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Painted mural on one of the walls of the Trujillo and Sons food and beverage distribution center

Painted mural on one of the walls of the Trujillo and Sons food and beverage distribution center

Allapattah means alligator in Seminole indian language. This industrial area of Miami stands between the Airport expressway ( 112 ) and the Dolphin Expressway ( 836 ) and from NW 7 avenue ( a few blocks West of Wynwood ) to NW 27 avenue. Allapattah saw its first permanent settler in 1896. The neighborhood developed between 1896 and 1950 together with the growth of the Florida East Coast Railroad. One can notice many old railroad tracks crossing the roads. The area started welcoming African Americans in the 1960’s, as they were pushed away from their homes when interstate I-95 was being built. It also saw the arrival of many Cuban immigrants, leaving Cuba after the 1959 revolution. Immigrants from Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and Haiti arrived much later, in the 1980’s. Nowadays, Allapattah is a melting pot of residents and workers of the Caribbean, Central and South America. A growing number of white people are getting back to the area, as owners or managers of import-export of produce or meat, clothing manufacturing businesses or as real estate investors, purchasing warehouses at prices which are much more accessible than those of Wynwood or Doral and leasing them out to various tenants. These tenants work in the distribution, manufacturing, import-export or car repair industries. It is a working class neighborhood which hosts many warehouses. It is the heart of the produce, and food distribution such as for Trujillo and Sons Inc and Mr Greens Produce as well as clothing manufacturing businesses in Miami, low density multi-family buildings, and houses which were mostly built in the 1950’s. Allapattah offers a lot of affordable housing and is located just North of the Jackson and University of Miami medical centers. It is strategically located for a dot.com distribution center, storage center or refrigerated produce business since it is located close to major routes ( I-95, 112, 836 ) as well as the Miami River, Wynwood and Downtown.

warehouse in A

Warehouse in Allapattah

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Photo from gaebler.com

Photo from gaebler.com

I recently attended a presentation coordinated by CREW Miami at the Four Seasons hotel on Brickell Avenue. It was the “2015 economic update”, presented by Hugh F. Kelly, Clinical Professor in New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate, where he has taught for 30 years. According to his analysis, US cities which can offer a developing Downtown area as well as real estate assets based on rental income and long term increase in average property value are the ones that are currently attracting most investors as a time where stock markets are volatile. 366 million dollars where spent in buying commercial real estate in 2014 ( office buildings, multi-family buildings that have more than 4 units, warehouses, retail, shopping centers and land ). Twelve cities are included in the top list for commercial real estate sales in 2014 and Miami is one of them, together with cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Brooklyn and Washington. In the category of holding hotels as a real estate asset, Miami ranks first, Brooklyn is number 4 and, believe it or not, Manhattan is number 13. In the category of holding multi-family/ apartment buildings, Brooklyn appears as number 1 and Miami as number 9. When it comes to the retail market, Brooklyn ranks number 1, Miami number 2 and New York number 3.

Photo from under30ceo.com

Photo from under30ceo.com

Among the interesting ideas that I picked from this presentation, I also heard that Generation Y ( those born between 1977 and 1994 ) represent 160 million people in the United States, which is approximately half of the total US population.

According to William J. Schroer, who wrote on “www.socialmarketing.org”, Generation Y can be defined as ” The largest cohort since the Baby Boomers, their high numbers reflect their births as that of their parent generation..the last of the Boomer Is and most of the Boomer II s. Gen Y kids are known as incredibly sophisticated, technology wise, immune to most traditional marketing and sales pitches…as they not only grew up with it all, they’ve seen it all and been exposed to it all since early childhood.” Hugh F. Kelly says that Miami’s attractiveness to the 25-34 year old demographic is increasing and approaching New York levels, which is interesting as, according to him, this crowd was way below US national average in Miami until 2000. This trend is now reversing and exploding.

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photo (1)The 2014 Sotheby’s International Realty Global Networking Event took place last week, over 2.5 days at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. It was intense and even exhausting as I tried to maximize my networking opportunities with other Sotheby’s International Realty agents from all over the United Sates and the world, while attending presentations, lunches and dinners combined with the lack of sleep that these conventions usually come along with. it was also rejuvenating and empowering to meet with so many colleagues, all of them carrying the values of the same brand across the country and the five continents. I was told were 2,500…It was really pleasant to meet again or create great connections with agents and office managers from the New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Rio, Buenos Aires, Dubai, Hong Kong, Sydney, New Delhi, Paris, Courchevel, Geneva and Lisbon. The objective is to make connections with our peers across our planet in order to be able to offer global real estate services to our clients who usually have several properties in various cities and countries. It’s also much nicer to know the person I refer a buyer or a seller to. It helps offer a larger portfolio of services, including potential partnerships with the Sotheby’s auction house. These conventions also aim at reinforcing our attachment to the Sotheby’s and the Sotheby’s International Realty brands and our leadership and sales skills through a series of presentations and workshops.

Alfredo Gangotena, the recently appointed Chief Marketing officer for Sotheby’s, showed us the new advertising campaign video before it goes public. It is a gorgeous campaign; combining the 270 year legacy of the auction house with sounds and  images of  contemporary art and music. Sotheby’s recently chose TBWA London to create a new, elegant yet more thought-provoking global brand campaign as well as marketing material to support its art, jewelry, diamond, antique and wine auctions.  Also, it was announced that Sotheby’s will break into a more accessible market, reaching out to art collectors and life connoisseurs who are either younger or who do not necessarily belong to the ultra wealthy category by creating a partnership with Ebay. Sotheby’s will offer expanded auction opportunities for prints, photos, wines, etc…Also a new lifestyle magazine, “Art and Home”, will be launched. It will offer editorial content related to art, antiques, traveling, real estate and should become a great communication tool to link the real estate to the art businesses.

photoWendy Purvey, the Chief Marketing Officer for Sotheby’s International Realty, underlined the outstanding media partnerships which offer incomparable international exposure to our clients’ properties for sale : from he websites of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Bloomberg to Hong-Kong Tatler and The Daily Telegraph. She also mentioned that Sothebysrealty.com, the global real estate website of the company, has reached 1 million visit per month and Sothebys.com, the website of the auction house, is is leading source of traffic.

Keynote speaker was Pat Riley, former Miami Heat basketball team coach. He made a long and lively presentation of his own professional journey, giving out some inspiring advice about team work and leadership such as : ” Tell people who you are, where you come from and where you are going” or ” You need to show that you are seeking the best deal for everybody, that you want everyone to win.”

Simple but powerful words…

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Wynwood Paradise

I first started going to Wynwood back in 2006, when I was involved in participating in a couple of committees at MOCA, The Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, which had a second exhibition space , “Moca at the Goldman Warehouse ”  (  now the space for The Miami Light Project ) for a few years. No one around me would dare driving West of Biscayne Boulevard, North of Downtown Miami.

Then, some of the storage and distribution warehouses turned into art galleries and the Second Saturdays Wynwood Artwalks promoted the area, first to the local artists and their friends as well as to art lovers, then to the food trucks and to families looking for something cool to do one evening a month. After seven years, the area has become much more popular, a sort of Shoreditch ( London ) or MeatPacking District ( New York ) in the making, welcoming working spaces for start-ups, thick beard tech guys walking around, cafes, restaurants and shops such as Ducati and soon to open Nespresso Cafe. Bringing more life and shops to Wynwood is great except that as new brands are coming in and rents/sales prices are soaring, a new type of animal wants a piece of the cake and be part of this area:condominiums. It is undeniable that besides Cynergi Lofts, there is a total lack of residential options in the neighborhood. This is about to change with a few mixed-used buildings ( residential buildings featuring office or retail spaces on the first floor ) in the pipeline and the ongoing  rezoning of most of the area to allow for more retail spaces, parking and a higher housing density.

Is Wynwood going to lose its soul while buildings are arriving and some art galleries are not renewing their leases, being somehow pushed out by landlords asking for much higher rents  ?

Warehouse are teared down to build residential buildings

Warehouses are teared down to build mixed-use buildings

250 Wynwood and Wynwood Central are two of the residential buildings which are going to break down in the upcoming weeks. Bradley Carlson and David Polinsky, the developers behind 250 Wynwood, which first renderings for the architecture of the proposed building were recently published in The Miami Herald , will be building a boutique building at 250 NW 24 street. They claim to be concerned about keeping the character of Wynwood  alive by incorporating graffiti style artwork inside and outside the building via a partnership with gallerist Anthony Spinello and by offering an edgy architectural style. Central Wynwood will combine 69 rental residences, as well as retail and commercial spaces. However, New York developer David Edelstein is looking to get approval for the construction of a 264 unit condominium… In the meantime, quite a few investors and buyers in need of large warehouse and showroom spaces as well as artist studios and art galleries are moving out of Wynwood, where prices per square foot to lease or purchase are now more accessible.

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City Hall in Doral  ( Photo from footage.shutterstock.com )

City Hall in Doral
( Photo from footage.shutterstock.com )

As I was recently driving around Doral, I just could not believe how the city was changing, from being either a suburban area accommodating guests of the famous Trump National Golf championship golf course or an industrial zoned city to becoming a town where residents will live, work and play. Doral is transforming itself into an urban area, attracting a higher number of residents and investors who are getting tired of the soaring real estate purchase prices and rents in Brickell, Downtown Miami or Miami Beach.

Did you know that  Doral only has approximately 16,000 homes/condos when 200,000 people are currently working there every day ? This City hosts a brand new, contemporary-designed city hall, the headquarters of The Miami Herald, Carnival Cruise Lines and Univision as well as the regional offices of the Federal Reserve and  Pepsi Cola, amongst others. 

Future sidewalks and shops at Downtown Doral

Future sidewalks and shops at Downtown Doral

As I was driving by blocks of empty land, one after the other, I realized the magnitude of a real estate project currently being developed there.

 Downtown  Doral is a new, massive, 120-acre real estate project developed by Codina partners.

It will include several residential and office buildings, townhouses, a 3-acre public park featuring outdoor sculptures by artists John Henry and Michele Oka Doner, a K-5 charter school and a variety of shops and restaurants aligned along a few sidewalks. 5252 Paseo is the first residential building to be built, chosen designer is Adriana Hoyos ( who has a showroom in the Design District ) and groundbreaking is planned for this summer. Its asking prices range from $390,000 to $839,000 for 2 and 3 bedrooms and many units offer a view on the Doral golf course. The second residential building is being launched now. This is a great opportunity to own a newly built home close to one’s work place or a smart way to invest in an area that is more affordable than Brickell or  Miami Beach and where the price of land are on the deep rise.

Also, as Doral is growing, land for large industrial spaces is getting more scarce and warehouses are selling at increasing prices. This trend is not going to stop anytime soon, considering the current need for large storage spaces in Miami-Dade County.

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Office building at 2990 Ponce de Leon Boulevard

Office building at 2990 Ponce de Leon Boulevard

When it comes to analyzing the Miami office market, a few areas draw the attention of institutions, investors and CEOs of large companies : Aventura, Brickell, Doral, Kendall, South Miami and Coral Gables, however Coral Gables seems to be immune to the ups and downs of the South Florida real estate market and offers the most stable office market in Miami-Dade. The Coral Gables office market presents a great working environment : fine restaurants and shops, a safe environment, a combination of new and historic office buildings, and proximity to the Miami International Airport.

Office building at 901 Ponce de Leon Boulevard

Office building at 901 Ponce de Leon Boulevard

A few office building sales which were taking place over the past few months are showing that this market continues to attract investors as well as owner-users looking to establish themselves at the center of the Americas. 800 S. Douglas Entrance, a 467, 325 sf office complex located at the entrance of Coral Gables, got recently sold for $101 millions. 901 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, also called “the American Airlines building” as the airline leases 25 % of its space, is a 177,848 sf office building, 96% leased, which sold at the beginning of 2014 for $23.5 millions. The very contemporary looking grey building at 2990 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, which is 128,047 sf, was built in 2012 and 35% leased, hosting First Bank Florida, sold in January 2014 for $25.5 millions.

 

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After three years of steady increases in the sold prices of residential real estate in Miami-Dade, the market seems to be cooling, leading to an increase in inventory of properties for sale. In some areas, like South Beach or Brickell, the prices do not seem to go down but it’s taking more time to find buyers.

The two charts below are illustrating this. I took a higher price range for houses as it is a bit challenging to find a high number of single family homes for sale in Miami for less than $ 1 million.

Sold Vs For Sale for single family homes over $ 1 million in Miami- Dade County between February 2013 to February 2014 ) :

Houses Feb 13 Feb 14The inventory increased by 18 % in a year, between February 2013 and February 2014 for houses  and by 22 % in a year for condos.

This inevitably means that the market is calming down, that it now takes more time to sell a property than it did a few months ago, and that there is a higher competition for properties for sale. Therefore, it’s getting increasingly essential to find the right real estate agent, who will know how to properly price the property for sale and offer a local and international marketing plan to market it the best possible way.

Sold Vs For Sale for single condominiums over $ 500,000 in Miami- Dade County :

 Condos

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