By Darcie Lunsford
Corporate heavyweights looking to lighten their real estate load in South Florida include Washington Mutual, Lydian Trust Co., Agilysys, Hewlett-Packard, Morgan Stanley, the Falcone Group, Colonial Bank, IBM and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The current parade of belt-tightening companies are trampling South Florida’s softening office market with 2.7 million square feet of sublets, according to CB Richard Ellis research data.
These sublets and shadow space – which includes space not officially on the market, but expected to be so soon – are driving South Florida commercial vacancy rates to their highest levels since the dot-com bust and post-Sept. 11 wipeout.
“I think the shadow space out there really skews the market,” said John Jaspert, a tenant representative with CB Richard Ellis. “I have never had more subleases on my plate than I do right now.”
“He said the uncertain economy has firms scrutinizing their real estate requirements. Sometimes, the decision is made before a firm even moves in. The Falcone Group, a privately held Boca Raton-based real estate and communications conglomerate, retained Jaspert in late November to sublet its never-occupied, 19,272-square-foot headquarters in the new Boca Village Corporate Center. “It is absolutely gorgeous. It is pretty opulent,” Jaspert said of the fully built-out office. “They are dealmakers, so they will get aggressive [with pricing].”
With fewer tenants looking for space, millions of square feet of new space in the pipeline, rising vacancy and mounting sublets, competition for rent-paying companies is steep, real estate brokers say. “The pendulum has swung from early summer, when it was a landlord market to being a strong tenants’ market,” said Diana Parker, a Miami-based office broker with Cushman & Wakefield.
Sublets compete with space being marketed directly by a landlord. But, rates on this unwanted space is often cheaper by 30 percent or more.. READ MORE!
By Bill Frogameni and Oscar Pedro Musibay
Without a competitive bid, Miami-Dade County commissioners gave Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning’s charity a lease on 7 acres of county land in downtown Miami, where he and partners plan affordable rental housing.
Some commissioners questioned the deal, alluding to scandals that in recent years led to a federal takeover of the county’s housing agency. Ultimately, however, the commission on Dec. 2 voted 12-1 in favor of the resolution.
AMC is partnering with Coconut Grove-based Housing Trust Group (HTG), a for-profit developer partially controlled by former CB Richard Ellis Vice Chairman Jay Massirman.
Massirman declined comment and referred questions to HTG Executive VP Shawn Wilson.
The partners will lease the land, in Miami’s Overtown neighborhood, for $1 a year for 65 years. AMC, which has never done a project of this kind, is to control the 190-unit development.
The project’s two buildings will target both the elderly and families. Ninety-five of the two- and three-bedroom units would be reserved for families with an income at or below 60 percent of the county’s adjusted median income. Elderly residents will have to meet the same income criteria to qualify for the 95 planned one-bedroom units. READ MORE!