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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
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.”
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.”
A $41 billion hedge fund based in New York plans to temporarily lease space in the Phillips Point office complex as part of a larger move to bring its headquarters to West Palm Beach, three real estate sources said on Thursday.
Paul Singer’s Elliott Management Corp. also will open an office in Greenwich, Ct., as well as keep a presence in Manhattan, according to Bloomberg News, which first reported Elliott’s move to West Palm Beach but did not identify a location.
Real estate experts familiar with Elliott’s search said the firm will sublease 7,600 square feet of space belonging to the Arnold and Porter law firm at Phillips Point, a twin-tower office complex at 777 S. Flagler Drive, overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway.
The short-term lease is temporary space until Elliott can open more permanent offices of at least 25,000 square feet. The likely landing spot: 360 Rosemary, the new office building under construction by Related Cos. at Rosemary Square, according to two real estate sources.
A few media organizations have picked up our Press Release on the recent acquisition of Golden Bear Plaza in Palm Beach Gardens.
— 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.
The following excerpt was originally written by Katherine Kallergis and Keith Larsen of The Real Deal. Click 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.
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.
Check out Centurion Tower, a first-class office building near downtown West Palm Beach.
Centurion Tower delivers downtown West Palm Beach Class-A office space amenities at a suburban price point. Centurion Tower is a 144,000-square foot, 14-story, Class-A office building which features an attached 5-story parking garage with covered access, ample surface parking, 24-hour security with closed circuit TV monitoring system, and separately metered, multi-zoned HVAC with no overtime HVAC charges.
Centurion Tower is located just off of Palm Beach Lakes Blvd on Forum Place, less than a minute to I-95 and the Palm Beach Outlets with numerous restaurants, shops and banks within walking distance. Palm Beach International Airport, the County Courthouse, and Downtown West Palm Beach are also just a short drive away.
Call Christopher T. Smith or Shelbi Quinn at 561-471-8000 and come experience Centurion Tower’s stunning golf course and water views today. Don’t forget to ask about Centurion Tower’s recently completed move-in ready spec suites available for lease.
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