New High-Speed Train Will Connect Miami to Orlando This Year

The Brightline train will soon be offering a speedy alternative to one of Florida’s largest tourist destinations, Orlando, a city that receives nearly 70 million visitors per year thanks to its elaborate mecca of theme parks. The South Florida based rail company currently serves Miami, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, and West Palm Beach. Driving between Miami and Orlando takes about 3.5 hours, and the train will shorten the ride to less than 3 as it reaches speeds of up to 125 MPH. The Orlando Brightline station is expected to open in 2023 and will be located inside Terminal C at Orlando International Airport. 

Brightline is the only privately owned and operated rail company in the United States. They currently offer two types of tickets, SMART (standard fare) and PREMIUM (business class). The latter offers access to a pre-boarding lounge, larger seats, and complimentary snacks and beverages onboard. However, snacks and beverages (alcoholic and nonalcoholic) are available for purchase with the standard fare. SMART starts at $10 one-way when traveling from Miami to West Palm Beach. PREMIUM tickets are about $35 one-way. Pricing for the Orlando route has yet to be released. Travel Off Path recommends purchasing tickets online in advance as fares tend to be higher in-person at the station. 

In 2022, Brightline carried 1.23 million passengers across South Florida. The railroad powerhouse is expected to grow beyond central Florida and into the western side of the state. Read more about Brightline’s future plans here and purchase a ticket here.

Report: Growth In Downtown Fort Lauderdale Exceeds Austin and Atlanta

Downtown Fort Lauderdale’s urban core, a 2.2-square-mile area between Sunrise Boulevard, the Avenue of Arts, Davie Boulevard, and U.S. Highway One, has gained 5,095 new residential units in the past five years, more than that of the downtown areas of Austin and Atlanta combined.

Jenni Morejon, the Fort Lauderdale Downtown Development Authority’s executive director, reports, “We are outpacing growth in terms of new rental units, and the pandemic has fueled a lot of that.”

Since the pandemic, South Florida rents have increased by as much as 32% year-over-year. This increase can be attributed to the influx of professionals and executives from New York, California, and other parts of the U.S. The average household income in downtown Fort Lauderdale has also increased a staggering 20.2% from last year to $146,358 a year. Read the report here.

West Palm Approves Immocorp’s Mixed-Use Project in Northwood

The City of West Palm has officially given the green light to redevelop the Northwood District. The plan, created by Gilbert Benhamou’s Immocorp Capital, includes 382 apartments, 63,200 square feet of commercial uses and roughly 13,000 square feet of public space located on 4.7 acres. The Northwood Square project will tie together the Northwood and Currie mixed-use districts. The site spans from 23rd Street north to 25th Street, from the FEC Railway east to Broadway Avenue.

To read more about the Northwood Square project, Click Here.

Procacci Proposes Mixed-Use Project In Fort Lauderdale

Procacci Development corporation proposed a mixed-use project in Fort Lauderdale. The city’s Development Review Committee is reviewing plans for the 2.4-acre site located on Bayview Drive. The site currently has a 101,803-square-foot office building that would be demolished for the project. Sunrise & Bayview Partners, managed by Phillip Procacci, purchased the site in 2014 for $7.9 million. The new project would include 180 multi-family units, 4,400 square feet of restaurants, 1,350 square feet of retail, 5,750 square feet of offices, and a 505-space parking garage. The residential units will be bigger in size ranging from 1-3 bedrooms, with many of the units being 2-3 bedrooms. The demand for larger apartments has recently increased due to the influx of south Florida residents fleeing other high-tax states.

To read more, click here.

Companies That Recently Moved Their Headquarters to South Florida

Many companies have decided to move their headquarters to south Florida due to the opportunities available. Common reasons for the moves include quality talent and workforce availability; multicultural and more pragmatic cities; and south Florida’s business-friendly reputation within it’s major cities. See below to learn more about where the companies are coming from and what they do:

Citadel & Citadel Securities
  – Financial firms
– Chicago to Miami

FundKite
– Financing for small businesses
– New York to downtown Miami

Belong
– Proptech company
– California to Brickell Miami

KruseCom
– Information technology
– New Jersey to West Palm Beach

SH Hotel & Resorts
– Private investment firm
– Los Angeles to Miami

El Al Israel Airlines Ltd.
– Airline
– New York City to Margate

AerCap
– Aircraft leasing company
– Los Angeles to Miami

West Marine
– National retailer of boating supplies and retail
– California to Fort Lauderdale

Windstar Cruises
– Cruise leisure company
– Seattle to Doral

American Queen Voyages
– Cruise line
– Indiana to Fort Lauderdale

Blockchain.com
– Cryptocurrency Exchange
– New York City to Wynwood Miami

To read more, click here.

Big Retailer Will Open Its First Florida Store at Sawgrass Mills

South Florida Business Journal is reporting plans of HomeSense store in Sawgrass Mills mall in Sunrise, Florida. The City Commission is considering a site plan revision requested by the owner of Simon Property Group. The mall owner would create a new entrance directly into the store for more convenience to the customers. HomeSense was founded by TJX Companies in 2001 and was launched in the United States in 2017. Sawgrass Mills is the second-largest mall in South Florida.

To read more about Sawgrass Mills potential plans of site revision, click here.

Optimism Abounds In Sunshine State

Florida’s staggering 2.8 percent unemployment rate two years out from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic stems from corporate and retail expansions particularly in the Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, whose combined net retail absorption totaled 4.6 million square feet last year, almost 66 percent more than in pre-pandemic 2019. With the imbalance of supply and demand, Florida sustains high levels of rent growth.

 Beth Azor, CEO of shopping center owner Azor Advisory Service, says, “That even if a recession is imminent, Florida, and in particular South Florida, has enough tenant demand to overcome any foreseeable obstacles…I think we are going to be insulated; I see my tenant sales, I see the huge demand, I see the lack of supply because nobody is developing,” says Azor.

Another key factor to Florida’s “insulation” is population growth which continues to explode, up 15.9 percent from April 2020 to June 2021 as well as exceeding 20 million residents, making it the 3rd most populous state behind California and Texas.

With high demands and low supplies, Florida is able to insulate themselves from a lingering recession and avoid the effects of nationwide inflation. Read more about new developments in Florida’s market here.

Seacoast to Acquire Professional Bank in Deal Valued at $488 Million

Seacoast Bank Corporation of Florida is set to acquire Professional Bank, one of South Florida’s largest community banks to close in the first quarter of 2023. Professional Holding Corporation is the parent company of the Coral Gables-based Professional Bank. Professional Bank holds nine locations across Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. Both banks have similar cultures and shared business values related to underwriting, credit culture, and customer-focus. Seacoast Bank maintains $10.8 billion in assets and $9.2 billion in deposits as of June 30, making Seacoast the largest community bank in South Florida. The acquisition of Professional Bank will accelerate their growth as they expand in the South Florida market.

Read more about the Seacoast acquisition by clicking here.

Commercial Real Estate– Buy, Sell or Hold?

There’s no denying the commercial real estate market has been reaching peak production since 2021; however, discussion circles whether we have ridden this wave of success for too long. As a real estate investor, you may be asking yourself whether you should buy, sell, or hold. Well, this is nothing short of a conundrum in the world of real estate, and luckily we have history to guide us on how we should best approach the waters of this current market.

Read here to find what leadership strategy is best for you.

New Bolay Drive-Thru in South Tampa

If you haven’t heard of Bolay then you’re missing out. A brand that believes in tasty food that fuels an active lifestyle is now offering a drive-thru feature at their South Tampa location. Bolay may be fast-casual dining, but its extraordinary and nutritious fare sets it ahead of the pack.

Cohen Commercial’s Chris Haass has represented Bolay in fifteen of their locations in South Florida.

To learn more about Bolays’ new drive-thru location, click here.