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Wynwood Mixed-Use Project Gets Design Backing

One of the largest mixed-use projects coming to the booming Wynwood Arts District has received the support of an important review board.

AMLI Wynwood is designed to bring 316 residential units and 30,596 square feet of commercial-retail uses to 70 NW 25th St.

Despite concerns about the massing of the project and its repetitive façade, the Wynwood Design Review Committee recommended approval, after listing several conditions.

PPF AMLI 45 Wynwood LLC is proposing the eight-story building with 544,515 square feet. The building includes a garage for up to 388 vehicles, and 43 bike rack spaces.

The developer said the project will provide needed residential space while activating the street with commercial uses.

Javier F. Aviñó, an attorney for the developer, wrote to the city saying the project includes activated frontages pulled up to the street, creating an engaging pedestrian environment.

“The Project incorporates a generous cross block passage for through-block pedestrian connectivity between 24th Street and 25th Street and numerous landscaped courtyards for residents, including on the 7th and 8th floors,” he wrote.

The passage will be lined with retail and food and beverage options.

To aid in breaking up the building massing, the project includes a more dramatic setback of 17 feet on the upper floors along 24th Street and carries the internal courtyard spaces up through the building, said Mr. Aviñó.

He said the project will provide plenty of opportunities for large murals or graphic art treatments throughout.

The site is within the Neighborhood Revitalization District (NRD-1), the intent of which is to transition the existing Wynwood industrial district into an active, diverse, mixed-use neighborhood.

The NRD-1 district aims to preserve the unique industrial character of the area while promoting a 24-hour environment where people work, live, and play.

Ray Fort of architectural firm Arquitectonica presented details about the site and renderings for the building.

“We have about 200 feet of frontage along 25th Street and 450 along Northwest 24th. We have this T shaped site to work with,” he said.

All amenities are planned for the rooftop level including a dog run, outdoor seating and a barbecue area, a pool and a fitness area.

“Wynwood is an entertainment district and naturally what comes with that is a lot of noise, but people want to live in the area as well,” said Mr. Fort.

“So, the design takes that into account to make sure these are quiet (residential) units, recessed from the street and shielded so people can really live in this neighborhood and not be so impacted by the noise,” he said.

Chairman Victor Sanchez said, “If I look at the individual pieces on a case by case basis, it makes sense … I like the concept and idea … but when you put it all together, it’s a massive project.”

He added, “It stands out. It’s almost like it was designed outside of Wynwood and then placed in here … it almost looks like a massive repetitive building.”

There were some items he liked.

“I love the passage. I love the courtyards and the great creative way to bring natural lighting into those unique spaces, and most are accessible to the public, which is nice,” he said.

But Mr. Sanchez said he didn’t like the repetitive façade.

Committee member Amanda Hertzler agreed, calling the building monolithic.

“The façade feels expansive … The density is just packed in … I do wish I saw more of a differential between the façades so it did feel like it was broken up a little bit,” she said.

Other committee members echoed statements about the massing of the building and the repetitive façade.

In response, Mr. Fort said “the project has to have some sense of unification. You have to clearly signal to your user how to get in, how to get out. With multiple façades you create issues of ‘what building are we looking at here.’”

After more discussion, Mr. Fort said developers would consider subtle changes in the grid work patterns and the colors.

On the vote to recommend approval the committee listed several conditions: add modulation and variety to the street front articulation; widen and celebrate the entrance to the paseo; consider subtle changes to the façade including paint patterns and more; and different balconies and railings; and engage a proper art consultant.

The applicant is seeking waivers to allow:

  • Up to a 30% reduction in required parking spaces. The property is within a quarter mile of a transit corridor, including multiple Metrobus lines and trolley routes.
  • 86% lot coverage when 80% is permitted.
  • Vehicular entries less than 60 feet apart.


Source:  Miami Today

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Overtown Covets Status As Food And Entertainment District

The Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency’s vision to position Overtown as a food and entertainment district and reclaim the neighborhood’s historic culture is closer to realization.

After being honored with the Redevelopment Association Awards’ Outstanding Rehabilitation, Reuse Project award for rehabilitating and transforming the former Clyde Killens Pool Hall building into a Red Rooster restaurant at 920 NW Second Ave., the agency is using this milestone as the first step to attract tourists and locals to visit Overtown for its entertainment and vibrant nightlife, said Cornelius Shiver, the community redevelopment agency’s executive director.

“Historically, we have a rich cultural and heritage background dating back during the segregation days,” he said. “Overtown was renowned for its black hotels, blues clubs and nightlife. We have decided to bring back those glory days.”

In 2018, the redevelopment agency’s board, made up of the five Miami city commissioners, approved the Historic Overtown Culture and Entertainment District Master Plan. The vision is to create a distinct place that reclaims the role of Overtown in the history and culture of Miami. The plan aims to establish a compact, walkable community with access to local and regional transit and centralized parking and to re-establish the neighborhood as Miami’s center for black culture, entertainment and entrepreneurship. 

Developed by Wills + Perkins Inc., the plan will also enable new development, local investment, a place for businesses to grow and bring folks back to Overtown to live, Mr. Shiver added. 

With the $5 million revitalization of Red Rooster Overtown and the Historic Lyric Theater at 819 SW Second Ave. as signature establishments, next on the culture and entertainment district master plan’s agenda is a boutique hotel, at least five more restaurants, art studios and a $3.5 million invested nightclub named Harlem Square.

“Parking is my next priority because business opportunities will work itself out,” Mr. Shiver said of infrastructure upgrades like sidewalks and sewer improvements, which will cost about $4 million, and development of at least 1,100 parking spaces and parking garages costing about $15 million to $20 million.

Funded through tax increment revenues, the agency reinvests these funds back into the redevelopment area by funding projects that enhance the quality of life for residents and attract new businesses geared to promote and support job-creating initiatives.

“We have to increase our annual median income, which is around $22,000, to support our residents with more job creators who will hire our residents, who have disproportionately suffered for too long,” Mr. Shiver said. “My simple formula to eradicate poverty is to have good jobs, affordable housing and a safe neighborhood.”


Source:  Miami Today

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Here’s What Industry Leaders Predict In 2021

There’s no doubt that 2020 was a wild year for real estate. From the Covid-19 pause that stopped showings and sales entirely, to the slow recovery and crashing rental market in condo-saturated Manhattan, to hot markets in metro-area suburbs, there were plenty of downs and ups.

From the Manhattan condo and rental recovery to what will happen with inventory, we gathered some predictions on what the market holds for 2021.

When Condos Will Recover

Eric Benaim, chief executive officer and founder of Queens, N.Y.-based brokerage Modern Spaces, says he expects to start seeing the condo market pick up by the second quarter of 2021.

“Many developers reduced pricing during COVID, so buyers will now see an opportunity to purchase a ‘value,’” Benaim says. “The FED has said it plans on holding the current interest rates until 2023, which will also help.”

Rental Recovery?

Andrew Barrocas, the chief executive officer of New York City brokerage MNS, thinks the New York City market will recover 50% of what was lost by the summer of 2021, though all experts say it depends on how many employees return to the office and how many businesses recruit new employees to work onsite.

“That’s contingent on 50% of people returning to the office,” Barrocas says. “If 75% return, the market will recover 75%. If it’s 25%, the market will recover 25%. We have 20,000 vacant apartments right now. It’s purely a supply and demand issue. There’s a direct correlation with the rental market and people retuning to the office and with the current trends, I feel 50% of people will be back in Summer 2021. It’s what makes New York, New York.”

Jared Antin, director of sales at New York City’s Elegran brokerage firm, thinks it will take at least 18 to 24 months for things to turn around.

“Although the amount of new leases being signed this fall are comparable to the amount signed this time last year, the non-renewal rate is through the roof, causing an incredible increase in inventory and pressure for landlords,” Antin says. “The vacancy rate in NYC has risen above 5% for the first time in at least 14 years, and landlords are dropping prices and increasing concessions to fill the vacancies. It will take 18 to 24 months, and at least two cycles of new employees coming to NYC, to absorb this inventory. During this time, we will see minimal new rental inventory in the pipeline. When the inventory does absorb, we will then see prices increase until new inventory can be built.”

Benaim of Modern Spaces agrees that the rental market in New York City has a long way to go to recovery.

“Available inventory is at a record high and new units that are hitting the market now will take some time to be absorbed,” Benaim says. “My hope is that as more and more people start to come back to work available inventory will be absorbed, and I believe if all goes well, then the rental market should be back to near pre-Coronavirus numbers by September when schools will open and there is more consumer certainty and confidence.”

Scott Meyer, chief investment officer at real estate investment and development firm PTM Partners, thinks the rental market may be buoyed by people who underestimated the challenges of homeownership.

“We have a couple at Watermark (in Washington, DC) who sold their single-family home to rent a two-bedroom after realizing they did not want to deal with the hassle of home maintenance and renovations,” Meyer says.

Even More Flexibility

Flexibility in lease terms is here to stay, and Will Lucas, founder and chief executive officer of Mint House, which provides high-end, short term rentals for business travelers, predicted that 5 to 10% of multifamily buildings in urban areas will sign agreements with a short-term rental or corporate housing company to combat a tough lease-up environment.

“Lease terms will become more flexible as individuals travel and temporarily relocate given the work-from-home trends driven by the coronavirus pandemic,” Lucas says. “We have already seen an increase in guests signing on to stay with us anywhere from two months to nine months to avoid signing a full-year lease.”

Increased Inventory

Michael Nourmand, president of Los Angeles-based brokerage firm Nourmand & Associates, believes inventory should increase.

“Right now, inventory is very low because of economic and political uncertainty as well as health concerns,” Nourmand says. “In addition, you have rising prices so sellers are benefitting from holding off on selling their properties. …Price appreciation will level off. I think demand will remain strong because Los Angeles is a desirable place to live but supply will increase so price appreciation will slow down. In addition, low interest rates are already baked into the equation.” 

Second-Home Syndrome

After busy markets in vacation communities, Mark Durliat, chief executive officer and co-founder of Grace Bay Resorts, predicts even more vacation home purchases.

“People are vacationing differently now than ever before, and many are putting a bigger focus on privacy and cleanliness while still having the benefits of exclusivity and luxury,” Durliat says. “Vacation homes provide the confidence that travelers will always return to a clean and safe space. What’s more, vacation homes in a managed community … offer real potential for rental income that can offset ownership expenses.” 

Along with the rise of the vacation home, Hunter Frick, senior vice president of marketing at Brown Harris Stevens Development Marketing, predicts the rise of the “co-primary residence,” or an apartment near the office in the city.

“As executives who decamped to areas outside Manhattan ease into month nine of work from home, their mindset has changed indefinitely,” Frick says. “They will never abandon the unrivaled energy of Manhattan, but it’s a place where they will spend three days a week before they retreat to their homes upstate, in the Hamptons and Connecticut. Many will look to find new housing closer to the office, which will help the struggling Midtown residential market.”

“This lifestyle aligns with feedback we are receiving from our current buyer pool,” Frick continued. “Most anticipate the future of work as a much more fluid and flexible where work and life blend.”

Though it’s yet to be seen what the controversial resurfacing of the pied-à-terre tax will do to that market.

Increased Foreign Interest

While foreign investment has been slow this year, and some say it never left, some in the industry believe it’s coming back along with the continued opening of new developments.

“Condo demand won’t die long term,” Jim Cohen, president of residential for Florida-based FontaineBleau Development. “I’m in continuous communication with the 1% international buyer pool. People still want waterfront living in Miami and not just single-family homes. Waterfront investments mean a ton of maintenance and serious insurance policies. So while the pandemic has shown the importance of space and privacy through the increase of sales in the single-family home market —Miami-Dade sales jumped 16.6% year-over-year according to the Miami Association of Realtors — a mansion in the sky with a resort-style lifestyle sans the hassle of maintenance may be the better option. Our newest waterfront luxury project, Turnberry Ocean Club offers family-size duplex condos and 70,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor amenities that include a coffee lounge, two restaurants and a three-floor sky club. During the pandemic, we actually sold a number of units to international buyers, which make up 30% of our buyer pool. My takeaway, people still want the resort-style luxury experience.”

Dan Kodsi, chief executive officer of Florida-based Royal Palm Companies, thinks renewed foreign investment provides a market for smaller units.

“The foreign buyer is looking for resort-like homes that are practical and functional with a sense of sophistication and luxury that they can return to once or twice a year that can be maintained for them,” Kodsi says. “The new fully furnished microLUXE residences at Legacy Hotel and Residences offer micro floor plans with no rental restrictions. About 75% of Legacy Hotel and Residences’ buyers are international.”

Virtual And VIP 

Greg Willett, chief Economist at RealPage, a real estate technology and analytics firm, says the use of virtual leasing and communication tools will continue to expand, with functions moved offsite.

“Similarly, we will see more virtual leasing — not just virtual tours — and there will be expanded virtual resident engagement, including resident-to-resident interaction,” Willett says.

Elana Friedman, chief marketing officer for AKA, which offers long-stay hotel residences, says amenity spaces will be reservation-only for Covid-19 safety.

“At AKA, residents have the ability to book our shared common areas and amenities, like our cinema,” Friedman says.


Source:  Forbes

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Why Some Retailers Are Thriving, Not Dying, During COVID-19

The potential demise of retail has been a topic of discussion ever since the Sears catalog took aim at brick-and-mortar stores in the 1890s. One hundred years later, e-commerce came along with another business model that challenged traditional retail. But we have never seen anything with the same impact—sudden, rapid and harsh—on the sector as COVID-19. That said, while COVID-19 impacted the sector swiftly, we don’t believe it has materially changed the longer-term trajectory of retail. Instead, it has simply accelerated the evolution of the industry. While the pandemic has had widely divergent effects across the different retail sub-sectors, overall retailers that have continued to adapt and innovate are proving most resilient.

Essential vs. Non-Essential Retail

Over the course of the pandemic, there has been an obvious bifurcation between essential and non-essential retail. While it is up to individual cities and states to define what businesses fall into each category, those deemed non-essential—apparel retailers, salons, gyms, and movie theaters, for example—were temporarily shut down across much of the U.S. due to COVID-19. On the other hand, businesses believed to be essential to daily life, including grocers, home improvement stores, pharmacies, banks and gas stations, were allowed to remain open.

Yet even within these two broad categories, we have witnessed different trends emerge as retailers learn to adapt in order to stay resilient. It is through these emerging trends that we can see how the pandemic may transform, rather than destroy retail.

Trend 1. Clear winners: grocery stores.

Grocery stores have done extraordinarily well since COVID-19 erupted, and it is not simply because they were allowed to stay open. COVID-19 revealed what is truly necessary in people’s lives. Consumer priorities shifted to focus on basic needs, and consequently, grocery stores have seen a huge uptick in sales. Additionally, many consumers who once ate at restaurants regularly   are still not comfortable eating out due to the increased risk of exposure to COVID-19. They have been and continue to eat more food prepared at home, and as a result, as of the second quarter of 2020, grocery store’ sales had risen 12.4% year-over-year.[1] While this percentage reflects a combination of in-store and online sales, there is mounting evidence that the vast majority of consumers have and will continue to visit brick-and-mortar stores with grocery store visits rising by 14% during the height of the stay-at-home orders.[2]

Additionally, grocery stores are expected to continue to perform well beyond the pandemic. This segment of the retail sector continues to be resilient to e-commerce, even during COVID-19, and is ingrained in the daily patterns of consumers’ lives. Online grocery delivery, or e-grocery, has lagged in recent years due to the narrow margins that prevent retailers from covering the cost of delivery to consumers. The high delivery costs, combined with consumers preferring to choose their own groceries and their dissatisfaction with a two-hour delivery window, has led to a very small market share for e-grocery. Even if the e-grocery market share were to double in 2020 because of COVID-19, it would still only account for 6% of all grocery sales.[3]

Trend 2. The magnification of the omni-channel experience.

Consumers have shown they want to choose their shopping experience: buy in-store or order online; get home delivery or pick up in-store, at a locker or curbside; return by mail, in-store or through a third party. As a result, resilient retailers are focusing on the infrastructure, systems and technology to make this omni-channel shopping more efficient and less expensive — and maintaining a brick-and-mortar presence is proving to be an important aspect in this transformation. Many successful retailers are using brick-and-mortar stores to fulfill online orders and are also accepting the return of goods purchased online, revamping the traditional physical store to better satisfy consumer needs.

Savvy retailers are also accelerating their innovations in store locations, formats, layouts, branding and marketing, supporting the idea that brick-and- mortar shopping is not going away — it’s just evolving. Not surprisingly, Amazon is leading this trend as it opened its first grocery store independent of Whole Foods in 2020. Shoppers that have the option of using traditional carts or smart shopping carts which detect products and charge customers’ Amazon accounts, and windows will be available for online pick up and returns, combining aspects of online and traditional shopping.[4]

A brick-and-mortar presence is proving to be more valuable as the most resilient retailers focus on a more efficient and less expensive omni-channel experience.

Trend 3. Retailers are reopened and paying rent again.

In April 2020, the real estate industry saw a spike in the number of requests   for rent relief due to COVID-19. But even then, there were divergent situations among retailers given mandatory closures, in particular. Rent collections in April, at the start of the pandemic, for essential retailers such as grocery tenants were at 99%; for home improvement, they were at 93%, and for other essential retail, they stood at 90%.[5] In contrast, two of the major public shopping mall real estate investment trusts (REITs) reported collections of just 26%-51% as their concentration of non-essential apparel and entertainment tenants suffered during the pandemic.[6]

By the second quarter of 2020, many of the retailers most affected by the pandemic had resumed making rent payments as nearly all mandated closures were lifted. Overall, the second quarter’s rent collection outpaced predictions with 72% of all retailers making payments vs. the 60% expectation. [7] July 2020 saw 95% of essential retailers paying rent – grocery stores, home improvement stores and other essential retail continued to lead the way with 99%, 96% and 95% collections, respectively.[7]

However, only 54% of non-essential businesses were back to paying rents again.[7] While certain of the hardest hit retailers are still seeking rent relief, with fewer temporary closures than at the onset of COVID-19, most retailers are gaining some footing.

Trend 4. Landlords are supporting retailers.

Many landlords are mobilizing to provide operational assistance for retailers on a tenant-by-tenant basis and by providing hands-on support beyond rent relief. Landlords have helped organize curbside pickup programs at retail properties to help smaller retailers that don’t have the resources to set up their own programs. Hand-sanitizing stations throughout all common areas, along with six-feet-apart reminders and floor decals, help build shoppers’ sense of safety. Additionally, transforming common areas, sidewalks or parking lots for tenant use, such as holding outdoor exercise workouts in grassy areas or using parking lots for al fresco dining, have helped tenants that have endured the most significant challenges attract customers and generate revenue.


Retail’s Resilience Provides Reasons for Optimism

While COVID-19 has dramatically altered countless aspects of daily life, the retail sector has demonstrated its resiliency and we expect this to continue into 2021.

We believe brick-and-mortar stores will continue to be an essential piece of the overall retail model as physical locations help retailers connect with consumers even in the midst of a pandemic — from in-store shopping, to convenient store pick-up options, to efficient last-mile delivery. As consumer behavior continues to evolve, retailers are likely to continue to prioritize high-quality, well-located shopping centers that are in close proximity to residential communities and that are already a part of consumers’ shopping patterns. Grocery-anchored neighborhood centers, for example, represent a powerful repositioning strategy.


Source:  GlobeSt.

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With JPMorgan And Goldman Sachs, Miami Could Become ‘Wall Street South’

Elon Musk just moved to Texas, but guess who’s (reportedly) moving to South Florida? Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen and the asset management division of Goldman Sachs. Those are the boldface names announced in news reports last week alone.

The New York Post recently reported that JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is open to moving his bank to Florida, too, a move he formerly resisted because he said the schools weren’t good enough.

Miami has been dubbed “Wall Street South” since at least 1990.

In the past year or three, the migration of high-profile business to Miami, and to Florida more broadly, has gained steam. There’s no income tax and the politics are perceived as business-friendly. But the state struggles to fund education, environmental protections and mass transit. There’s also climate change, sea-level rise and saltwater intrusion to consider.

Starwood Property Trust is building a new headquarters at 2340 Collins Ave. in Miami Beach and CEO Barry Sternlicht settled in as a city resident in 2018. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn this summer moved Icahn Enterprises from New York City to the Milton Tower, located at 16690 Collins Ave. in Sunny Isles Beach, just north of Miami Beach. Chicago’s Ken Griffin just dropped $37M for property on exclusive Star Island and there are rumors that his firm, Citadel, will relocate nearby.

By publicly bragging about leaving “dead” New York for Miami, entrepreneur James Altucher sparked a fight over the Big Apple that put Jerry Seinfeld on the defensive. Miami is also becoming a hub for Black startup entrepreneurs: tech investor and Founders Fund partner Keith Rabois recently said he would move to Miami, with the fund opening a small office there.

Further north, hedge funds have been migrating to Palm Beach County. Tennis superstar Serena Williams has lived in Palm Beach Gardens for years, and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian Sr., recently bragged on Twitter that people were following him.

Further upstate, Fisher Investments opened an office in Tampa, a city that billionaire Jeff Vinik has been championing for years. He’s building a massive development there with Bill Gates’ Cascade Investments.

According to Bloomberg, 20 bankers with Moelis & Co. told boss Ken Moelis they wanted to move to Florida, and he is allowing it. Moelis & Co. is saving about $30M a year since the company pivoted to Zoom meetings over in-person ones during the coronavirus pandemic.

Business development groups like the Downtown Development Authority and Beacon Council in Miami and the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County have helped grease such moves by identifying and bundling incentives.

There’s one billionaire, however, willing to put the kibosh on the hype: real estate investor Jeff Greene.

“This whole idea that financial services, like hedge funds, are going to be this huge jobs creator is ridiculous,” Greene told the Palm Beach Post. “You’ve got hedge funds that come down with six people and they make a big deal that we need all these office towers for them, and we don’t.”

For instance, Miami Beach recently called for office developers to put new Class-A buildings on city-owned surface parking lots. This angered some residents who feel that the city caters to wealthy developers and newcomers while ignoring the needs of the middle class.

Greene has tempered real estate hype in the past. Speaking on a Bisnow panel in 2018, Greene cautioned that low interest rates and an abundance of capital were leading to overbuilding, while Florida workers were largely low-paid.

Greene told the Post last week that Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon told him the company may move outside of New York, but no location is decided.

“I think some will come down here, they will try it out, move a few people and see if more people come, but I think the idea that every hedge fund is leaving New York City and moving to Palm Beach is just silly,” Greene said. “We will always be a service economy and there is nothing wrong with that.”


Source:  Bisnow

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Mango’s Owner Lists South Beach Assemblage

An assemblage of South Beach properties, including the home of Mango’s Tropical Cafe on Ocean Drive, hit the market unpriced.

The properties include 900 Ocean Drive and 909, 919 and 929 Collins Avenue in the Art Deco Historic District, according to the listing. David Wigoda and Lee Ann Korst of CBRE have the listing. The assemblage spans just under 1 acre.

David Wallack, longtime operator of Mango’s, owns the 20,000-square foot building on Ocean Drive, constructed in 1952. The Wallack family has owned the building for more than 60 years. Mango’s opened about 30 years ago.

Wallack and his son, Josh, have secured an option for the three Collins Avenue properties and now seek proposals to buy and redevelop the entire assemblage.

So far developers from across the world have expressed interest, Wallack said. He believes that local business owners and local political leaders are ready for a new development in the area. But it may take time.

“Beginning is the most important thing,” Wallack told The Real Deal. “We’re looking to create new excitement internationally. We want this development to reach the next level.”

Wallack declined to give a desired price for the assemblage, saying that he is open to various ideas for the property, even if they don’t include Mango’s or result in a new concept for the cafe.

The 6,000-square-foot building at 909 Collins is owned by a company managed by Isaac L. Ursztein, according to records. The company bought the building in 2010 for $2.6 million. The building was built in 1925.

The building at 919 Collins is owned by a company managed by Kathleen Rampaul of Staten Island. The 8,000-square-foot building was built in 1924. The company bought the building for $7.1 million in 2017, records show.

The 8,000-square-foot building at 929 Collins is owned by an investment group with ties to Julio R. Marques Gonzalez, Alejandro Gonzalez, Freddy Alvarado Lopez, Isabel Vives, Enrique Barton, Maria Emilia Salvador Barton, Alejandro Isava, Rafael Isava and Ana Alejandra Isava. Barton is a licensed real estate broker with Met 21 Group, according to records and his LinkedIn profile. The group bought the building, constructed in 1934, for $2 million in 2009.

Earlier this year, Mango’s was part of a group of local restaurants to receive money through the federal Paycheck Protection Program program.

Other proposed projects nearby in Miami Beach include Michael Shvo’s plans to add a residential tower behind the landmark Raleigh Hotel.


Source:  The Real Deal

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Royal Palm Cos. To Develop 50-Story Mixed-Use Tower In Downtown Miami

Royal Palm Cos. has acquired a nearly two-acre land parcel at 942 Northeast First Avenue in Downtown Miami with plans to develop Legacy Hotel & Residences, a 50-story mixed-use tower with 274 residences and a 256-room hotel. The property is part of Miami Worldcenter, a $4 billion, 27-acre mixed-use development in Downtown Miami.

The transaction includes 66,656 square feet of developable land.

Legacy Hotel & Residences will feature a members-only international business lounge, Singapore-inspired cantilevered pool, downtown Miami’s largest hotel pool deck, a 100,000-square-foot medical and wellness center and microLUXE residences. The project’s signature amenity will be the city’s first enclosed rooftop atrium, taking up the top seven floors of the tower.

Robert Given, Troy Ballard and James Quinn of Cushman & Wakefield represented the seller, Miami Worldcenter Associates, in the transaction.


Source:  Connect Media

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Resilient Multifamily Sector Holding Strong During Pandemic

The multifamily sector has long held strong against uncertainty and economic swings, and the Covid-19 pandemic has proven to be no exception. While investors may shift toward new product classes during the current downturn, multifamily as a whole continues to offer an attractive option for both private investors and institutions seeking protection from economic storms.

Why Investors Like Multifamily During Uncertain Times

Because people always need housing, multifamily properties historically perform better than other commercial real estate classes. In contrast to office and retail, which ebb and flow dramatically with supply-and-demand cycles, multifamily typically remains stable and often continues to grow when other parts of the market constrict.

In addition, demand for rentals has continued to grow over the past several years. Individuals and families, young professionals and baby boomers make up a growing renter demographic that spans generations and income levels. While many people rent out of necessity, a growing number of renters have chosen that option for the flexible and community-oriented lifestyle it offers. That trend has opened up a wide opportunity pool for properties across multifamily classes, from A-class luxury to C-class workforce housing.

An October 2020 report from Newmark Knight Frank describes Covid-19 as an accelerant for buyers preferring defensive property types including multifamily. The pandemic also enhanced targeting cities where there is room to grow — like less densely populated metros.

The report also points out that in the absence of for-sale opportunities in the industrial market, multifamily offers investors an attractive option due to its high level of liquidity. Data in that report supports the draw as multifamily investment sales volume accounted for 34.3% of CRE volume between April and August 2020 — a period with significant pandemic lockdown orders and business limitations or closures across the country.

How Covid-19 Impacted Multifamily Investment

An accelerated move toward suburban areas might become the most striking shift sparked by the pandemic. Although we have seen that trend in action for several years, the realities of social distancing appear to favor communities with less density and more features to meet the needs of renters not only working from home but spending more time there in general.

The report from Newmark Knight Frank bears out that shift, with data showing that 65.4% of multifamily property investment between April and August went to garden-style apartments. Newmark Knight Frank also points out that investors who typically place capital in safe haven-type markets are now open to suburban areas as a result of potential concerns generated by the pandemic — overcrowding and mass transit.

Throughout the pandemic slowdown, rent collections and occupancy rates have remained high in the sector. As of November 20, 90.3% of renters had paid rent in full or in part, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council’s Rent Tracker. That number sits only 1.6% below the same period last year. In a time of employment fluctuations and uncertainty, those figures paint a hopeful picture.

As of November, occupancy rates in urban core apartment towers sat at 92.7% compared to middle-market Class B properties, like garden-style or low-rise properties, which show an occupancy rate of 95.8%.

Gateway cities, such as San Francisco, New York and Seattle, have seen spikes in lease-originations; however, many of these new leases are existing renters who have been lured to new properties or units by pandemic-related concessions. Sun Belt cities have not experienced the same flight patterns among renters.

Investment Outlook

During Covid-19, mostly private investors have made moves in multifamily, but large investors have indicated their preference for multifamily and industrial moving into the last quarter of the year and for 2021. Newmark Knight Frank expects a $205 billion influx from the institutional side, which now sits in closed-end real estate funds. They report an expected $80 billion has been earmarked for the remaining two months of 2020.

As a private developer, the focus at my company for many years has been three- or four-story, surface-parked, garden-style multifamily properties in suburban submarkets of major cities in the Southeast and Texas. That experience has provided a lot of anecdotal data for assessing how the pandemic’s impact on the investment outlook. There are a few trends my company noted in 2020, based on the property portfolio it holds.

My company has maintained collections close to 98% across our multifamily portfolio, which aligns with the national numbers noted above. New development lease-up activity remains strong with levels unchanged from before the pandemic while many applications come from residents moving into our market from other states. My company — and others — offer concessions similar to those offered in other markets to encourage leasing, but they are coupled with steady rent growth. Buyer activity continues as does cap rate compression in our space — all while the region experienced supply constraints as a result of pandemic-induced cost increases in new development.

Both private and institutional investors continue to show interest in multifamily properties. As a result, I believe we can be optimistic about this asset class. Consumer behaviors and property performance in the midst of an uncertain economy as a result of the pandemic show this class as an important one. There may even be room for further demand growth as the impacts from the pandemic cool.


Source:  Forbes

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The Pandemic’s Impact On Health Care Design: Smaller, Flexible Spaces With Great Adaptability

The pandemic rocked U.S. health care facilities in 2020, leaving them with falling revenue from moneymaking surgeries and ordinary care as physicians and nurses shifted their attention toward patients infected with the coronavirus.

But the real change will come three to four years from now, when the impact of new designs implemented on existing and new healthcare facilities are deployed based on what architects and physicians have learned over the past nine months.

“Health care clients are already shifting their focus and asking for smaller footprints and more space flexibility along with additional isolated, negative air pressure rooms,” said Architect and EYP principal Miranda Morgan, while speaking at Bisnow‘s ‘The Future of DFW Healthcare’ webinar. “The smaller footprints are just more efficient and lean. We are still providing everything that is needed, and we are still doing big huge patient towers. But instead of big luxury, patient rooms, clients are asking us to be closer to code and to get what you need in that space and provide the patient with a good experience, but don’t go overboard.”

A large focus of future design will be on keeping healthy and sick patients separate rather than feeding everyone through the same access points and maneuvering the same hallways. Luxurious common areas have lost some favor as health care systems shift toward making sure more rooms are available to isolate emergency care and hospital inpatients while also better managing various points of access to segregate healthy and sick populations on-site.

“We are examining the way patients flow through the facilities,” said Dwain Thiele, UT Southwestern Medical Centersenior associate dean. “Some of the most challenging are imaging facilities or places that previously did not have a large amount of space, hallways or waiting rooms. It is something we will be looking at in the future.”

“What we have seen through the pandemic from a needs standpoint is more access points for people to be seen and to have access whether through telehealth or smaller, faster clinics where people can get in and out,” Transwestern National Managing Director of Healthcare John Huff said. “I guess we realize we don’t all want to sit in a huge long waiting room for an hour.”

In the future, waiting rooms very well could be a thing of the past, with that square footage allocated to more isolated treatment rooms, health care experts said.

“Other trends here to stay include the ongoing push for more outpatient care centers and ambulatory facilities that can take care of non-life-threatening illnesses while hospitals are hit with pandemics,” Huff said.

“Technology also will play a significant role in reshaping the future of health care, with telemedicine, or remote health care visits, allowing hospitals to keep healthier patients away from pandemic-stricken areas,” Methodist Health System Chief Operating Officer Pamela Stoyanoffsaid. “I would say prior to COVID, we probably saw about 1% of visits in the outpatient setting with telehealth. In April and May, when we saw the first surge, we were probably up to 80% to 90% of our visits. When some of the restrictions lifted, telehealth usage dropped back down to 15%, but it’s expected to have a place in the future of health care services. It is now a massive part of what we do, and it is here to stay.”


Source: Bisnow

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Related Group Proposes Apartments, Retail, Office In Wynwood

The Related Group is requesting approval of a mixed-use project in the Wynwood Arts District of Miami.

The city’s Wynwood Design Review Committee will consider the plans by PRN N Miami LLC, an affiliate of Miami-based Related Group, for the 2.18-acre site at 2150 N. Miami Ave. and 38 N.W. 22nd St. The land is separated by North Miami Avenue, so the project would have two buildings.

The project would total 860,880 square feet with two buildings of 12 stories each. They would combine for 317 apartments, 22,700 square feet of retail, 60,400 square feet of offices and 534 parking spaces.


Source:  SFBJ

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