Unpacking the Federal Stimulus Package With Real Estate Roundtable CEO Jeff DeBoer

The CARES Act is a massive stimulus bill designed to keep the economy afloat by offering increased unemployment benefits to Americans, loans to companies to keep up payroll and more.

Since this program was passed, commercial real estate professionals have had one thought on their minds: How will this help CRE?

Real Estate Roundtable CEO Jeff DeBoer has been trying to answer that question by working with property owners, lenders and tenants to unpack what the program means for CRE. DeBoer is a 35-year industry veteran who has appeared on Fox News, Bloomberg Television, MSNBC and CNBC advocating for the real estate industry. Real Estate Roundtable has also developed its own COVID-19 Resource Center and has been working on a variety of policy responses designed to help employers maintain payrolls, support new credit facilities from the Fed to assist the CMBS market and more.

Join Bisnow as we speak with DeBoer about the top issues he is lobbying for right now, his feelings on the recent aid packages and what he would change, what he believes is needed to help the CRE industry stay afloat during this difficult time and what we can do to help. There will also be time for questions.  This free Bisnow webinar will take place April 30 at noon ET. Register HERE.


Jeff DeBoer is the founding president and CEO of The Real Estate Roundtable, a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C., that represents the interests of the nation’s top 150 privately owned and publicly held real estate development, lending and management firms. Roundtable member portfolios contain over 12B SF of office, retail and industrial properties. For the past 35 years, DeBoer has been advocating for the real estate industry on television, in print and in Washington. Along with his role at The Real Estate Roundtable, DeBoer also chairs the National Real Estate Organization, is chairman of the Real Estate Industry Information Sharing and Analysis Center, and has been included in Washington Life Magazine’s list of Washington’s most influential unelected, non-governmental people and The Hill’s list of top lobbyists in D.C.


Source:  Bisnow

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South Florida Real Estate Leaders Confident About The Market, Despite Pandemic

Despite the challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic, a panel of five South Florida real estate veterans said Wednesday they feel optimistic about the market.

The webinar, called “Lessons from the Past,” featured professionals who managed their firms during the Great Recession and are using those experiences to inform current strategies.

On the panel were developers Adolfo Henriques, vice chairman of Related Group, and Masoud Shojaee, chairman of Shoma Group; Al Dotson Jr., managing partner of Bilzin Sumberg law firm; Bruce Moldow, CFO of Moss Construction, and Judy Zeder, Realtor-Associate with the JillsZeder Group.

The event was hosted by the Miami Herald’s RE|source Miami newsletter; a recording is available online at https://bit.ly/2KsJPZS. (Password: 7i*=$s7@)


Source:  Miami Herald

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Warnings Multiply As South Florida Retail Landlords Brace For Coronavirus Fallout

Owners of the nation’s malls, retail plazas and Main Street storefronts are sounding alarms over the magnitude of the financial wreckage in store for the U.S. economy as efforts to contain the coronavirus appear destined for a prolonged slog.

The clearest sign to date of the pandemic’s potential to inflict deep and long-term damage was made clear as details emerged last week about thousands of so-called Watch List loans. The disclosures are a monthly ritual on Wall Street to keep investors in commercial mortgage-backed securities apprised of the health of the properties backing their portfolios.

Nearly 700 retail properties ranging from strip malls to stand-alone big-box stores were slapped with the “Watch List” moniker between March 15 and April 15, as the nation rolled out shelter-in-place policies and saw waves of business closures to combat the Covid-19 outbreak. The increase in CMBS properties flagged for concern marked a 45% increase over the number of Watch List retail properties recorded a month earlier.

Click here to read more about this story.


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The Coronavirus Is Changing Real Estate Sales Contracts. The Shift Looks Permanent

The contracts drawn between a seller and buyer in South Florida may never be the same again.

As coronavirus continues to spread, real estate agents are adding a “COVID rider” to existing contracts and including it in new sales. The standard force majeure clauses that protect sellers and buyer in the case of an act of God typically cover only natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes and tornado.

Pandemics have not been on the list. That is, until now, said Miltiadis Kastanis, director of luxury sales for Douglas Elliman.

“Yesterday’s contract is not today’s contract. Legal intervention is the smartest thing we can do,” Kastanis said.

Several Realtors say they contacted their attorneys in March, as the crisis was growing, to update pending sales contracts and write new ones that specifically include pandemic or coronavirus as covered reasons for canceling contracts. Kastanis now sends his contracts for approval first to his attorney before sending it to the buyer for review.

The COVID clause protects both the buyer and seller, he said. For the buyer, it gives them more time to complete tasks, including finalizing lending — should a bank have halted lending altogether — or complete an inspection.

It also protects the seller, Kastanis said. “A buyer may say, ‘Well, my bank isn’t lending.’ It may be an excuse for the buyer to walk out.”

It also faciliates contract extensions, said Anthony Askowitz, broker and owner of RE/MAX Advance Realty.

For sellers, such clauses act as a hedge against fluctuations in the market, Askowitz said. “Their home may not have the same value in the future. We know the value from yesterday. We don’t know what the value is going to be after the pandemic.”

The clause may also offer a sense of security to lenders, he said. “This is a protection for banks. Banks need this because it puts things in context of what people can expect. We saw that early on when people wanted to get out of their contracts, this ensured that they couldn’t.”

The addendum or clause is legally binding, said attorney Florentino Gonzalez, co-chair of the downtown Miami-based Shutts & Bowen’s Real Estate Practice Group. If the buyer tried to pull out after all mortgage, appraisal and inspection services are back to normal, “they can risk being sued for specific performance of contracts or lose their deposit,” said Gonzalez.

But because a pandemic can be infinite in nature, Gonzalez said, there will also likely be a deadline for any contract extension.

The addition of the word ‘pandemic’ as a force majeure is here to stay, Kastanis said. “It has shown to impact our market strong enough.”


Source:  Miami Herald

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In Spite of Great Uncertainty, CRE Deals Continue to Close

With all but the most essential small businesses shut down, vast numbers of commercial and multifamily tenants unable to pay rent and no clear date for when the U.S. economy might re-open, it would be easy to assume that commercial real estate investors would opt to sit on the sidelines in March and April. But while there has definitely been a greater sense of caution in the market and tampered down activity, data from Ten-X Commercial Real Estate, an online commercial real estate marketplace, shows that assets at its March auctions were still getting multiple bids and sales continued to close, especially on smaller balance deals of under $10 million.

NREI spoke to Joseph Cuomo, executive managing director and head of sales with Ten-X, about what the company saw on its platform over the past month.

NREI: Has Ten-X seen any change in the amount of activity/transactions completed on its platform from the beginning of March through the current date?

Joseph Cuomo: In terms of activity compared to the month prior, it’s really not a good metric. Every month is different in our business, it’s cyclical in nature. And usually, we don’t have many [auction] events in January and February. When we get to March, they pick up significantly.

I think the more important metric to look at is year-over-year, and activity is actually the same, if not a little bit higher. People are putting deals up on our platform in December and January for March auctions. In March, we closed 30 of 32 deals [15 were financed, 15 were all cash]—all of those deals were loaded up in December and January.

But in our process, by the time we held the events in March—on March 11 and March 25—we already had all the due diligence from the sellers. So, there was really no slowdown in activity in February and our March events really didn’t see a slowdown.

In terms of buyers though, we thought folks are going to sit on the sidelines, there is a lot of uncertainty and risk involved. But the level of activity we saw—people looking at properties on our platform—we saw over a 60 percent increase from last year. It was 3,860 average number of visits. The average number of people who signed confidential agreements went up by 10 percent. And then in terms of the average number of bidders [on any deal] it was [about] 6 bidders, which is strong in any market.

And March 2020 vs. March 2019 was up almost 20 percent in terms of our trade rates.


NREI: Did you see any impact on deal pricing in the bids made during March and April auctions?

Joseph Cuomo: There was definitely some flexibility from sellers, who wanted to move deals. And buyers weren’t saying, “We will give you 50 cents on the dollar for the listed price.” We saw re-pricing on the assets of between 10 and 20 percent, which is pretty good.

We sold a shopping center in Orlando that sold at a higher price than [the guidance price] before COVID.

Another cool thing is that folks are not removing assets from the platform altogether. And looking at our pipeline of deals for the end of May and June auctions, people are looking at their portfolios and saying, “These are my assets, what deals might I want to move quickly?” And we are starting to see a flow of deals come in right now where people are willing to see the market, and if it’s realistic, they are saying, “We are sellers.”

We are definitely not seeing as much activity [lined up for May and June], but it hasn’t come to a screeching halt. Our pipeline for June, we have $168 million for June in the late funnel phase right now, and we have another two weeks to go, so we are hoping for between $300 and $400 million for the June auction. For May, we are potentially coming up to $300 million.

Our deal pipeline—which was paused for two or three weeks—is starting to pick up again, partly because we are an online platform and there’s certainty of execution.


NREI: Has there been more activity or interest shown in certain property types or assets vs. others recently? If so, what are investors gravitating toward right now?

Joseph Cuomo: We are way too early right now, and in all my conversations with our buyers and our brokers, there’s not one market nor any property type that anyone could really foresee that, “Hey, this is an opportunity.” And my background is in debt, and nobody knows what is going on right now from a triage perspective, who’s paying their rent or mortgage, who’s not. The one thing [that is obvious] is hotel delinquencies. There’s a lot more risk there and caution. What we are hearing is default rates for hotels will be out there. Does that mean that desire for hotels on our platform has gone down? Absolutely not. We’ve sold hotel deals in March. We have hotel deals in the pipeline right now. People are still looking at deals, they are out there.

We are still seeing significant demand in the strip center retail space. We sold a retail center in Cleveland last week, it had nine bidders. And the buyer demand, the high net worth buyers—the eyeballs are out there. But from a retail and hotels respective, there are no flights to specific flags or markets.

From an office building perspective, we’ve always seen that suburban buildings would do better. We sold a building in suburban Illinois for $10.8 million, pretty much stabilized, near 100 percent leased, with initial price guidance coming in between $8 and $9 million. Overall, if you have a property in a good market, with good tenants, people are still playing aggressively there. When we have quality assets, the buyers and buyer pricing have really not waned from the pre-COVID days. The only difference now is you can’t do [in-person] tours.

NREI: What are you seeing right now in terms of availability of financing?

Joseph Cuomo: Local banks are still financing commercial real estate deals—they just may ask for some extra time, they may need an extra seven days, and everybody is flexible in this environment. They are doing relationship lending with recourse financing. We are still seeing that in the marketplace, which is keeping the liquidity going and not killing deals.

With the bigger banks, personally, I know there is lending out there for certain relationships and for certain deals. But not many folks are jumping on retail.

The CMBS world is mostly dead. All the conversations I had this week have been, “We’ll lend—with heavy structure. I’ll give you lower leverage and I want a reserve.” Hotel and retail loans are out of the equation.

But a lot of buyers are saying, “Why would I want to buy with such heavy structure? Let me buy it all- cash, and I know I can finance it later.”

The big regional banks—the Chases, the Banks of America—they are lending for relationships, folks are getting quotes, but they are not aggressive quotes. It’s not completely shut down anymore, they are saying, “We’ll look at it, but we’ll put a conservative structure in place.” And the guys at the banks their typical LTV ratio was at 45-50 percent before COVID. So, they are lending, but not at 75 percent LTV.

The bigger problem right now is how to underwrite? It’s impossible to underwrite a hotel right now where you don’t have occupancy levels.


NREI: What are the firm’s expectations about investment sales activity in the short- and medium-term?

Joseph Cuomo: Right now, it’s day-by-day. A lot of our business in the downturn was to really work with the banks and the servicers and investors and create a very efficient marketplace. Even today, we are still seeing [real estate owned] product [from that period]. It’s hard to predict, but I imagine folks are looking at their portfolios, and saying, “I’ve got these couple of assets I can sell to increase liquidity.”

So, the funds and the bigger firms are now probably looking at their portfolios, and saying, “We need to move some deals.” So, in the third quarter, we definitely will see more activity.

But a lot of folks right now, they are really trying to figure out what they have. If you are an owner, you have to figure out who’s paying the rent. And if you are a lender, you have to figure out who’s paying the mortgage. And who actually opens up for business again, and who will probably not come back?

But I think our platform will pick up even more in the fourth quarter because now you will bring the lenders into play, not only the landlords. The lenders will be saying, “It’s overwhelming, we can’t manage this large of a book.”

But also keep in mind, during the last downturn, the height of default, all of that didn’t take place until 18 to 24 months after the market went down in 2008-2009. It takes some time. Nobody can make a rush decision to just dump something on the market.

But what we are hearing, at the end of the third quarter, the fourth quarter, the expectation is things will pick up. People are going to start figuring things out.


Source:  NREI

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Medical Office Buildings Poised For Quick Recovery

While hospitals and health-care facilities have been inundated by an influx of COVID-19 patients, many medical offices that offer non-emergency services have seen the opposite occur.

The property type’s solid fundamentals prior to the virus, however, promise a relatively rapid rebound when the economy is up and running again, according to Marcus & Millichap’s April special report on medical office buildings.

With many shelter-in-place orders in effect, communities across the U.S. are avoiding unnecessary travel and exposure, including those patients seeking elective surgeries or nonessential surgical and dental procedures. As patients decide to reschedule their appointments until further notice, many medical offices aren’t generating revenue and have had to partially, or fully, close.

The Post COVID-19 MOB Market

The COVID-19 pandemic has already left its mark on different facets of commercial real estate like office leasing, construction and retail. While the medical office building market was not spared, its strong market fundamentals prior to the emergence of the new coronavirus offer signs of a healthy market after the pandemic ends.

The national vacancy rate for medical office buildings was 90 basis points below the trailing 10-year-average of 9.7 percent, according to the report. The U.S. market also saw 6 million square feet of medical office space absorbed in 2019. Following demand, the below-average availability of medical offices has led to a steady stream of new properties, with deliveries hitting 10 million square feet. The statistics have attracted the attention of private investors looking for assets between $1 million and $10 million.

Once the COVID-19 pandemic is under control and the economy recovers, the medical office building market is expected to bounce back. The combination of an aging population, expanded medical insurance coverage and new treatment options equate to a growing demand for health care and the medical offices that come with it. Once the economy begins to return to normal, the backlog of work due to closed offices and rescheduled or canceled appointments will likely bring a sudden influx of work for medical-office staff.

And once the market returns to normalcy, the report noted that well-located assets with the infrastructure to handle modern medical needs will be in high demand. Specifically, medical office building demand may grow in non-urban markets as younger Millennials begin to move away from urban centers.


Source: Commercial Property Executive

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Touchless Fixtures, Food Cameras: How Retail May Change Post Pandemic

The glass partitions may stay up in stores at cash registers long after the pandemic leaves, as retailers aim to offer a variety of measures to make customers feel safe again, experts say.

Other such changes range from subtle — such as touchless doors and sink handles — to not-so-subtle, such as bringing some retail items behind a counter instead of open for everyone to touch. The ideas being bandied about show just how quickly the novel coronavirus has changed retail businesses, much of which had to shutter or reduce service due to stay-at-home orders.

These shutdowns have impacted revenue drastically, with some retailers on the brink of permanently closing their doors.Nationwide, about 630,000 stores have closed due to COVID-19, and $430 billion in revenue may disappear in the next three months, according to the Financial Times.

Businesses will have to adapt in order to survive and bring customers back, experts say. But these changes can’t move too quickly or be implemented in a way that would make it more cumbersome for customers. Still, many companies are going back to the drawing board right now with these new ideas, said Erin Simpson, business development and marketing for Orlando-based architecture firm Scott + Cormia Architecture + Interiors.

“Our culture already has bought into it — design just needs to catch up,” added Jose Lugo, vice president at Miami-based architecture firm Bermello Ajamil & Partners Inc.

Restaurants may see some noticeable changes. Tables and bar stools could be spaced out more. And cameras may beam back live video of the kitchen to monitors in a seating area for customers to see how their food is being prepared, said Cindy Schooler, senior vice president and market leader for Dallas-based SRS Real Estate Partners.

On the soft goods side, e-commerce will continue to disrupt retail delivery. But it remains to be seen if these retailers will want things returned, like clothes, if they feel they’ve been contaminated.

“The things I hear on calls now, I say, ‘Wow I never thought of that,'” Schooler said.

That said, no one knows how much brick-and-mortar retail will change. And — while some common sense measures may stick around — people may want to be closer to strangers again once they feel safe, said Drew Forness, president of Winter Park, Fla.-based Forness Properties.

“We’re all going to get back to some sort of normalcy,” he said.


Source:  OBJ

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Retail Landlords Are Creating A Blacklist Of Tenants That Aren’t Paying Rent

While mom-and-pop retailers may be feeling the economic pain of coronavirus the hardest, some bigger companies have decided to forgo rent payments as well. But landlords aren’t buying it.

Owners of malls and shopping centers have been putting together a “blacklist” of financially stable tenants that haven’t met their April rent obligations, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“We think that it’s their duty to pay April rent,” chief executive officer of Kimco Realty CEO Conor Flynn told the Journal. “The customer base is going to recognize who the bad actors are.”

According to Marcus & Millichap, April rent collection has ranged from just 10 to 25 percent for mall owners with higher concentrations of nonessential tenants, to 50 to 60 percent for landlords with “essential” tenants such as grocery stores and pharmacies.

Large retail tenants that have failed to pay rent in full include Burlington Stores, Petco Animal Supplies, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Victoria’s Secret and Staples.

Staples, which has been able to keep many stores open in areas where it is considered essential, has told landlords that it will not pay rent because of a drop in sales. Dick’s will not pay rent at stores that were closed due to government orders, but will continue to pay rent for stores that it closed voluntarily.

While some mall owners have indicated that they plan to declare non-paying tenants in default, smaller landlords may be more hesitant to confront big tenants over rent payments. Retailers appear to recognize that they have the upper hand, but things could get messy.

“The retailers think they have leverage here and they’re trying to use it,” Green Street Advisors analyst Vince Tibone said. “I see it potentially becoming a fight and going into litigation.”


Source:  The Real Deal

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Silicon Valley Heads To Wynwood’s Office Market

Wynwood has changed quickly from the early 2000s, when it was home to a number of galleries that came alive the second Saturday of the month, to an established tourist destination with an active nightlife scene. Today, it has residents and short-term rentals, restaurants, breweries and bars, and hotels on the way.

Now, it’s also emerging as a new office submarket in Miami, even amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Wynwood is seeing a number of new office projects, as major developers target the artsy district, aiming to add hundreds of thousands of square feet of office space. Big name tenants have signed leases, like Spotify, Live Nation and WeWork. Apple Music, Google, Dentsu and other creative marketing agencies have also been looking in the market, brokers and developers say.

The office vacancy rate in Wynwood is expected to spike this year, when most, if not all of the office space is delivered. Already, there is 180,000 square feet of new space in the market, with another 350,000 square feet under construction. That doesn’t include 500,000 square feet more office space in the pipeline, according to Albert Garcia, chairman of the Wynwood Business Improvement District.

Garcia and others expect that the new supply will get absorbed.

“We’ve seen development happen evenly. We’re very pleased with how the market has reacted to zoning guidelines,” he said. “You have to remember, prior to that there was zero Class A office in the neighborhood. Over the next six to 24 months, you’re going to see new office leases moving within the market from Brickell, Doral, Coral Gables.”

Covid-19’s effects

And now, with the uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 outbreak, Garcia and others believe that Wynwood will be well-positioned to attract new office tenants to the neighborhood.

“The good news is that these are all state-of-the-art office environments that will be adaptable and scalable in ways that the new office tenants are going to be looking for, places that are safe, that offer flexibility in workspace,” Garcia said.

Yet, some developers are pulling back, attorney Steve Wernick of Wernick & Co. said. The pandemic will likely cause a correction in the market and slow down office absorption, forcing landlords to adjust their pricing and the types of tenants they’re trying to attract.

“Wynwood is resilient, it always bounces back. We had Zika,” Wernick said. “Businesses that have capital and have long-term growth potential might be able to secure the office space they need that’s advantageous to them.”

Other market sectors

Brokers and developers expect space to also be absorbed in multifamily and other sectors of the market. Besides Related and East End, the Kushner Companies with Block Capital Group, as well as homebuilding giant Lennar Corp. have multifamily-anchored mixed-use projects in the works.

“At the end of the day, it’s a real neighborhood,” said Gaston Miculitzki of BM2 Realty, a Wynwood-based brokerage.

It’s unclear yet how deep the impact of coronavirus will be. Brokers Tony Arellano and Devlin Marinoff of Dwntwn Realty Advisors said the pandemic will eventually result in opportunities for tenants – and for investors.

“Now if you’re buying something, you’re buying it at a good value,” Arellano said. “All of the foam of the market got taken off.”

Grocery stores and major pharmacy chains are also eyeing the market, according to commercial broker Tere Blanca.

Office space supply

Sterling Bay, a Chicago developer that has built and leases space to McDonald’s Uber, Glassdoor and Twitter, officially entered the Wynwood market in 2018. Sterling Bay is building 545 Wyn, a 10-story, 325,000-square-foot Class A office building that will be completed later this year. It’s the biggest office project under construction in Wynwood.

Michael Lirtzman, director of leasing, said the developer’s aim is for tenants to move in by the end of the year. At 545 Wyn, the developer has secured Gensler, a major design and architecture firm, which signed a lease for 13,000 square feet.

Gross rents are in the high $50s and $60s per square foot for new construction in Wynwood, brokers and developers said.

Lirtzman said the push into a neighborhood like Wynwood is typical for Sterling Bay. “We tend not to go for the traditional downtown high-rise markets. We’ve gone into neighborhoods with a little more live, work, play,” he said.

Wynwood, previously home to a number of industrial warehouses, is similar to Chicago’s Fulton Market district, near the west side of Chicago, where Sterling Bay is looking to sell the McDonald’s global headquarters building, Lirtzman added.

Amenities in Wynwood are comparable to those offered by residents of new apartment towers in downtown Miami, Edgewater and the Arts & Entertainment District.

Once completed, 545 Wyn will include a 4,700-square-foot fitness center with spinning and yoga, a 17,000-square-foot terrace on the fifth floor with a full kitchen and bar, and 26,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space for three large food and beverage and entertainment tenants.

The companies the developer is courting “want their people to be comfortable in the building,” Lirtzman said. “They’re using their real estate as a recruitment tool.”

More projects completed and planned

When Sterling Bay went under contract on the Wynwood land more than two years ago, the developer had no competition.

But now, new office projects are popping up throughout Wynwood. 545 Wyn is being built on the west side, fronting I-95, where larger office projects were or are planned. The Oasis in Wynwood, a mixed-use adaptive reuse project under construction at 2335 North Miami Avenue is east of that, on the northeast corner of the neighborhood.

In January, New York-based R&B Group broke ground on the Gateway at Wynwood, a 460,000-square-foot mixed-use building on the northern outskirts of Wynwood, at 2916 North Miami Avenue. The project will have about 195,000 square feet of office space, plus retail, a rooftop terrace and a garage.

About a year ago, CIM Group closed on a $71.2 million construction loan for a 12-story Wynwood Square mixed-use development at 2201 North Miami Avenue. The project, with 241 apartments and about 27,000 square feet of retail, will have about 60,000 square feet of Class A office. One Real Estate Investment is a co-developer of the project.

The Annex, a 52,000-square-foot office building that Related Group and East End Capital completed last year next to their Wynwood 25 apartment building, is west of Second Avenue, Wynwood’s “cultural spine,” said Garcia, of the Wynwood BID. Tenants there include Live Nation Entertainment, which took nearly 8,000 square feet.

Jonathan Yormak, founder and managing principal of East End Capital, said full service asking rents are about $57 per square foot at the Annex.

Directly across the street is Cube Wynwd, an eight-story, 86,000-square-foot Class A building developed by RedSky Capital and equity partner JZ Capital Partners. Regus was the first tenant to sign and open, taking 21,000 square feet at the Class A building.

In addition to tenants relocating from downtown Miami and Brickell, developers and brokers said there are a number of new-to-market companies looking to plant their flag in Wynwood.

WeWork opened last year at the Wynwood Garage, taking 30,000 square feet at 301 Northwest 26th Street, marking the largest office lease in the neighborhood, according to broker George Pino, president of State Street Realty. The office market in Wynwood is just now in its infancy, he said.

Wooing tenants

Some of the largest TAMI (technology, advertising, media and information) tenants have their eyes on Wynwood – but not necessarily on specific buildings.

Take Spotify. The music streaming company toured 545 Wyn and other projects in the neighborhood before deciding to take all of the 20,000 square feet of office space at the Oasis in Wynwood.

“What’s important about the Spotify lease is Spotify had identified Wynwood. It wasn’t like they were between the Oasis in Wynwood and two buildings in Brickell and Coconut Grove,” said David Weitz, co-founder of Carpe Real Estate Partners, developer of the Oasis.

Not every company is choosing to be in Wynwood, though. Yext, a New York City-based brand management technology firm, looked at Wynwood before deciding to open its Miami office at 600 Brickell Avenue, near Brickell City Centre, sources said.

Erik Rutter, co-founder of Carpe Real Estate Partners, said Spotify wanted to create a campus for its employees where the company could create programming. A rendering of the space shows a stage in front of the Spotify logo.

As a gateway to Latin America, Miami has long attracted a number of creative marketing agencies, but the tech scene has been much smaller, beginning with the LAB Miami, the first co-working space and first coding academy, Wyncode.

Now, that’s changing.

“Wynwood is very culture rich. A lot of submarkets in Miami, from an office market perspective, [prospective tenants] don’t feel like there’s a lot of character,” Weitz said. “I think the low-story pedestrian-oriented nature in Wynwood really makes it attractive. It has culture. It has character. It’s walkable.”


Source:  The Real Deal

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Miami Commercial Real Estate Market Is Expected To Grow Despite Coronavirus

Life moves on in South Florida’s commercial real estate market, regardless of rain, shine or the coronavirus.

Avra Jain, the chief executive officer of the MiMo-based adaptive reuse consultancy firm Vagabond Group, and Scott Sherman, co-founder of the Brickell-based commercial property management firm Tricera Capital, see a steady market.

Jain and Sherman said in a Bisnow webinar on Thursday that new leases continue to be signed and construction is moving forward despite the coronavirus pandemic.

“The city of Miami has been functional in reviewing sites,” Jain said. “The city being functional says a lot about the city’s ability to move forward in a crisis.”

New adaptive use, boutique projects are moving forward, Jain said.

“I’m getting ready to sign another lease. Tenants are looking six-to-nine months out.”

Vagabond will move forward with a new adaptive use project soon, Jain said, with an added benefit of sliced prices for materials. Prices decreased for several construction materials, including copper and oil, she said. She expects to save about 10% on construction costs for her new project.

Vagabond completed two projects on time in recent days, she said. City officials reviewing job sites made changes to ensure safety and precaution, she said, including banning portable toilets and requiring the firm to allow construction workers to use the bathroom in the building, provide masks and hand sanitizer.

“I don’t see the construction industry being shut down,” Sherman said. “DeSantis and Trump have it in their interest to keep it going.”


Source:  Miami Herald

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