP, Florida region, Duke Realty

Andrew Zidar, VP of development and acquisition, RK Centers

QUOTABLLES

What South Florida real estate sectors will have a really bright outlook for 2021?

Neil Merin, NAI/Merin Hunter Codman: “The brightest outlook is single-family housing. Housing sales right now are running 125% ahead of the same time last year.”

Peggy Olin, OneWorld Properties: “Single-family homes. Everyone had the dream of being in South Florida and this [Covid-19] has really accelerated that decision. The level of prices we are seeing trading on the single-family home side and some of the high-end condos, as well, are amazing to see, and I think we will continue to see it.”

Stephanie Rodriguez, Duke Realty: “On the industrial side, institutional developers put a pause on spec development [in the first quarter]. But there was a shift in our business and an acceleration in demand, and we are pulling off that band-aid and going full throttle.”

Dev Motwani, Merrimac Ventures: “With Elliot [Management], and Blackstone and Goldman [Sachs] announcing moves here, the rest will follow because they realize this is a great place to do business. That will benefit the residential market. That will benefit the office market. That’s going to benefit retail, and certainly industrial.”

Art Lieberman, Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors + CPAs: “You are seeing a lot of opportunity zone projects starting to come online. Leasing to businesses looking for opportunity zone tax benefits will start to trend.”

What sectors of real estate are probably going to struggle in 2021?

Neil Merin, NAI/Merin Hunter Codman: “Hospitality and retail. There will be a permanent impairment to hospitality in the business travel sector. Retail is a reimagining.”

Andrew Zidar, RK Centers: “It’s survival of the fittest on the retail side. There will continue to be fallout over the next year or two. There will be names in retail we have known for a long time that cease to exist.”

Dev Motwani, Merrimac Ventures: “We’ve always been a great hospitality and cruise market, and those markets are going to take a little longer to rebound in 2021 as people get comfortable traveling again.”

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white and orange pumpkins on table

A Heartfelt Thanks

Please enjoy the following post, contributed by our Property Manager, Joan Garrick in appreciation of donations contributed by the MHC REAL Leaders Team towards a local Thanksgiving outreach community program.

Giving makes life wonderful. It is in giving that the lives of others are enriched and as such we enrich our own lives.


This note is sent to you today to say thank you.


Thank you for giving of your hard-earned financial resources, time, and energy.


Thank you for partnering with me to share our blessings.


Thank you for giving up time and resources which you could have used for other things.


More importantly, thank you for partnering with me in sharing in my passion to reach out to the needy. The members of my family as well as members of Victory Tabernacle Apostolic International at Avon Park came together, prepared, and distributed 257 packages of cooked meals and care packages to the needy on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday November 26, 2020.


You were all part of the emotional, tear-filled eyes of elderly men and women, some confined to wheel chairs; and other individuals as they said thank you for even being bothered to care about on Thanksgiving Day 2020.


To all of you on behalf of these elderly persons, children, and parents.
Thank You for Caring and Sharing.

Joan Garrick

We’re honored to have been a part of bringing hope to our community and wish for everyone to have a healthy and happy holiday season.

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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

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EVENT: Riverwalk Power Mixer at 1 East Broward

On Monday, December 9th 1 East Broward and NAI/Merin Hunter Codman were proud to host the 4th Quarter Riverwalk Power Mixer. The mixers are held four times per year and are exclusively for Trustee members and corporate partners of Riverwalk. These high-end networking events are held at businesses in and around the Downtown and attract some of Fort Lauderdale’s most influential community leaders. 

Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale is a charitable nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization responsible for the planning, programming, beautification and promotion of Fort Lauderdale’s Riverwalk Park. They are responsible for the oversight of all public land including 10 parks in the Downtown corridor. Their mission is “to be the catalyst in building and nurturing Riverwalk as a vibrant community connected by the New River.”  Riverwalk Fort Lauderdale partners with many groups, including the City of Fort Lauderdale, Downtown Development Authority, Broward County and local area associations and business that are integral in the success of Downtown Fort Lauderdale.

1 East Broward was the perfect location for this mixer. The building truly is the #1 choice for businesses seeking first-class, downtown office space for lease in Fort Lauderdale’s Central Business District. The 19-story, Class-A office building comprises 350,000 square feet at the northeast corner of Broward Boulevard and Andrews Avenue. This premier location is within walking distance to several local attractions including Flagler Village’s Arts and Technology village (FATVillage), Music & Arts South of Sunrise District (MASS), and renowned Las Olas Boulevard.

Tenants enjoy unparalleled amenities including a luxurious grand lobby with soaring floor-to-ceiling glass and high-end marble finishes, impressive panoramic views, an exclusive state-of-the-art fitness center, complimentary shuttle services, manned 24/7 security and a variety of on-site services including: restaurant, café/sundry shop, dry cleaning, car detailing, banking/ATM and property management. Tenants also enjoy plentiful parking in the garage, connected by an air-conditioned, newly renovated sky-walk.

1 East Broward offers the best in convenience and walkability with fantastic access to I-95, I-595 and the Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale International Airport. It’s also the closest office building to the new Fort Lauderdale Brightline station.

View more property details and availability, then call Maxwell Pawk to schedule your tour: 561 471 8000.

Please enjoy photos from the event below. Thank you to our fantastic staff who pulled this together and made us look good!

How can we help you? NAI/Merin Hunter Codman is one of South Florida’s leading commercial real estate firms and the largest in Palm Beach County. We have over three decades of experience advising clients on strategic acquisitions and dispositions and providing landlord representation, tenant representation, property management, and construction management services. The firm has expertise in all commercial property sectors including office, retail, industrial, multifamily, hotels, and land. To learn more about our services click here.

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EVENT: 2019 Cheribundi Boca Bowl

NAI/Merin Hunter CodmanNAI Miami, and NAI Kurtz, together with NAI Global were proud to again sponsor the area’s premier ESPN college football game – the 2019 Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl held at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. Congratulations to the FAU Owls who were the 2019 Champions!

We were happy to have been able to donate 40 tickets to the Gulfstream Goodwill Academy.

Image Source: https://www.cheribundibocaratonbowl.com/

Thank you to all of our clients, partners, and attendees for joining us at this year’s game. We look forward to seeing everyone again at our 2020 pre-game tailgate!

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2019 NAI Florida & Caribbean Forum Recap

We want to wish a hearty thank you to all sponsors, moderators, panelists, and guests that attended our 2019 NAI Florida & Caribbean Forum – making it one of our most well attended Forums to date!

Around 500 commercial real estate professionals gathered on November 15th at the Intercontinental Miami for a full morning of all things CRE -focusing on current commercial real estate conditions and economic trends at a national level and within the Florida region.

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Big Wins for NAI Merin Hunter Codman Founder and Chairman, Neil E. Merin

We want to wish a hearty congratulations to our Chairman, Neil E. Merin, SIOR, CCIM for his recent big wins!

CCIM’s Biggest Deals of 2019

A big “Thank You” to Neil and the rest of the team that worked on our 1 East Broward acquisition, which made it as a CCIM 2019 Biggest Deal! View the interview of all finalists at these links: View Link | View PDF | FL CCIM Link

Key highlights of Neil’s interview include the notions “Approach each opportunity as a partnership,” and “Knowledge: know your market and product better than anybody else. Expertise: become an expert at whatever segment you deal in. Credibility: make sure you have a reputation for honesty, integrity, expertise, and knowledge.”

SFBJ’s 2019 Structures Awards

1 E Broward was a finalist in the Terry Stiles Deal of the Year Award, but the big win of the night was Neil Merin’s acceptance of the Dealmaker of the Year Award. View the SFBJ’s fantastic write-up about the awards here: View Photos | View Article | PDF Article | View Acceptance Video

Neil said, “I’m not the young hotshot in the business when I started. Building teams and helping people launch their careers is really what I enjoy, more than just doing the deal. I just love what I do. I live, eat and breathe this business.”

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Building a Better Future Together – School Supply Drive benefiting Red Apple Supplies

94% of teachers pay an average of $500-$1,000/year out of pocket on classroom and student supplies – The New York Times

At NAI/Merin Hunter Codman, Inc. we take pride in supporting the communities that we live and do business in. We’re writing today to ask for YOU to be a part of our next community service project.

Help us in supporting the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County by dropping off items for our SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE, benefitting Red Apple Supplies. This free teacher resource store provides school supplies at no-cost in high needs, Title I public schools.

CLICK HERE FOR FULL FLYER WITH MORE DETAILS!

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EVENT: BDB CRE Roundtable

NAI/Merin Hunter Codman, Inc. and Tricera Capital had the honor of hosting the BDB‘s Commercial & Industrial Real Estate Round Table at the former Palm Beach Post building, now being rebranded as “The Press”. While there will be a retail/industrial component, Scott Sherman (Principal of Tricera) shared renovation plans for the office portion which will be called “Workplaces at The Press”. He detailed how the common areas will focus on fresh, innovative design that encourages community like flexible work and meeting spaces, pods/phone booths, and a lounge/event room. NAI/Merin Hunter Codman is excited to handle the property management and leasing assignment for this exciting new concept.

Rendering of proposed lobby renovation at “The Press”

The BDB shared their 2018-2019 fiscal and marketing goals, which includes creating new jobs, attracting capital investments and bringing more than 1 million square feet of newly leased/constructed space to the County. An exciting note mentioned was biotech company Beacon Pharmaceutical, which is planning to build a state-of-the-art life science/healthcare complex in Jupiter.

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PRESS RELEASE: ULI West Palm Beach Development and Investment Forum Showcases Extraordinary Citywide Growth

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (May 10, 2019) –   A collection of some of Florida’s leading commercial and residential real estate developers, architects, and urban planning experts gathered today to speak to a crowd of almost 300 about real estate trends, opportunities and related issues at the Urban Land Institute (ULI) West Palm Beach Development and Investment Forum at the Hilton West Palm Beach.

Chairman Neil Merin, of NAI/Merin Hunter Codman, kicked off the three-hour program by itemizing the highlights of more than $3 billion worth of new investment in West Palm Beach either underway or planned.  This includes 2,336 hotel rooms, 3,520 residential units, 1,310,000 sq. ft. of new Class A office space and Hospital for Special Surgery’s first expansion outside its home base in New York. These investments are “game-changers for the city,” according to Raphael Clemente, executive director of the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority, a co-sponsor of the event with ULI. “The entire city is flourishing, and downtown development is the most intense it’s been since the days of Henry Flagler. The big difference is that today, our planners are steering the kind of growth that advances the quality of life for all.”

“All of the new Class A office space will help stabilize rates and allow us to fulfill the demand from out-of-market companies looking to locate here,” Merin said. The new residential units and major commercial projects have contributed to a recent increase in the city’s tax base of 13.5 percent, he added, a number that is expected to keep rising.  He also cited the extensive recent upgrades to some of the city’s cultural institutions bringing them to world-class levels, especially the Norton Museum of Art and the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. “Investment in arts and culture adds real value to the continued viability of the real estate market. There is a direct correlation.” (Click here to view a slideshow of his presentation.)

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