Increased Costs Shifting South Florida Apartment Construction

ConstructionAt the Miami Finance Forum’s recent panel discussion regarding the current status of South Florida commercial real estate, panelist commercial developers stated they are responding to strong tenant demand across all sectors. While all agree that the South Florida commercial real estate market, and especially multifamily rental, has appreciated substantially since the recession, the debate among experts centers around the question of whether the market has peaked, or still has some runway. The response to this question varies by expert and can be segmented into particular asset subclasses or geographic submarkets. Notwithstanding, no panelist categorized the market as recessionary. Instead, they view the market as a stable plateau after sustained significant year-over-year appreciation.

A large portion of the discussion focused on multifamily rentals. In regards to multifamily, the market drivers for apartments are at opposite ends of the generational spectrum. Apartment-development flow continues to be driven by two demographic sectors. The first are millennials, who in the post-recession environment face a credit crunch and cannot afford to yet achieve their dreams of suburbia. In addition to millennials, baby boomers are also driving the market as they no longer want the hassle of maintaining a home. Continue Reading

eMerge Welcomes Guests with Iconic Opening Reception

eMergeLast night was a buzz at the opening reception for the 3rd annual eMerge conference located at the iconic 1111 Lincoln Road garage. The attendees enjoyed food, drinks and music, but the real discussion centered on the provocative content scheduled over the next two days. Some examples include emerging markets and entrepreneurship in Cuba and technology in transportation.

The list of speakers reads like a “who’s who” and is likewise as innovative and diverse as the content itself featuring, Colin Powell, Monica Lewinsky, Tony Hawks, and fan favorites like Pitbull. The events will include the closing of the Nasdaq bell, as well as a Hackathon and Startup Showcase. The conference, with a record number of attendees that exceeded its cap of 13,000, is in line to top lasts years successes. We look forward to continue our reporting of the conference.

eMerge Americas 2016 is Nearly Here

On April 18th and 19th, eMerge Americas will host its third annual technology conference. Last year, the conference welcomed more than 10,000 attendees and 500 companies from more than 50 countries. As stated on Business Wire,

“Entering its third year, eMerge Americas is working to meet and exceed expectations for 2016. The event will once again deliver on its distinct and comprehensive content, bringing together the world’s most disruptive thinkers across diverse industries under one roof.”

eMergeThis year’s conference promises more than 400 participating companies, 125 speakers from around the globe, 110 startups in the Startup Showcase, and over 120 international journalists present to cover the action.

Once again, the world-class keynote speakers are impressive in both their depth and range. As Julian Castro, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, has stated, “there aren’t many events that feature both PitBull and Deepak Chopra in the same forum.” This year’s keynote speakers promise to not disappoint. Continue Reading

The Sky is the Limit

MiamiMiami’s ever-changing skyline is set for its biggest upgrade yet. With the Federal Aviation Administration’s recent decision to allow buildings in Miami to reach a height of 1,049 feet above sea level, One Brickell City Centre is expected to surpass the Four Seasons Hotel and Tower to become the tallest building, not only in Miami, but in the entire state of Florida.

One Brickell City Centre, a Swire Properties project, will be located on Brickell Avenue, adjacent to SW 8th Street. The centerpiece of the second phase of development of Brickell City Centre, the plan is for the new landmark to be a mixed-use skyscraper with retail shops, office space, a hotel, and condominium units.  Continue Reading

Miami-Dade County Takes P3 Reform Further After Florida Passes New P3 Legislation

LegislationAfter months in several Florida House and Senate committees, the State Legislature finally passed two related bills that were both signed by the Governor at the end of April. Importantly, the first bill, SB 124, establishes uniform processes for public entities to enter into P3 agreements. The second bill, SB 126, creates an exemption for unsolicited P3 proposals under the Public Records Act.

The ideas and policies expounded in these new laws originated from a task force appointed by the Florida legislature. The task force was charged with recommending guidelines to create a uniform P3 process throughout the State.

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U.S. P3 Market is Ripe for Growth

P3With an aging infrastructure and government budgetary shortfalls, the public private partnership (“P3”) has evolved from novel, to an ever more viable option in order to finance civic projects. The larger and more complex the project, the more attractive P3 becomes as an option projects that may normally be too large or economically unattractive without both private and government involvement to share risks and costs.

P3’s have now arguably reached the critical mass necessary to encourage private companies to design products to address the unique needs of P3’s. For example, to accommodate the continued paradigm shift toward P3 projects, AIG recently created a product to address insurance liability issues unique to P3’s.  Insurance issues are arguably one of the more difficult and nuanced components of P3 projects.  This is just one small but critical example where increased P3 activity is justifying creation of products to support and contribute to the P3 market, thus making each project more efficient than the last. Continue Reading

Miami 2016 Retail Renaissance

Bilzin Sumberg Real Estate Partner, Adam Lustig, will be moderating on a panel discussing Miami’s hot retail market.skyscrapers

According to Bisnow, “With strong demand drivers in place, developers are anxious to capitalize on the city’s retail market, as evidenced by the 1.4 million square feet of new space scheduled for construction within the next three years.”

Panelists include Steven Gretenstein, COO of DACRA; Debora Overholt, VP of Retail, Swire Properties; Jessica Goldman Strebnick, CEO of Goldman Properties; Seth Gadinsky, Owner of Gadinsky Real Estate;  Jason Shapiro, Managing Director of Aztec Group; Anthony Graziano, Senior Managing Director of Integra Realty Resources; and Beverly Raphael, President & CEO of RCC Associates, Inc.

The presentation will focus on how to capitalize on the city’s retail market as well as new development and investment activity.

The program will take place at the Intercontinental Miami, and will begin with breakfast and networking at 7:30am.

Please click here for more information.

An Update on U.S.-Cuba Sanction Relations, CLE Program

CubaBilzin Sumberg Litigation Associate, Yasmin Fernandez-Acuna, spoke on a CLE panel with the Black Asian Latino Law Students Association (BALLSA) Alumni Group of Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, on the topic of US-Cuba Sanction Relations.

Other panelists included Erich Ferrari, Founder and Principal of Ferrari & Associates P.C.; Peter Kucik, Principal of Inle Advisory Group and Former Senior Sanctions Policy Adviser of the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC); and Cardozo Alumni Fred Springer, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer of CIT Group. The moderator was Parvin Aminoroaya, Associate at Seeger Weiss LLP. Continue Reading

What Cuba Wants From Investors

CubaAmerican investors have made their way into Cuba. Just this week, the U.S. Treasury Department has approved the first significant U.S. business investment in Cuba since 1959: the Oggun tractor factory. This plant represents a $5 million to $10 million investment by an American company in Cuba.

Both countries seem serious about moving their recently-resurrected commercial relationship forward. The U.S. and Cuba have entered into an agreement to resume commercial flights between the two countries the same week Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Investments, along with other officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cuba’s Central Bank, and the Cuban Chamber of Commerce, have come to meet with the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to discuss how the two countries could further bilateral commercial relations.

While the focus of politicians’ rhetoric and scholars’ analysis has been on either what Americans are allowed to do, or on what Americans should want to do in Cuba, attention should be paid to what Cuba wants from its investors. Continue Reading

Shared Office Space – The “Uber” of Commercial Real Estate?

Office-Space_shutterstock_327359975The new sharing economy is changing the way business has traditionally been done across industries. The commercial real estate industry is no exception. Just like Uber and Lyft have disrupted the hired car industry and Airbnb is upsetting the hospitality industry, the trend of coworking, or shared office space, is revolutionizing commercial real estate.

Cosharing is changing the face of the traditional office

Cosharing is the wave of the future. In fact, some say it has already become a fixture in the commercial real estate market. The numbers are impressive. For example, in June of 2015, WeWork, New York City’s largest commercial real estate tenant and a leader in the coworking space, received a valuation of $10 billion. A recent survey of over 200 major commercial real estate organizations found that 40% are considering coworking spaces. There has been a proliferation of cosharing spaces and enablers in the United States, Europe and Asia. Continue Reading