Hawkins Commercial Realty

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Contact James Hawkins:
Direct 786-581-8990
Email james@hawkinscre.com

Hawkins Commercial Realty is an entrepreneurial boutique commercial real estate brokerage helping business owners and investors in the Miami, Florida area navigate the processes of buying, selling, and leasing property, and providing M&A/business brokerage services. The company’s guiding principles are to always be responsive, to be effectively, steadily assertive, to continuously develop and engage superior competency, to be sensibly creative, and to always seek to add value to the process. The company was founded and is owned by a seasoned entrepreneur with more than 25 years of experience in commercial real estate as a broker or principal… (more)

James Hawkins lic. Real Estate Broker

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May 20, 2020

Miami Commercial Real Estate News August 5, 2020: Oligarch’s Offices Raided; Dunkin Closing 800 Locations; We Troubles; Employment Steady; More…

Federal agents raid Cleveland and Miami offices of company tied to Ukrainian oligarch

Agents with the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service on Tuesday raided two offices belonging to Optima Management Group, a company with ties to a Ukrainian oligarch, federal law enforcement sources tell CBS News. The federal agents conducted the raid of Optima Management’s offices in Miami and Cleveland as part of an investigation out of the U.S. Attorney’s Office…

Brian Pearl Talks About his 886-unit Development in Miami, Student Housing Operations During COVID-19 

Construction is underway on The One at University City, a 1,244-bed student housing community located across the street from the Florida International University campus in Miami. The developer behind the off-campus property, Global City Development, partnered with RER Ventures and Podium Developments to offer 886 units to students in need of housing…

WeWork’s Lincoln Road landlord seeks $20M in unpaid rent

WeWork’s landlord on Lincoln Road is suing the co-working giant, alleging it failed to pay rent in April, May and June while still occupying the space. SML 350 Lincoln Inc. sued WeWork in Miami-Dade Circuit Court in late July, alleging the company breached its commercial lease by failing to pay rent. The landlord, led by Shaul Levy and Meir Levy, is seeking more than…

Chart: June 1 Miami-Dade Unemployment Level Remains Steady Following Intial COVID-19 Surge in April

The continuing effects of COVID-19 on employment, and thus the economy, in the Miami area continue can bee seen in the June 1 unemployment rate of 11.5% for Miami-Dade county, down slightly from the prior month’s 12.0% level. This is little changed from levels reached in April as unemployment levels made an initial jump due to the effects of…

92,550 SF Medley Industrial Lease Arranged

Cushman & Wakefield has arranged a 92,550-square-foot industrial lease at Medley 104 Industrial Center in Medley. The landlord, Lincoln Property Co., recently completed a $6.5 million renovation at the 263,131-square-foot property. Medley 104 is situated at 9400 NW 104th St., 10 miles northwest of Miami International Airport and 15 miles northwest of the Port of Miami.

Swire Properties Sells Brickell City Centre Office Towers in Miami to Northwood for $163 Million

Swire Properties has sold Two and Three Brickell City Centre, two office buildings at the $1.05 billion Brickell City Centre mixed-use project in Miami’s Brickell district. The sales price was not disclosed, though The Miami Herald reports the assets traded for $163 million. The South Florida Business Journal reports Denver-based Northwood Investors LLC…

This New Miami Hotel Residence, Connected To A Medical Center, Is Poised For A Pandemic

The developers of a new mixed-use tower in Miami, set to open in 2024, weren’t anticipating a global pandemic when they came up with the idea for their latest project — a medical center attached to a luxury hotel-condo. However, the coronavirus, which has hit Florida particularly hard, has spurred some changes in the complex and attracted interest. Legacy…

Miami Worldcenter developer sells site to Abbhi Capital for $24M

Miami Worldcenter’s development group sold off another part of the mega-project. Abbhi Capital bought a 1.15-acre parcel of land at the Miami Worldcenter development site at 1016 Northeast Second Avenue for $24 million, according to a spokesperson for Miami Worldcenter. MWC Block A, LLC, led by Nitin Motwani, sold the property. The site is zoned T6-60a-O…

Low Income Housing Tax Credit Investors Fight Back, Say Miami Judge’s Ruling Will ‘Chill’ Investment In Affordable Housing

Last month, a Miami judge ruled that a local nonprofit could buy a housing complex by assuming its debt and paying taxes owed — about $110K — icing out its Boston-based private investment partners who had hoped to sell the project for $21M and make a nearly $5M profit on the deal. But the investors, HallKeen, haven’t given up the fight. They’re asking the judge…

Construction accident at Vlad Doronin’s Brickell tower site in Miami lands six workers in the hospital

A bundle of rebar collapsed at a construction site Wednesday near Brickell City Centre, trapping six workers who were eventually freed and sent to the hospital in serious or critical condition. The accident occurred before 11:30 a.m. at the site of 830 Brickell, where developers OKO Group and Cain International are building a 57-story, 724…

Starwood’s Barry Sternlicht predicts demand for hotels, retail will not return to pre-Covid levels “for awhile”

Barry Sternlicht compares the coronavirus pandemic to a race at the Indianapolis Speedway gone wrong. As a pace car laps around the track, lenders have to pull into the pit to change the tires and replace auto bodies. “We have never experienced that,” said Sternlicht, chairman and CEO of Miami Beach-based Starwood Property Trust, during a second quarter…

“We’re seeing more militant direct action:” Tenant groups fight evictions with power drills and other tools

Responding to an eviction in progress in South Central Los Angeles, tenant organizers didn’t call a defense attorney. They called a contractor, who came equipped with a power drill. When a local landlord removed a resident’s belongings and changed the locks on his apartment a week after he missed rent, Paul Lanctot, an organizer with the Los Angeles Tenant…

Nationwide office leasing demand hits two-decade low

The coronavirus pandemic and its economic aftermath have put a damper on office leasing across the U.S. By one measure, the decline in demand for office space in the second quarter was the largest the country has seen since the dot-com crash. Net absorption in the U.S. office market — the amount of space leased minus vacated space and new space — turned…

Miami International Airport projects rushed in pandemic

Miami International Airport’s multibillion-dollar overhaul is still taking off – just not exactly as originally planned. Some big-ticket projects in the $5 billion capital improvement plan for Miami-Dade County’s top economic engine will start earlier than first scheduled. Others set to begin soon are now on hold. It’s all to minimize harm to an air hub whose passenger…

Miami-Dade advised to fast-track transportation projects now

Miami-Dade County decisionmakers should now be moving as many worthwhile transportation projects as possible to the starting line in order to take advantage of free-flowing federal funds, Citizens’ Independent Transportation Trust (CITT) Executive Director Javier Betancourt says. The county for years has sought hard-to-get dollars from Washington to help…

Eviction, foreclosure freeze in Florida delaying inevitable flood of cases

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ latest extension of the ban on residential foreclosures and evictions is expected to flood the courts with new filings once it is lifted, as layoffs continue to mount and federal funding runs out, real estate attorneys told The Real Deal. “Mortgage lenders are getting nervous that the people they’re lending money to are no longer getting…

Inside Hudson Pacific and Blackstone’s field of streams

As many developers just try to hang on during the pandemic, Victor Coleman is celebrating. During an earnings call at the end of July, Coleman could hardly contain his excitement about what he called “the milestone.” Blackstone Group, the New York-based investment giant, had agreed to buy a 49 percent stake in his company and its $1.65 billion Hollywood real…

J.C. Penney taps Cushman, B. Riley to sell 163 locations

As part of its plan to reduce its portfolio and cut costs amid Chapter 11 bankruptcy, J.C. Penney is looking to sell off its interest in 163 locations across the country. The department store chain has tapped Cushman & Wakefield and B. Riley Real Estate to sell the leases for 142 locations, as well as 21 stores it owns, Business Insider reported. “There’s all kinds…

“Blank-check” companies make a comeback in real estate

The 1980s called. They asked for their investment strategies back. In July, an affiliate of prominent New York-based real estate investment firm Benchmark Real Estate Group raised money through a vehicle known as a blank check company. The Benchmark entity, Property Solutions Acquisition, raised $200 million by selling shares of a shell…

‘They Are Literally Exploding Right Now’: The Rise Of Blank Check Real Estate Companies

Special purpose acquisition companies, known as SPACs, have been all the rage in the financial world this year. Now, they are starting to become en vogue in commercial real estate. “Today, three SPACs went public,” former hedge fund portfolio manager Neil Danics, who tracks SPACs for the website he founded, SPACAnalytics, said Wednesday. “They’re literally…”

Falcone Group Hires HUD Executive To Lead New Affordable Housing Arm

Prominent South Florida developer Art Falcone is launching a new affordable and workforce housing arm at his company, Falcone Group, and he has tapped the former deputy chief of staff for Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson to lead the division.Alfonso Costa Jr. will serve as executive vice president in the division of Falcone…

Brookfield’s nixed mall redevelopment may signal strategy shift

A tough economic environment has led Brookfield Property Partners to cancel plans to redevelop a mall in Burlington, Vermont, and local officials aren’t happy. Brookfield became involved in the project in 2017, with plans to build apartments and a 10-story office tower on the now-empty site. But last month, it sold its interest in the project to local…

The Recent COVID-19 Spike and the U.S. Employment Slowdown

The coronavirus pandemic continues to affect employment across the United States. In a previous blog post, we explored the idea of forecasting weekly changes in employment using data from Homebase, a data set that reports changes in employment daily. In this article, we discuss our updated forecasts for employment using this technique and investigate whether…

How to Avoid an ADA Lawsuit

95% of commercial buildings violate of the ADA…and their owners don’t even know it. But some lawyers make it their job to know. Here’s how to avoid a costly ADA lawsuit. The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, is a vital piece of legislation for ensuring that all Americans have equal access to the same resources. But it also means that property owners, builders…

Notable Retail Leases Signed in South Florida Q2 2020

South Florida Retail Leases 2020 We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the top retail leases signed by square footage in South Florida during Q2 2020. This quarter was busy overall, especially considering the current pandemic, and saw several big box leases signed and sealed. Despite the sentiment that the traditional retail market is suffering due…

WeWork offers pay-as-you-go workspaces

With the office market in limbo, WeWork has launched a pay-as-you-go offering that allows users to drop in for as little as an hour (and $10). A source familiar with WeWork’s new “On Demand” program said it’s being piloted for the next 60 days in New York City. As companies reopen for business, it reflects a growing demand for a “third place” to work…

Trump says he is “going to stop” evictions

President Donald Trump said Monday that he was “going to stop” evictions by issuing a moratorium as negotiations in Congress bog down over a larger federal coronavirus relief plan. The White House is also looking into whether Trump can unilaterally extend the enhanced unemployment benefits that were part of the federal government’s pandemic relief…

Codina Partners affiliate allegedly owes $3.6M for Downtown Doral condo construction: lawsuit

5350 Park with Armando Codina and Ana-Marie Codina A Codina Partners affiliate allegedly stiffed a Fort Lauderdale construction firm for $3.6 million after completing 5350 Park, the developer’s latest condo project in Downtown Doral, according to a recently filed lawsuit. Grycon LLC is suing 5350 Park LLC and the project’s surety bond provider Arch Insurance…

Dunkin’ to shutter 800 US locations

America will soon have to run on 800 fewer Dunkin’ Donuts. The retailer, one of the largest coffee and doughnut chains in the world, is permanently closing 8 percent of its U.S. locations, according to CNN. The company described the closures as “real estate portfolio rationalization” in its second quarter earnings, released Thursday. The closures will primarily affect…

WeMove: WeWork leaves Lincoln Road, consolidates Miami Beach operations to Lenox Ave

WeWork is leaving Lincoln Road after allegedly owing more than $650,000 in unpaid rent at Lenox Avenue, and is consolidating its two Miami Beach locations into one, The Real Deal has learned. The embattled coworking giant notified its members at 350 Lincoln Road in Miami Beach that it was closing the space effective Aug. 14, according to a letter…

Vishaan Chakrabarti on a Manhattan real estate market without private cars

Vishaan Chakrabarti has a message for real estate developers: Think outside your own black car. The founder of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism and the dean of the UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design joined TRD‘s Hiten Samtani to discuss his proposal for a Manhattan in which private cars would be banned. Instead, all the land devoted to…

Columbia Property Trust office REIT sees leasing, revenue rise while buildings just 5% full

Looking at the latest quarterly financials from Columbia Property Trust, you might forget that we’re in the middle of a pandemic. The office REIT leased more square footage than it did in the same period a year ago, and recorded its highest normalized funds from operation since 2018. But the situation on the ground tells…

72K-SF Industrial Lease Secured in Miami

Cushman & Wakefield has secured a 72,304-square-foot industrial lease at Medley Industrial Center in Medley. Located at 6891 NW 74th St., the Medley Industrial Center is a 142,804-square-foot industrial facility featuring 24 foot clear heights, 12 dock loading doors, one ramp, and five rail doors on a Florida East Coast Railway spur line. The lease brings…

Ladder Capital seeks to foreclose on Witkoff’s South Beach hotel

A lender is seeking to foreclose on the Witkoff Group’s South Beach hotel after it alleges the developer failed to make its July payment on a $45 million loan. Ladder Capital Finance filed a foreclosure lawsuit against the owner of the 181-room Washington Park Hotel and is seeking to collect the entire loan, along with interest and late fees. Private equity giant…

“Headwind to profitability”: Amazon doubles down on fulfillment centers

Amazon has been on a torrid pace of leasing and acquiring millions of square feet of fulfillment centers and warehouses across the country this year. And demand is there. The company, which reported $88.9 billion in second quarter sales Thursday, said it would increase its fulfillment center square footage by 50 percent in 2020. That’s on top of the 15 percent…

Starwood eyes $11B raise for real estate, distressed bets

Barry Sternlicht is putting his money where his mouth is. The Starwood Capital Group CEO last month quipped, “when it’s really ugly, it’s a good time to invest.” Now, the company is looking to raise $11 billion for real estate and distressed bets. The firm’s Starwood Global Opportunity Fund XII is looking to raise $8 billion for real estate acquisitions, and a sidecar…

Hudson Pacific is effusive about Blackstone deal, defensive about office space

Hudson Pacific Properties reported a dip in second quarter net income, attributing it to retail tenants that deferred their rent payments because of the coronavirus. But taking into account the massive impact the pandemic has had on retail and office landlords, the real estate investment trust’s net income of $3.7 million and revenue of $199 million in Q2, was…

Welcome to a world of the à la carte retail lease

In sickness and in health, till short-term, revenue-adjusted leases do us part. One of the U.K.’s biggest retail landlords is moving away from a traditional lease structure across its multibillion-dollar portfolio, opting to give tenants a basket of leasing options with adjustments based on in-store revenue. It’s one of the most significant reevaluations of the relationship between…

Congress pitches relief to struggling hotel, mall CMBS borrowers

A bipartisan bill introduced in Congress on Wednesday is intended as a lifeline for hotel and shopping-center CMBS borrowers. The measure would provide preferred equity to borrowers hurt by the coronavirus pandemic, taking from a $454 billion pool set aside for struggling businesses in the earlier stimulus bill, the Wall Street Journal reported. Roughly 10…

Brookfield, creditors reach deal on REIT’s $6.4B credit facility

Brookfield Asset Management has renegotiated a $6.4 billion credit facility for its retail-heavy real estate investment trust, Brookfield Property REIT. The deal imposes restrictions on dividends and requires other Brookfield Asset Management–owned entities to lend at least $250 million to the REIT, the Financial Times reported. In exchange, a group of creditors led by…

SoFla construction starts plummet 54% in June

(iStock) South Florida construction starts took a nosedive in June, continuing the trend since the coronavirus pandemic began. Nonresidential construction declined 43 percent in June, year-over-year, to $239.6 million, while residential construction dropped 61 percent to $265.4 million during the same period, according to a new report from Dodge Data & Analytics.

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August 5, 2020

Chart: June 1 Miami-Dade Unemployment Level Remains Steady Following Intial COVID-19 Surge in April

Miami-Dade County, Florida Unemployment Rate January 1, 1990 to June 1, 2020
Miami-Dade County, Florida Unemployment Rate Year Ending June 1, 2020

The continuing effects of COVID-19 on employment, and thus the economy, in the Miami area continue can bee seen in the June 1 unemployment rate of 11.5% for Miami-Dade county, down slightly from the prior month’s 12.0% level. This is little changed from levels reached in April as unemployment levels made an initial jump due to the effects of the pandemic. At the moment, their is a surge in infections in South Florida. However, effects on commerce seem to be built in at this point, thus hopefully this is about as bad as it will get. As big of a risk at the moment might be the expiration of PPP programs and the like as the pandemic continues, as this would surely result in layoffs so far otherwise deferred.

“Due to economic cutbacks, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off.”

~Author Unknown

Strap in.

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July 30, 2020

Miami Commercial Real Estate News July 29, 2020: Industrial Strong, Office Concerning; Miami Lakes Industrial Trades for $22 Million, Brickell City Centre Office Towers $163 Million; More…

SoFla industrial market’s Q2 is strongest quarter in three years

South Florida’s industrial real estate market’s second quarter proved to be its strongest period in three years, according to a recently released report from Newmark Knight Frank. In the second quarter, South Florida’s industrial market saw a 51 percent uptick in net absorption, representing the amount of space leased rather than vacated. Net absorption totaled…

Swire sells Brickell City Centre office buildings for $163M

Swire Properties sold two office buildings at Brickell City Centre for $163 million, marking the largest sale to close in South Florida during the pandemic. Two Brickell City Centre and Three Brickell City Centre LLC, led by Swire Properties President Kieran Bowers sold the office portion of 78 Southwest Seventh Street and 98 Southeast Seventh Street in Miami to US…

Florida Class-Action Suit Seeks To Force Insurers To Pay Out ‘All Perils’ Policies

The Miracle Theater in Coral Gables opened in 1948 and has been a Miami-area landmark ever since. But its stages have been empty and its lights dark since mid-March, thanks to the coronavirus. Phillip Pessar The Miracle Theatre at 280 Miracle Mile in Coral Gables, near Miami. Actors Playhouse Productions, the company that runs the theater, on Monday filed a federal…

Unibail-Rodamco sees 15% decline in US mall rents after offering deferrals

While operations at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s European holdings are returning to normal, the retail giant’s U.S. holdings are contending with different reopening — and in some cases re-closing — timelines. Some of the landlord’s European malls have already been back open for 12 weeks, with foot traffic…

A-Rod’s Former Brother-In-Law Scores A Win In Bid To Take A Slice Of Real Estate Company

A Miami judge ruled Alex Rodriguez’s former brother-in-law can add punitive damages in his complaint against the baseball player-turned-real estate investor, in the latest development in the continuing legal dispute between the pair. Constantine Scurtis, the brother of Rodriguez’s ex-wife, Cynthia, is suing the former Yankee for $50M, The Daily Mail reports.

David Martin’s Miami Beach Marina proposal heads to voters in November

Voters will decide if developer David Martin can redevelop the Miami Beach Marina into a high-rise, mixed-use tower. The Miami Beach City Commission on Wednesday agreed to send the proposal to a referendum in November. Martin’s Terra is proposing a tower of up to 385 feet in height, or about 38 stories tall. It would include about 60 residential units…

WeWork hires help to fill vast empty spaces from NYC to LA

WeWork has hired brokers to help fill millions of square feet now vacant, in New York City and Los Angeles, as the co-working giant continues to get pummeled by the effects of the coronavirus. The company is also shopping for brokerages to help lease spaces in Miami, Boston and Seattle, according to Business Insider. JLL is marketing WeWork spaces at seven buildings…

With Demand For Affordable Housing Rising, Funding Appetites Are Shrinking

To get affordable housing built, developers usually receive government tax credits that they in turn sell to investment partners and banks that use them to offset their tax liability. This year is anything but usual for banks, though — the three biggest ones in America are expecting such a huge drop in loan repayments that they set aside $28B to cover expected losses over…

AOC seeks to block Trump’s recent effort to roll back fair housing rule

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is working to defund the Trump administration’s proposed fair housing rules before they even get off the ground. For years, the administration has talked of dismantling an Obama-era rule which President Donald Trump has described as an “effort to abolish the suburbs.” Last week, in what appears to be a bid to win over…

Major retailers are squatting on prime real estate

A Nasdaq-listed squatter? Ann Taylor parent company Ascena Retail Group is among a handful of retailers that refuse to vacate stores after breaking their leases. That’s causing some major headaches for landlord Boston Properties. “As long as these tenants refuse to relinquish possession, we have no ability to re-let their space. And we are showing it as occupied…

Google isn’t coming back to the office until at least next summer. Here’s all the space at stake

In December 2018, Google CFO Ruth Porat announced plans for the search giant’s new 1.7 million-square-foot campus in Manhattan’s Hudson Square, a move that would allow the company to “more than double the number of Googlers in New York over the next 10 years.” It was the latest in a series of billion-dollar moves that had made Google…

Infographic: Prevalence of Working from Home Before vs. During COVID-19

It remains to be seen what will become of office working norms after COVID-19, including the degree to which “the office” will be centralized in corporate space versus wherever one is (usually home). What we can see is what is happening in the pandemic, which also is a measure of the percentage of the office workforce gaining exposure to the option of…

Working From Home Is Terrible News for Landlords

Early on in the pandemic, reports of the death of the office appeared greatly exaggerated. But as Covid-19 lingers, and second infection spikes dot the global map, something is changing in how employees and employers view the workplace: It’s being seen as an option rather than a necessity for many white-collar workers. Once we get the pandemic under control, this shift…

NJ auto dealer pays $21M for North Miami Beach dealerships

A New Jersey auto dealer paid $21 million for the properties housing Honda of Aventura and Aventura Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram dealerships in North Miami Beach. PSD Automotive Group, led by Patrick Dibre, acquired the land at 2150 Northeast 163rd Street, 16200 West Dixie Highway, 2151 Northeast 161st Street and 16050 West Dixie Highway, records show.

Video: Miami Downtown Development Authority COVID-19 Recovery Committee Virtual Meeting Held July 22, 2020

The COVID-19 Recovery Committee works to direct the Miami DDA’s (Miami Downtown Development Authority’s) actions to prepare Downtown Miami, aka the Miami Central Business District, for reopening responsibly, and to most optimally support the sectors of real estate, tourism, business, and retail, while also maintaining and improving the quality of life in the area.

Desperate hotel owners selling at discounts up to 30%

Cash-strapped hotel owners are selling properties at discounts and agreeing to sky-high interest rates with federal aid about to end. The desperate moves are mostly by small or private hotel owners, though some real estate investment trusts are also feeling the pinch, the Wall Street Journal reports. Read more How will NYC real estate fare without 65 million tourists?

Coral Gables Updates its Zoning Code

For the past century, the City of Coral Gables has been known for the high quality of the original plan implemented by George Merrick in the 1920s and its thoughtful application of high standards for zoning and architectural design. Over the years, the Zoning Code has served as the main document that has preserved the City’s Spanish Mediterranean…

Commercial Property Borrowing Cost Quarterly 2020 Q2

Yields on 5-year U.S. Treasury Notes remain at lows quickly reached as we entered the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. As can be seen in the chart embedded herein, these rates, most closely tracked for commercial real estate financing cost, plummeted from what were already considered low levels to under 50 basis points (0.5%), barely hovering, it would seem…

Telecommuting probe could support work-at-home

Miami-Dade residents who have enjoyed working from home during the coronavirus pandemic may have government-backed research to support their wishes to continue to do so. A county’s transportation planning board last week ordered what promises to be the most comprehensive study to date of telecommuting as a congestion-reducing strategy here. The study…

On-demand shuttle to debut free along north-south transit

Transit riders in four areas along Miami-Dade’s north-south spine will be able to get to and from Metrorail and the South Dade Transitway on an Uber-like shuttle service set to deploy later this year. County commissioners this month OK’d a three-year deal with River North Transit, a subsidiary of New York City-based Via Transportation, for what Deputy Mayor Jennifer…

Trump National Doral hurricane shelter talks blown away

Negotiations for Miami-Dade to lease Trump National Doral Miami hotel rooms as hurricane shelters are dead, according to the county department head who launched talks of the possibility. Frank Rollason, director of the county Office of Emergency Management, said talks with Trump Doral fell through six days after Miami New Times reported they were underway.

With online buys, Doral warehousing in prime position

It may be too early to know exactly what effect the pandemic will have on commercial real estate in Doral, but experts say one segment may emerge particularly strong: the industrial market. With consumers buying online now more than ever, a trend only accelerated by Covid-19, demand for warehouse space and shipping centers may well increase. “The way we…”

Alejandra Argudin: Takes reins of Miami Parking Authority in pandemic fight

For Alejandra “Alex” Argudin, it’s always been about hard work.  From her time at the City of Miami to her rise up the ranks of the Miami Parking Authority, she says she’s always focused on giving it her all.  Shortly before life came to a standstill, she was appointed parking authority CEO, tasked with, among many other things, managing and developing off-street…

The Sapir & Rosen feud: Theft and betrayal at a family real estate empire

Trust betrayed. Contracts breached. Family exploited. Relationship destroyed. The bitter feud that has been playing out between two former real estate business partners and brothers-in-law, Alex Sapir and Rotem Rosen, has been a toxic divorce. It includes accusations of scheming, double-crossing and theft, and includes several members of their…

WeWork courts big corporations as coronavirus slams startups

Despite its roots as a landlord for freelancers and startups, WeWork has spent the past several years pivoting towards larger “enterprise” tenants. The co-working firm’s new CEO, as well as the economic fallout of coronavirus, are now solidifying that trend. For the first time ever, companies with more than 500 employees accounted for more than half…

Bridge Development Adds Logistics Tenant in Miami Gardens

Bridge Development Partners has signed a new tenant at Bridge Point Commerce Center, a Class A, 185-acre industrial park underway in Miami Gardens, Fla. A company in the health-care sector will occupy 80,373 square feet at the park’s 286,991-square-foot Building 1. The developer delivered the three-building Phase I of Bridge Point in January. According to…

Brookfield snags Miami Lakes warehouse for $22 million

Brookfield Property Partners snagged a warehouse in Miami Lakes for $22.2 million, as institutional investors continue to target industrial properties in South Florida. A company tied to the Toronto-based investment manager bought the 192,500-square-foot warehouse at 14100 Northwest 60th Avenue for $115 per square foot, records show.

Terreno Realty Sells Industrial Property in Metro Miami for $22.2M

Terreno Realty Corp. has sold a 192,000-square-foot industrial building in Miami Lakes for $22.2 million. The asset was fully leased to Miami International Freight Services at the time of sale. Terreno Realty acquired the property in December 2010 for $7.8 million. The buyer was not disclosed. Situated on 13.2 acres, the building is located at 14100 NW 60th…

Terreno Realty Sells Miami Industrial Asset for $22M

Terreno Realty Corp. has finalized the $22.2 million disposition of a 192,000-square-foot industrial building in Miami Lakes, Fla. A private investor acquired the property, which was fully leased to an international freight company at the time of the sale. The asset last changed hands in 2010, when Terreno paid $7.8 million for it. The company had an unleveraged rate…

André Balazs plans to convert hotels into private clubs

The coronavirus may have made travelers wary of staying in a hotel with strangers, but hotelier André Balazs is betting that private clubs with familiar clientele will be able to overcome some of these concerns. Balazs is planning to convert Los Angeles’ historic Chateau Marmont into a members-only model by the end of this year, and may then introduce…

There’s A New Hurdle For EB-5 Financing

The federal EB-5 immigrant visa program has been a major source of funds for real estate development over the past decade or so. But conflicts, fraud and tighter program rules have made it a complex gamble for investors. New rules outlined last week have now thrown another wrench in the system. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued “Clarifying…”

Shelborne South Beach unit owners lose appeal contesting $30 million in assessments

Shelborne South Beach A pair of investors who bought condo-hotel units in the Shelborne South Beach suffered a significant setback in their quest to reverse a three-year-old court ruling that deemed $30 million in special assessments legal and necessary. Earlier this month, the Third District Court of Appeals denied a petition by Evelyn Bailey and Robert Farnik to…

Billionaires vs billionaires: Developers seek height increase for Aman tower, face opposition from Miami Beach neighbors

A billionaire showdown could be brewing in Miami Beach. The billionaire developers of the planned Aman-branded tower in Miami Beach are seeking a height increase to 250 feet, and face opposition from billionaire neighbors at the Faena House next door. A partnership between Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries and Vlad Doronin…

Authentic Brands, Sycamore eye buy of Ann Taylor parent company

Authentic Brands wants to make another big investment in the retail apocalypse. The company, along with frequent partners Simon Property Group and Brookfield, is eyeing the purchase of Ascena Group, according to Bloomberg. The parent company of Ann Taylor, Loft, and Lane Bryant filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week. Private equity firm Sycamore…

Infographic: Prevalence of Working from Home Before vs. During COVID-19

It remains to be seen what will become of office working norms after COVID-19, including the degree to which “the office” will be centralized in corporate space versus wherever one is (usually home). What we can see is what is happening in the pandemic, which also is a measure of the percentage of the office workforce gaining exposure to the option of such.

COVID-safe office buildings come at a cost to Mother Nature

Many office landlords are beefing up their HVAC systems and running them longer to mitigate the airborne spread of Covid-19, but that comes at a cost. Increasing the circulation of outside air through a building is seen as the best way to ensure safe and clean air, but it has to be heated or cooled first. One trade group for HVAC engineers suggested landlords run their HVAC…

Trump repeals HUD rule in bid to win over the ‘burbs

In an apparent bid to gain votes in suburban areas, President Donald Trump repealed an Obama-era fair housing rule. In a press release announcing the measure, the Trump administration wrote that the new rule “eliminates the excessive burden put on local communities and gets rid of the top-down approach that dictated zoning for communities.” The…

Bank OZK eyes multifamily lending opportunities, just not in NYC

Bank OZK’s George Gleason Bank OZK, one of the nation’s largest construction originators, is eyeing lending opportunities in the multifamily sector despite the coronavirus-fueled volatility. Those opportunities just aren’t in New York City. At the bank’s second-quarter earnings call Friday, chief operating officer Brannon Hamblen — president of its real estate…

Bankrupt Brooks Brothers gets $305 million stalking-horse bid

A familiar team is vying for the bankrupt men’s clothier Brooks Brothers Group. An entity backed by Authentic Brands Group and Simon Property Group submitted a $305 million bid as part of a court-supervised auction for the troubled brand, Bloomberg reported. Brooks Brothers announced its Chapter 11 bankruptcy July 8. Simon Property Group, the country’s largest…

Rent collection jumps in NYC, ebbs in US

The owners of 400,000 New York City rent-stabilized apartments reported that rent collection improved markedly in early July, while a national survey found collection in market-rate apartments slipped. Their trade group Community Housing Improvement Program reported that 17.7 percent of residential tenants paid no rent in the beginning of the…

RE-closing time: The latest pandemic pressures by the numbers

A Covid-19 testing site at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles In just a matter of weeks, major markets reopened and shut back down. Throughout California, Florida and many other states, the alarms have been ringing once again — especially for retail, hotel and other commercial property owners in big cities. This time around, bars and restaurants have been…

How code could make multifamily construction more predictable

When first looking to raise funds for their construction-tech startup in 2017, Ben Huh and Michael Yarne steered clear of investors from the industry they were hoping to shake up. Instead, the founders of Social Construct went the traditional venture route, believing that outsider money would let them be bolder. “They [venture capitalists] don’t get worried when you…

Miami Beach racks up another court loss over short-term rental enforcement

For the second time in a week, Miami Beach struck out before the Third District Court of Appeals in the city’s quest to keep its hard-nosed short-term rental regulations intact. The appeals court on Wednesday rejected Miami Beach’s petition to overturn a Miami-Dade judge’s ruling that determined that the city’s exorbitant fines for short-term rental violators…

Commercial real estate lawyers: You’re stuck with that lease

As the coronavirus has shuttered stores, reduced foot traffic to a trickle and dampened consumer demand, growing numbers of retailers are looking towards “impossibility of performance” and the doctrine of “frustration” as a way out of pricey leases. But the real estate industry’s top lawyers say judges won’t buy it. “The courts have said that frustration of purpose is…

Brookfield sues to evict Irving Padron’s Submarket Realty from Merrick Park

Brookfield Properties is suing to evict Irving Padron’s Submarket Realty from the Shops at Merrick Park at 358 San Lorenzo Avenue in Coral Gables, alleging the brokerage owes $94,218 in unpaid rent. In the suit, filed earlier this month in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, Brookfield alleges that Submarket Realty is in default of its obligations, and Brookfield wants to take…

Michael Shvo pushed out partner at 2 office tower acquisitions: lawsuit

An investment firm that was partnering on two of Michael Shvo’s biggest recent office tower acquisitions in San Francisco and Chicago is accusing the developer of canceling their agreements and cutting it out of those deals. BLG Capital filed its suit against Shvo and his investors for allegedly cutting it out of the $600 million Transamerica Pyramid purchase in San…

Office landlords, beware: More of corporate America is looking to reduce space

It’s not just tech firms. Corporate America is looking to trim office space as companies shift to remote work and look to reduce costs. An analysis of quarterly earnings calls by Reuters found that more than 25 large companies across different sectors are planning to downsize their office footprint, posing a threat to office landlords’ bottom lines.

Ann Taylor and Lane Bryant parent company files for bankruptcy

Just a few years ago Ascena Retail Group was one of the largest retailers for women’s clothes. Thursday, it filed for bankruptcy. The company, which owns Ann Taylor and Lane Bryant, will close 1,600 of its approximately 2,800 stores in an attempt to shed $1 billion of its $1.1 billion in debt, according to The New York Times. The company said it was in the process…

The REInterview: Social Construct’s founders on making multifamily construction an assembly line

Social Construct CEO Ben Huh, TRD’s Hiten Samtani and Social Construct co-founder Michael Yarne “Nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes,” goes the old chestnut. If you’re a real estate developer, you could add one more to that category: that your cost of building will keep going up. The primary reason for this is the cost of labor. A construction site is a…

72,304 SF Medley Industrial Lease Secured

A 72,304-square-foot industrial lease was secured at Medley Industrial Center in Medley. Located at 6891 NW 74th Street, the Medley Industrial Center is a 142,804-square-foot industrial facility featuring 24 foot clear heights, 12 dock loading doors, one ramp, and five rail doors on a Florida East Coast Railway spur line. The lease brings the property to full…

Melo Group Opens Downtown Miami Residential Tower

Miami Plaza, a new multifamily community from Melo Group, has opened in the Arts & Entertainment District of downtown Miami. The 36-story, 425-unit building features 8,000 square feet of ground floor retail and restaurant space. Miami Plaza is the fourth multifamily project Melo Group has opened in the Arts & Entertainment District since 2016. It is the final…

An Insider’s View of South Florida’s Office Sector

Although the office market has not yet experienced the full impact of the pandemic, it is evident that workplaces will need to be reimagined and designed more carefully, with safety and well-being in mind. To find out more about how offices are adjusting to the new reality brought about by the coronavirus outbreak, Commercial Property Executive talked to…

1031 exchanges back on the chopping block in 2020 election

As the presidential election season moves into full swing, a popular tax mechanism for real estate investors has found its way into the crosshairs. Presumptive Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden recently suggested eliminating 1031 exchanges for real estate investors with annual incomes of more than $400,000 in order to help…

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July 29, 2020

Video: Miami Downtown Development Authority COVID-19 Recovery Committee Virtual Meeting of July 22, 2020

The COVID-19 Recovery Committee works to direct the Miami DDA’s (Miami Downtown Development Authority’s) actions to prepare Downtown Miami, aka the Miami Central Business District, for reopening responsibly, and to most optimally support the sectors of real estate, tourism, business, and retail, while also maintaining and improving the quality of life in the area.

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July 23, 2020

Commercial Property Borrowing Cost Quarterly 2020 Q2

U.S. Treasury 5 Year Nominal Rates for the Five Year Period Ending June 1, 2020

Yields on 5-year U.S. Treasury Notes remain at lows quickly reached as we entered the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. As can be seen in the chart embedded herein, these rates, most closely tracked for commercial real estate financing cost, plummeted from what were already considered low levels to under 50 basis points (0.5%), barely hovering, it would seem, over naught. Though borrowing costs have not exactly followed this point for point, it has nonetheless been an excellent development for those looking to finance; rates are indeed lower.

“Due to economic cutbacks, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off.”

~Author Unknown

This low rate environment is powerful for real estate as an asset class. To be sure, there are concerns about vacancy rates and rent growth in a slower economy, but lower rates, by way of cost of capital and as an alternative asset class comparison, have an offsetting positive effect. Further, vacancy and rent growth affects are as yet unknown, a known unknown. Lower interest rates, meanwhile, are a known known. One also has to wonder if some of the economic concerns in the current environment, namely the expansion of money supply, could attract money to commercial property as a store of value.

The interest rate environment has the ability to affect commercial property economics in a number of different ways (see this and this).  Borrowing costs are, of course, affected directly, as higher interest rates increase the cost of borrowing and thus negatively affecting demand. Cap rates tend move over time with interest rates, but not in lockstep, with considered analyses generally concluding that capitalization rates on average move in the same direction as 10-year rates, but only about a third as much, and again not in lockstep. Interest rates also affect the economy, which in turn affects vacancy and rental rates.

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July 23, 2020

Miami Commercial Real Estate News July 22, 2020: Multifamily Near Airport, Miami Beach’s Paris Theater, Dev Site at Miami Worldcenter Trade; Office Market Evolving; More…

Parkway, KKR Complete $10M Renovation of Brickell Miami Office Tower, Sign Three Retail Tenants

Parkway Real Estate Services LLC and joint venture partner KKR have completed their $10 million renovation of Sabadell Financial Center, a 30-story, 524,000-square-foot office tower at 1111 Brickell Avenue. The waterfront property overlooks Biscayne Bay. Parkway Real Estate and KKR acquired the property for $250 million in 2018 and immediately…

Airport Villas apartment complex near Miami International Airport Sold

The owner of Cervera Real Estate Ventures acquired two apartment buildings near Miami International Airport for $13.2 million, with plans to redevelop the site for a future development project. Javier Cervera Jr. purchased the two-building, 90-unit complex known as Airport Villas at 4325 to 4335 Northwest South Tamiami Canal Drive for $147,000 per unit…

Dezer Development Settles ‘Hostile Workplace’ Suit Brought By Former COO

Father and son developer duo Michael and Gil Dezer have settled the lawsuit the former chief operating officer of Dezer Development brought against them following contentious testimony. The undisclosed settlement between plaintiff Andrew Chesnick, who worked for Dezer Development from 2013 until 2015, and the Dezers was confirmed in front of Circuit…

Doctor’s orders: developers increasingly tap medical experts, amenities

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, wellness services at developments have expanded to include an array of medical amenities, and gone far beyond luxury residential projects. Crocker Partners, one of Florida’s biggest office landlords, even hired a doctor to fill a new role for the company: director of environmental health. By hiring Dr. Walter Okoroanyanwu, Boca Raton…

“We’re moving into this new normal”: Retail landlords are finally getting paid

After months of skipping out on rental obligations due to the coronavirus pandemic, retailers are getting closer to making their landlords whole. Over 72 percent of national chain retailers paid their July rent as of mid-July, according to the latest report by Datex Property Solutions. That’s up from 62 percent just a month ago. “We’re moving into this new normal…”

Pair of mixed-use towers due in Wynwood

On the eastern side of growing Wynwood a developer plans a large mixed-use residential project that will also bring in new commercial tenants. PRH CHO Dragon Wynwood LLC plans to build the pair of neighboring buildings at 2804, 2810, 2819, 2828, and 2838 NW First Avenue. The city’s Urban Development Review Board considered the project at a virtual meeting…

Property appraisers seek to help landowners with taxes

Florida’s elected property appraisers are collaborating to help property owners throughout the state pay their taxes amid the greatest economic and housing crisis in a decade, according to Miami-Dade Property Appraiser Pedro Garcia. With the cooperation of state legislators, who have shown “100%” willingness to discuss solutions, he said, relief for those struggling…

Brightline might bypass five new rail platforms

New commuter rail in Northeast Miami-Dade would have up to five new platforms along Florida East Coast Industries’ line between downtown and an upcoming Aventura station but FECI’s Brightline won’t necessarily stop at any of them, a company executive says.  After local government committed five years ago to bringing Tri-Rail downtown, FECI Senior…

Midrise housing due in Miami Health District

A developer plans to construct an elegant mid-rise multifamily residential building near the City of Miami’s Health District. Applicant Jesus Gonzalez Pereda presented plans for The Spot, to rise on a vacant lot at 1510 NW 16th Terrace. The project is designed as an 8-story building with 38 dwellings and parking for 43 vehicles. The city’s Urban Development Review Board…

Forget coulda woulda shoulda and hail South Dade transit

There’s good news and bad news for South Dade’s commuters. The good news is that after years of wishing and begging, they’re about to get new, fast, comfortable, reliable mass transit that could save them an hour or more every workday. The bad news is that the transit system’s name contains the word bus. That’s been the issue for years: a 20-mile transit…

Wynwood Business Improvement District used Zika model

Since the start of the pandemic, the Wynwood Business Improvement District has been ahead of the game by preparing its business members and stakeholders for what was to come.  The improvement district already had an operating model: after the outbreak of the Zika virus back in 2016, leaders devised a game plan for what to do in the event of another…

Austin Hollo: Helping to direct family-created Florida East Coast Realty

Here’s a bit of trivia every Miamian should know: What is the tallest skyscraper in Florida, as well as the loftiest residential building south of New York? The answer: Panorama Tower, an 85-story, 868-foot-high marvel in Brickell boasting 821 luxury apartments, hotel and office space, and other commercial accommodations. Austin Hollo, senior vice president…

Gap claims it doesn’t have to pay rent at any of Brookfield’s malls

Gap Inc. is firing back at landlord Brookfield Property Partners, a month after the latter sued the retailer for withholding rent. Five of Gap’s chains — Gap, Athleta, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Janie & Jack — sued Brookfield affiliates, claiming that its obligations to pay rent ended when government restrictions forced the company to close stores across the…

Biden’s tax plan would “pull the rug out” from under the real estate industry: insiders

Joe Biden went after one of the real estate industry’s favorite tax benefits Tuesday when he proposed funding a child- and elderly-care spending platform by closing off a loophole used by property investors. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee proposed eliminating 1031 “like-kind” exchanges for investors with annual incomes greater than…

Knotel seeks to raise $100M in a serious down round

Knotel is reportedly trying to raise $100 million in funding in a round that would significantly lower its valuation, as the co-working firm grapples with plunging revenues and mass layoffs. The company has been in talks with a European firm for the funding since the beginning of the year, according to Forbes. The new investment would be at terms that could…

Massa Investment buys Paris Theater in Miami Beach for $13 Million

Massa Investment Group bought the Paris Theater on Miami Beach at 555 Washington Avenue for $13 million. Miami-based Massa Investment Group, led by Mathieu Massa, bought the 25,589-square-foot building for $508 per square foot, records show. Big Time Productions, led by Eugene Rodriguez, sold the property. The building…

State-level GDP losses during the pandemic : Mapping the range of economic decline across the U.S.

FRED has the latest state-level GDP data for 2020, and there’s a range of economic decline across the United States. This GeoFRED map shows regional differences in how state economic growth has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak—from 8% declines in Nevada and New York to a 1.3% slump in Nebraska. What determines how a state’s economy is affected?

Here’s how much Covid has crushed global RE investment

Global real estate investment was slammed over the first six months of the year, falling by a third compared to the same period last year. But amid the coronavirus-fueled hurricane a couple of sectors have been holding up, according to a new report from Savills, cited in Bloomberg. First the bad news: The Asia-Pacific region, where the virus first flared…

Downtown Fort Lauderdale dev site hits market for $12.5M

A development site sandwiched between Fort Lauderdale’s Flagler Village and the New River hit the market for $12.5 million. The property at 150 North Federal Highway includes a two-story 9,653-square-foot office building that was built in 1985. The site, near Virgin Trains USA’s Fort Lauderdale station, is listed with Native Realty founder and CEO Jaime…

COVID-19 South Florida Real Estate Market Segment

South Florida economic and real estate market fundamentals were very strong when the stay home orders took effect in March. Market performance in March and in the first quarter of 2020 exceeded that of the same period in 2019 despite the COVID-19 interruption. Positive factors such as negligible delinquencies, lack of a subprime mortgage crisis…

US sports teams carry on with real estate projects, 2020 season or not

One Cardinal Way Over the last several years, sports teams across the country have spent big money developing real estate around their stadiums with the goal to attract visitors — and their money — for more than just games. While the coronavirus pandemic has halted large spectator sports events across the world, sports franchise owners are staying the course…

Flexible leases, greater services: Covid accelerates shifts in office market

In the office market, the pandemic has proved the “great accelerator.” That’s according to Susan Freeman, a London-based partner in the real estate department at Mishcon de Reya, who joined Nelson Mills of Columbia Property Trust to discuss the future of office for a recent episode of TRD Talks Live. The executives said that in both the U.K. and U.S. markets…”

Integra, partners pick up waterfront dev site next to Jockey Club for $16 million

Integra Investments and two partners purchased an 8.2-acre waterfront development site just north of Miami Shores for $15.5 million. The Miami-based real estate firm, along with Andrew Korge of Korgeous Group and David Larson of DCL Capital, acquired the site at 11295 Biscayne Boulevard for $43 per square foot, according to a release. Jockey Segal LLC, led by…

Developer buys Miami Worldcenter site for mixed-use project

Miami Worldcenter’s developers sold a site at the megaproject for $18.85 million to Akara Partners, which plans to build a mixed-use project. Miami Worldcenter sold 36,273 square feet of developable land to the Chicago-based development group, and another 8,227 square feet of undevelopable land underneath the Metromover. The two pieces of land total 1 acre…

Bridge Investment wants to raise another $600 million for its Opportunity Zone funds

Bridge Investment Group said it plans to raise another $600 million through its Opportunity Zone funds between now and the end of this year. The company announced this week that it had already raised $1.3 billion through the funds since launching in October 2018 with a $500 million target. Most of that money has already been deployed to projects around…

Miami-Dade approves $35 million aid package for restaurants, employees

Miami-Dade County restaurants and employees in financial straits could see some additional help from the federal government. Miami-Dade County commissioners on Thursday approved a $35 million aid package for restaurants and their staff, which includes providing $500 checks for laid-off workers, according to the Miami Herald. The plan is to use about 7…

Co-living execs offer glimpse at occupancy rates

Before the pandemic, co-living executives were looking to capitalize on demand for shared, low-cost accommodation — specifically targeting young professionals in major cities. But now, with thousands of units in the pipeline, the pandemic has called the sector’s business model into question — and executives are predicting a tough 12 to 24 months, according…

Hotels’ comeback stalls nationally, skids in NYC and Miami

Hotels’ recovery appears to have stalled. From mid-April through June, occupancy rates climbed steadily following their historic coronavirus plunge. But they fell in the week ending July 4 and last week they were essentially flat, according to newly released data from industry tracker STR. Occupancy rose by 0.3 percentage points to 45.9 percent in the week…

Retail sales increased in June — but surge in infections could signal trouble ahead

Retail sales increased in the U.S. by 7.5 percent in June, exceeding expectations as stores across the country began to reopen. The total estimated value of the sales was $524.3 billion, statistics released Thursday by the Department of Commerce show. The figures follow a record 17.7 percent jump in May, and June’s dollar volume is the closest to January’s…

Coral Gables Adopts Emergency Order Expanding Temporary Use Permits Due to COVID-19

In recognition of the impacts of COVID-19 on the local economy, the Coral Gables City Commission recently tasked staff with finding additional creative ways to support businesses and encourage individuals to participate in the local economy. On Tuesday, July 14, 2020, the City Commission adopted an emergency ordinance adding a section to the…

Triple Five, Terra, Starwood sue Miami-Dade property appraiser over tax bills

Affiliates of megamall developer Triple Five, along with Terra and Starwood Capital Group are crying foul over property tax bills from Miami-Dade County. A number of developers and investment groups have recently filed lawsuits against Miami-Dade Property Appraiser Pedro J. Garcia for their tax appraisals for the 2019 tax year. Others include the owners of…

Don Peebles’ diversity capital call: Developer says push for equal economic opportunity is “not going away”

Don Peebles Developer Don Peebles founded his eponymous firm in 1983. Since then, the Peebles Corporation has built out a portfolio that totals $6 billion and spans more than 7 million square feet in Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Charlotte, North Carolina. Peebles has long been outspoken about the…

Commissioner Pushes Miami Water Park Project Despite Environmental Concerns

Once upon a time, Miami-Dade County almost had a major amusement park meant to rival Disney World and Universal Studios. The plan to construct a theme park on Zoo Miami property near environmentally sensitive land was seemingly killed by a beetle around 2016. But the project didn’t die. Instead, it has morphed into a plan to build a water park on top of a…

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July 22, 2020

Miami Commercial Real Estate News July 15, 2020: Broward’s Largest Office Tower Trades; Cold Storage Spec to be Built; Hialeah CVS Sells; More…

Bridge Development, PGIM to Develop 312,103 SF Cold Storage Facility Near Miami

Bridge Development Partners and PGIM Real Estate will develop Bridge Point Cold Logistics Center, a 312,103-square-foot cold storage facility in Hialeah. The joint venture expects to deliver the speculative property in fourth-quarter 2021. The 20.1-acre site is situated at the intersection of NW 162nd Street and NW 102nd Avenue, 18 miles northwest of Miami…

Bridge and PGIM buy Hialeah property to build spec cold storage facility

Bridge Development Partners and PGIM Real Estate bought a 20-acre site in Hialeah, with plans to build a spec cold storage facility. The joint venture bought the property between Northwest 162nd Street and Northwest 102nd Avenue for $11 million, according to sources. Section 17 LLC, led by Lloyd Moriber of Bal Harbour, sold the…

Atlanta Fed: Beige Book Reflects Ongoing Pandemic-Related Difficulty

Economic conditions remained generally challenging across the Southeast, though some Atlanta Fed contacts reported gradually rehiring laid-off workers and retailers noted rising sales as businesses reopened, according to the Beige Book summary of regional economic activity from mid-May through June. Although some retailers said uncertainty still clouds their…

Simon Property Group sics the lawyers on deadbeat tenants

Simon Property Group has kept its promise to sue mall tenants who aren’t paying their rent. On Tuesday, the country’s biggest retail real estate investment trust filed a lawsuit against Eddie Bauer, seeking to recover $6.2 million in missed rent payments. The outdoor clothing store chain has not paid rent since April, according to records filed in federal court. Last…

Video: The Top Ten Issues Affecting Commercial Real Estate 2020-2021

In these videos CRE Counselors Global Chair Michel Couillard discusses his firm’s report on the Top Ten Issues Affecting Real Estate with the host of America’s Commercial Real Estate Show. As you might guess, (1) COVID-19 is at the top of this year’s list. Other top issues discussed that affect commercial real estate are (2) economic renewal, (3) capital markets…

Armageddon on hold: 88% of tenants paying rent

Survey finds 87.6 percent of tenants paid some rent this month With enhanced unemployment benefits set to expire this month, 87.6 percent of tenants paid some rent through July 13, according to a national survey of market-rate units. The number of renters paying at least some of the month’s rent was only slightly lower than the 90.1 percent during the…

Hialeah CVS sells for $11 million

Eastern Industrial Development Corp. snagged a Hialeah CVS building for $10.5 million, as drugstore properties continue to sell during the coronavirus pandemic. The Bronx, New York-based real estate investment group, led by Scott and Mandy Milchman, bought the 12,735-square-foot building at 101 Hialeah Drive, according to sources. It sold for $824 per…

Blackstone says goodbye to CMBS fund

Blackstone Group is throwing in the towel on a mortgage-backed securities fund. The company is winding down the Blackstone Real Estate Income Master Fund, which realized a 24 percent decline when the coronavirus struck in March, according to Bloomberg. In a filing, Blackstone said closing the fund would provide its shareholders with cash and the “best path…”

Miami Beach shuts down short-term rentals due to coronavirus

The city of Miami Beach ordered all short-term rentals to stop operating effective Wednesday at 12:01 a.m. due to the record number of coronavirus cases. Miami Beach updated its emergency order to close and prohibit short-term rentals, a week after Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez issued restrictions on restaurants, gyms, fitness centers and short-term…

Office supply rising across South Florida, rents not dropping

Even with an onslaught of new office supply and the economic impacts of coronavirus, landlords did not give tenants a rent break during the second quarter, according to a new report from JLL. Miami-Dade County’s office market was hit hard by the pandemic, due partly to its exposure to the hospitality industry. Interval International, a vacation and timeshare…

South Dade bus rapid transit finally hits the runway

The money is in. A developer is on deck. Two years after decision-makers voted to upgrade Miami-Dade’s longest commuting route with “Gold Standard” bus rapid transit (BRT), it’s close to rolling ahead. Commissioners Sept. 1 are to finally green light a $300 million overhaul of the 20-mile, two-lane busway linking Kendall and Florida City. It’s the first of six high…

Former Wynwood tow yard ticketed for new tower

A developer has won positive reviews from City of Miami officials for a large mixed-use residential project in Wynwood. The development would result in the reuse of the former site of the Downtown Tow Yard, which ceased operations several years ago. EEFC 2400 NMA Owner LLC intends to construct a 12-story building and enclosed garage on the site, bringing…

Long-awaited Underline sets opening date this fall

The Underline was always an ambitious concept, a $120 million 10-mile linear park that will weave through several municipalities, invigorating the space beneath the Metrorail. Now the Underline is preparing for another bold move: opening during a pandemic. Meg Daly, president and CEO of Friends of the Underline, shared at a recent Downtown Development…

Judge Rules Against Affordable Housing Investor In LIHTC Dispute With Big Ramifications

A Massachusetts-based real estate firm invested about $400K into a Miami-area affordable housing project in 2014 and was gunning for a multimillion-dollar payout on the exit last year, but its nonprofit partner foiled the plan. An affiliate of HallKeen Management had lined up a deal to sell the project, called Aswan Village, for $21M, and split profits with its…

Local Court Win Is a Victory for Affordable Housing Communities Nationwide

On July 7, the Circuit Court of the 11th Judicial Circuit in Miami-Dade County ruled to preserve the housing needs of low- to moderate- income families in one of South Florida’s most historic yet distressed cities, Opa-locka. In Case No. 2019-CA-016913, the plaintiff, Opa-Locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC), asked the court to recognize its non…

Two-nation team powers ahead to build Florida-Mexico sea trade

With the US-Mexico-Canada agreement taking effect this month, the newly formed Florida/Mexico Working Group is looking at ways to expand maritime trade between the two economies. The group, which formed as a result of a letter of intent signed in November by the Florida Ports Council and Mexican Coordinadora de Puertos, consists of six members from…

Scaled down PortMiami cruise terminal deal adds Disney

MSC Cruises and Miami-Dade are close to redrawing an agreement that would give the company more time to finance its planned “mega terminal” that now, under the new terms, would also homeport Disney Cruise Line vessels. The amendment to MSC’s existing 62-year berthing deal, expected to generate $2.03 billion for the county, was one of two changes to long…

Life-sciences sector proves safe haven for landlords

The search for a cure for Covid-19 is lining the pockets of some landlords. While the pandemic wreaks financial havoc on hotels and retailers, landlords who cater to biotech and pharmaceutical tenants are seeing increased demand as companies research treatments for the coronavirus, according to the Wall Street Journal. The work of those tenants, too, is…

Dezer Development’s plan to remake Intracoastal Mall moves forward

Rendering of the proposed redevelopment of the Intracoastal Mall and Gil Dezer Dezer Development can move ahead with its plans to transform Intracoastal Mall in North Miami Beach into a high-rise, mixed-use community. Despite opposition from several nearby homeowners, the North Miami Beach Planning & Zoning Board approved Dezer…

New York & Company parent files for bankruptcy

New York & Company’s parent company is the latest chain to file for bankruptcy as the coronavirus has piled additional pressure on an already challenging retail landscape. RTW Retailwinds, whose other brands include Fashion to Figure and Happy x Nature, filed for Chapter 11 protection Monday, and has already kicked off liquidation sales, CNBC reported.

Morgan Stanley Signs New 44K sf Tenant at Medley Warehouse

Morgan Stanley has signed a 44,259-square-foot lease with engineering firm AmePower at Flagler Station II, a 171,944-square-foot industrial facility in Miami-Dade County. The tenant is scheduled to occupy the property in the town of Medley in December. The lease includes 36,759 square feet of warehouse space along with 7,500 square feet of office space and 14 dock…

Colony Capital may lose control of 2 largest CMBS hotel portfolios

When Colony Capital revealed in May that it was in discussions with lenders after having defaulted on $3.2 billion in hotel loans, the Tom Barrack-led firm cautioned “there can be no assurances that the company will be successful in such negotiations.” In fact, at the time the Los Angeles-based investment firm had already defaulted on a forbearance agreement…

Party’s over: Clevelander South Beach closes after employee tests positive for Covid

Clevelander South Beach The Clevelander South Beach closed over the weekend after an employee tested positive for Covid-19, a month after reopening. The closure comes as the commercial mortgage-backed securities loan backing the hotel is in special servicing. A spokesperson for the 60-key hotel at 1020 Ocean Drive in Miami Beach confirmed that…

Industrious taps banker Osei Van Horne to round out its board

Jamie Hodari Flex-office startup Industrious is beefing up its board, the company’s latest step toward a potential public offering. The New York-based startup said it added Osei Van Horne, a managing director at Wells Fargo, as its first Black board member. Van Horne, an alum of Goldman Sachs, co-founded Wells Fargo’s Strategic Capital Technology Division…

Yes in God’s Backyard: How building affordable housing could be a lifeline for churches

Churches, whose already declining attendance plummeted during the pandemic, are now looking to development for extra cash. Places of worship are offering up their excess land to developers, Bloomberg reported. The prospect is a particular draw for institutions looking to combat homelessness. Before the coronavirus hit, more than 550,000…

WeWork on track for profitability by end of 2021, says chairman

WeWork’s business model may have been called into question by the coronavirus pandemic, but its executive chairman says the company is now near profitability. The flexible-office startup, founded in 2010, is now on track for positive cash flows by the end of 2021, Marcelo Claure told the Financial Times. In fact, Claure said the pandemic has sent the firm’s…

South Florida’s Largest Off-Market Freezer Warehouse Sells For $13.25 Million

CBRE Senior Vice Presidents Larry Genet, Tom O’Loughlin and Senior Associate Jake Zebede negotiated the purchase of an ±80,000-square-foot freezer facility located at 650 NE 185th Street in Miami. Genet led the team in representing the buyer, Ivy Realty, which paid $13,250,000 in the off-market deal. Stuart T. Kapp of Kapp Morrison LLP represent Ivy Realty…

Miami Freezer Warehouse Sold

An 80,000 sq ft freezer warehouse sold for $13,250,000 or about $165 psf. The property is located at 650 NE 185th Street in Miami, Florida. The seller, Best Freezer Holding, was represented by Edward Redlich, SIOR, CCIM along with the ComReal Miami Industrial Team and Michael Weihl with Sirius Business Advisors. The buyer, Ivy Realty, was represented by Larry…

Spain’s richest man owns $17B in real estate, includes Miami tallest office tower

Amancio Ortega, the richest man in Spain, owns more than $17.2 billion in real estate across the world. The founder of fast fashion label Zara brought in 621 million euros through his real estate assets last year, according to Bloomberg. Ortega’s company, Pontegadea, revealed its holdings for the first time this week. Ortega spent nearly $2.4 billion on property last year…

Miami-Dade approves $10M emergency rent relief program

Miami-Dade County approved a $10 million rent relief fund for families impacted by the pandemic. The county commission voted to pass the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which will provide a one-time payment to eligible renters. Families can apply beginning on Tuesday and ending Friday, July 17, according to a press release. To qualify, a renter’s…

US hotel occupancy falls for first time in 11 weeks. Blame Covid again

Coronavirus spikes and subsequent closures snapped 11-week streak of rising hotel occupancy rates The 11-week climb in U.S. hotel occupancy rates ended ahead of the July 4 holiday, in part because of the spike in coronavirus cases led states to roll back their reopenings and close beaches. New hotel rooms that came online also tamped down overall demand…

Amazon wins approval to build massive facility in south Miami-Dade

Amazon secured approval to build what could be its largest distribution facility in South Florida. Miami-Dade County commissioners voted unanimously on Wednesday to sell a vacant lot at 13200 Southwest 272nd Street in south Miami-Dade to Amazon, according to the Miami Herald. Amazon will pay the county $22.1 million for the site, which will allow…

Bidders line up to buy Brooks Brothers out of bankruptcy

Two suitors are competing to take over suiting stalwart Brooks Brothers after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week. An entity tied to Authentic Brands Group and mall owner Simon Property Group are considering a bid to buy the retailer out of bankruptcy, the Wall Street Journal reported. WHP Global, which is backed by Oaktree Capital and…

Can a Rational Case be Made for Irrational Exuberance?

In my commercial real estate brokerage business, I’ve noticed a trend of some buyers expecting lower prices on properties, sometimes even clearly taking offense at a seller not budging on price. There seems to be, with them a sense that they know better to such a degree that they are disgusted by the gall and ignorance of some seller that can’t see what they know…

The impact of social distancing on leisure and hospitality : State-level data from the BLS

The FRED Blog has discussed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on national retail sales and employment. And Leibovici, Santacreu, and Famiglietti index the contact-intensity of a range of occupations and estimate the economic impact of their reduced activity. Their work ranks several leisure and hospitality occupations in the high-contact category.

Restaurateurs to protest restrictions in Miami-Dade. In Broward, it’s a different story

It’s a tale of two counties, as restaurateurs and gym owners in Miami-Dade and Broward face new restrictions due to rising Covid-19 cases. The cutbacks have led to outrage among many local businesses, with a march planned Friday in downtown Miami. In Miami-Dade, Mayor Carlos Gimenez on Monday initiated…

Knotel’s Q2 revenue plunged 20%

Flex-office startup Knotel said its revenue plunged 20 percent during the second quarter, offering a glimpse of the economic toll the pandemic is having on the office market. CEO Amol Sarva said the preliminary numbers reflect a “really hard” quarter that forced Knotel to cut jobs and slash expenses. “What we saw in Q2 was really difficult,” he said during a…

CRE Broker CEO predicts “exodus” from cities to last two years

New York City is reopening, but Marcus & Millichap’s CEO is not predicting a return to form anytime soon. Hessam Nadji told CNBC in an interview this week that demand was surging in suburban areas as people fled cities, a trend he predicted would continue for up to two years. “I think the next 18 to 24 months are going to show a lot of exodus out of central business…”

JV Buys Broward County’s Largest Office Tower

Along with co-general partner Somerset Properties, Ten Capital Management has acquired Bayview Corporate Tower, a 413,833-square-foot Class A office building at 6451 N. Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The 12-story property reportedly is Broward County’s largest office building. The acquisition’s price was not disclosed, but local media…

Bridge Investment sells Fort Lauderdale office building for $83M

Bridge Investment Group sold the Bayview Corporate Tower in Fort Lauderdale for $82.5 million, marking one of the largest commercial real estate deals in South Florida during the pandemic, The Real Deal has learned. Somerset Properties bought the 12-story, 413,833-square-foot office building at 6451 North Federal Highway, according to sources. The price…

Bed Bath & Beyond to close 200 stores

Bed Bath & Beyond may have to rethink the ‘beyond’ part. The retailer said Wednesday that it will close 200 stores over the next two years. Although online sales more than doubled during April and May, the company’s total sales fell by nearly half during its latest quarter. As a result, Bed Bath & Beyond will begin to permanently close a portion of its locations…

How Climate Change Could Affect CRE Valuations

MSCI, the financial services company formerly known as Morgan Stanley Capital Investment, used its own model to assess that risk.
“Many assets investors own can only figuratively be underwater when a company becomes insolvent or a stock loses all its value. But for real estate, with long-life fixed assets, there is — literally — a real possibility a…

The Landmark South Holds Topping Out Ceremony in Doral

The Landmark South held a topping out ceremony in Doral, Miami on Friday to recognize the final phase of its apartment development construction. Targeting a Summer 2021 opening, this second and final phase will add 213 residential units to the existing 418 units which were constructed in 2017 and are currently leasing. The eight-story…

Outdoor Meeting Spaces And Better Tech: Design Changes Post-Pandemic

Steve Jobs was famous for conducting meetings while strolling around Palo Alto. Jeff Bezos would walk in Central Park to discuss his idea for an online store. Fresh air, pumping blood and strolling shoulder to shoulder can eliminate the stress that might otherwise come from staring down a person across a table in a boardroom. When architect Andrew Burnett, now…

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July 15, 2020

Can a Rational Case be Made for Irrational Exuberance?

M2 Money Stock vs. Real Gross Domestic Product January 2000 to June 2020 (last GDP datapoint is Q1 2020) – Shaded Areas Indicate Recessions, Current One Ongoing

In my commercial real estate brokerage business, I’ve noticed a trend of some buyers expecting lower prices on properties, sometimes even clearly taking offense at a seller not budging on price. There seems to be, with them a sense that they know better to such a degree that they are disgusted by the gall and ignorance of some seller that can’t see what they know for sure to be the case. Maybe they are right, but then I’d direct them to the stock market.

Here is another angle.

Numbers of years ago, as a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley, I recall pulling up a chart of the Venezuelan Stock Market on my Bloomberg terminal. They were going through difficult times, including a nasty devaluation of the Bolivar, their national currency. Thus, I was momentarily disoriented to see their stock market ascendant. A couple of seconds later it hit me, “duh, that’s in Bolivars.” Indeed it was. In dollars, the market was down, as one might expect, but in Bolivars, it was up, way up. I can imagine in post WWI Germany, when the price of a loaf of bread went from a few Papiermarks to hundreds of billions of them, that the stock market in local currency would have performed really well. What you can buy with the proceeds is what matters, however. It is surely more obvious at the extremes, but it always matters.

That brings me back to commercial property. The aforementioned self-professed wiser than thou buyers that claim to know that property prices should be lower will mention the printing of money as one of their indicators of impending disaster. One can indeed see the effects on money supply of the Fed’s actions in the chart of M2 embedded in this post. Actually, though, that could indicate higher prices in dollars. That is the rational case I allude to in the title of this post.

With decades enjoying a fairly stable economy, we’ve lost track of the fact that stocks are a hedge against inflation. This is the same for real estate. Imagine inflation was to indeed rear its ugly head and triple the price of goods over the coming years. With cash in the bank, you’d be able to buy a third of what you could previously. Would AT&T phone billing amounts remain at the same levels? No. They’d triple, more or less, and managed properly so would their earnings. Would rent on a building you own remain the same? No. Again, it would triple, more or less. The real rate of return on property might be more or less than it has been historically, indeed it might be lower. However, compared to cash, with inflation considered, it would in all likelihood be much better than owning cash or fixed income instruments.

Will Rogers once famously quipped that he was more interested in a return of his money than a return on his money. That advice serves one well when you one count on the value of money. Absent that, it is worth considering the definition of money, if not replacing the word “money” with the phrase “buying power.” Thus, restated, “more interested in a return of your one’s buying power than a return on one’s buying power.”

I don’t know the answer on all this. I don’t think anybody does, even the Fed Chairman. We are in uncharted waters. We’ve had recessions, we’ve had pandemics, and we’ve seen growth money supply, but to my knowledge we’ve not seen all of these together on a global basis coordinated to this degree. Strap in.

In thinking about this coronavirus situation since it first arose, however, I’ve come to realize that the variance of outcomes is wide, and that possible outcomes include some with positive returns on a nominal basis. Stated more statistically, though I recognize a recession is not good for business and thus not good for commercial property, the implied standard deviation of possible outcomes in my head has increased.

Going further with this, one could perhaps make a case for Nassim Taleb styled tail risk (black swan risk to use Taleb’s term) with regards to inflation, i.e. currency devaluation, which in turn makes a case for securing commercial property for the hedging aspects of it, as investors do with gold. Thus, the rational case for commercial real estate could be an embedded dollar put option benefit in the context of unprecedented actions by the Federal Reserve in a likewise unprecedented environment, and the associated risk of inflation. Those not budging on selling price and the buyers that are choosing to meet their price expectations may get there by accident, but they might be right. I’m not saying they’re right, but I am saying they are not clearly wrong.

Time will tell.

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July 10, 2020

Video: The Top Ten Issues Affecting Commercial Real Estate 2020-2021

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In these videos CRE Counselors Global Chair Michel Couillard discusses his firm’s report on the Top Ten Issues Affecting Real Estate with the host of America’s Commercial Real Estate Show. As you might guess, (1) COVID-19 is at the top of this year’s list. Other top issues discussed that affect commercial real estate are (2) economic renewal, (3) capital markets risk, (4) public and private indebtedness, (5) affordable housing, (6) flow of people, (7) space utilization, (8) technology and workflow, (9) infrastructure, and (10) environment, social, and governance, aka ESG.

CRE Counselors Top Ten Issues Affecting Real Estate 2020-2021 Part 1

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July 9, 2020

Miami Commercial Real Estate News July 8, 2020: Industrial Freezer Trades for $13 Mil; Chapter 11 for Brooks Brothers as AMC Avoids; 12-Story Multifamily to be Built in Wynwood; More…

Ivy Realty snags industrial freezer in Miami for $13M

Ivy Realty snagged an 80,000-square-foot industrial freezer facility in north Miami-Dade County for $13.25 million. Montvale, New Jersey-based Ivy Realty bought the property at 650 Northeast 185th Street in Miami for $165 per square foot, according to a press release. The seller, Best Freezer Holdings LLC, is tied to Clement Zanzuri of Miami. The property is 100…

East End Capital to Build 12-Story Multifamily Project in Miami’s Wynwood District

East End Capital has received civic approval to build Foyer Wynwood, a 12-story multifamily project planned for Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood. The project marks the debut of the developer’s co-living brand Foyer, which will operate the co-living segment of the 375,000-square-foot development. The property will feature 236 multifamily residences in both micro-unit and…

Brooks Brothers files for bankruptcy

Brooks Brothers, which has 500 stores across the globe, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday. The move had been expected as the 200-year-old clothing chain struggled first with a shift from a formal dress code in the workplace to a more casual one, and then ultimately the coronavirus. Brooks Brothers will use the bankruptcy process to find a buyer for the…

AMC nears deal to avoid bankruptcy

AMC is trying to stave off the final curtain. The movie theater chain is close to hammering out a restructuring deal that would save it from bankruptcy, according to the Wall Street Journal. The deal involves bondholders providing a $200 million senior loan and exchanging their unsecured claims for second-lien debt at an undisclosed discount. Meanwhile, Silver…

Will The Pandemic Kill Demand For Micro-Units?

For the past five-plus years, micro-units have been an intriguing subplot in the grand saga of commercial real estate. As demand for housing has boomed, especially in rent-burdened cities like New York and San Francisco, developers gambled that tenants would tolerate tiny units — some as small as 220 SF — for the chance to access cool neighborhoods…

Florida Commercial Real Estate News Roundup 2020 H1

While 2019 was a fruitful year in Florida’s CRE market, particularly in South Florida commercial real estate, we now focus on the challenges presented in early 2020. Despite the current pandemic, new, major developments took place and many property refinances were sealed in several locations. Meanwhile, domestic and international investors contributed to the….

Zara founder unveils $17.2 billion global real estate empire – including Miami’s tallest office tower

After making a fortune in clothing, Amancio Ortega turned his attention to real estate. The Spanish billionaire’s property holdings have soared to $17.2 billion, his firm revealed Tuesday for the first time, giving him the largest real estate portfolio among Europe’s super-rich. Ortega, 84, the founder and owner of fashion label Zara, invested 2.1 billion euros in real estate last…

Retailers paying more of their rent but Covid surge prompts caution

The amount of rent Burger King paid in June compared to May was a whopper. The fast-food chain forked over 100 percent of what it owed landlords last month, compared to 63 percent the month before. The same went for Dave & Buster’s, where the new motto could be “Eat, Drink, Play…”

Mall owners team up with “dead-celebrity dealmaker” but can they rescue moribund retailers?

Deep into a marathon set of high-pressure meetings to save bankrupt retailer Aeropostale from being chopped up and sold for parts, Jamie Salter thought some comic relief was in order. The Authentic Brands Group founder and CEO pulled out his phone and called Shaquille O’Neal — his company’s second-largest individual investor…

$7 Mil Miami-Area Retail Asset Refi Closed

CBRE has arranged the $7 million refinancing of a 78,486-square-foot retail center at 19905-19925 Biscayne Boulevard in Aventura, Fla. Senior Vice President Paul Ahmed and Financial Analyst Mackenzie Fry represented the owner, Triarch Capital Group, and Correspondent Life Insurance Co. provided the 10-year loan. The property came online in 1994 and later…

Bayside Marketplace sues to evict Bubba Gump, Hard Rock Cafe and three other tenants

Bayside Marketplace’s owner wants to evict five tenants, including Hard Rock Cafe and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., alleging unpaid rent amid the pandemic. The downtown Miami outdoor mall’s New York-based landlord sued the two restaurants and three retailers recently in Miami-Dade Circuit Court to initiate the eviction process, alleging the tenants owe a total…

Gym owners flex their muscles: Miami-Dade reverses decision to close facilities

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez will allow gyms and fitness centers to stay open after announcing Monday that they would be closed, beginning on Wednesday. After meeting with a wellness group, the county decided that gyms and fitness facilities can remain open with the current restrictions in place, according to a spokesperson for the mayor’s office.

TRD Insights: Hotel CMBS delinquencies jumped in June

Lodging delinquencies among commercial-mortgage-backed-security (CMBS) loans rated by Kroll Bond Ratings Agency reached 21.6 percent last month, up from 13.6 percent in May. Hotels’ occupancy rates have been rising, but their loan troubles are through the roof. Hotel delinquencies among commercial mortgage-backed security (CMBS) loans rated by…

ZOM buys land in Coral Gables, West Palm for senior living projects

ZOM Senior Living and Watermark Retirement Communities closed on land for two senior living projects in Coral Gables and West Palm Beach. Property records show LG Ponce III LLC, led by Lion Gables Realty Limited Trust, sold four parcels at 300 Greco Avenue, near the Shops at Merrick Park in Coral Gables, to SHP VI Greco Coral Gables Owner for $20 million.

Restaurants, gyms to close again in Miami-Dade

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez is ordering restaurants to close their dining rooms effective Wednesday, marking a major blow to the struggling industry. Gyms, fitness centers and short-term rentals will also shut down. State and local officials have started rolling back openings due to the record number of positive Covid-19 cases. As of Monday, more…

TRD Insights: Little evidence that Opportunity Zone program helps poor communities

The Opportunity Zone program has been a huge success for well-capitalized real estate developers, but not for the disadvantaged people it’s ostensibly designed to help. A new study from the Urban Institute (UI) suggests that Opportunity Zones have largely failed to promote investment in local small businesses, create new jobs or boost the development of affordable…

Retail-to-residential conversions are in cards at America’s doomed malls

Malls are hemorrhaging retailers left and right. What will happen with all that space? Some could be converted into apartments and condominiums. (iStock) Mall vacancies are surging, so what to do with all that empty space? Apartment and condominium conversions could proliferate. Some developers were converting properties before the coronavirus… …

WeDone: South Beach landlord seeks to evict WeWork for unpaid rent

The landlord of a WeWork location in South Beach is looking to evict the embattled co-working giant for what it says is more than $650,000 in unpaid rent. A photo obtained by The Real Deal shows the three-day notice tacked onto the door of the 43,500-square-foot building at 429 Lenox Avenue, which is fully occupied by WeWork. WeWork notice WeWork…

More tech firms eye Miami as Covid carries on

As resi brokers in South Florida report an uptick in sales and rentals largely fueled by homeowners fleeing dense markets like New York, office brokers say they’re starting to see a similar trend play out among tech firms. In late February — before Covid-19 became a pandemic — Spotify inked a lease for 20,000 square feet to house its South Florida headquarters in Miami’s…

Inside South Florida’s mall, retail and restaurant reopenings

Masks, one-way signs, spread-out open-air dining. Malls, stores and restaurants are reopening in South Florida, and changes are evident amid the pandemic. The Real Deal’s South Florida Managing Editor Ina Cordle toured the Miami Design District with Craig Robins, Bal Harbour Shops with Carolyn Travis and Aventura Mall with Jackie Soffer on Saturday, May 23.

Submerged in securities: Many CMBS hospitality loans may be underwater soon

Hotel operators trek into special servicing and it may take years before they get out (iStock) Carlos Rodriguez Sr. set off from Costa Rica nearly 25 years ago for what seemed like a surefire bet: developing and operating hotels in Florida, where both tourism and business travel were in perpetual demand due to the area’s warm weather, white sand beaches and proximity to…

The breakdown: Inside Virgin Hotels’ $330M vision for South Beach and how it vanished

Virgin Hotels had been looking for the right redevelopment opportunity in South Beach for years, and appeared to have found it a few months ago in HFZ Capital Group’s Shore Club. An offshoot of Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, Virgin Hotels created a proposal to purchase the 309-key beachfront hotel…

Trump tweets that he “may END” Obama-era fair housing regulation

President Trump’s latest announcement regarding his plans for fair housing regulations came in the form of a Tuesday night tweet, Business Insider reported. The president took aim at the Obama-era Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) mandate, which his administration had suspended in early 2018 until this year. “At the request of many great…

New Florida Law Cracks Down On Emotional Support Animals

A new law signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis last week, which took effect immediately, amended Florida’s Fair Housing Act to address the problem. With the internet making it easy for dishonest tenants to get around pet restrictions by mail-ordering certificates saying that Fang and Rambo are emotional support animals, property managers often acquiesced, lest…

Miami-Dade Restaurant Owners Organize to Oppose Dining-Room Closure

On Monday, July 6, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez announced his intention to issue an emergency order re-closing indoor restaurant dining rooms owing to a surge in the spread of COVID-19. Within hours, a cadre of restaurateurs gathered in Coral Gables to decide how to deal with a collective case of government-induced whiplash. To business owners…

Miami Settlement With Duplex Developer Draws Opposition Over Setback Violations

Miami’s Coconut Grove takes pride in its eclectic look and character, so it’s no surprise that community opposition blossomed after a duplex developer was accused of breaking setback rules… 3384 Day Avenue Investments Inc. was in the midst of building a duplex with interior work remaining when the city issued a hold on the building permit a year ago, citing setback…

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July 8, 2020

Chart: Miami Commercial Real Estate Sales to List Price Ratio Strong in June ~ MLS

Miami Association of Realtors January 2018 to May 2020 Sales to List Price Ratio Property Types Land-Commercial/Business/Agricultural/Industrial, Commercial/Industrial Miami-Dade County Calculated from 8,338 commercial property listings

The sales to lsit price ratio strengthened in June to nearly 96.5%, not a bad number even pre-pandemic, but a great one within it. A statistically minded person might note that list prices might have come down, thus making this ratio less insightful, less positive. If so, then the closing price to original price should be declining. Here is the chart for that.

Miami Association of Realtors January 2018 to May 2020 Sales to Original Price Ratio Property Types Land-Commercial/Business/Agricultural/Industrial, Commercial/Industrial Miami-Dade County Calculated from 8,338 commercial property listings

OK, scratch that idea. So far, likely fueled by the low cost of financing, commercial property prices remain strong.

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July 3, 2020

Chart: Miami-Dade MLS Commercial Property Sales Rebound to Normal Level

Miami MLS Number of Sales from Jan 2018 to June 2020 in Miami-Dade County Property Types: Commercial, Industrial; Commercial, Business, Agricultural, or Industrial Vacant Land

In the above chart one can see that the number of commercial property sales in Miami-Dade county, aka the Miami, Florida metro area, for both improved and vacant land that were recorded in the Miami Realtors MLS, rebounded in the month of June to the lower end of a band that sales fluctuated within pre-pandemic. MLS only picks up some, but not all, commercial property sales, and thus is not fully representative, but it nonetheless can be utilized to view trends. Closed transactions declined by about two-thirds in April, then rebounded a bit in May, then more powerfully in June.

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July 3, 2020

Chart: May 1 Miami-Dade Unemployment Level Dips After April COVID-19 Surge, Remains Below 2009 Peak

Miami-Dade County, Florida Unemployment Rate Year Ending May 1, 2020
Miami-Dade County, Florida Unemployment Rate January 1, 1990 to May 1, 2020

The effects of coronavirus on employment in the Miami area continue and are clearly evident in the May 1 unemployment rate of 11.3%. This is a drop, however, from the prior month’s level of 11.95%, and remains below the unemployment rate of 12.4% reached in August 2009. I think most people would have anticipated the effects of coronavirus on commerce would have resulted in a further increase in the May 1 number, thus this surely counts as a surprise development for those following.

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July 2, 2020

Miami Commercial Real Estate News July 1, 2020: Wynwood Co-Living Project Approved; Prominent Developer Civil Trial This Week; More…

East End Capital scores approval for co-living project in Wynwood

Foyer Wynwood and Jonathon Yormak East End Capital secured approval for a co-living development in Wynwood. The Miami Urban Development Review Board this week approved Foyer Wynwood, a 12-story, 236-unit project on North Miami Avenue, between 24th and 25th streets, according to a press release. Rents at Foyer Wynwood are expected to start at about…

Millions At Stake In Trial Over Profits, Workplace Hostility At Dezer Development

More than $10M is at stake as one of the East Coast’s most prominent developer families faces a civil trial this week. Andrew Chesnick, the former chief operating officer of Dezer Development, is suing founder Michael Dezer; his wife, Neomi, in her capacity as trustee of a family trust; their son, Gil, CEO of the company; and several corporate entities that the family…

Restaurants, bars in a “scary situation” as restrictions ramp up

Faced with heightened restrictions due to a surge in Covid-19 cases, coupled with a desire to keep employees safe, some Miami restaurants are calling it quits. Other eateries are mulling closing their dining rooms, temporarily shutting down, or changing their business models entirely. If the state or local governments order another shutdown, it could mark the “nai…

Bid to slow soccer stadium on Melreese golf course stymied

A billion-dollar development to replace the golf course in city-owned Melreese Park keeps chugging ahead, but a zoning application for it met opposition from a commissioner who said Miami is getting ahead of itself and not following the process. Manolo Reyes, an established foe of the development, named Miami Freedom Park, presented an item last week…

Miami construction jobs hit record high

As unemployment in Miami-Dade fell slightly in May to 11.3% from 11.8% in April at the peak of the virus-induced shutdown, sunshine bathed one industry: construction jobs hit an all-time high here. Construction rose to 54,800 jobs in the county in May, the most for any month in US Bureau of Labor Statistics records, up 3,800 from April and 1,600 more workers than…

Miami-Dade advised to sue over forever chemicals

Miami-Dade has sufficient legal standing to sue – and should sue – the makers of so-called “forever chemicals,” a class of some 4,000 substances prevalent in the water supply linked to cancer and birth defects, County Attorney Abigail Price-Williams has confirmed. A recommendation from Ms. Price-Williams’ office for the county to join an existing class action…

My New Normal: Coral Gables Based Location Ventures Founder Rishi Kapoor

Location Ventures CEO Rishi Kapoor leads a multifaceted real estate company that handles investment, development, management, and sales and marketing for residential and mixed-use properties, mostly in South Florida. The company has a development portfolio worth more than $500M, which includes a boutique condominium, a new coworking concept…

Westchester Cultural Arts Center on the way

West Miami-Dade residents will soon have a cultural arts center that will offer educational, recreational and community activities. At a groundbreaking June 26, the Westchester Cultural Arts Center continued a long journey that began 16 years ago. Located at the main entrance of Tropical Park, it is to provide cultural programming focusing on Hispanic…

Miami Beach moves toward banning chain restaurants and stores in Sunset Harbour

A ban on chain retail stores and restaurants in South Beach’s Sunset Harbour is moving forward with the backing of three Miami Beach city commissioners. The Miami Beach Land Use and Sustainability Committee — made up of commissioners Mark Samuelian, Michael Gongora, and Ricky Arriola — unanimously backed a proposed ordinance banning “formula…”

DeSantis again extends foreclosure and eviction ban

Hours before the expiration of a state-ordered freeze on residential evictions and foreclosures, Gov. Ron DeSantis again extended the moratorium to Aug. 1. Though it’s called the “Limited extension of mortgage foreclosure and eviction relief” order, it does not provide financial relief to homeowners and renters. The order gives homeowners and renters more…

Brookfield seeks to evict Diane Von Furstenberg at Merrick Park

A company tied to Brookfield Properties alleges the Diane Von Furstenberg store owes over $200,000 in unpaid rent at Shops at Merrick Park, and is seeking to evict the retailer. Merrick Park LLC, tied to Brookfield Properties, is suing the retailer for breach of its lease agreement, alleging the company owes $206,000 in unpaid rent as of June. In the suit filed last week…

Video: Iron Hound Principal Robert Verrone discusses fixing loans broken by Covid-19

Iron Hound Management’s Robert Verrone talks about distressed loans amid the economic slowdown in this virtual interview by TRD. He talks about deals that didn’t close in the middle of COVID-19, then moves on to the process of dealing with existing loans that are distressed due to effects on the commerce in the respective properties. This is a pretty candid…

For Sam Zell, it’s all about “foreclosures and opportunities”

Sam Zell’s Equity Commonwealth real estate investment trust has $3.4 billion in cash ready to deploy in these times of distressed assets, but the self-described Grave Dancer isn’t ready to tango in one sector: Retail. Zell, who is also chairman of Equity Residential and Equity Lifestyle Properties, said his companies “don’t buy markets, we buy deals.” And with retail…

Affordable housing experts talk systemic change

Advocates have long sought solutions to housing affordability, but recent social unrest has prompted a closer examination of the injustices baked into the system. Barika Williams, for one, is “cautiously hopeful” that momentum is building to address structural inequality in housing. “At the fundamental base, housing is rooted in racism,” said Williams, the…

“Alligator Ron” Bergeron sells properties near Miami airport to Prologis

“Alligator Ron” Bergeron, a Gladesman and former state wildlife commissioner, sold an assemblage near Miami International Airport to industrial giant Prologis. Bergeron Dade Airport LLC sold the properties at 3310, 3325 and 3377 Northwest 24th Street for $24.6 million. The land totals more than 9 acres and sold for $61 per square foot. Prologis, led CEO…

“It’s a need, not a want” for many residents: Investors eye long-term gains in senior housing

The Orbach Group — a real estate firm better known for flipping rent-stabilized apartments before Albany’s rent law overhaul last summer — recently nabbed a portfolio of 700 age-restricted senior housing units in New York and Pennsylvania. In a sign of the times, the $75 million deal closed via Zoom in May, according to the buyer. Meyer Orbach…

Freddie Mac extends multifamily loan forbearance relief to landlords

Freddie Mac is expanding the mortgage relief options it offers multifamily property owners, but there are strings attached. The agency, which is under government conservatorship, today announced that landlords with federally-backed mortgages can further extend the repayment period. Putting off those payments does come with a price. Landlords who…

South Florida by the numbers: Focus on fair housing

“South Florida by the numbers” is a web feature that catalogs the most notable, quirky and surprising real estate statistics. Over the past few weeks, our nation has struggled mightily with complex and serious issues concerning race and policing. For Realtors and other real estate professionals, a Code of Ethics and Fair Housing laws clearly spell out…

Nearly 140,000 businesses on Yelp remain closed since coronavirus hit

New numbers from Yelp show that 140,000 businesses that closed since March 1 remain closed and that 40 percent of them permanently closed. (Getty) Nearly 140,000 U.S. businesses that closed since March 1 remain shuttered, and just over 40 percent of them have closed for good. Yelp’s latest report on businesses listed on the platform show that more…

Some 2.2 million of the world’s restaurants could close

Restaurants are struggling to get by Some 2.2 million restaurants worldwide could close in the near future, and that’s a low estimate. Restaurants across the price spectrum are watching bills pile up and sales flounder in the months since the coronavirus pandemic brought the industry to a near standstill, according to Bloomberg. Consulting firm Aaron Allen…

“Our HQ will be in the cloud”: What if remote-first work is an opportunity, not a compromise?

Remote-first work could lead to greater employee wellbeing, lower housing costs and a fairer company, according to the CEO of Quora When it comes to the future of remote work, everyone and their landlord has weighed in. Owners of prime office buildings have dismissed remote work as “serviceable at best” (SL Green Realty’s Marc Holliday), having a…

Searching for land: Bruce Eichner, Two Roads vie to buy out aging Bal Harbour condo for over $100M

Taylor Collins, Bruce Eichner, Phil Gutman and Louis Birdman (Google Maps) Amid a scarcity of oceanfront development sites, prominent developers are vying to buy out unit owners of an aging condo building in Bal Harbour to build a luxury tower, The Real Deal has learned. Continuum South Beach developer Bruce Eichner and Two Roads Development are…

Rebuilding the construction industry in the age of the coronavirus

Construction sites began to reopen earlier this month. But construction companies are still trying to find ways to adapt to a troubled market in the short- and long-term (iStock, Pixabay) When engineering giant AECOM started developing a virtual consultation tool in late 2019, its aim was to allow members of the public to weigh in on projects remotely. The idea…

DeSantis announces $250M rental, mortgage assistance fund

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the state will tap $250 million in CARES Act funding for rental and mortgage assistance due to Covid-19. The announcement comes about a week before the state’s moratorium on evictions and foreclosures is expected to end. The executive order gives homeowners and renters time in their homes if they can’t make their…

Blackstone nears $1.4B deal with HPP to build out production studios

Blackstone Group and Hudson Pacific Properties are deep in talks to form a partnership to develop production studios in Los Angeles. Valued at $1.4 billion, the deal would build out HPP’s extensive studio and sound stage portfolio, according to the Wall Street Journal. A deal could be struck in days. HPP owns three studio lots and 36 soundstages totaling 1.2 million…

South Florida construction starts plummet again in May

Developers are still holding off on starting new construction projects South Florida developers are still holding off on starting new construction projects in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report. New construction starts in South Florida declined 25 percent in May to $558.8 million, down from $749.4 million in May 2019, according to…

Macy’s cuts nearly 4K jobs as it reopens hundreds of stores

Macy’s eliminated thousands of jobs this week in another sign of the retail sector’s struggles, as companies work to emerge from the coronavirus lockdowns. The department store chain cut about 3,900 corporate and management jobs, which is expected to save $365 million this year and $630 million a year going forward, according to Bloomberg. The move came as…

Privé at Island Estates developer sues Suffolk Construction over defects

Two years after winning a protracted legal battle with neighboring property owners, the developer of Privé at Island Estates in Aventura has a new adversary in its sights. Privé Developers LLC sued Suffolk Construction in Miami-Dade Circuit Court earlier this month for alleged construction defects and delays at the 160-unit luxury condominium project at 5000…

Miami-Dade searching for more hotels to isolate Covid-19 patients as cases surge

As the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 surges in Florida, Miami-Dade County is on the hunt for empty hotels it can lease to isolate patients. The county has already secured two hotels to house those who need to self-isolate but don’t have anywhere else to go, said Maurice Kemp, deputy mayor of Miami-Dade. It’s looking for additional properties near Covid-19…

RK Centers alleges restaurant refused Covid relief, vacated Collins Avenue property

A Sunny Isles Beach landlord said a restaurant refused relief and vacated the property. Many tenants are seeking relief from landlords due to the pandemic, but a Sunny Isles Beach landlord said a restaurant refused relief and instead vacated the property. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, RK Centers alleges La Barra Restaurant “willfully disregarded relief programs as…

Chuck E. Cheese parent, GNC file for bankruptcy

Retailer GNC Holdings and the parent company of Chuck E. Cheese have become the latest in a string of high-profile companies to seek bankruptcy protection. According to the Wall Street Journal, CEC Entertainment filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week after widespread closures of Chuck E. Cheese venues because of the pandemic. The company, which is owned…

Simon v. Taubman could be ready for trial in November: Judge

The debate over whether Simon Property Group should honor its $3.6 billion deal to buy Taubman Centers might be among real estate’s Thanksgiving dinner table discussions this year. That’s because the lawsuit pitting the mall giants against each other could be ready for trial by mid-November, according to the Michigan judge overseeing the case.

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July 1, 2020

Video: Iron Hound Principal Robert Verrone discusses fixing loans broken by Covid-19

Iron Hound Management’s Robert Verrone talks about distressed loans amid the economic slowdown in this virtual interview by TRD. He talks about deals that didn’t close in the middle of COVID-19, then moves on to the process of dealing with existing loans that are distressed due to effects on the commerce in the respective properties. This is a pretty candid discussion of the lending environment before and during the pandemic to the date of this interview in late April.

The Interview: Robert Verrone talks fixing loans broken by Covid-19

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July 1, 2020

For Sale: 27,536 sf / 0.63 acre T5-O Little River Development Site; 70 NE 80 Terrace, Miami, FL 33138; just off N Miami Avenue at NW 79 St

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July 1, 2020