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

Billionaire Jeff Greene battles with WPB mayor over unfinished office building

The following excerpt was originally written by Katherine Kallergis and Keith Larsen of The Real DealClick here to view the full article.

Two weeks ago, billionaire developer Jeff Greene threatened to stop construction of a two-tower, 30-story mixed-use project in downtown West Palm Beach.

Jeff Greene and a rendering of 550 North Quadrille Boulevard (Credit: Arquitectonica International via Facebook)

Greene, who told the Palm Beach Post in late April that he would “leave the shell up” because the city was resistant to approve a zoning request, is changing his tune. Now, he’s saying that he will build the project at 550 North Quadrille Boulevard as is, but at a slower pace, if he can’t get the property rezoned. Greene wants to change the project’s zoning from hotel, office space and multifamily to all multifamily.

West Palm Beach’s Central Business District has 673,350 square feet of Class A office space under construction, with an average asking rent of $54.39 per square foot, according to Colliers International South Florida’s first quarter report.

Neil Merin, chairman of the commercial real estate firm NAI Merin Hunter Codman, said the city has shown that it can only absorb one new Class A office building every 10 years.

To go forward with the office component of the One West Palm project “seems to be silly,” Greene said. He’s already invested $100 million into construction.

Want to read the full story? View PDF | View Link

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NEWS PICK-UP: Coronavirus Florida; One West Palm complex, partly built, could halt construction for years

The following excerpt was originally written by Alexandra Clough of The Palm Bach PostClick here to view the full article.

Photo by: Greg Lovett/palmbeachpost.com

A $250 million twin-tower complex in West Palm Beach is likely to stop construction within days, leaving the city with skeletal towers that could stand as unbuilt eyesores for the next decade.

Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene, who is developing the 30-story One West Palm apartment-hotel-office complex, said on Tuesday he is about to pull the plug on construction, three stories shy of reaching the top, because the city is pushing back against his request for a zoning change.

Greene wants to build apartments in a northeast tower, rather than the offices and hotel slated for the space. The southwest tower already is approved for 328 apartments.

With the coronavirus pandemic putting a halt to tourism and shuttering offices nationwide, office space and hotel rooms no longer work, Greene said. He said financing sources for the 200,000 square feet of office and 201-room hotel have collapsed, and a hotel partner withdrew.

Even before the pandemic, Greene said his real estate brokerage could not find even one office tenant willing to lease space in the project, a reflection of the market’s thin demand for new office space downtown.


Real estate experts said Greene’s concerns about office space are valid.

Last year, experts began warning that West Palm Beach’s downtown office market was loaded with empty space, even though business leaders insisted the city needed more space to lure employers.

The city’s existing offices buildings, including its Class A towers, had floors of vacant sublease space. This resulted in a shadow vacancy rate of about 17 percent downtown, said Neil Merin, chairman of NAI/Merin Hunter Codman in West Palm Beach.

Historically, downtown West Palm Beach can only absorb one new office tower every 10 years, Merin said. In addition to One West Palm, the 300,000-square-foot 360 Rosemary office tower also began construction last year.

With businesses alarmed by the pandemic or financially damaged by the tumbling economy, the outlook for urban office leasing is unpredictable.

Some theories predict office tenants will flock to less dense, suburban offices, Merin said.

Others predict companies will shrink their office space to save money on overhead while continuing to let employees work from home.

Want to read the full article? View PDF | View Link

News Articles

DEALS FORECAST: Predictions about the future of South Florida real estate

The following excerpt was originally written by the South Florida Business Journal. Click here to view the full article.

Before the novel coronavirus infected the South Florida real estate industry, it was always clear whether it was a buyer’s or seller’s market.

But, like most industries, it’s a sector of the region’s economy that’s not immune to the virus, formally known as Covid-19.

An abundance of confidence in South Florida’s most valuable sector has morphed into a wealth of unpredictability in recent weeks.

The Business Journal reached out to local experts — many of whom have weathered previous downturns — to get their take on what the future might look like for each segment of the region’s booming real estate industry: residential, industrial, office, retail and hospitality.

We also asked professionals how the coronavirus affected their deal flow. The results of a Business Journal survey offer a rough picture of an industry at a standstill.

From small companies to large ones, a majority told us that the pandemic greatly slowed or halted deal flow. Most say that’s because of uncertainties among buyers and sellers.

Neil Merin offered his take on the office sector below.

“There will be a slightly higher vacancy rate because some companies will totally fail. Some tenants will renegotiate their rent. Some see it as a way to preserve cash.” – Neil Merin, Chairman, NAI Merin Hunter Codman

What do other professionals have to say? How will each sector feel COVID-19’s impact? See the original article here: View PDF | View Article

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A Commercial Real Estate Starr Joins NAI/Merin Hunter Codman

Former CBRE First Vice President Adam Starr joins NAI/Merin Hunter Codman as Managing Director in the brokerage division.

West Palm Beach, FL – NAI/Merin Hunter Codman, Inc., one of South Florida’s leading commercial real estate firms, is pleased to welcome South Florida commercial real estate expert, Adam Starr, to the firm’s brokerage team as Managing Director. Mr. Starr will be specializing in the sale and leasing of office and industrial properties throughout south Palm Beach and Broward counties.

Mr. Starr, a six-time CoStar Power Broker Award winner, brings over two decades of commercial real estate expertise to NAI/Merin Hunter Codman. Mr. Starr has successfully negotiated over 15,000,000 square feet of sales and lease transactions throughout South Florida for firms such as CBRE, Brenner Real Estate Group, and the Trammell Crow Company. Mr. Starr’s focus will remain in tenant and landlord representation, as well as investment sales.

“It is always a pleasure to welcome a seasoned, commercial real estate professional to our firm. Adam has successfully navigated a wide variety of transactions through all of South Florida’s market cycles. He is a well-liked and highly respected industry expert that is known for his market knowledge, tenacity, professionalism and absolute commitment to the highest level of service for his clients,” stated Jordan Paul, CEO, NAI/Merin Hunter Codman.

“I have done business with Adam many times over the years. He has developed a remarkable track record of creating value and attaining favorable financial returns for his clients. He is a very welcome addition and will be a true asset to the firm’s brokerage team,” stated NAI/Merin Hunter Codman, Chairman, Neil E. Merin, SIOR, CCIM.

Click here to view the full Press Release.

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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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NEWS PICK-UP: Prime Vacant Jupiter Land On Market for $38M

The following article was originally published in The Palm Beach Post by Alexandra Clough. View Article | View PDF

The Indiantown Road property for years has been considered for possible corporate, high tech or medical use. Now the land’s owner is ready to sell it so someone else can figure out a plan.

A rare piece of prime vacant land has gone up for sale in Jupiter.

How long will it stay on the market? Probably not long, said Neil Merin, the broker hired to market the site.

The 83-acre property, dubbed the Hawkeye property, is at the gateway to Jupiter.

It is located on the southeast corner of Interstate 95 and Indiantown Road and is the last large I-95 interchange land in Palm Beach, Broward or Miami-Dade counties.

The asking price is about $38 million, said Merin, chairman of NAI/Merin Hunter Codman in West Palm Beach.

General News Articles

Experts: West Palm Beach has Class-A Office Space Glut as New Towers Start to Rise

The following article was originally published in The Palm Beach Post by Alexandra Clough. View Article | View PDF

Photo by Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post

Real estate brokers are growing concerned that top tier office buildings have too much shadow sublease space.

Even as another project is up for consideration, West Palm Beach’s downtown office market is loaded with empty space, and there is little demand from tenants outside the area wanting to lease large offices, real estate professionals say.

Interviews with real estate developers and brokers indicate that the city’s Class A office buildings, which typically attract the top tenants, have plentiful space available directly from the buildings, or from office tenants that are trying to sublease their space.

General Market Reports News Articles

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.

Events General