Commercial real estate activity takes upturn in Miami-Dade
By Yudislaidy Fernandez
After commercial realty's dormant 2009, phones are starting to ring and deals are closing, professionals say.
Such commercial firms as Grubb & Ellis and ComReal are seeing more activity this first quarter than in the first quarter of 2009, executives say.
But some professionals wonder if the commercial uptick stems mostly from pent-up demand from last year or really signals the beginning of a better year.
Grubb & Ellis' local revenues are up threefold for the first quarter from the first quarter of 2009, with 35 transactions closed in Broward and Palm Beach counties and 17 in Miami-Dade, said Jonathan Kingsley, managing director in Miami.
Doral-based ComReal Miami has closed four industrial leases above 20,000 square feet so far this quarter after suffering through zero activity in the first quarter of last year, said Vice President Edward Redlich.
In all four leases, ranging from 25,000 square feet to 137,000, he said, the tenants were expanding. Mr. Redlich noted the only industrial lease signed locally in the first quarter last year was less than 20,000 square feet, a small amount for the industrial market.
Flagler Real Estate Services, citing better market conditions, has closed 60 deals totaling 660,000 square feet since Jan. 1.
George Pino, Flagler vice president of commercial sales and leases, says unlike 2009 when tenants were mostly signing short-term deals and downsizing, more tenants this quarter are making long-term commitments.
The second quarter should help indicate what's ahead, Mr. Redlich says.
"We have to get through the next quarter to really put the pieces together and see what's going on."