Tenants and Investors Seeking Value in Suburban Locations

We recently attended a presentation by The Real Deal about the Miami Commercial Real Estate Market in 2013: Beyond Downtown. Pointe Group Advisors hosted the event on the rooftop of the Miami green building– the first green office building in Miami. Besides it being a spectacular Miami morning, it was a pleasant surprise to learn about how well the Miami submarkets are doing. Mainly because of the high prices of the central business district (CBD) and Brickell and the desire for more enjoyable and shorter commutes to work, tenants and investors alike are seeking value in suburban locations.

Upcoming Projects in Coconut Grove, Wynwood

Noel Steinfeld of Jones Lang LaSalle discussed two large new tenants for the revitalized Streets of Mayfair in Coconut Grove and cited only a 4% office occupancy rate there — just about the lowest in the greater Miami area. Pointe Group has invested heavily in the area and William Holly pointed out that Coconut Grove is really the only undeveloped pocket left between as far north as the Biscayne corridor and as far south as Pinecrest/Kendall. The Scotty’s landing and marina RFP was recently released by the City of Miami seeking more development and the convention center will soon be demolished.

Another area receiving a lot of attention was Wynwood/ Design District/ Upper East Side. Citing the lack of affordable artist and larger retail space due to mind boggling rents in the Design District, Tony Cho continues to be extremely bullish on the expansion of this entire area. Many of the panelists agreed and would invest their own money in the area.

Doral, North and Health District

The other market which has been on fire the last couple of years is Doral. Speaker Tere Blanca has done several large deals there—both sales and leasing—for many well-known investors such as The Related Group, The Miami Herald, Shoma Homes and New Boston Fund. Real estate veteran Armando Codina is a very active residential developer in Doral.

Ken Krasnow, Managing Direcor of CBRE, pointed to the north, citing all of the activity north of Biscayne including the Biscayne Landing Project, Sunny Isles and Aventura.

Finally, we are involved in several projects in the Health District, including Wexford Miami’s development of the University of Miami Life Science & Technology Park, Swerdlow’s Civica and the recently filed application for the River Landing site. But as one of the largest health districts in the country, it is an area that needs affordable housing, hotels and retail options, which are currently grossly lacking. The unique location of the Health District – close to downtown and connected by major transportation – makes it ripe for development.

The bottom line is, now more than ever it is time to focus investment opportunities in these little gems outside of the CBD and Brickell.