West Palm Beach, Fla. – NAI/Merin Hunter Codman, one of South Florida’s leading commercial real estate firms, has completed nearly 33,000-square-feet of lease transactions at 1EBroward on behalf of 1 E Broward Owner, LLC, who purchased the property in the fourth quarter of 2018. The property is a Class-A, 19-story, 351,705 square foot downtown Fort Lauderdale professional office building.
NAI/Merin Hunter Codman Chairman,
Neil E. Merin, SIOR, CCIM who leases the property with Associate, Maxwell Pawk
stated, “It is no secret the downtown Broward office market is exploding. 1 E
Broward is located on the hard corner of Andrews Avenue and Broward Boulevard,
a short walk, Uber or scooter ride from the Brightline station. Its location is
what drives interest in the property. It is the first-class amenities, like the
property’s shuttle service, concierge and state-of-the-art fitness center that
allow the property to edge above its competition.”
Recent lease transactions include:
17,000 SF lease renewal to national law firm, Hinshaw Culbertson
7,000 SF lease to Mystic Cruise Lines, the Portuguese cruise expedition company’s US headquarter location
5,200 SF lease to information and technology company, Beesion Technologies
2,200 SF lease to national general contractor, Falcon Construction
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.
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.
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.”
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.)
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.”
Several media organizations have picked up our Press Release on the TherapeuticsMD lease transaction at our 951 Yamato property in Boca Raton. The deal is the largest lease transaction in Palm Beach County for this year.
NAI/MERIN HUNTER CODMAN STRUCTURES ONE OF PALM BEACH COUNTY’S LARGEST TRANSACTIONS OF 2018
— TherapeuticsMD signs 56,212-square foot lease at 951 Yamato —
West Palm Beach, Fla. – NAI/Merin Hunter Codman, Inc., Palm Beach County’s leading commercial real estate services firm, is pleased to announce that it completed one of the largest office lease transactions in Palm Beach County this year with TherapeuticsMD, Inc. (NASDAQ: TXMD). TherapeuticMD, Inc. is an innovative women’s healthcare company. Jay M. Grossman, President and Director, and Richard W. Brockney of NAI/Merin Hunter Codman represented the Landlord, 951 Yamato Acquisition Company LLC, an affiliate of Brookwood Financial Partners, LLC. Mollie McDonough, Senior Vice-President of Butters Realty & Management represented the tenant.
The long-time Boca Raton based pharmaceutical firm, TherapeuticsMD, Inc., received three FDA product approvals since May and has outgrown its 32,000-square foot location.
When asked why TherapeuticsMD chose 951 Yamato, Josie Weitzel, Director of Corporate Operations, stated “After two long years of researching facility options in the Palm Beach County area, we finally found a space that will offer an open space floor plan, which will allow for a more cohesive and collaborative environment to meet the needs our current and future staff.”
NAI/Merin Hunter Codman President, Jay M. Grossman added, “951 Yamato was well suited for the tenant’s need with its large floor plates. In addition, the ability to find large blocks of office space to accommodate headquarter-sized tenants in Boca Raton is diminishing. The few that can be found are priced at the top of the market, located in less convenient areas, and many lack modern, Class-A features and amenities. 951 Yamato recently completed a million-dollar, environmentally friendly property improvement program to ensure that it remained a first-choice for large office space users. With the signing of the TherapeuticsMD lease and other recent leases, the building is now 89% leased.”
Current plans are to build-out two additional spec suites, that will be delivered in the first quarter of 2019, and a 2,000-square foot conference center for the use of all 951 Yamato tenants. For more information, contact NAI/Merin Hunter Codman President, Jay M. Grossman, or Director, Richard W. Brockney at 561-394-5200.
Brookwood, www.brookwoodfinancial.com, is a nationally-recognized private equity real estate investment firm that specializes in acquiring and managing value-add commercial real estate and other real estate-related operating businesses. Since its founding in 1993, Brookwood has invested over $995 million of equity to acquire a portfolio of 200 commercial real estate properties, seven operating companies, and 112 gas stations with convenience stores, with a total capitalization of over $2.5 billion. The portfolio has spanned multiple asset classes, geographical markets, and industries throughout the United States.
About NAI/Merin Hunter Codman
NAI/Merin Hunter Codman, www.mhcreal.com, is one of South Florida’s leading commercial real estate services firms with 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. NAI/Merin Hunter Codman’s client base includes some of the nation’s most prestigious institutional and private equity investors. Operating as part of the NAI Global network, NAI/Merin Hunter Codman can facilitate property transactions around the nation and the world, serving as a single point of contact for its clients’ counsel and execution. NAI/Merin Hunter Codman is headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida with regional offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach Gardens and Wellington.
It’s with great excitement and pride that we share a recent milestone for our company – the NAI/Merin Hunter Codman name has been placed atop the Centurion Tower building! This is a grand accomplishment for a firm who humbly resided in a partial second floor space at the building for nearly 30 years. Our recent move to the seventh floor combined with building signage is a testament to the firms stability and dedication to West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County and South Florida.
Neil was quoted in the below article, written by Mike Seemuth of The Real Deal.
Real estate executive and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross scored the most recent victory in the battle of billionaires looking to build high-rise office projects in downtown West Palm Beach. Ross was on an apparent collision course with Jeff Greene, real estate investor and former candidate for governor of Florida, but it appears that New York-based Related Companies, led by Ross, has won out — for now.
In reaction to the August news that part of the downtown would be upzoned, thereby allowing Related to proceed with a 25-story office project called One Flagler, Greene shelved his One West Palm project, citing an “uncertain zoning climate.” The city-approved project was a mix of office space, hotel rooms and apartments in two 30-story buildings, designed by Miami-based Arquitectonica.
The cancellation of Greene’s project seems to have exposed limits to commercial development in the central business district of West Palm Beach, despite local efforts to recruit out-of-town employers.