Trophy Deals Galore: Downtown Office Towers Trade in Slowing Market

Excerpt from the Daily Business Review article by Lidia Dinkova; published 2/25/19.

Trophy office towers have been trading across South Florida in spite of the regional market slowing down after five years of robust growth.

“In South Florida in general, (we are) attracted to the job growth and the population growth,” said Kevin Chin, senior vice president with PCCP LLC, which bought two South Florida office towers last year. “There is substantial development going on in downtown.”

The real estate finance and investment management firm with offices in California and New York bought downtown Miami’s SunTrust International Center for $127 million and as part of a joint venture bought downtown Fort Lauderdale’s 1 E Broward for $108.5 million.

1 E Broward “is a well-leased building. It’s the closest office building to Brightline, so we thought that was attractive as well,” Chin, who is based in New York, said using Virgin Trains’ previous name.

PCCP bought the 19-story Fort Lauderdale building in a joint venture with West Palm Beach-based NAI/Merin Hunter Codman from Ivy Realty.

For NAI/Merin, a commercial real estate services firm that has started buying as well, the purchase was motivated in part by Fort Lauderdale’s growth.

“I can tell you a lot of the young people in my office who formerly would have gravitated to Miami or Delray Beach are now choosing instead to move to Fort Lauderdale,” said Neil Merin, NAI/Merin chairman, and founder.

The purchase also made sense for PCCP because the $127 million price tag is much less than new construction, Chin noted. Both SunTrust and 1 E Broward offer an upside in rental revenue, too.

Ivy Realty, which sold 1 E Broward, invested $5 million in renovations in the 1984 tower and raised the occupancy to 91 percent. Since the sale, the rate is up to 93.5 percent.

At the same time, rents have remained below market, according to Merin.

The average now is $18 per square foot, triple net, compared with the average market rate of $30 to $35 per square foot, he said. Rents won’t be increased to the market rate but may hit $28 a square foot.

Aside from the Fort Lauderdale train station, the tower is just south of FATVillage, a once dilapidated warehouse district that’s experienced a rebirth.

“It looks very much like Wynwood five or maybe six years ago,” Merin said, referring to FATVillage. “Instead of being adjacent to the worst neighborhood in Fort Lauderdale, it (1 E Broward) is adjacent to the most attractive neighborhood in the city.”

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NEWS PICK-UP: Hinshaw & Culbertson Renews Lease in Fort Lauderdale

CoStar shared information about Hinshaw & Culbertson’s 16,696 SF lease renewal at 1 E Broward, facilitated by Max Pawk and Neil Merin, who represented the Landlord. Please find an excerpt below.

Chicago-based law firm Hinshaw & Culbertson has renewed its lease on the 10th floor of the One East Broward office building at 1 E. Broward Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The tenant will remain in its 16,696-square-foot suite under a new five-year deal.

The U.S. law firm has three locations in Florida, including the downtown Miami and Tampa areas. Attorneys in its Fort Lauderdale office in particular specialize in corporate and business law matters, real estate, financial planning, liability and corporate organization, construction litigation, environmental law and labor/employment law, according to its website.

Built in 1984, the 19-story, 351,705-square-foot, 4-Star office tower sits on 4.6 acres in the Downtown Fort Lauderdale submarket of Broward County. The building underwent a common-area renovation in 1999 and it features reserved parking in a subterranean garage, 24-hour availability, an atrium, on-site banking and convenience store, conferencing facilities, a fitness center, restaurant, cafe and other tenant amenities.

Click here to read the full article.

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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.

General NAI REAL Leaders News Articles

VOLUNTEER EVENT: Grassy Waters Preserve

Our REAL Leaders weren’t afraid to get messy at our first volunteer event of the year. On Friday, February 15, our group helped transplant endangered bromeliads and orchids throughout a few different trails.

Grassy Waters Preserve is a 23 square mile wetlands ecosystem that serves as the freshwater supply for the City of West Palm Beach and the towns of South Palm Beach and Palm Beach Island. Grassy Waters was both a key component of the Greater Everglades watershed and the headwaters of the Northwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River.

Grassy Waters remains a pristine remnant of the once great Everglades system and is a mosaic of wetlands, tree islands, and forested hammocks. It’s also home to a variety of native wildlife. Commonly sighted species includ the Everglades snail kite, wood stork, white ibis, great blue heron, white tailed deer, otter, bobcat, and alligator.

Our team had the best time transplanting orchids high along their Swamp Tromp trail, which took us through the wet and muddy cypress swamp. This rugged trail required stepping over and ducking under vegetation, with water as high as our thighs!

We were happy to help out such an important cause and encourage you to see how you can help! Click here to find out more information about volunteer opportunities and enjoy some pictures of our volunteer day below.

NAI REAL Leaders

NAI/Merin Hunter Codman Partners with BDB to Facilitate Economic Development Efforts

Palm Beach County, FL – In collaboration with city, county, and state partners, the Business Development Board (BDB) works to leverage the County’s extraordinary assets by promoting the expansion of existing businesses and attracting new ones to the area. The BDB also receives support from hundreds of local companies, like NAI/Merin Hunter Codman, that invest in Palm Beach County’s economy through the BDB’s economic development efforts because they all have one powerful shared vision of the future. These combined efforts contribute to the prosperity of the County by providing quality jobs for our citizens, fostering economic growth and delivering a vibrant community that is a premier business destination.

The power of partnerships in Palm Beach County is so strong and assists the BDB’s mission of attracting and retaining jobs and businesses in Palm Beach County. This has a return of investment in better infrastructure, a top-notch workforce, and a higher quality of life for everyone. There are also 20 industry specific task forces, 30 events, and dozens of initiatives that are facilitated each year to bring academia and business leaders together.

Just within the past five years, the BDB has assisted companies that have created more than 12,822 direct jobs with average salaries greater than $69,062, resulting in more than $777 million in capital investment to Palm Beach County and an economic impact that exceeds $6.87 billion.

Kelly Smallridge, President and CEO of the Business Development Board said, “Our private business investors recognize that a vibrant economy benefits the residents and businesses in Palm Beach County, providing increased tax revenues, good quality jobs, and creating new economic activity with long-lasting prosperity for all.”

Press Releases

NEWS PICK-UPS: Toys “R” Us Building Sale in Royal Palm Beach


A few media organizations have picked up our Press Release on the recent sale of the Former Toys “R” Us building at 450 S State Road 7.

The Real Deal: View PDF | View Article

Palm Beach Post: View PDF | View Article

South Florida Business Journal: View PDF | View Article

BDB: View PDF | View Article

CRE Sources: View PDF | View Article

PBC Chamber of Commerce: View PDF | View Article

Boca Chamber: View PDF | View Article

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PRESS RELEASE: Former Toys “R” Us Building in Royal Palm Beach Sells for $15,800,000

— NAI/Merin Hunter Codman represents buyer in the purchase of a vacant 55,962 square foot retail box. —

West Palm Beach, Fla. – NAI/Merin Hunter Codman Managing Directors, Barbara LeBrun, SIOR and Lesley Sheinberg represented a confidential buyer in the $15,800,000 purchase of 450 S State Road 7 in Royal Palm Beach. The 55,962 square foot retail property, built in 2012, traded for $282.33 per square foot. Ross Waters, Principal of Atlantic Realty represented the seller Treeco/Soder Royal Palm LLC who purchased the property in 2015 for $13,000,000 when the building was 100% leased to Toys “R” Us. The June 2018 closing of the iconic Toys “R” Us chain left a gaping 28.6 million square foot vacancy in the U.S. retail market. The company owned or leased 23 properties in the South Florida Tri-County market, ten of which were in Palm Beach County, most of which currently stand empty and are available for redevelopment.

Press Releases Transactions