Do These Three Words Best Describe Miami’s Office Market?

Tere Blanca, who was a voice of optimism in the local industry’s recession dark says, sounds off.

By Jennifer LeClaire

MIAMI—Flight to quality. Those were three words we heard over and over again after the commercial real estate industry imploded and left Miami’s office inventory largely dark in 2008.

“During the course of the past year, class A assets dominated the market, capturing more than 80% of the total positive net absorption across Miami-Dade County,” Tere Blanca, president and CEO of Blanca Commercial Real Estate tells “Further evidencing the trend of tenants making a ‘flight to quality,’ major in-market moves, new-to-market entries and expansions were influenced by companies choosing to establish their footprints in premier trophy assets, as well as newly delivered office product.”

Where do we go from here in Miami’s office space market? Blanca, who was a voice of optimism in the local industry’s recession dark says, has some specific predictions.

“In 2018, companies will continue to gravitate towards premier new office space, hyperconnected to amenities and public transit, to elevate their corporate brands and attract new talent,” says Blanca. “The launch of Brightline will bring more region-wide business crossover, particularly along the urban centers, and fuel talent mobility across the region.”

In addition to creative new amenity offerings within a building, Blanca points to several other significant key office space drivers. She points to walkability, proximity to ample residential offerings and varied retail.

“A building’s tenant mix will also influence a company’s vetting and selection process, particularly for new developments, so projects offering a more ‘curated’ approach to office leasing strategy will stand out,” Blanca says. (Looking for the next generation of office space needs? Check this out.)

Tere Blanca Makes 2018 Office Leasing Predictions

By Jennifer LeClaire

MIAMI—It’s been a decade since new office supply in Miami sat dark. What can we expect on the Miami office leasing front in 2018?

We caught up with Tere Blanca, founder and CEO of Blanca Commercial Real Estate, to get some thoughts. Her overarching view? She expects local economic fundamentals to remain strong and drive the success of the Miami office market in 2018.

“Key industries demonstrating significant employment growth include professional, financial, and legal services, as well as evolving industries such as technology and media, at a rate of 2.5% locally, which is double that of the 1.2% national growth rate,” Blanca tells “These developments translate into 62,000 new jobs within those sectors during the past two years.”

(Savvy landlords are driving placemaking in the office sector. Find out more.)

In 2017, she notes, these industries contributed to more than half of the total leasing activity and accounted for the majority of expansions, a trend we expect will continue in 2018. Although new-to-market activity was on a steady decline over the course of the past two years, she expects improving economic factors in several Latin American countries, coupled with Miami’s continued global appeal, will yield higher net absorption from new market entries in 2018.

Blanca’s bottom line is clear. “Given the steady leasing momentum leading into the new year and limited new supply being delivered this year,” she says, “rents will sustain moderate increases and vacancy will continue a downward trend.”

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Blanca Commercial Real Estate Launches New Division

By Brian Bandell

Blanca Commercial Real Estate has launched a property management practice after hiring Peter Romero.

He previously managed more than 1 million square feet of office and mixed- use space while working for Taylor & Mathis and Cushman & Wakefield. Miami-based Blanca CRE named him VP of the new Blanca Property Management, where he will build a new team.

“We are thrilled to welcome a respected professional with Peter’s track record to lead the operations of Blanca Property Management,” said Tere Blanca, chairman and CEO of Blanca Commercial Real Estate. “Beyond his professional qualifications, he possesses an outgoing, collaborative personality and passion for excellence that fit perfectly with our company culture.”

The move comes after Blanca CRE hired John Guitar, previously with Brightline developer Florida East Coast Industries, as managing director and vice chair to plan for a statewide expansion and the introduction of more services. Other new additions to Blanca CRE include Controller Arturo Cepero, a CPA, and Chief Marketing Officer Diana Pubchara.

Blanca CRE ranked No. 15 on the Business Journal’s Commercial Real Estate Brokerages list with $215 million in deals in 2016, mostly office leases.

Blanca CRE dives into property management

By Katherine Kallergis

Blanca Commercial Real Estate is jumping into property management.

Tere Blanca’s company announced it brought on Peter Romero to lead the new division. Romero previously managed an office and mixed-use portfolio of more than 1 million square feet at Taylor & Mathis and Cushman & Wakefield.

In October, Blanca brought on John Guitar from Florida East Coast Industries as managing director and vice chair. Guitar, who plans to lead the statewide expansion of the Brickell-based commercial brokerage, said he expects the property management division to include existing clients and new buildings.

Facing competition from co-working companies like WeWork, landlords are increasingly looking to build a sense of community in their buildings with unique programs, Blanca and Guitar said.

Romero’s team includes Arturo Cepero, a CPA and certified fraud examiner, and Diana Pubchara, chief marketing officer. Pubchara will focus on creating customized programs for landlords and will oversee brand development, according to a release.

As Construction Costs Rise, Companies Seeking New Office Space Deploy New Strategies to Protect Their Best Interests

By Christopher Harak
Senior Vice President, Blanca Commercial Real Estate

As construction costs continue to rise and access to construction labor and materials continues to shrink, savvy companies ranging from professional services to technology firms seeking to build new office space are beginning to deploy a new set of strategies and tactics to protect their best interests.

During the past five years, construction costs have increased exponentially in most markets. Today’s construction boom – an ongoing reflection of lingering, post Great Recession pent-up demand – is making matters worse, putting labor and material shortages at the forefront. Consider:

  • Construction companies and their sub-contractors are booked solid, making them more selective of projects they accept.
  • Increased lead times for critical materials are making timelines longer and extending the schedule on general project conditions.
  • Salaries are skyrocketing due to the scarcity of qualified, skilled workers and the increased demand for work.

Today’s smart business owners are recognizing that finding the right office site is about more than finding a nice space in a nice location. They are spending more time upfront to identify the right team of advisors and develop the right methodology to minimize costs and maximize benefits.

Companies today are looking at a new set of criteria when selecting their commercial real estate advisors, including hiring those who can leverage contacts and relationships in complementary service areas, including construction, architecture and design, to help ensure their interests are well represented and their projects can move forward on time and within budget. They are spending more time evaluating potential advisors and ensuring they have the right networks, experience and expertise to support their specific needs.

When selected, their advisors are applying a new set of criteria that align with the companies’ brand identities, overall business objectives, financial goals and corporate cultures.

More specifically, their advisors are:

  • Investing significant time upfront to understand companies’ goals and develop the right requirements and criteria for evaluating potential properties. In today’s commercial real estate marketplace where options and amenities abound, companies are recognizing that it is beneficial to set the base criteria from the onset. This initial planning step is helping them avoid imminent pitfalls and mitigate the overall impact of rising construction costs.
  • Completing thorough cost estimates that include numerous and variable considerations, timing, finish levels, and existing conditions of premises.
  • Anticipating cost overruns and developing alternative options to minimize the impact on companies’ bottom lines.
  • Following a methodical process to engage the market with site requirements, assess properties, short-list candidates and help companies understand the financial implications as they evaluate the alternatives.
  • Leveraging their relationships with contractors and architects in securing estimates that will help companies understand the potential impacts to the overall costs of renovating or building out their spaces. In this phase of the process, they are providing valuable insight to help companies decide whether and when to scale back on expenditures.
  • Weaving into the plans realistic timelines for completion and costs associated with all designers and vendors responsible for final big-ticket items, including finishes, doors, floors, furniture, move costs and décor. They also are including alternative recommendations and considerations (i.e., new vs. refurbished, look vs. quality), items that can sometimes trickle upward during construction and require budgets to be reforecast.

Just as important, savvy companies are recognizing that they must allocate as much time as possible in advance of any planned renovations or build-outs. Gone are the days of waiting one year or less to consider a move. Without a doubt, the more time companies give themselves and their commercial real estate advisors, the better their chances of achieving their goals in today’s challenging and complex construction market. Those who do will gain a significant competitive edge.


Christopher Harak is Senior Vice President of Blanca Commercial Real Estate, the leading independently owned commercial real estate brokerage firm in South Florida. He may be reached at