FYI Miami: October 2, 2014
READY FOR EXPO: Miami city commissioners have created a path for a planned convention center and hotel complex to rise on the old Miami Arena site at 700 N Miami Ave. Commissioners on Tuesday approved the final reading of a zoning amendment establishing design standards for large regional activity complexes. It clears the way for MDM Development Group to begin presenting design plans for Miami World Expo Center, which is to include a multi-level convention center with a 100,000-square-foot first-floor open space and 1,800-room Marriott hotel. The action came just after midnight, when Monday’s marathon meeting spilled over into Tuesday. The commission earlier approved the second and final reading of zoning text amendments and a new development agreement for companion project Miami Worldcenter.
GABLES OFFICE MARKET EXPANDS: Office vacancies in Miami suburban office markets dipped from 14.8% in the second quarter to 14.3% in the third, according to CBRE. Coral Gables seems to be leading the way with 180,000 square feet absorbed so far in 2014 – more by far than any other area. Airport/Doral, the next busiest, saw 140,000 square feet absorbed. Brickell so far this year absorbed 126,000 square feet. As a result, vacancy in the Gables fell to 13.3% in the third quarter, its lowest since 2010, CBRE says. Beacon Health Strategies, new in the Gables, signed the largest lease this year in Coral Gables, taking 17,217 square feet at Class A The Alhambra, whose occupancy rose from 52% to 75% in less than 16 months. CBRE represented the landlord, an affiliate of USAA Real Estate Co., largest owner of Gables Class A office space. CBRE’s leasing brokers attribute the Gables’ strong performance to a tightening of quality Class A space in urban areas as well as desirable amenities such as higher parking ratios available in suburban markets.
NEW TENANTS: MetLife’s Wells Fargo Center will soon be home to Dentmall of Florida, Moto Capital, Berkadia Commercial Mortgage and La Prairie Group. Dentmall of Florida Inc. and Brazilian hedge fund Moto Capital, both new to the market, leased 4,598 square feet and 3,500 square feet, respectively. Moto Capital is opening its first US office. Berkadia Commercial Mortgage leased 2,667 square feet and La Prairie Group, relocating from New World Tower, is upgrading its office space with 2,637 square feet at the 47-story Wells Fargo Center. Earlier this year, PwC moved its office from Brickell Avenue and leased 43,277 square feet at the downtown tower.