PRESS RELEASE: ULI West Palm Beach Development and Investment Forum Showcases Extraordinary Citywide Growth

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.)

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Dated West Palm Beach Retail Development to Become Urban Village

By: Paul Owers, CoStar

After opening almost two decades ago near downtown West Palm Beach, Florida, the largest real estate development in the city’s history has a new name and focus, part of an evolution older centers nationwide are undertaking to appeal to millennials who prefer to shop online.

CityPlace, at 575 S. Rosemary Ave. , now is known as Rosemary Square, and The Related Cos. of New York says it is spending $550 million in the next five years to rebrand the aging outdoor center as an urban village to make it more of a destination that is different from other developments. West Palm Beach sits just across the Intracoastal Waterway from President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and other palatial properties in Palm Beach.

Similar retail transformations are happening at centers in and near Miami and across the United States as e-commerce gains more traction in the era of Amazon.

As Macy’s, Sears and other traditional retail heavyweights close stores, mall landlords are replacing them with innovative concepts and tenants that offer experiences to customers. Some owners are reconfiguring the spaces, adding apartments and even grocery stores , as a way to keep once-stale properties relevant.

“Not only do they have to be innovative and creative, but once the innovation becomes public, the shelf life is obviously shorter because everybody duplicates it,” said Michael Lagazo, an independent retail broker in San Diego.

“Shopping doesn’t hold our fascination as it did in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s,” added Neil Merin, a longtime South Florida broker and chairman of Merin Hunter Codman in West Palm Beach. “People want unique experiences.”

While the new name may be hard to get used to, CityPlace’s repositioning has merit, said Robert Granda, vice president of investments for the Marcus & Millichap brokerage in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

“They had to do something,” Granda said. “CityPlace had a negative correlation. It was dying a very slow death.”

At first, the $375 million CityPlace was an image boost for West Palm Beach. The development helped the city attract locals who left Palm Beach County to drive south to bars and restaurants on trendy Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale or to the swanky nightclubs on Miami Beach.

But CityPlace eventually grew stagnant, losing patrons to nearby downtown areas, including Atlantic Avenue 20 miles south in Delray Beach, Granda said.

Related Cos.’ investment in Rosemary Square includes adding a hotel and a 300,000-square-foot office tower while also turning a former Macy’s department store into a 21-story mixed-use building featuring residences and office space.

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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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Office Buildings in a “War for Talent”

Enjoy the below excerpt from the article “Office Park Near Miami Becomes the Latest to Add Perks to Compete” by Paul Owers of CoStar.

Call it the Facebook effect. New high-tech campuses in California built by social media giant Facebook and search engine Google have spurred workplace makeovers across the nation, and building owners have taken notice. In those campuses, the key is to make the workplace a fun place to hang out, with game tables and available food, with one benefit being that workers may hang around the workplace longer. As more offices adopt the practice, others feel the need to keep up.

Pexels.com/Marc Mueller

Savvy landlords are giving their office buildings a sense of place and making them sites for “playful entertainment,” said Neil Merin, chairman of the NAI / Merin Hunter Codman brokerage in West Palm Beach, Florida. “That’s the way people prefer to work today,” Merin said.

Merin is working with the new owner of The Palm Beach Post building in West Palm Beach to turn a sterile conference room on the first floor into an inviting meeting space that could feature a coffee bar and lounge areas.

“A really hip hotel lobby – that’s exactly what I’m shooting for,” he said.

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EVENT: Heroes for Education 5K

NAI/Merin Hunter Codman is happy to be a sponsor of the fifth annual Heroes for Education 5k Run/Walk that took place on November 3rd at Bryant Park in Lake Worth.

The Education Foundation of Palm Beach County is a great non-profit organization that partners with the School District of Palm Beach County to fund over $1.5 million in programs that the schools could not otherwise afford. These include providing high-risk students with Graduation Coaches, training for Financial Literacy and the establishment of the Red Apple Supply Store.

Our REAL Leaders had a great morning at the beautiful course that bordered along the Intracoastal. Enjoy some photos below and click here to see how you can be a hero for education!

 

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NAI/Merin Hunter Codman Reaches New Heights

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.

Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get more exciting company news as it happens.

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NEWS ARTICLE: The race for space in West Palm Beach

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.

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BROKER EVENT: Beer Tasting and Trivia Game Show

What’s better than beer and trivia? Try adding in local craft beer samples, prizes and bar bites! That was the thought for our “Brews and Buzzers” broker event at Centurion Tower in West Palm Beach on the evening of October 4th. NAI/Merin Hunter Codman hosted the event where area brokers toured spec suites, enjoyed our new digs, and were contestants in a custom trivia game show which included questions about the event and building details.

The event showcased available space at Centurion Tower, a 14-story Class-A office building on Palm Beach Lakes Blvd, just east of I-95. Newly completed spec suites are move-in ready and feature contemporary flair and flexible floor plans, with suites ranging from 1,422-2,394 SF. Click here for more details and call our office to schedule your showing today: 561 471 8000.

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