Moon Landings and Beyond – Why Florida is the Leader in Aerospace

Photo credit: Space Florida

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission that changed the course of humanity and space as we know it. “One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.” With the launch site, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, in our backyard, it’s no wonder that our home state is poised for aerospace greatness.

The State of Florida represents the very best in space-related technology, innovation, business venture and exploration. Aerospace and aviation industry leaders continue to make Florida their launch pad for new discoveries, businesses and technologies.

Florida’s aerospace industry has diversified strengths, highlighted by:

  • Rocket launching and landing at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport
  • Development of navigation and guidance control systems in Orlando and Clearwater
  • Manufacturing of rocket engines as well as advanced helicopter systems in West Palm Beach
  • Small satellite development in Gainesville
  • Significant MRO centers around the state, with particular strength in Miami, Jacksonville, Melbourne, and the Pensacola to Panama City corridor
  • Business jet R&D and manufacturing in Melbourne

Additionally, Florida is a hub for the growing commercial space industry, with current and planned major operations for path-breaking companies such as SpaceX, Blue Origin and OneWeb Satellites.

Space Florida is the state’s aerospace economic development agency and has one simple mission: MAKE FLORIDA THE PLACE FOR SPACE. They are uniquely empowered by the State Florida with robust tools to aid companies in aerospace and related industries. Space Florida has conducted more than $500 million in financing transactions since 2000, allowing a number of companies to defer upfront capital costs on favorable terms as they grow their operations in Florida.

“Vision 2020” is Space Florida’s strategy to target 10 commercial markets in the coming years that will fully utilize Florida’s space launch and processing capabilities, existing skilled workforce, and infrastructure assets. These markets are expanding their use of space-based technologies every day, and Florida plans to become a critical part of the launch, processing, integration and supply chain opportunities that will result.

  1. Space Transportation and Technologies Support Systems
  2. Satellite Systems and Payloads
  3. Ground and Operations Support Systems
  4. Agriculture, Climate and Environmental Monitoring
  5. Civil Protection and Emergency Management
  6. ISS and Human Life Sciences
  7. Communications, Cybersecurity and Robotics
  8. Adventure Tourism
  9. Clean Energy
  10. Advanced Materials and New Products

In business, location is everything. Florida is the ONE commercial space hub that can meet all aerospace business needs TODAY. Here you can currently launch, land, manufacture, co-locate, collaborate and more. From move-in ready facilities, financial and infrastructure resources, a highly trained workforce, NASA and Air Force support and mission-proven launch/landing facilities, locating or expanding in Florida is one business decision made easy.

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.

Source: SpaceFlorida.gov.

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3 Unexpected Tech Hubs CRE Investors Should be Watching

Move over, Silicon Valley – there are some new players in the game.

The tech industry’s steady growth rate is causing tech hubs to sprout up all over the country. It isn’t just centered around big cities or coastal oases,  it’s everywhere. In fact, the expanding tech industry is responsible for leasing a large portion of the country’s office spaces. This is huge, not only for tech giants but also for investors.

Commercial investors need to keep up with the latest tech trends in order to find the best assets, and it’s always smart to get ahead of the game. Finding these small areas before they explode into popular hotspots is key to dominating the industry. Here are 3 tech-centric areas which are currently CRE’s best-kept secrets.

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Looking for a Home for Your Small Business: 5 Ways to Pick a City

As a small business looking to make its mark on the world, starting out is never easy. Up and coming businesses face all sorts of issues and setbacks – sometimes it even feels like the turbulence will never end. These complications stand as rites of passage for all growing businesses, and the silver lining of success always remains in sight.

When everything else comes with its own set of dilemmas, there’s one thing that can be easy. Yes, we said it – easy. Finding a home for your developing business doesn’t have to be an arduous process. By following this expert advice, you’ll be able to find a city that’s perfect.

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Experience is Everything: 4 CRE Sectors Keeping Up

It’s 2019 and experience is everything. The focus on experience has been steadily growing, and it’s become a full-blown obsession in nearly every major industry. CRE is no stranger to the concept of created experiences, and some sectors are totally dominating the game.

Let’s look at how these 4 rockstar CRE industries are utilizing created experiences to stay current and attract business.

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NEWS PICK-UP: Northbridge Centre Trades Hands for $98 Million

Please enjoy excerpts below from the original article by Alexandra Clough, Business Writer at the Palm Beach Post, featuring insights from Neil Merin. View PDF | View Article Link

The Northbridge Centre office tower last week traded hands for $98 million, as investors continue to pour money into West Palm Beach property. The 21-story office tower at 515 N. Flagler Drive sold to 515 N. Flagler Drive Owner LLC, a partnership of C-III Capital Partners and Vanderbilt Office Properties, according to sources. The tower’s prior sale was in 2016, when it sold for $68 million.

Photo credit: ThePublishedReporter.com

The Northbridge sale took place after its recent owners, Connecticut-based Greenfield Partners and Crocker Partners of Boca Raton, spent three years and an estimated $15 million upgrading the office complex.

The black-glass office tower, nicknamed the Darth Vader building, underwent a renovation that included upgrades to its lobby and common areas and the construction of a conference facility. Some space was built out for prospective tenants, too.

The 294,000-square-foot Northbridge leased up with law firms and hedge funds but reportedly lost out on a big tenant, WeWork, the trendy co-working space. Word is WeWork took a hard look at Northbridge but decided not to lease space in West Palm Beach. Instead, the co-working space leased four floors in a new office tower in Miami.

As it stands, Northbridge still has plenty of vacant space, at a time when two new office complexes, Rosemary 360 and One West Palm, are being built.

Peter Reed, Managing Partner of Commercial Florida Realty Services, which handled Northbridge’s leasing, said new tenants such as Evercore Wealth Management and Atlantic Street Capital bolstered the county’s efforts to brand downtown West Palm Beach the “Flagler Financial District.” Law firms such as Fisher Potter Hodas also took space in the tower, which Reed, a golf aficionado, said was a “chip shot” away from the courthouse.

Nevertheless, Neil Merin, chairman of NAI/Merin Hunter Codman in West Palm Beach, said the office tower still has about 54,000 square feet of vacant space. Merin said two full floors remain vacant, meaning that tenants wanting to be on the water still have good choices for space.

Brokers say there’s already plenty of office space available in downtown West Palm Beach right now. In fact, Merin recently made a presentation before an Urban Land Institute conference in West Palm Beach on the topic. In his speech, he noted downtown’s 17 percent vacancy rate, featuring about 285,000 square feet of available space.

360 Rosemary Square, a 297,000 SF Class-A office development coming to West Palm Beach. Photo Credit: www.rosemarysquarewpb.com

Brokers characterized the West Palm Beach office market as a “move around market,” with new office buildings usually poaching tenants from existing buildings. Few large new office users come to the market. The Comvest deal is a perfect example of this trend, they said.

This fact contradicts statements by developers, business and government leaders who maintain there is an immediate and desperate need for more Class A space downtown.

Merin said in the short term, the supply of office space might swell to more than 786,000 square feet with the addition of two more office complexes, keeping office rents in check.

In the long run, however, Merin expects downtown West Palm Beach’s office space will fill up as more financial and business firms move to Florida from high-tax states in the Northeast.

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Neil Merin Named 2019 Power Leader in Real Estate

The South Florida Business Journal released their 2019 Power Leaders in Real Estate list, spotlighting 100 outstanding South Florida real estate professionals.

It’s no surprise that Neil made the list – along with our friend Jeremy Larkin, Co-chairman at NAI Miami. We want to extend a heartfelt congratulations to all of the professionals listed! Your hard work, expertise and determination have truly shined and we’re happy to recognize you as leaders in our market.

More details: View PDF | View Article

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NEWS PICK-UP: West Palm Beach development aims higher

Please enjoy the following article Real Estate Journal: West Palm Beach development aims higher by Brian Bandell, Senior Reporter, South Florida Business Journal, featuring insights from Neil Merin. Click here to view the PDF article.

JOCK FISTICK/SOUTH FLORIDA BUSINESS JOURNAL

There’s a building boom in West Palm Beach, as more multifamily, hotel and office projects are built across the water from the billionaire playground of Palm Beach.

It’s easy to see why.

As many Florida municipalities aim to lure residents looking to relocate from higher-tax states, recent U.S. Census Bureau data shows that, compared with Miami-Dade and Broward counties, Palm Beach County has excelled at drawing residents from elsewhere in the U.S.

Experts credit its attractive housing values, lifestyle and growing accessibility to Fort Lauderdale and Miami for that uptick. It’s a combination that’s made West Palm Beach one of its fastest-growing cities.

West Palm Beach has better housing values compared to most of South Florida – without a lot of congestion, said Raphael Clemente, executive director of the West Palm Beach Downtown Development Authority. Expansion projects at its cultural venues, including the Norton Museum of Art and the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, have made the city more of a leisure destination.

Also, West Palm Beach is the northernmost stop – so far – of the Virgin Trains USA passenger rail that connects with Fort Lauderdale and Miami. So people can live in West Palm Beach at a lower cost, but still have easy access to the entertainment destinations of Miami and Fort Lauderdale – and, eventually, Orlando.

The city is also revamping Clematis Street, its dining and entertainment district right near the train station, which could draw more Miami and Fort Lauderdale residents north.

“West Palm Beach has lagged Miami in terms of development and is starting to catch up a bit,” said Gopal Rajegowda, senior VP at the Related Cos., owner of Rosemary Square in the city. “While Miami might be overbuilt in some categories, West Palm Beach has a huge runway for more buildings to happen downtown.”

It’s been over a decade since a major Class A office building was delivered in downtown West Palm Beach, but two are now under construction, with a combined 502,000 square feet coming to market, according to NAI Merin Hunter Codman.

The Related Cos., led by billionaire Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross, is building an office complex at Rosemary Square, its mixed-use project formerly known as CityPlace. Billionaire Jeff Greene will include offices in his mixed-use One West Palm, slated to be the tallest building in Palm Beach County.

Many companies are looking to relocate to West Palm Beach, and the 360 Rosemary building will provide a modern building a short walk from the Virgin Trains station, Rajegowda said. Related Cos. is also completing common area improvements to Rosemary Square, and will soon break ground on an apartment tower.

Comvest Partners is the first tenant to sign a lease at 360 Rosemary.

Greene said the heavy preleasing activity for One West Palm probably won’t start until the building is about a year from completion.

“This is not a big preleasing town,” Greene said. “It’s smaller firms looking for 3,000 to 7,000 square feet.”

When you consider the new buildings and 285,000 square feet of vacant Class A space downtown, there’s a huge amount of office space to absorb over the next few years, said Neil Merin, chairman of NAI/Merin Hunter Codman. The two new buildings may attract tenants, but it will be at the expense of the older office buildings, he added.

“I wouldn’t want to buy an office building in downtown West Palm Beach now, thinking I can raise rents,” Merin said. “Because they are building on cash, they can undercut the market on rent.”

The Bristol Palm Beach has raised the bar for West Palm Beach condo prices, and inspired more developers to target the city.

The 69-unit Bristol smashed the city’s price record in March by selling a full-floor penthouse for $42.56 million. The prices per square foot there are comparable to Miami Beach.

For years, Palm Beach owned the luxury home market, and wealthy buyers wouldn’t consider West Palm Beach – but that has changed, said Taylor Collins, managing partner of West Palm Beach-based condo builder Two Roads Development. The Bristol proved wealthy buyers will pay premium prices for high-end projects downtown, he said.

The island of Palm Beach has virtually no land left for condo development, so most of the existing condo buildings are decades old, Collins said.

“If you want a new high-rise condo, the only place to get it is West Palm Beach,” Collins said.

Two Roads Development plans to launch sales this fall for the Forte, a 48-unit condominium along the Intracoastal Waterway. Collins said units at Forte will range from the high $3 millions to $8 million. The buyers are mostly Palm Beach homeowners seeking to downsize from their mansions and wealthy people relocating from the Northeast, he said.

Great Gulf has already started construction on the 84-unit La Clara, also along the water.

In addition to the condos, there are 1,069 apartments completed or under construction downtown, according to NAI/Merin Hunter Codman.

West Palm Beach has three hotels with a combined 602 rooms under construction downtown – the Canopy Hotel, the Ben, and a hotel in One West Palm.

“West Palm Beach is offering people an alternative for a staycation,” Merin said. “It’s seen as a cool coastal downtown area with activities on the water.”

Greene, who owns a Ramada Inn in the city, is concerned hotels are overbuilt there so new hotels will take business from older hotels. However, Greene’s confident the hotel he’s building at One West Palm will do well as the only Five Star hotel in the city, he said.

Business at the Related Cos.-owned Hilton Hotel connected to the Palm Beach County Convention Center has exceeded expectations, Rajegowda said. With demand for conventions exceeding capacity for rooms, they are considering a 250-room addition to the hotel, he said.

“When the Brightline [Virgin Trains] connects to Orlando, we will tap into a significant tourist base,” Rajegowda said. “The tourist who goes to Disney will have an easy way to stop in West Palm Beach for a few days.”

General News Articles

NEWS PICK-UPS: The Workspace at The Press

A few media organizations have picked up our Press Release on the firm’s new property management and leasing assignment of The Press, the former ±300,000 SF Palm Beach Post campus located at 2751 S Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach.

CRE-Sources: View PDF | View Article

Business Development Board of Palm Beach County: View PDF | View Article

Boca Raton Chamber: View PDF | View Article

Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches: View PDF | View Article

BOMA: View PDF | View Article

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The Buzz! Beeline Commons coming to the Palm Beach Park of Commerce

NAI/Merin Hunter Codman tapped to lease the retail development at Beeline Commons.

West Palm Beach, Fla. – NAI/Merin Hunter Codman, Palm Beach County’s leading commercial real estate firm, announces the retail leasing assignment of Palm Beach Park of Common’s Beeline Commons, 15519 Beeline Highway, 15279, 15319, and 15320 Commercial Circle in Jupiter. NAI/Merin Hunter Codman has partnered with Palm Beach Investment Property LLC to bring two 2,200-square foot quick service restaurants and a 5,600-square foot gas station/convenience store to the 9.54-acre Beeline Commons development.

All three sites will be located at the entrance of Palm Beach Park of Commerce to service the needs of the 70 existing businesses and 4,800 current employees. Additional area development plans include Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch Florida surf park, TPA Group’s latest warehouse, a four-story medical office building and a 75,000-square foot, 120-room hotel. Pratt & Whitney and a major aviation complex also anchor the business park.

“The Beeline Highway area and Palm Beach Park of Commerce have become a destination for industrial users. With workforce growth comes the need for retail, Palm Beach Investment Property LLC purchased property in 2017 with that foresight in mind. NAI/Merin Hunter Codman is proud to partner with Beeline Commons in assisting to fill that need,” stated NAI/Merin Hunter Codman Chairman, Neil E. Merin, SIOR, CCIM.  The NAI/Merin Hunter Codman leasing team consists of Chairman, Neil E. Merin, SIOR, CCIM and Bruce Corn, Retail Services Group’s Managing Director. To learn more about leasing opportunities please call 561-471-8000.

Full Press Release | Leasing Information

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Our Secret to Success – Give, Engage, and Give More

We’re incredibly honored that NAI Global has highlighted our firms’ commitment to the community through our annual volunteer efforts in the beautifully written piece below:

West Palm Beach, Florida – It started as a way to connect with people and industry in South Florida over thirty years ago, when NAI Merin Hunter Codman Chairman, Neil E. Merin, SIOR, CCIM was just beginning his commercial real estate career. Back then, community engagement and volunteering was practically the only way professionals, including attorneys and CPAs, could market themselves and their firms.

As Merin’s business grew and thrived, he added partners, staff, and many of the top-performing brokers serving South Florida. While community service had always played a central role in the firm’s activities, it wasn’t until 12 years ago that Merin, his partners and entire company made it a cornerstone of their enterprise. That’s when Merin and two other Palm Beach County business leaders spearheaded the first Get Down to Business Lunch to impress upon the business community the importance of giving back. Since its inception, this signature annual event has doubled in size and raised over $1.2 million dollars in support of Easterseals’ West Palm Beach Igoe-Amar Child Development Center, which provides services for children that are developmentally disabled. Merin was and remains an Honorary member of the Palm Beach Advisory Board for Easterseals and an Honorary Co-Chairman for the Get Down to Business.

“You could say the inception of the Easterseals’ luncheon was the moment when we pivoted as a firm and formally adopted the NAI Merin Hunter Codman Real Leaders program, the firm’s commitment to community service,” said NAI Merin Hunter Codman, Inc. CEO Jordan Paul, which is based in West Palm Beach with regional offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach Gardens and Wellington, FL.

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