Major P3 Real Estate Development Opportunities in Downtown Miami

construction conceptOn March 7, the Miami-Dade County Mayor will be presenting a report to the Board of County Commissioners on County-owned properties in downtown Miami that are ripe for joint development with the private sector. The upshot: the County has at least nine properties, totaling 22.7 acres of land, that can support over 20 million square feet of new development.  Through public-private partnerships (P3s) with developers, the County could leverage these properties to acquire new public facilities and generate new revenues.

Due to the massive development potential of these properties, and the flexibility of the P3 model, the County can have its cake and eat it too. The County could, for example, enter into an agreement with a private developer to design, construct, and operate a new public facility on one of these properties–at no cost to the County–and pay the developer with the remaining development rights (for example, a private office tower built on top of a new public building).  Under the right circumstances, the County could also receive rent payments, either fixed or a share of revenues, for the private development. Continue Reading

Opportunity to Extend Development Orders and Permits for Almost 16 Months

Developers must notify issuing governmental agency by July 10th to receive a new extension

f53a99d0-21f3-453c-a62b-ec7eaca19938Miami Sklyine 1Holders of permits and development orders have the opportunity to toll the period remaining to exercise rights under the permit or order for nearly 16 months. Section 252.363 of the Florida Statutes permits a tolling of development orders and permits upon the declaration of a state of emergency by the Florida Governor. The statute provides that the tolling lasts throughout the state of emergency, plus an additional 6 months.

On June 23, 2016, Governor Scott declared a State of Emergency in response to the Zika Virus. Because each declared state of emergency can last for only 60 days, the Governor has since extended the Zika Virus State of Emergency four times, with the most recent extension occurring on February 10, 2017. Thus, the total duration of the Zika Virus State of Emergency is 292 days. Continue Reading

Miami-Dade County Commission Approves Incentive-Driven Workforce Housing Ordinance

0120 Incentive-Driven Workforce Housing Ordinance FacebookOn December 20, 2016, the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners approved an Ordinance proposed by Commissioner Barbara Jordan that provides incentives for builders to offer workforce housing units in new developments within the County. The Ordinance addresses the oft-discussed countywide housing affordability crisis by motivating developers to set aside units for families earning 60 percent to 140 percent of the County’s $48,100 median income.

Commissioner Jordan explained that the purpose of the Ordinance is to provide housing units to police officers, teachers, millennials entering the workforce, and other individuals with similar incomes so that they can live closer to the workplace.  Consequently, shorter driving commutes for individuals living closer to their jobs benefit the County as a whole. Shorter commutes translate into decreased traffic congestion, promote neighborhood diversity, and help local employers attract and retain good employees. Continue Reading

Government Contracts Increasingly Further Labor-Policy Goals

0110 Government Contracts Labor PolicyThis past year, the federal government implemented a variety of rules requiring that its contractors meet certain fair-labor requirements.  For example, a federal rule finalized in September requires federal contractors to provide their employees with up to 56 hours of paid sick leave, and another new rule, the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces Rule, permits the government to withhold contracts from firms that have violated labor laws.

Similarly, at the local level, new regulations impose greater labor obligations on government contractors than ever before.  For example, in June of this past year, Miami-Dade County adopted the “Employ Miami-Dade Program,” which requires that County construction contractors provide construction-labor employment and training opportunities to Miami-Dade residents.  This new program supplements several existing County fair-labor programs, including those that require its contractors to pay their workers a living wage and provide opportunities to local small businesses. Continue Reading

New Year’s Resolution: Miami Beach Transit

0109 Baylink Blog Social MediaAfter expediting the solicitation process for the Miami Beach light rail/modern streetcar project, the Miami Beach City Commission hit the brakes last month.  In response to concerns voiced by City residents, the Commission adopted a resolution requiring tangible commitments from Miami-Dade County for the downtown-beach transit connection before any public-private partnership (“P3”) for the Miami Beach transit project is finalized.

The City of Miami Beach selected the top-ranked proposer for the light rail P3, Greater Miami Tramlink Partners, in July of last year and has drafted an interim agreement awaiting final approval by the Mayor and Commission.  As proposed, the modern streetcars will run in a loop along Alton Road, 17th Street, Washington Avenue, and 5th Street, ultimately connecting to a County-controlled transit link to the mainland.   Continue Reading

Funding Mass Transit with Transit-Oriented Development

Since the earliest mass-transit systems, it has been understood that the property adjacent to train stations is particularly well-suited for dense mixed-use dMetromover speedevelopment.  People are willing to pay a premium for the convenience of living near public transportation, and since the goal of mass transit is to efficiently move people from where they live to where they work and back, it makes sense to build both housing and office developments adjacent to stations.  The contemporary term for this type of development is transit-oriented development, or TOD.

During the 1970s and 1980s, when the federal government funded new mass transit systems throughout the country (including here in Miami), there was an expectation that the cost of operating and maintaining the systems would be eventually covered by TOD and “value capture.”  In essence, the TOD would be added to the tax rolls, and the additional real estate taxes collected by local governments would cover the cost of running the trains.  In addition, the TOD would increase ridership (if more people live next to the station, more people will ride the train), and therefore increase revenues from passenger fares.  In fact, when Miami’s Metrorail system was designed in the late 1970s, Miami-Dade County adopted a new zoning ordinance for the property adjacent to the entire system specifically to facilitate new TOD in order to help fund the system.  Unfortunately, in both Miami and elsewhere throughout the country, many planned TODs were never built, and the transit systems have therefore been underutilized and underfunded.  Continue Reading

Amaducci-Adams Talks About Miami Market, Gender Equality in Miami Herald’s ‘Business Monday’ Section

Miami-shutterstock_67684273Suzanne Amaducci-Adams, leader of the Real Estate Practice Group at Bilzin Sumberg, frequently catches people by surprise when they hear that her group has closed on more than $2 billion in commercial real estate loans so far in 2016 despite what many describe as a Miami market that’s cooling down.

“When are people going to realize that Miami’s real estate market is much more diverse than condos?” Suzanne asked in The Miami Herald in its December 5 Business Monday section. “Arguably no other city in the country can boast as many high-profile, game-changing developments as Miami right now.”

Among other topics Suzanne touched on are what it is like to be a trailblazer for women in commercial real estate. She relayed a story to the Herald about her first closing 20 years ago. Continue Reading

Bilzin Sumberg Partner Calms Fears of Trump Hurting Miami Real Estate Market

SkyscrapersAttorney James W. Shindell, Real Estate chair at Bilzin Sumberg, has a message for those who believe Donald Trump’s presidential election will hurt Miami’s real estate market: The sky is not falling.

Shindell addressed concerns of a Trump presidency impacting the South Florida market in a recent Q&A interview published on Shindell said he doesn’t expect any long-term significant impact on Miami real estate.

“The real estate market is more susceptible to economic matters rather than political ones,” Shindell said.

I believe Miami will remain a destination market for Latin America. Miami is a gateway market on a clear upward trajectory.”

Furthermore, Shindell added that Trump could have a positive effect on the Miami market depending on his tax policies.

“Real estate would benefit from the proposed lower capital gains rates,” Shindell told GlobeSt. “If funds actually are put to improving infrastructure, it could provide opportunities for public-private partnership development.”

Bilzin Sumberg’s public-private partnership team has been the key legal representation on various multibillion-dollar P3s throughout Florida. In addition to Real Estate, Bilzin Sumberg’s core practices include Business Finance & Restructuring, Corporate, Environmental, International, Land Development & Government Relations, Litigation, and Tax.

Click here for the complete story.

Discover What’s Ahead for Miami’s Condo Market

Miami Condos 1Significant issues facing the residential real estate industry in the coming year will be the topic of discussion on Wednesday, November 30 at the Urban Land Institute Southeast Florida & Caribbean’s annual Miami Condo & Community Development Symposium.

Real Estate developers and investors from across the U.S. and Florida will be on hand to network, share best practices, discuss innovative ways of advancing the industry and discover how global influencers and local trailblazers are shaping our communities.

Continue Reading

Changes to Public Records Act Reshape Duties of Government Contractors

Public RecordsRecent amendments to Florida’s Public Records Act change a government contractor’s responsibilities under the Act in four ways:

(1) Public records requests must be made directly to the public agency and not the contractor.

(2) After a contract ends, contractors may either transfer all records to the public agency or keep and maintain the public records themselves.

(3) “Financial information” may, in certain cases, be exempt from disclosure under the Act.

(4) The statute clarifies when non-compliant contractors are responsible for attorney’s fees.

To learn more about the recent changes, please click here.