Waterford Business District DRI Modification Opens the Door for Development Opps in Miam

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Daniella Aragon-Andre
Levy Public Relations

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Nuveen Real Estate, Allianz Real Estate, Blanca Commercial Real Estate, Cushman & Wakefield and Strategic Access Group have jointly announced that WRC Properties, as developer, has appeared before the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners and successfully amended its development entitlements, modifying the previously approved Waterford Business District Development of Regional Impact permitted uses.

Waterford Business District now offers a build-to-suit opportunity in its additional 29 acres of land fully entitled to accommodate up to 1.6 million square feet of additional office space inclusive of parking, 800 units of multi-family (including a minimum of a 10% allocation to workforce units), 30,000 square feet of retail space, 500 restaurant seats, and a 10,000 square foot health club. Additional daycare offerings are also possible.

Waterford Business District is adjacent to Miami International Airport. It is currently home to more than three million square feet of office space, nine hotels, 272 residential units and a new retail center. Leasing is led by Blanca Commercial Real Estate.

 

PROMINENT LAW FIRM INCREASE SIZE OF FUTURE FORT LAUDERDALE OFFICE

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Daniella Aragon-Andre
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December 16, 2022

A new Class-A, 387,402-square-foot building in downtown Fort Lauderdale is now 100% leased after two contracts totaling 7,601 square feet recently closed.

One of those lease deals will expand the office footprint in that building of a large Florida law firm that was founded in Miami in 1910.

Shutts & Bowen added 3,670 more square feet to its future office branch in The Main Las Olas at 201 E. Las Olas, increasing the size of its office on the 22nd floor to 14,620 square feet.

The firm originally closed on a deal to occupy 10,950 square feet of office in April, but opted to upsize to ensure a comfortable environment for its attorneys and staff and have enough room for new attorneys and lateral partners who want to join Shutts & Bowen, a spokesman said.

“Shutts continues to be optimistic in South Florida,” Adam Miller, marketing director, stated in an e-mail.

Headquartered in Downtown Miami, Shutts & Bowen employs 300 attorneys in offices throughout Florida. The firm will be moving its Fort Lauderdale branch out of its 15,000-square-foot office of 24 years at 200 E. Broward Blvd. and into The Main Las Olas in March 2023.

Shutts & Bowen was represented by Zach Wendelin and Kevin Probel of CBRE. Danet LinaresTere BlancaChristina Jolley, and Sky Jones of Blanca Commercial Real Estate represented The Main’s landlords, Stiles and Shorenstein Properties LLC.

In addition, Blanca Commercial Real Estate team represented The Main in direct negotiations with Salt Lake City-based Zions Bank (Nasdaq: ZION) for its 3,931 square feet of office. The bank will relocate from a temporary co-working space to The Main Las Olas in the first quarter of 2023, a spokeswoman for Blanca Commercial Real Estate stated.

Finished in July 2021, the 25-story Main Las Olas is a 1.4-million-square foot complex built by Fort Lauderdale-based Stiles and San Francisco-based Shorenstein on 2.7 acres of land leased from Broward College. Besides the 387,000-plus-square-foot office component, Main Las Olas has 341 apartment units, 17,355 square feet of retail, a 2,951-square-foot fitness center, a 3,360-square-foot office lounge and conference center, and an outdoor terrace with a fire pit, bar, and a glass floor oculus with panoramic views of the ground below.

The Main Las Olas has the highest asking rents in Broward County, the Blanca Commercial Real Estate spokeswoman said. As of April its asking rents for office ranged from $48 to $50 a square foot, not counting property assessments, utilities, and other expenses.

Leasing the largest space within The Main Las Olas is RSM US LLP, an audit, tax, and consulting firm. RSM secured the entire top floor of The Main’s office building earlier this year. RSM is due to move into its 16,570-square-foot space in the first quarter of 2023.

Other companies that have leased space within Main Las Olas include JPMC, Marcum, Starr Indemnity, Raymond James, Cherry Bekaert, Synovus Bank, Walker Dunlop, and Starboard Value.

Since the pandemic, local and new-to-market companies have sought quality office space in South Florida, which resulted in higher asking rents and dropping vacancies, brokers have told the Business Journal. Although there is concern that the overall economy may slow the pace of deals, companies continue to move to the region.

LATIN AMERICA HELPS KEEP REAL ESTATE APPETITE STRONG IN MIAMI

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Levy Public Relations

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December 16, 2022

Miami, Dec 16 (EFE).- Inflation and rising interest rates will affect the South Florida real estate market in 2023, but it will still remain strong thanks in part to foreign buyers, mainly from Latin America, which in 2022 were number one, according to specialists consulted by EFE.

“The general rise in prices, a lower flow of money and mortgages at 6.5% slow down the real estate boom that took place during the pandemic a bit, but the sector “will continue to be strong in 2023 and many people in the US, Latin America and Europe will want to keep coming,” Jennifer Wollmann, from the real estate firm Berkshier Hathaway, from EWR Realty, told Efe on Friday.

Housing inventory in South Florida remains tight, but the rise in prices for single-family homes, townhouses, and condominiums (apartments) is slowing.

“It’s not that prices go down, but that they level out,” Wollmann said, in part because “offers” for home purchases have loosened, that is, “if before there were 10 offers at the same time to get hold of the same house, now there are 2 or 3”, he clarified.

SOUTH FLORIDA WILL CONTINUE TO BE A REAL ESTATE HOT SPOT

“But the market is not going to stop. People continue to buy, “especially in the luxury real estate sector (from $1 million), where interest rates don’t matter because they pay in cash, without asking for a mortgage,” he said.

In addition, he adds, the wave of populist left-wing governments in Latin America and the crisis and instability in the region continue to encourage the outflow of capital and investment in South Florida.

In its report on foreign buyers in 2022, the Association of Realtors of Miami highlights that they bought residential properties worth 6.8 billion dollars, 34% more than in 2021 (5.1 billion).

Argentines, with 16% of purchases made by foreigners, Colombians (13%), Peruvians (8%), equal to Canadians), Venezuelans, Mexicans, Chileans and Brazilians (6% each) and French and Italians ( 3% each), were the biggest buyers this year.

For Stephen Bittel, general manager of the Terranova Corporation agency, the year 2023 “will be the story of two cities: Miami and Austin (Texas)”, cities that will continue to surpass the nation, while New York, Chicago and San Francisco will continue to suffer exodus of population and companies.

Not unique to South Florida in the US, the influx of new residents to this region is putting increasing pressure on affordable housing.

“In order to solve this serious problem, effective solutions and manpower are needed,” something that “represents an opportunity for the public and private sectors to work together,” said Tere Blanca, founder of Blanca Commercial Real Estate.

Blanca, like Bittel, warned of a possible “recession for next year”, with a “construction stoppage” due to the rise in interest rates and “increased construction costs”.

In a probable scenario for 2023, experts agree that buyers and sellers will find a “more stable market” with “better financing conditions and a slight increase in inventory” of housing.

While Wollmann cited Miami, Palm Beach and Broward, as well as Orlando and Tampa, as the areas of South Florida that most appeal to buyers, Tomas Sulichin, president of the Commercial Division of Related ISG Realty, noted that the North Miami, Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Little Havana “will be in the spotlight as the major metropolises become overcrowded.”

Craig Studnicky, CEO of the firm ISG World, finds it unlikely that the recession will affect the real estate sector in South Florida in 2023, which is driven by “the constant influx of new residents” and companies.

INFLUX OF THOUSANDS OF NEW RESIDENTS TO SOUTH FLORIDA

In 2021, 122 companies moved their headquarters to Miami or opened offices in this coastal city, resulting in the arrival of thousands of new residents looking for housing, “a trend that is likely to continue in 2023,” Studnicky said.

Experts agree that the market is showing no signs of cooling off, despite rising mortgage rates. Home prices aren’t going down, especially since the population in South Florida continues to grow so fast and fast.

In the opinion of Michael Taylor, president of the construction company Current Builders, Florida “will continue to be a real estate hot spot” in 2023, with a sector that “has been booming since the pandemic” and that “will not experience a slowdown” at the rate of other US states

“High demand continues, as does the influx of new residents” to the state of Florida, “the opposite of what is happening nationally,” Taylor said.