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DARTH VADER 2.0: OFFICE TOWER GETS REBOOT
By Alexandra Clough
May 11, 2017
Palm Beach Post

The Force is awakening at the old Darth Vader building in downtown West Palm Beach.

Plans are in the works to do a major upgrade of the Northbridge Centre, the 21-story office building informally named after Luke Skywalker’s father, thanks to its ominous black-glass exterior.

Inside, however, plans are to brighten the 515 N. Flagler Dr. tower with a $10 million upgrade.

The goal is to lure new office tenants to the city’s downtown, before talked-about new office towers start rising during the next couple of years.

City business and government leaders have been crying for months there’s not enough office space in the city’s core, prompting developers such as The Related Cos, Charles Cohen and Jeff Greene to draft or consider plans for new office towers.

 

But owners and brokers at Northbridge say there’s plenty of space in their waterfront building, especially for those coveted hedge funds and private equity firms that the county’s Business Development Board is trying to hard to lure.

“We’re the last game in town, and we’ll be the best game when these renovations are completed,” said Peter Reed, managing principal at Commercial Florida Realty Services in Boca Raton.

“With nearly 100,000 square feet of vacancy, we’re the only building with any appreciable waterfront space left in the market,” added Angelo Bianco, managing partner of Boca Raton-based Crocker Partners, a co-owner of the building.

Commercial Florida is representing Northbridge, along with Tower Commercial.

They are working to draw attention to the sometimes-overlooked property that was acquired last year by Greenfield Partners of Connecticut and Crocker. The companies paid $68.24 million for the 294,000-square-foot building, which includes a separate four-story pavillion with a rooftop garden.

Northbridge, which now houses a number of law firms, is about 70 percent leased. The property was built in 1984.

Plans are afoot to make the building physically as appealing as those waterview vistas, Bianco said.

For starters, gone will be those red stripes on the outside of the building. (Darth Vader didn't have them;; Northbridge soon won't have them, either.)

Inside, plans are underway to build an upscale conference center that will be able to hold about 140 people. The roughly 3,000-square-foot space will feature all the latest high-tech gadgets and will serve as a building amenity to tower tenants, Bianco said.

Crocker also will add expand the health club and build a brand new café. Bathrooms and floor lobbies will be upgraded and new elevator cabs put in, Bianco said.

Bianco said the building is well-positioned in the market. Physically, it's right next to the new Flagler Memorial Bridge, which is nearing completion.

Once this north bridge opens, Reed said it will provide less congested traffic flows with easy access to the property, compared to other office towers clustered around the middle bridge at Okeechobee Boulevard.

“Follow the compass rose north, the direction West Palm Beach is moving,” Reed quipped.

From a price perspective, Northbridge's rental rates are a better bet, too, Reed said.

Rents at Northbridge go for around $30 per foot not including taxes, maintenance and insurance. That's about $20 per square foot less than buildings such as Phillips Point or CityPlace Tower, where rents start around $50 per square foot, Reed said.

Not surprisingly, Northbridge's' brokers are going after the same tenants everyone else in town wants: Mid-sized tenants needing 3,000 to 7,000 square feet of space.

The building upgrades are expected to be completed by May 2018.

aclough@pbpost.com Twitter: @acloughpbp


NEW ENGLANDERS AMONG US
Two companies with roots in New England are expanding in West Palm.
By Alexandra Clough
February 2017
Palm Beach Post

There’s a growing New England presence in West Palm Beach, and we’re not talking about Patriots football fans.
Two companies with roots in New England are expanding in the city.

Granite Telecommunications, of Quincy, Mass., just signed a deal to take another floor in the Reflections Office Center at 400 Australian Ave., said Peter Reed, managing principal of Commercial Florida Realty Services, which handled the deal.

The extra floor will allow the company, which now employs 107 at Reflections, to more than double its employment size there, said Rand Currier, Granite’s chief operating officer. With the extra room, Granite will be able to employ up to 120 more people at that location, he said.

“We no sooner finished Granite’s last expansion and they needed more space for additional employees. ... This is a great example of organic growth. It’s what all landlords want,” Reed said.

 

In addition, Hotelplanner.com, the world’s largest provider of online group hotel bookings, now is up to 85 employees at its new headquarters at 205 Datura St.Hotelplanner.com plans to grow to up to 120 employees, according to co-founder John Prince, who hails from New England.

“West Palm Beach is getting a much better reputation. The word is out that the city is a fun, up-and-coming city,” Prince said. “And with the new tech companies coming in, it keeps getting better and better.”

Prince said he recruits from northern climates. Prospective employees like the idea of working in a warm place with no state income tax. But Prince said he’s also able to find plenty of employees locally.

Steady job growth of downtown businesses is important because West Palm Beach wants to be known as an up-and-coming place for industry, particularly the hot tech industry.

Not only does employment growth provide more customers to area shops and restaurants, it creates opportunity for developers who’ve built or are considering building apartments in the city.

Nader Salour, a principal with Cypress Realty in Jupiter, was the first developer to complete a new apartment complex in downtown West Palm Beach during this latest up cycle. He built 259-unit Loftin Place, at 805 N. Olive Ave.

Being first put Cypress in the enviable position of capturing demand for rental housing from people who work downtown or just want to be near restaurants, coffee shops and cool new stores.

“We were real comfortable because we were the first for potential residents,” Salour said.

Loftin Place stands at 95 percent leased, an important milestone, Salour said.

Now Salour said he’s weighing whether to build the project’s second phase, which would consist of 204 apartments.

A major factor is the competition. There are three luxury apartment projects underway now that will add 800 apartments to the marketplace.

The Alexander, 210 units at 333 Fern St., is under construction and set for completion in midyear. The 315-unit Broadstone City Center, at 410 Datura St., started construction and will be finished in 2018. And All Aboard Florida, which will operate the Brightline passenger train, has started construction on its own 275-unit apartment complex, between Datura and Evernia streets west of the Florida East Coast Railway tracks.

Jeff Greene, a Palm Beach real estate investor, said he’s unsure whether the demand exists for more luxury apartments once these projects are completed.

Greene is approved to build several downtown residential projects.

But he already built Cameron Estates, a 548-unit luxury complex west of the downtown, off of Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard near the Palm Beach Outlets mall. The complex is about 85 percent leased.

Although the project is nearly all leased, Greene still had enough empty units to lease 35 apartments to the teams playing spring baseball at the new Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Both the Houston Astros and the Washington Nationals leased apartments on a short-term basis, Greene said.

The good news is that the ballpark already is helping boost business locally, in this case, creating rental income for Cameron Estates, Greene said.

But the larger issue is that Cameron Estates still had 35 units available to rent, even though it’s the newest player in town and offers luxury extras, such as a private movie theater, mini-bowling alley, fitness center, dog park and culinary kitchen for teaching.

Despite the supply of new apartments in the works, Greene still is going ahead with final approval of One West Palm, a twin-tower project. This complex will feature offices, 326 luxury apartments and a hotel. Greene said he’s waiting on a city committee to approve tweaks to the project, at 550 Quadrille Blvd.

Greene also still is keen to build 400 “micro-apartments,” small apartments costing lower rents on Banyan Boulevard downtown. Greene said he’s waiting for a variance on that project.

If you listen to executives like Prince and Currier, Greene and other developers shouldn’t worry too much about whether there will be demand for new apartments. It’s possible the demand could take place sooner rather than later.

Here’s why.

In 2010, Hotelplanner.com had five employees working out of executive office space downtown. In five years, Prince and co-founder Tim Hentschel grew the company to 45 employees. In mid-2015, they leased 15,000 square feet of space for their headquarters at 205 Datura St.

Since then, they’ve added another 40 employees. They’ll add another 30 more this year until they max out on their space at about 120 employees.

Hotelplanner.com’s business continues to grow along with its employee size: The company now is powering all groups and meetings for Bestwestern.com. (Hotel-planner.com already powers the group booking tools of Priceline, Travelocity, Orbitz, Expedia, Hotwire Communications and Kayak.)

Hotelplanner.com’s business is multifaceted. It allows hotels to compete for room blocks from among travel companies, provides professional meeting planners in major cities around the world and handles bookings for government workers.

Granite also has had rock-solid growth. In 2013, the company opened its West Palm Beach branch with 7,500 square feet of space and nine people. In 2015, Granite expanded and took 15,000 square feet on two floors. Now with this latest expansion, Granite is leasing three floors and 23,757 square feet. The new space should be ready in about two months.

“We’re trying to dramatically increase our workforce,” Currier said. “We’ve had wonderful success and it’s a high-energy office.”

Granite is looking for engineers, with salaries ranging from $60,000 to $100,000, and salespeople, whose base salary ranges from $40,000 to $50,000 but who can also earn commissions that can bring their salaries into the six figures.

Granite provides telephone and data services, plus equipment, to business customers of all sizes, including Fortune 100 companies. aclough@pbpost.com Twitter: @acloughpbp


WEST PALM BEACH
Esperante sells for $125.75 million
RedSky Capital of Brooklyn, N.Y., acquires trophy building that last changed hands in 2013 for $71M.
By Alexandra Clough
July 27, 2016
Palm Beach Post

The Esperante Corporate Center in downtown West Palm Beach has sold for $491 a square foot, second in price per square foot to nearby Phillips Point, which sold last year for $546 a square foot.

CONTRIBUTED

The Esperante Corporate Center has traded hands for the second time in three years, selling to a New York firm for $125.75 million, a whopping increase from the 2013 sales price of $71 million.

RedSky Capital of Brooklyn, N.Y., is the new owner of the 256,100-square-foot trophy building at 222 Lakeview Ave.

RedSky owns and develops real estate mostly in the New York area. This is the company's first office building in Florida.

 

The high price paid for Esperante "is indicative of the market. We've had an excellent recovery over the past three years," said Peter Reed, managing principal of Commercial Florida Realty Services in Boca Raton.

Esperante's previous owners, Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers LLC and Crocker Partners, bought Esperante for $71 million when the property was only 60 percent leased.

In a statement, Angelo Bianco, a partner with Boca Raton-based Crocker Partners, said downtown West Palm Beach "is a dynamic market, with growing demand for high quality corporate quarters."

The $491 per square foot price is a record for Esperante, but not for West Palm Beach. The Phillips Point office complex at 777 S. Flagler Drive sold last year for $245.5 million, or $546 a square foot.

At Esperante, new leases include Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, a plum deal for 29,000 square feet of space that filled the building.

Prior to that, the building inked deals with tenants such as Cole Scott Kissane, a law firm that leased 50,000 square feet; and Chatham Lodging Trust, a publicly-traded hotel real estate investment trust that leased 27,516 square feet.

These large new tenants come from the West Palm Beach or Palm Beach area, reinforcing brokers' observations of "the West Palm Beach shuffle," with existing players taking different space but not many new tenants coming into the area.

Overall, office vacancy is low in downtown West Palm Beach and rents are high.

This is especially the case with properties such as Esperante, the Phillips Point office complex and CityPlace Tower. At Esperante, for instance, rental rates are $59.50 per square foot, according to a recent study by JLL.

There is some space available at other buildings, such as the former Bank of America Centre at 625 N. Flagler Drive and the Flagler Center complex at 501 S. Flagler Drive.

But those buildings are filling up, too: Integra Connect LLC, a cloud-based software company for medical specialties, is taking 14,000 square feet at the Flagler Center complex.

Prices remain high for downtown office buildings because although there's talk of building new office towers, nothing has gone up.

"There's a lack of new construction, so there's a lack of competition (for buildings)," Reed said.


PALM BEACH BILLIONAIRE JEFF GREENE: DEVELOPER OR LAND BANKER?
By Alexandra Clough
December 15, 2015
Palm Beach Post
Greene owns the best pieces of dirt in West Palm. But some wonder if he can build all the projects promised.

Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene owns so much real estate in West Palm Beach these days, he controls the fate of many key parcels.

But in the years he’s bought property and promised to build projects, only one is underway, and its construction has not gone like clockwork.

Some business leaders have started to wonder: Is Greene really a developer up to the task of all that he has taken on? Or is he just a land banker, parking his money in West Palm Beach until the next real estate cycle?

The debate surfaced again last month when Greene snapped up the Opera Place site, a prime, 3.2-acre site at 419 Lakeview Ave. at the entrance to the city. Greene paid $24 million for the vacant site, which is zoned for tall, twin towers featuring 1 million square feet of offices, residences, a hotel and shops.

The Opera Place land could be a signature location for any major corporate tenant. Indeed, business leaders say the city desperately needs new Class A office space to accommodate companies that want to be downtown. “The time is right, and the Opera Place site is ripe,” said Peter Reed, a commercial real estate consultant.

Andres David Lope
 

 

But Greene said he doesn’t plan to build on the site anytime soon.

That’s because Greene is focused on building One West Palm, another twin-tower project rising 30 stories at 550 Quadrille Blvd., on the north side of downtown. It’s a less prominent location, but Greene said the water views are unmatched. There, he said he’ll build offices, luxury apartments and an all-suites hotel.

Greene said he bought the Opera Place land “because I’m so involved in the city, and it’s the last great site available. I want to have it for the future.”

But he also said he bought it to stop someone else from building there now.

If somebody were building offices and a hotel at Opera Place, “do you think I would be considering another one at the other end?” Greene said. “The city can only handle so much development.”

In recent months, the pace of Greene’s pledged projects has been the topic of quiet discussion among business and city leaders. The consensus is that although Greene control millions of dollars worth of property, he lacks a team in place to build his ambitious ideas.

"We have concerns,” said Rick Greene, West Palm Beach’s development services director. “Would it be better if he had a staff of 20 working on all these projects? Yes. But we can’t mandate that. We have shared our concerns (with Greene) that we’d love to see these projects move forward.”

Jeff Greene, Palm Beach resident and founder of the Greene Institute, which focuses on inequality, education and health, speaks at the Closing the Gap conference Monday in Palm Beach. (Andres David Lopez / Palm Beach Daily News)    
   
One West Palm is the twin-tower project being planned by Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene. (Provided)    

Greene insisted he’s not land-banking and is serious about building. “I’m sticking around,” he said. “I”m committed to making West Palm Beach and Palm Beach a better place.”

Broker Neil Merin is willing to give Greene the benefit of the doubt. “I think his intentions are good,” said Merin, chairman of NAI/Merin Hunter Codman in West Palm Beach. “He doesn’t have to build everything; he just needs to do something.”

Greene acknowledged he has an unconventional way of developing property.

He said he has hardly any staff because he does not like ceding control to underlings. For instance, he once hired a head of development. He didn’t like it. “I’m the one who has to approve anything big,” he said. “I don’t need a middle man coming back to me.”

Greene’s self-described penchant for perfectionism also slows things down, especially when he hires multiple architecture firms to draw the same project over and over until he thinks it’s just right.

Merin said Greene has all the time in the world to make changes because he’s self-financed, so he doesn’t have a lender or equity partner forcing him to meet a timeline to finish a project.

Take Clematis Place, the mixed-use complex planned near the Brightline express passenger train station downtown.

REGArchitects’ Rick Gonzalez said his firm worked for 1½ years drawing plans for the housing and retail project. Clematis Place was touted as a way to bridge Clematis Street with CityPlace.

“I told him in a meeting months ago, ‘You can be the Henry Flagler of this century, if you were to go forward and build these projects,” Gonzalez said. “And yet he’s not doing it.”

Greene said REG’s drawings didn’t work financially, so he had other architecture firms give it a try. Then he went back to REG. Now Greene said he’s settled on Miami-based Arquitectonica.

Meanwhile, Greene’s Cameron Estates apartment complex near the Palm Beach Outlets on Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard is leasing apartments to renters who won’t have a clubhouse until next May. That’s because Greene decided on a last-minute redesign.

It’s unusual to open a complex without a clubhouse. Typically, the clubhouse and amenities are done when the first apartment buildings are completed, builders say.

But Greene said he “threw the plans away” when he realized a two-story clubhouse would not be family-friendly. “It didn’t feel right,” he said. “What if (the kids) are in the theater watching ‘Frozen’ and someone is in the gym on another level?”

Greene said he changed the clubhouse so it’s now one-story, and he’s pleased that he did, despite the construction delay.
“It’s a long-term investment,” Greene said. “If it’s slower to rent up, I’m going to have a better project (with the redesigned clubhouse). And two years from now, it’s not going to make any difference.”

Dave DeMay, vice president of KastConstruction, which built the complex, agreed: “The amenities package is extremely high-end for a rental community.” In addition to a gym and movie theater, the clubhouse also features a bowling alley.

In any event, 20 percent of the apartment complex’s 540 units are leased even without the clubhouse, Greene said.

Greene’s largest West Palm Beach venture is developing acres on North Flagler Drive around Currie Park near Northwood into a mixed-use community of homes and shops.

But he’s yet to start any construction on the complicated project. Greene said he’s waiting on a grocery store to commit to a site before he decides how to proceed. Roads may have to be moved to accommodate the store, he said.

One West Palm, Greene’s big downtown project, is likely to be his showiest job.

At first, Greene planned expensive condos on the 3-acre property, plus a high-end hotel, in addition to the offices. But now he’s decided to make the property an all-suites hotel, to distinguish it from other hotels already being built or planned downtown, he said.

Since the property is away from the city’s core, Greene plans a free shuttle to take residents to and from the shops and restaurants of Clematis Street and CityPlace. Also planned: tennis courts, a pool, a massive gym, plus a day care center for the children of office workers.

Greene said he likes this site better than Opera Place for a mixed-use complex because there’s less traffic around it. It’s closer to rich Palm Beachers in the north end of the island who might want an office, he added.

Most important, the property offers unobstructed vistas of the Intracoastal Waterway and ocean. “Residences are a no-brainer there because the views are going to be insane,” Greene said.

Greene has alternately said he won’t rely on bank financing to build the office tower, which would require pre-leasing; he’s also said he won’t build the entire project on “spec” but would like at least some of the 340,000-square-foot office space, about 15 percent, pre-leased by office tenants so he can obtain financing.

Seeing is believing when it comes to pre-leasing office tenants at this out-of-the-way location, said Peter Reed, Managing Principal of Commercial Florida Realty Services in Boca Raton.

“Will they wait two years while you build it?” Reed asked.

Time will tell. But Greene said he’ll turn his attention to Opera Place only after he’s wrapped up One West Palm, which experts say likely won’t be finished until 2019, at the earliest.

At Opera Place, Greene envisions condominiums and a five-star, heavily amenitized hotel, such as a Park Hyatt, or perhaps a St. Regis. Residents in the site’s swanky condos then could avail themselves of the hotel services, a five-star spa and gym, and great dining at a restaurant run by a chef on par with Wolfgang Puck or Daniel Boulud.

But the vision for that site could change under Greene’s watchful eye.

And he’s certainly watching. Greene said he visits his properties daily.

As he does so, he considers the traffic around his parcels — the number of lights it takes to travel down a road; the number of times train signals block traffic.

Then he tries to prioritize: “I can’t do everything,” he said. “I’ve got to pick my battles.”


BofA MERRILL LYNCH MOVING TO ESPERANTE AS BUILDING READIED
FOR SALE

By Alexandra Clough
October 15, 2015
Palm Beach Post

The trophy office property is being flipped next year by its current owners, who bought it in 2013

Bank of America and Merrill Lynch are moving to WPB’s Esperante in a shake-up of the local office market

Downtown West Palm Beach is seeing the biggest office shake-up in recent years: Bank of America and Merrill Lynch will ditch their current offices and move together to the Esperante Corporate Center in 2016.

The deal comes as the trophy Esperante center is being readied for sale, less than two years after the current owners purchased it, knowledgeable sources said.

The planned flip, expected to take place next year, shocked area real estate brokers. They say homes aren’t the only property being quickly re-sold in this boom market: Large, multi-million dollar office complexes now are considered short-term commodities, too.

Bank of America’s move to Esperante is a coup for the building, which is located at 222 Lakeview Centre.

But it means a huge vacancy up the street for the building dubbed the Bank of America Centre at 625 N. Flagler Drive. There, the bank has had a longtime presence and takes up about 40,000 square feet of space.

Merrill Lynch, in joining its parent Bank of America at Esperante, also will vacate downtown space. The brokerage firm currently has offices at the 101 North Clematis complex.

Bank of America acquired Merrill Lynch in 2009. Since then, the financial giant has sought to consolidate its business units by taking space in the same properties. The idea is to make it convenient for customers.

We’re focused on our clients’ goals and their priorities in life and what they’re trying to achieve,” said Daniel Markow, Merrill Lynch market executive for Palm Beach County.

For instance, a Merrill Lynch customer may be looking to buy a business and need a loan, Markow said. “So it’s very easy to have a meeting with a commercial banker if they’re sitting (a few) floors below you.”

As a result, “we are planning to consolidate all our lines of business, excluding U.S. Trust, in our West Palm Beach market into the Esperante building,” Markow said. He said the moves are expected to be completed next summer.

The bottom floor will feature a Bank of America retail bank branch for consumer banking. The 13th floor will house Merrill Lynch financial advisers. Additionally, the 6th floor will be occupied by Bank of America commercial lenders.

With this latest deal, which totals for 29,000 square feet, Esperante is essentially 100 percent leased. That wasn’t the case when the 256,000-square-f0ot trophy property changed hands in December 2013.

At that time, Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers of Connecticut and Crocker Partners of Boca Raton paid $71 million, a figure not much greater than the $67.55 million paid in 2005 by the previous owners, CBRE Global Investors.

Those prices were a big discount to the previous sale in 2005, when ING Clarion paid $105 million.

When the CBRE fund owned it, the building only was about 64 percent leased. CBRE boosted occupancy but wasn’t able to fill the building.

Under leasing by Cushman & Wakefield, Esperante has had greater success.

The building inked deals with tenants such as Cole Scott Kissane, a law firm that leased 50,000 square feet; Chatham Lodging Trust, a publicly traded hotel real estate investment trust that leased 27,516 square feet; and now Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, which will lease 29,000 square feet.

Mark Pateman, a Cushman & Wakefield director who handled Esperante’s leasing, declined to comment.

Brokers are amazed that Crocker/Cornerstone is flipping the building so quickly.

It used to be that institutional investors held on to properties for 15 to 20 years, said Peter Reed, Managing Principal of Commercial Florida Realty Services in Boca Raton. More recently, the cycle has shrunk to a period of between five and seven years, he said.

Lately, however, “there’s just a different mindset,” Reed said. “They’re playing the appreciation game.”

Now owners are flipping properties after just a couple of years of ownership, while the real estate market still is hot, Reed added.

Esperante isn’t the only West Palm Beach property that’s been flipped in recent years.

KBS Real Estate Investment Trust II, which paid $126.5 million for the 296,000-square-foot CityPlace Tower in 2011, sold it for $150 million in 2014 to W.R. Berkley Corp., a Connecticut insurer.

Esperante is considered one of three trophy properties downtown, along with the Phillips Point office complex and CityPlace Tower.

With the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch move to Esperante, all three Class A trophy properties are essentially full.

That fact has prompted the owner of the Northbridge Centre to put the 515 N. Flagler Drive office property up for sale.

Real estate observers say the office complex, dubbed the Darth Vader building for its imposing black-glass facade, might fetch a good number if investors think they can fill the property with clients willing to pay higher rental rates to be downtown.

There are no new West Palm Beach office buildings under construction, a fact that is driving the resale of existing office centers.

The 625 N. Flagler building where Bank of America now has offices is undergoing a $3 million renovation. As part of the upgrade, a new lobby is being created. The 10-story building is 110,000 square feet


COMMERCIAL FLORIDA LEASES 15,000 SF AT REFLECTION OFFICE CENTER
By Alexzandra Clough
August 2, 2015
Palm Beach Post

Granite Telecommunications moved into 7,500-square feet in the Reflections office complex on Australian Avenue in 2013, but has already run out of room. It’s now signed a deal for two floors in one of the buildings.

More jobs, space

A telecommunications company is doubling the size of its West Palm Beach sales office – and it plans to double its work-force there, too.

Granite Telecommunications’ jobs in West Palm Beach pay an average of $80,000 a year – or more.

“These are good jobs. I have some people making $1 million-plus a year,” said Greg Giambalvo, regional vice president in West Palm Beach.

Granite Telecommunications is a Quincy, Mass., -based telecommunications company. It provides telephone and data services, plus equipment, to business customers of all sizes, including Fortune 100 companies.

In 2013, Granite moved into 75,000 square feet of space at the Reflections twin-building office complex, at 400 and 450 Australian Avenue. The company moved with nine people, thinking there would be plenty of room for the company’s growth, said George Meegan, facility director at the company’s headquarters in Quincy.

Granite officials were wrong. “We are out of space, I kid you not. We have cubicles in the conference room now,” Giambalvo said.

So Granite just inked a deal to lease 15,000 square feet of space on two floors in the 400 building, said Peter Reed, Managing Principal of Commercial Florida Realty Services in Boca Raton. Reed handles leasing for Reflections.

The company has 57 employees working in West Palm Beach now, but expects to double that number by year end. Giambalvo said employees come from “all over…. We’re a very sought after company.”

Giambalvo said the company looked around downtown West Palm Beach to buy a building but had no luck, losing out on one building to a particularly active buyer from Palm Beach named Jeff Greene.

Space in other buildings was too expensive, Giambalvo added: “Because there’s not a huge supply (of office space) downtown, some of the prices were off the charts.”

Reed agreed. “Space is filling up in West Palm Beach,” he said. As the central business downtown has filled up, companies are looking slightly west of the downtown for space, and that’s boosted interest in the Australian Avenue corridor, Reed added.

Although Granite could have looked elsewhere in the county, Giambalvo said West Palm Beach was the preference. It is a midway point for employees. While some employees work in Palm Beach County, others work in Broward or Martin counties, Giambalvo said.

In addition, “The (Tri-Rail) train station is right next door, and you can immediately get on and off of (Interstate) 95,” Giambalvo added. “It’s the convenience factor.”


OFFICE CONSTRUCTION RETURNING TO BROWING COUNTY
By Paul Owers
June 6, 2015
Sun Sentinel

Broward County's new office market is by no means booming. But it is back.

New offices are sprouting up again across Broward in response to a pent-up demand for space after years of business cutbacks.

Duke Realty is developing a 144,000-square-foot building off Interstate 75 near Pines Boulevard in Pembroke Pines. It's the largest office project in Broward in seven years and the first of four buildings totaling nearly 600,000 square feet that Duke is planning on the site.

Ed Mitchell, senior vice president of Duke, said his firm is negotiating with major tenants interested in taking the entire first building for their headquarters.

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"What we're really looking for in these buildings is corporate America," he said.

South Florida's commercial real estate market languished after the housing collapse and later the financial crisis. Layoffs and delayed expansions reduced the immediate need for office space. New construction was out of the question because landlords had trouble filling existing buildings.

"But now people are hiring again," said Brady Titcomb, associate director of the JLL real estate firm in Fort Lauderdale. "Tenants in smaller spaces are planning for growth whereas over the last few years they were planning to downsize."

In the first quarter of 2015, Broward's overall office vacancy rate was a still-high 15.4 percent, but that's down from 17.9 percent in the first quarter of 2014, according to JLL. What's more, few existing buildings can accommodate large blocks of space, brokers say.

Attorney Jeff Ostrow expects to complete his 40,000-square-foot One West Las Olas building this fall in downtown Fort Lauderdale. His 50-person law firm will take more than half of the building, and Ostrow has leased the rest.

Miami-based Riviera Point Development Group recently opened 38,000- and 32,000-square-foot office buildings geared toward smaller tenants in Miramar. Construction on a third building, the 76,000-square-foot Riviera Point Corporate Center, started last month.

The Duke building, expected to be complete by November, is the biggest office project in the county since the Stiles firm opened a 200,000-square-foot headquarters for AutoNation in downtown Fort Lauderdale in 2008.

Duke's four-building development, called Pembroke Pointe, is within walking distance of the Shops at Pembroke Gardens, a 400,000-square-foot shopping center.

Office construction isn't as far along in Palm Beach County, though at least two projects are in the planning stages.

Carl DeSantis, founder of the former Rexall Sundown Inc., is part of a group that hopes to build 83,000 square feet of offices at Atlantic Crossing, a mixed-used project proposed for East Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach. And an affiliate of DiVosta Investments is talking to the city of Palm Beach Gardens about the potential for more than 200,000 square feet at Alternate A1A and PGA Boulevard.

"It's encouraging to see shovels getting dusted off," said Peter Reed, Managing Principal at Commercial Florida Realty Services in Boca Raton. "In 2010, there wouldn't have been a thought of new office development. But at this point, it's not so far-fetched."

While many consider Boca Raton the county's most prestigious office market, the city likely won't see plans proposed anytime soon, Reed said. Existing buildings still have vacancies, and part or all of Office Depot's 625,000-square-foot headquarters could be available for lease once the office supply giant merges with rival Staples.

NEW OFFICE BUILDINGS POSSIBLE AS COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE MARKET IMPROVES
By Paul Owers
October 17, 2014

Sun Sentinel

Large blocks of office space are scarce in South Florida, and commercial real estate brokers say that could lead to something we haven't seen in at least seven years: traditional lenders financing new construction.

The downtown Fort Lauderdale vacancy rate for “Class A“ buildings in Broward County was 14.5 percent in the third quarter, the lowest since 2007, according to a third-quarter report from the JLL firm.

There are no contiguous spaces of at least 70,000 square feet available in the downtown. In the rest of the county, there are only three spaces 70,000 square feet or larger and only 13 spaces of at least 30,000 square feet, JLL said.

To be sure, big tenants are rare, but companies that may be considering a relocation to the region don't have enough quality options, the report said.

The lack of space is pushing Class A rental rates high enough to justify new buildings, said Rod Loschiavo, senior vice president of JLL in South Florida. He said he's working with two clients on build-to-suit opportunities.

“I think Pembroke Pines and Miramar are the first places we'll see new construction," he said. "In the suburbs you can get away with building 80,000 or 100,000 square feet because there's not as much risk.“

Lenders have been wary of financing new office buildings across South Florida as the commercial market strugggled amid the Great Recession.

A Miami-based developer, Riviera Point Development Group, opened an office building this spring in Miramar and recently announced plans for a second office project that's expected to break ground next fall. But those buildings were financed through a government program designed to help foreign investors achieve permanent U.S. residency.

Palm Beach County's office market has been especially slow to recover from the downturn, but Class A vacancies are still down and finding large blocks of space remains a challenge.

The county's Class A vacancy dropped to 17.4 percent in the third quarter from 20.4 percent a year ago, according to JLL. The report shows only two Palm Beach County buildings that can accommodate a tenant needing 70,000 or more square feet, and only four buildings with at least 30,000 square feet.

Peter Reed, a broker with Commercial Florida Realty Services, said Boca Raton likely can't accommodate a major office development anytime soon. One Town Center, for instance, is still seeking tenants to replace Tyco, which left the entire 194,000-square-foot building in 2011, Reed said.

The Palm Beach County market best equipped for a large new office building is Palm Beach Gardens on a five-acre site next to the Gardens Corporate Center along PGA Boulevard, Reed said.

“That’s the one area in Palm Beach County that could potentially support new office construction,“ Reed said. "The office market is changing. Because of technology, companies don’t require as much space per person as they did before. That's why developers need to proceed with caution when it comes to new buildings.“


SUCCESSFUL TRIO TO RECEIVE FREE ENTERPRISE COMPANION MEDALS
October 7, 2014

Palm Beach Atlantic University

Three prominent figures in the Palm Beach County business community, Fabiola Brumley, Greg Quatlebaum and Peter D. Reed, will be honored with companion medals during Palm Beach Atlantic University’s American Free Enterprise Day ceremony November 6, 2014

Peter D. Reed is a founding and managing principal of Commercial Florida Realty Services, located in Boca Raton. The company is a full-service boutique real estate organization specializing in commercial real estate, leasing, acquisition and property and asset management of office properties in South Florida.

Reed has a broad and diverse real estate background spanning more than 20 years. Previously he was a senior vice president at the Jupiter-based Rendina Companies, where he was responsible for the marketing of 1.5 million square feet of commercial real estate development, successfully selling over 250,000 square feet of office condominiums with a value of more than $65 million.

Prior to that he was a senior vice president with Grubb & Ellis Company, a national real estate firm. While at Grubb & Ellis, Reed was involved in leasing and managing more than 1 million square feet of office space with lease value in excess of $100 million. Reed also was involved in more than 500,000 square feet of office sale transactions with total value of more than $60 million. He was named to the Grubb & Ellis Circle of Excellence Society in 2000 and 2001 and was Grubb & Ellis’ Top Producer in Florida in 2001.

A graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic’s Rinker School of Business, Reed holds a Masters in Commercial Property (MiCP) designation and is member of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR).

Reed serves on the Palm Beach Atlantic University Real Estate Task Force. He also serves on the board of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes - South Florida Lacrosse.

Reed and his son, Peter Reed Jr., reside in Juno Beach with a home in Vermont, maintaining ties to his New England roots.


GEORGE SACKS, S&K PARTNER ON BROWARD PROJECT
March 4, 2014

CRE-Source South Florida

Commercial Florida Realty Services and real estate investment group S&K Worldwide Realty see demand for Broward corporate relocation and expansion office space turning upward faster than expected.

“The re-energized economy has more companies looking to relocate or expand in Broward, but their need for ample office space is colliding with market realities, especially along the I-95 corridor,“ said George Sacks, Commercial Florida Realty managing partner.

To offer users seeking signage and space along I-95 expanded options, S&K Worldwide Realty has partnered with Sacks’ firm to bring to market several contiguous spaces of 10,000 to 20,000 square feet at Southlake Plaza in Newport Center business park, Deerfield Beach. Prospective tenants can choose to lease just the space they need, or buy either of two multi-tenant buildings, occupy a portion and gain built-in cash flow from existing credit tenants such as JPMorgan Chase and AT&T.

At one of Southlake Plaza’s two-story buildings, 1400 Newport Center Drive, for example, the partnership is marketing a 20,000-square-foot full floor in the same building where JPMorgan Chase signed a 12-year lease in 2013. “Broward’s suburban office rents along I-95 have stabilized and begun rising,“ Sacks explained. “Companies see higher space costs ahead, whether they lease or buy. A business that occupies its own building with credit tenants carrying some of the load, can substantially limit risk, lock in costs and locate in higher profile space,“ he said.

“Growing companies need to look at the balance sheet impact of leasing, buying or constructing a single-user building,“ Sacks added. “Broward’s office inventory is not yet low enough to trigger new construction, and developable land along I-95 is rare and costly.“ More relocating and expanding firms, he said, are considering buying a multi-tenant building.

Southlake Plaza weathered the recession with strong tenancy, thanks in part to its location within the 119-acre Newport Center business park, Sacks said. Most of the park’s buildings are owned, not leased, and corporate neighbors in the park include the University of Miami Sylvester at Deerfield Beach cancer center, MAPEI Americas, Staples’ back office operations, as well as two hotels.

According to S&K Worldwide Realty President Dirk Kuczurba, “We purchased Southlake Plaza many years ago, recognizing the opportunity to build long-term value in a property with an ideal location.“ S&K and its related companies and partnerships own, develop and manage commercial and industrial real estate throughout Europe and the U.S., and have invested more than $650 million in Florida land, office, industrial and retail facilities.


CLEMATIS MARKING ROOM FOR KARAOKE
By Alexandra Clough
February 16, 2014

Palm Beach Post

Karaoke is coming to Clematis Street, bringing a little song to the downtown West Palm Beach dining and entertainment scene.

Shout Karaoke just signed a lease at 301 Clematis St., in the Galleria Building, at the northeast corner of Clematis Street and Olive Avenue. The space has been empty for a long time but years ago was occupied by Enigma nightclub and, earlier, Heartbreakers. The club is at 109 Olive Ave.

Eric Brown, Shout's owner, said his venue is a twist on the traditional notion of people singing on a stage in front of strangers.

Instead, the vocally shy can warble in 11 private rooms that can accommodate small or large parties. The rooms rent for $6 an hour, per person, which Brown said is a good entertainment value. About 6,000 songs are available.

Brown said the private rooms are the biggest draw.

The 6,900-square-foot space also will feature karaoke for everyone, but not on a stage. Rather, a microphone can be passed among bar-goers.

There's also a third feature planned: In the middle of the space will be a music lounge, walled off from the live karaoke.

Brown manages 11 locations nationwide for other owners, including Sing Sing in Miami Beach, but this is the first one he will own. He's planning to include added features in the private rooms, such as sports channels and video-gaming. The plan is to roll out the concept nationwide, ultimately owning 50 to 100 locations.

“We looked all over South Florida and we felt Clematis Street would be perfect,“ Brown said, citing the space's high-profile location.

Shout will be “very comfortable,“ he said.“ You can lose yourself in the experience. Our best advertising is word of mouth. Once people come, they come back, big-time. ... We're very confident.“

“It's a neat concept,“ said Peter Reed, managing principal at Commercial Florida Realty Services LLC in Boca Raton. Reed brokered the deal. Although there will be a bar and some food served, the goal is to rent the rooms “and get people in there singing,“ Reed said. “It will fill a niche that will complement restaurants, but not so much that it would be competitive,“ he said.

The venue is suitable for birthday parties or get-togethers of all ages, including children, since Shout will serve food. Brown expects to be ready to open by May or June.

Raphael Clemente, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority, which is upstairs from Shout, said he is pleased to see the long-vacant space being occupied “by something different.“

Although Clematis Street is known mostly for its bars and restaurants, Clemente said the area has seen a growth in spas, salons and gallery spaces as well. Pastry presence Farther east on Clematis, look for something else that's new: a French pastry shop, courtesy of Thierry Beaud, owner of Clematis Street's Pistache and Palm Beach's PB Catch restaurants. The shop is dubbed Paneterie, French for keeper of bread, from which the word "pantry" derives, Beaud said. Paneterie will be at 205 Clematis St., site of a former pizzeria.

Beaud expects a late March opening. At a time when competition for Clematis Street dining dollars is fierce, Beaud said it’s important for everyone to pitch in and be “town servants,“ providing another reason for customers to linger.

That’s why he’s planning to keep Paneterie open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Early risers downtown can catch a coffee and croissant on their way to work, and those attending an evening performance at the Don & Ann Brown Theatre can have a pastry. Expect sandwiches, salads, croissants and macaroons.

A sister pastry shop, Patrick Lézé Palm Beach, operates on Sunrise Avenue on Palm Beach.


SANCTUARY CENTRE SELLS OUT OF DEVELOPER-OWNED OFFICE
Commercial real estate market slowly improving, brokers say
By Paul Owers
February 16, 2014

Sun Sentinel Logo

With six office condominium sales in recent weeks, the Sanctuary Centre in Boca Raton has sold out of all of its developer-owned space.

Compass iTech, a technology company, and NuMedCare LLC, a national management and consulting firm for pharmacies and physicians, are among the firms buying space at the 180,442-square-foot complex at Federal Highway and Yamato Road.

In 2007, a company led by George Sacks bought the 80,000 square feet that remain unsold. Sacks' Commercial Florida Realty Services handled sales at the center.

The Sanctuary Centre condos — roughly 1,400 to 7,000 square feet — ranged in price from about $96,000 to $750,000.

In recent weeks, some units fetched 35 percent to 40 percent more than those that sold in the past six months, Sacks said. During the recession, Sacks said he and his firm used attractive leasing terms to find tenants. When demand in the area picked up, they changed to more of a sales focus.

The brisk activity at Sanctuary Centre is indicative of a strengthening commercial real estate market in Palm Beach and Broward counties, Sacks said.

“It was a long cycle of false starts, but now we are seeing some good positive indications,“ he said.

Jonathan Kingsley, of Jones Lang LaSalle, said rent growth, building sales and commercial property values are improving across Palm Beach and Broward.

“The theme seems to be that we are past the recovery and are now moving on to the next phase of growth,“ he said.


SMALL FIRMS DISCOVER BUYING BEATS RENTING
Office rental rates to increase due to lack of construction, brokers say
By Paul Owers
October 15, 2013

Sun Sentinel Logo

Some small businesses in South Florida are finding it's better to buy than to rent. Entrepreneurs, law firms and marketing companies are becoming their own landlords, locking in occupancy costs before expected increases in mortgage and rental rates, brokers say.

“I think it's indicative of restored confidence in the economy that firms are willing to make longer-term commitments,“ said George Sacks, managing principal at Commercial Florida Realty Services in Boca Raton.

Commercial Florida has completed a handful of office condominium sales recently at Sanctuary Centre, a 187,000-square-foot complex in Boca Raton. Tenants also are buying at The Exchange, a six-building Fort Lauderdale complex.

PeytonBolin, a seven-attorney law firm in Tamarac, signed a lease in 2008 — during the height of the recession when office rents "were dirt cheap," founding partner Mauri Peyton said.

When it came time to renew, Peyton couldn't get as good of a deal in his building — or anywhere else. The more he looked at the firm's costs, the more he realized it could probably buy space for as much as it could rent it.

PeytonBolin, which represents condo and homeowner associations through Florida, agreed to buy a 6,240-square-foot office suite at The Exchange. Peyton said the monthly ownership costs will be about the same as renting, but the tax benefits make buying the much better bargain.

“Rather than just throwing money away on rent, we're building equity," he said. "We don't have to worry about a landlord or losing our build-out money when we leave.“

PeytonBolin and other firms want to act now before mortgage rates inch up further. And commercial rents are due to increase as well, given the lack of construction over the past few years, Sacks said.

Another advantage to buying: A more favorable lending environment, brokers say. Businesses can get up to 90 percent financing on loans backed by the Small Business Administration.

For some, renting is the smarter option for many larger firms and those that crave flexibility.

“If you are uncertain about whether your space needs are going to change, it may not make sense for you to buy,“ said John McQueston, a broker associate with Campbell & Rosemurgy in Pompano Beach.


SACKS SEALS 15,500 SF IN EXCHANGE DEALS
October 13, 2013

CRE Sources South Florida

The Exchange six-building office complex in Fort Lauderdale has closed multiple recent transactions

At the office park located at 3303-3363 West Commercial Boulevard, call center and contact management services provider Talk2Rep has leased 9,228 square feet for its corporate offices, and the law firm of PeytonBolin, PL purchased a 6,240-square-foot office condo suite.  Asset manager and broker George Sacks, managing principal of Commercial Florida Realty Services, represented owner The Exchange of Fort Lauderdale LLC in the transactions.

“As Broward’s office market slowly strengthens, we’re seeing higher demand for small blocks of space in suburban locations,” Sacks said.  “We have activity from professional firms and marketing-related companies that need 10,000 square feet of corporate space or less and are anxious to lock in costs before economic conditions shift,” Sacks said. “They’re keenly aware of the market’s signals, with Broward property values recovering and lease rates starting to increase in some of the county’s Class A complexes.  They know interest rates will inevitably rise.”

The deals at The Exchange, which totals 174,473 square feet, bring the complex to 83 percent occupied.

Companies are running the numbers for lease vs. buy, based on their business models, Sacks said.  Tenants are securing today’s favorable leasing rates, and owner-buyers who anticipate stable space needs are moving quickly on low interest rates and the availability of up to 90 percent Small Business Administration (SBA) financing.

Law firm PeytonBolin, which represents condominium and homeowner associations throughout Florida, will relocate from Tamarac offices to The Exchange in December, according to founding partner Mauri Peyton.  “We’ve found the cost of ownership is not much higher than leasing, and the tax benefits are significant,” he said.  The law firm secured SBA financing through Paradise Bank.  “Local property values are trending upward,” Peyton said, “and we expect the Commercial Boulevard business corridor to grow.”

Talk2Rep, whose CEO is Jim Ryan, moved its corporate offices from Tamarac to The Exchange this summer. The company specializes in outsourced teleservices and live chat for multiple government agencies and recognized global brands such as AT&T, Casio, Bayer and more.

“The Exchange’s access to major roadways and Broward’s airports is convenient for our staff and clients,” said Ryan.  “Our needs were complex, including placing a generator on-site, and Commercial Florida Realty streamlined the process.”

The Exchange provides a park-like environment for its tenants and office condo owners, which include Securitas USA, the American Cancer Society, Saveology Corporate Headquarters and Interval Servicing.


KOLTER IN DEAL TO BUY BRIGER TRACT IN PALM BEACH GARDENS
By Alexandra Clough
February 24, 2013

Palm Beach Post

PALM BEACH GARDENS — The Kolter Group Co. is under contract to buy the prized Briger tract in Palm Beach Gardens, according to a Palm Beach County official and several real estate sources.

The deal, although not yet complete, is a big step forward in developing a prime tract set aside for a biotech research hub, an idea that first attracted the Scripps Research Institute to Florida.

The nearly 700-acre property is across the street from Scripps Florida on Donald Ross Road in the Abacoa development and is the largest piece of undeveloped land along Interstate 95 in Palm Beach County.

If Kolter closes on the deal, it is likely to get to work quickly on development, said Peter Reed, a principal with Commercial Florida Realty Services in Boca Raton. “This will help restart the market efforts of attracting other like-minded life science companies that want to cluster around there,” Reed said.

In 2010, the Briger tract was approved for 4 million square feet of biotech space.

“We think it’s great,” Shannon LaRocque, Palm Beach County assistant administrator said of the proposed Kolter purchase. “It’s critical to get a development partner and Kolter is a good one.“

A Kolter executive declined to comment. The Lester family, which owns the Briger tract, did not return a phone call seeking comment.

But several real estate sources said the deal is in the due diligence stage and a closing could come soon.

While no one knows the purchase price, estimates of $100 million — or more — seem likely, real estate pros say. One developer said the price could be as high as $125 million to $150 million.

Peter Reed said Kolter is a smart choice. “Kolter is a known developer who comes without any question on their ability to perform, so you want that type of horsepower,“ Reed said.

Kolter built One City Plaza and Two City Place condos in downtown West Palm Beach, has built Hyatt Place hotels in West Palm Beach and Delray Beach, and is building a luxury condominium in Gulfstream. It also is set to start building a luxury high-rise in North Palm Beach. Kolter has built several multifamily communities.

Real estate experts said the Kolter purchase would change the landscape of Palm Beach Gardens.

“Wow,“ said Rebel Cook of Rebel Cook Real Estate in Jupiter. “I think it’s an amazing piece and will just add more economic growth to the area,” added Cook, who also serves as president of the Economic Forum, a Palm Beach County business group.

Richard M. Rendina, chairman of The Rendina Cos. of Jupiter, agreed that the in-town land is very important.

“The Briger tract is a great piece of entitled dirt,“ Rendina said.

Before Scripps and the entitlements were in place at Briger, Rendina said his father, the late Bruce Rendina, tried to buy the property from the Lester family. Bruce Rendina was instrumental in bringing Scripps to Abacoa, which he helped develop.

Rendina said his company and Abacoa would be great neighbors. Additionally, if Kolter wanted a partner to develop the commercial, medical or biotech components, “we would be interested in joining forces,“ said Rendina, whose company builds medical office buildings nationwide.

Indeed, Cook said medical office space remains in demand. That will likely increase if an admistrative law judge recommends to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration that it approve a $120 million, 80-bed teaching and research medical center on the Scripps part of the Briger property.

LaRocque said the judge’s decision, which is not binding to the agency, appears imminent.

The agency previously approved the project, but nearby hospitals, such as Jupiter Medical Center, appealed the decision, saying a new hospital is not needed.

Palm Beach County purchased 40 acres on the Briger site to allow Scripps to expand, and the Lester family donated 30 acres, LaRocque said. These 70 acres sit inside the part of the Briger parcel allocated for biotech development.

LaRocque said the teaching facility, a joint venture between Scripps and hospital giant Tenet, is not a hospital in the classic sense, but is an academic medical center for teaching and drug discovery, in collaboration with Scripps and Florida Atlantic University. The hospital, now known as the Florida Regional Medical Center, would feature 80 beds and collaborate with FAU’s new medical school.

Plans are afoot to redo the old Home Depot Expo building in Boynton Beach.

Retail broker Dan Lynch, of Atlantic Retail Properties, said the property’s new buyer is considering subdividing the 90,000 square foot space into two or three spaces. The property was sold to Boynton Expo Investors LLC for $5.1 million by Home Depot last year.

Lynch said he’s talking to a number of “junior“ anchors that would be complementary to the Home Depot next door.

Making the space more attractive are plans to raise elevations on the back of the building so it is more visible from Interstate 95, Lynch said.


COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE MARKET 'BOUNCING ALONG BOTTOM'
By Paul Owers
January 3, 2013

Sun Sentinel Logo

South Florida businesses looking for office space in 2013 will negotiate from a position of power as the commercial real estate market continues its slow recovery.

Many tenants with expiring leases are pushing for better deals in their existing locations as landlords dangle free rent and other concessions as incentives to move, brokers say.

“It's still a tenant's market," said Kevin McCarthy, a vice president with Jones Lang LaSalle in Palm Beach County. "Building owners are going after quality, credit tenants very aggressively.“

Rental rates and occupancy levels have remained steady, leading some brokers to believe the worst of the downturn is over. “I think we're bouncing along the bottom,“ said Peter Reed of Commercial Florida Realty Services in Boca Raton.

Office construction likely will be limited in the new year because of a lack of pent-up demand, said Tom Capocefalo, corporate managing director with the Studley real estate firm in Fort Lauderdale.

Still, Capocefalo expects some new distribution and office warehouse buildings, especially in Sunrise, Coral Springs and other parts of western Broward County.

“We're a prime gateway to South and Central America,“ he said. “More companies are doing distribution and logistical services, and in the past two or three years, the available inventory has been leased up or sold.“

Retail leasing is expected to increase in 2013 due to a lack of construction over the past few years coupled with improving consumer confidence. Brokers predict higher rents and occupancies this year.

Restaurants and discount retailers are opening new stores, although at a slower pace, said Robert Vreeland, director of leasing for the Sterling Organization, a Palm Beach-based owner of shopping centers.

"Overall, the health of the retail real estate market in South Florida is improving, and I expect that trend to continue for the next several years," Vreeland said in an email.

Some businesses that have remained on the sidelines recently are beginning to look to expand again. For example, Duffy's Sports Grill opened the last of its 24 restaurants in North Miami Beach in June 2011 and then curtailed growth until the economic climate brightened.

Although conditions still could be better, President Paul Emmett said Wednesday the Lake Worth-based chain has resumed expansion plans and is considering additional sites, particularly in Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

"We'd open two, three, four locations now if we could find the right ones," he said. "Life is risk. We would be remiss if we didn't go out and pursue new opportunities. I'm afraid if we didn't, we'd miss the train."


COMMERCIAL FLORIDA REALTY BRINGS HILLSBORO CENTER TO 95% OCCUPIED
CRE-South Florida Sources

Palm Beach Post

Boca Raton based Commercial Florida Realty Services has leased 73,146 square feet of office space at the 116,000 square foot Hillsboro Center, located at 600 West Hillsboro Boulevard in Deerfield Beach.

The leases include a new lease with Pylon Manufacturing Corp (10,229 SF), expansion of The Ticktin Law Group (13,712 SF), expansion of Old Republic Tile Insurance Co. (9,441 SF) and the expansion of Dart Container Company (39,764 SF)

“What’s most encouraging is the majority of the Hillsboro Center leasing has come organically, which is a good indicator that the overall economy may well be on the upturn,“ stated Peter D. Reed, Managing Principal at Commercial Florida Realty Services, Hillsboro Center’s exclusive leasing firm.

Hillsboro Center is owned by Parkway Properties, Inc., a publically-traded real estate investment trust (NYSE symbol: PKY).


SOUTH FLORIDA'S OFFICE MARKET IS BEGINNING TO SEE A TURNAROUND
South Florida Business Journal
9/21/12

South Florida Business Journal

Although South Florida’s office market was one of the sectors hardest hit by the downturn – with lease rates crushed and some buildings left vacant or reclaimed by banks – the turnaround has begun.

The Miami-Dade County office market is healing, but not at the pace originally anticipated, according to CBRE’s second quarter report.

“Absorption remained positive, with some new-to-market tenants moving into the area and existing companies expanding, resulting in the overall vacancy for the market declining to 19.2 percent,“ according to the report.

Brightstar’s extension on more than 61,000 square feet in Flagler Station in the Airport West ...

CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE ARTICLE


HILLSBORO CENTER RECOVERING AFTER BANKING MELTDOWN
Deerfield Beach, Florida
11/3/11

Globe St

A building that saw major fallout from the banking industry crisis is slowing recovering its tenant base. ITT Technical Institute just leased 20,000 square feet of space at Hillsboro Center.

Peter Reed, principal of Commercial Florida Realty Services, represented Parkway Properties, the landlord of Hillsboro Center. Steve O’Hara and Jason Sundook of Merin Hunter Codman represented ITT Tech in the transaction.

“First NLC Mortgage had occupied about 70,000 square feet of Hillsboro Center,” Reed tells GlobeSt.com. “When they went bankrupt they rejected and defaulted on the lease at Hillsboro Center and T-Rex.“

The occupancy rate on the building was about 55% before ITT came on board. Now, the occupancy has climbed to about 75%. The building offers 99,851 square feet across two floors located at 700 W. Hillsboro Blvd. Commercial Florida Realty Services has rebuilt occupancy over the past couple of years by focusing on local and regional professional services and support firms.

”The Deerfield Beach submarket is somewhat challenged as it’s a tweener market between Boca and Cypress Creek, both with significant vacancies,” Reed says. “Hillsboro Center is the bright spot in the submarket. Some of the other buildings on Fairway Drive are not fearing as well.”

Reed called the lease a ”shot in the arm” for Deerfield Beach and Hillsboro Center. ITT Tech will add about 40 jobs to the local economy, as well as an impact from the potential 300 students the facilities will serve.


$2 BILLION IN ASSETS ARE BEING AUCTIONED ONLINE
Premium content from South Florida Business Journal by Oscar Pedro Musibay, Reporter
South Florida Business Journal
10/7/11

Palm Beach Post

Companies, including LNR Property Corp. affiliate Archetype Advisors, are auctioning online $2 billion in distressed assets in the Southeast – including some in South Florida – at what appears to be a significant discount.

South Florida has 40 assets being sold through Auction.com, including 14 office assets and six retail assets with a total unpaid balance of more than $240 million, according to the Auction.com brochure.

Multifamily, one of the hottest sectors of the real estate market, has two notes in the auction.

As for the potential for discounts, the starting bid on $17 million owed on the Coral Springs Financial Plaza, at 3300 N. University Drive, is $3 million.

The bulk of the assets were financed through commercial mortgage-backed securities, where cash flows pay off bondholders and a special servicer, like LNR, is appointed to manage the debt relationship with the borrower when a loan goes bad. If necessary, the asset is sold to satisfy the debt.

The assets might not be performing for various reasons. Like many commercial properties today, the property might be generating enough revenue to make the mortgage payment, but a recent appraisal has valued the property lower than when the debt was issued. That would require the owner to put in more equity, find partners or potentially face foreclosure, said Peter Reed, principal with Commercial Florida Realty Services.

Some of the bank-owned properties probably reverted to the banks as a result of friendly foreclosure, with the mortgagee turning the property back, in some cases as a strategic business decision.

The auction is an attempt by special servicers like LNR and others, responsible for managing distressed investments held by trusts, to work out some of the wrinkles in existing debt that surfaced in the last few years, particularly after the financial meltdown of 2008. Lenders and investors have had to come to terms with the fact that some assets have to be discounted if they want sales to gain traction in the current market.

These types of auctions are becoming more common as banks and other lenders work their way through some assets that might be more difficult to package for sale. But the process is causing a stir in the investment community, which is raising questions about whether LNR using an affiliate to liquidate assets is the best way to manage the process for investors, said Paul Jones, president of Pyramid Realty Group in Coral Gables, which underwrote CMBS loans for LNR Partners, a division of LNR Property Corp.

“The auction is the methodology LNR and CII [another special servicer] has selected to dispose of assets,” Jones said. “They are using a captive brokerage arm, rather than a third-party real estate or loan broker, much to the dismay of the brokerage community and raising some red flags among institutional investors who are concerned about potential conflicts of interest resulting from the use of a captive brokerage firm.”

Part of the driver behind the concerns is that a special servicer like LNR gets paid to manage the asset/loan once it goes bad, and has created a company like Archetype Advisors that generates higher fees for selling it, which incentivizes the special servicer to resort to a sale, instead of a workout, Jones said. As a result, some CMBS sales going forward are incorporating these concerns into contracts.

Archetype did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Morgan Stanley Capital I Trust 2011-C3, a CMBS fund, prohibits special servicers from earning extra commissions or fees for selling or working out loans gone bad. A similar prohibition was incorporated into another CMBS deal in August, according to Orest Mandzy of Commercial Real Estate Direct.

In a recent article, Mandzy wrote that Midland Loan Services, special servicer for both transactions, will receive an annual fee of 25 basis points of the balance of any loan it actively manages and get the lesser of a 1 percent workout/liquidation fee or $1 million on a loan it resolves. But no more brokerage fees from the sale of the loans would be available, a departure from earlier transactions.

Mandzy said these kinds of prohibitions are not yet instituted across the board.


COMMERCIAL FLORIDA CHARGED WITH FILLING BOCA OFFICE FAST
Boca Raton, Florida
10/4/11

Globe St

One Park Place just handed the leasing keys to Commercial Florida Realty Services. The owner is hoping principals Peter Reed and George Sacks can fill up the Boca building.

Located at 621 NW 53rd St. in Boca Raton’s Arvida Park of Commerce, One Park Place offers 237,331 square feet of class A office space. The building was recently renovated, yet still sits at 79% occupancy. The building’s owner, Ofer Drucker, Canpro Investments, hired the firm to push occupancy levels into the 90s.

Reed tells GlobeSt.com the lease up strategy gets back to basics with direct mailer postcards and incentive to new tenants. The duo also plans to canvas the local market and work with economic development agencies to raise the profile of One Park Place.  

“Canpro will be very creative,” Reed says. “Rental abatement and moving allowances are being offered to the prospective tenants, as well as commission bonuses of one dollar per square foot for leases longer than three years and 50-cents per square foot for lease three years or less.”

Commercial Florida will target corporate users, along with government and state agencies, that are actively looking for space in the South Palm Beach County market. The biggest challenge, Reed admits, is overcoming the economic environment and corporation indecision on hiring or relocating because of the costs. “However,” he concludes, “we have seen some thawing in 2011 and we feel that trend should continue in 2012.”

The key advantage that Palm Beach County has to offer is that local government agencies are collectively working to provide incentives and assistance to local and non-local businesses in an effort to grow, expand and create new jobs, according to a September report from CBRE. The activity in the office market continues to illustrate signs of improvement, but vacancies are still higher than desired for landlords.


TIGER WOODS LEASING OFFICE SPACE IN JUPITER
By Alexandra Clough - Palm Beach Post
8/23/11

Palm Beach Post

Tiger Woods has leased a Jupiter office building and plans to move his business empire here from Orlando.

A notice to contractors was filed Aug. 19 in the Palm Beach County clerk's office and lists ETW Corp., Wood's company, as the tenant. Chris Hubman, Wood's top executive, signed the notice.

Sources say ETW is expected to be up and running by October in the Jupiter space, located at 501 N. A1A., just north of Indiantown Road.

Commercial Florida Realty's Peter Reed, who handles the property's leasing, confirmed the space has been rented but declined further comment.

A spokesman for Woods did not respond to an email seeking comment.

The move signals Woods' growing presence in northern Palm Beach County.

He owns a palatial oceanfront mansion in nearby Jupiter Island. Increasingly, he has been spotted in and around town at area restaurants, including Cabo Flats at the Downtown at the Gardens shopping center in Palm Beach Gardens.

In addition, his top executives have been putting down roots in the exclusive Frenchman's Reserve community. Two months ago, Kathryn Battaglia, an ETW vice president, paid $827,000 for a property in the Palm Beach Gardens enclave. She joins ETW's Hubman, who paid $2.14 million last year for a home in the same community.

Woods' new business command center is a 10,000-square foot, two-story, Mediterranean-influenced office building. The building features a large corner office with balcony, private restroom and shower, according to marketing materials. Interior features include French doors, a wood-paneled executive office and hallways ringed by imposing white columns.

The property was being offered for rent at $24.50 a square foot, including insurance and taxes, according to a marketing brochure.

Norman used to lease the property for his Great White Shark Enterprises but he moved his business to offices at the Vista Center in West Palm Beach.

Wood's new office is owned by CTM Realty LLC, which purchased the building in 2010 for $1.38 million, down substantially from the 2008 sales price of $2.65 million.

By all accounts, Woods appears to be following in Norman's footsteps, and not just when it comes to his choice of office space.

Woods recently built a $54.5 million estate on 12 acres on Jupiter Island, where Norman is a longtime resident. Woods' former caddy, Steve Williams, also formerly worked for Norman.

In addition to leasing the office where Norman once plotted his business ventures, Woods also now strolls a golf course designed by the Australian-born golf champ. The Greg Norman Medalist Club in nearby Hobe Sound now is Wood's home course.


COMMERCIAL FLORIDA HELPS GROWING FIRM PUT ROOTS IN JUPITER, FL
Jupiter, Florida
05/20/11

Palm Beach Post

A Palm City company known for its healthy pet foods has purchased land in Jupiter and plans to build a new headquarters and distribution facility. Life's Abundance has bought a 1-acre parcel just outside the Jupiter Park of Commerce on Capital Street. Plans are to build a 21,000-square-foot facility. The project is valued at $3.1 million, which includes $600,000 paid for the land, said Lester Thornhill, the company's president and chief executive. The seller was Capital Street Holdings. Rick Reikenis, a Capital Street official, said he and his partners bought the land in 2008 to build a building for their North Palm Beach engineering firm, East Bay Group, but the recession killed their plans. Their setback, however, proved fortuitous for Life's Abundance, which now will be able to expand its business. The company has about 32 employees and is looking to hire. It expects to grow to at least 50 once it makes the move to Palm Beach County by February. The company has an immediate need for a marketing and communications specialist. "We need a larger labor pool," Thornhill said. Indeed, the company is poised for continued growth with the popularity of its all-natural cat and dog food. Thornhill would not disclose profits at the privately held company, but he said that revenues exceed $15 million annually. And sales continue to grow: Last year the company grew more than 7 percent, and this year "we're up more than last year," he said. Peter Reed, a Commercial Florida Realty Services principal and the broker on the deal, called the move "a real shot in the arm" for the economy. "It brings needed jobs to Jupiter," Reed said, and will create some construction jobs, too. Thornhill said the company needed a bigger building and decided to build its own facility after realizing that prices for property and construction were only going to go up. "We realized if there was any time it made sense to build a building, that time would be now," he said. The building also will be the company's headquarters and the location of its southeast distribution facility. In addition to Florida, Life's Abundance has distribution facilities in California and Illinois.


GEORGE SACKS AND PETER D. REED, PRINCIPALS OF COMMERCIAL FLORIDA REALTY SERVICES, ANNOUNCE THE SALE OF 22,000 SQ. FT. OF OFFICE-CONDOS WITH DOLLAR VALUE OVER $3,000,000
Boca Raton, Florida
02/15/11

Sanctuary

Commercial Florida Realty Services recently completed the sale of four office condominiums totaling 21,612 square feet at the Sanctuary Centre – 4800 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton, Florida. The sales included 7,570 square feet to CNA Realty, for Cable Networks Associates – US Headquarters, Smart Travel, Inc.  – 6,244 square feet for their Smart Cruiser division, LMY, Inc. 5,754 square feet for their first Florida office of PT2 Physical Therapy and the Law Office of Thomas Walser, PA purchased 2,044 square feet.  “we’ve definitely seen a pickup in sale velocity in the last 90 days” noted Peter D. Reed, Co-Founder and Principal of Commercial Florida Realty Services.  In addition to the recent sales at Sanctuary Centre, there are also three other units totaling 12,921 square feet under contract, pending closing in the next 90 days.  “if this keeps up we’ll be sell off the balance of the inventory by year’s end”  George Sacks, Principal of Commercial Florida Realty Services added.


MCCALLA RAYMER OPENS IN FORT LAUDERDALE
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
02/08/11

Mcalla Logo
South Florida Logo

The sliver lining to the real estate meltdown may be that it is spurring some law firms to open and expand in South Florida. McCalla Raymer, a law firm that specializes in real estate, foreclosure, litigation, REO and eviction services, has inked a lease for 15,298 square feet at 110 Tower in downtown Fort Lauderdale. The deal marks the Atlanta-based firm's entrance into the South Florida market. It recently opened offices in Orlando and Panama City, as well. And while it's benefiting from business now being spun off from the real estate and foreclosure crisis, Managing Partner Marty Stone said McCalla Raymer is committed to building a long-lasting practice in the state, even after the foreclosure work subsides. "We do real estate, soup to nuts," he said of the firm's broad spectrum of real estate services, which includes closings and commercial real estate. The firm is now hiring lawyers and support staff for its Fort Lauderdale office. And, yes, Stone says he has hired some lawyers who previously work for so-called "foreclosure king" David J Stern. "The most important thing to me is not to paint everyone with too wide a brush," he said. "The fact that they have David Stern or any other law firm on their resume shouldn't be the only thing you look at." Stern's Plantation law firm is under investigation by the Florida Attorney General's Office for so-called robo-signing. McCalla Raymer will service Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties from its new Fort Lauderdale office, Stone said. George Sacks and Peter D. Reed, principals of Commercial Florida Realty Services, represented the firm in its space search. "We identified over 10 potential locations, but ultimately chose the 110 Tower for two major reasons: the proximity to courthouse and the ability to expand," Sacks said. Formerly home to AutoNation, the 391,473-square-foot building at 110 S.E. Sixth St. has undergone $24 million in renovations and green upgrades that have it seeking gold LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The renovations include a new lobby, common areas and a seventh-floor restaurant. Due to its close proximity to the Broward County Courthouse, the landlord, Dallas-Capital Genesis Capital Partners, repositioned the building to service firms doing court-related business after losing AutoNation to Stiles Corp.'s new 17-story building at 200 Las Olas Circle, also in downtown Fort Lauderdale. The strategy has proven prudent, according to Laurel Oswald, VP of Transwestern, which handles leasing and marketing of the building. Transwestern has signed about 192,000 square feet of leases since AutoNation's departure, she said. The building is now about 70 percent leased.


THREE YEAR-END COMMERCIAL DEALS IN PALM BEACH COUNTY TOTAL ALMOST $33M
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
01/03/11

Palm Beach Post

The record-breaking commercial real estate market of a few years ago remains a distant memory, but three year-end deals totaling nearly $33 million closed in late December in Palm Beach County. In the largest of the three deals, Healthcare Trust of America paid $12.8 million for a 48,000-square-foot medical building in Wellington. The property is occupied by Wellington Regional Medical Center. The sale is part of a five-building, $84 million transaction between Healthcare Trust, a real estate investment trust in Arizona, and Rendina Cos. of Jupiter. The deal included four other buildings in other parts of the country. In another sale, TA Associates Realty of Boston paid Kolter Group of West Palm Beach $11 million for a 35,000-square-foot office building at 3507 Kyoto Gardens Drive in Palm Beach Gardens, according to property records.Tenants include Key Bank and Merrill Lynch, and that deal shows that there's demand for newer buildings with little vacancy, said Jason Sundook, an NAI/Merin Hunter Codman broker who handled leasing at the building. However, older buildings with empty space are languishing. "For the quality properties, there's still a bidding war, but there's a huge gap into the next level of product," Sundook said. In another deal, the 11,576-square-foot office building at 231 Royal Palm Way in Palm Beach sold for $8.9 million. PNC Wealth Management leases the space on the island's Banker's Row. The buyer was 231 Royal Palm Way LLC of Miami. Commercial real estate brokers see the sales as a sign of life for the hard-hit property market. "We're not seeing the type of velocity we saw a few years ago, but it's nice to see some things moving," said Peter Reed of Commercial Florida Realty in Boca Raton. The credit freeze has begun to thaw a bit, said Michael Falk of Michael Falk & Co. in West Palm Beach. "With the unemployment rate where it's at, people are still a little reserved," Falk said. "But people are starting to realize there are value opportunities in the market."


NEW LEASING ASSIGNMENT
Boca Raton, Florida
09/17/10

The Millennium

Peter D. Reed and George Sacks, Principals of Boca Raton based Commercial Florida Realty Services, are pleased to announce that Commercial Florida Realty Services has been engaged to lease the Millennium Building.  Located at 6501 N. Congress Avenue in Boca Raton’s Arvida Park of Commerce, the Millennium Building contains 60,000 square feet of Class-A office space.  The Millennium Building was awarded the NAIOP Spec Building of the year in 2001.  The Millennium Building is home to Careers USA and is currently 90% occupied.  George Ounjian, Principal in Millennium Two, LLC felt they needed leasing expertise to back-fill upcoming vacancy at the building.  “Who else but Peter and George, they did a great job leasing our building when we developed it ten years ago” said Ounjian. “We know we’ll have similar success. It’s the best building in town…”


COMMERICAL FLORIDA SELLS 20,000 SF OFFICE BUILDING
Boynton Beach, FL
08/09/10

chase

Boynton Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida: Peter D. Reed and George Sacks, Principals of Boca Raton based Commercial Florida Realty Services, are pleased to announce the sale of Chase Bank Building, located at 555 N. Congress Avenue, Boynton Beach, Florida. The 19,791 square foot, three-story is situated on a 2.2-acre outparcel at the northwest corner of Congress Avenue and the east entrance road to the Boynton Beach Mall. The professional office complex sold for $1,700,000. Commercial Florida represented the seller, JPMorgan Chase Bank National Association, (NYSE symbol: JPM) in the transaction. The buyer was Congress Avenue Financial Associates, LLC, an affiliate of Harbor Group International of Norfolk, Virginia. Chase will remain in the bank branch portion of the building. Other tenants in the building include: Joseph C. Gretzula, DO, FAAD, PA; Kenneth M. Kaleel, PA and Nicholas G. Kaleel, DMD, PA.


12,441 SQUARE FEET OF OFFICE TRANSACTIONS COMPLETED AT THE EXCHANGE
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
07/01/10

The Exchange

George Sacks and Peter D. Reed, Principals of Commercial Florida Realty Services, announced the completion of two office transactions totaling 12,441 square feet, at The Exchange office complex in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Elephant Group, Inc. (d/b/a Savology.com) leased 9,255 square feet in the two-story 3323 Building. In addition, Brett Burks (d/b/a Primerica) leased 3,186 square feet in the one-story 3343 Building at The Exchange. Primerica was represented by Les Byron, with Sperry Van Ness Commercial Real Estate Advisors.


OFFICE VACANCIES IN SOUTH FLORIDA RISE AS COMPANIES DOWNSIZE
Boca Raton, Florida
04/07/10

Sun Sentinel Logo

South Florida office vacancies are rising to their highest levels in years as tenants bargain for less space in a still weak economy. Palm Beach County's vacancy in the first quarter of the year was 24.5 percent, up from 22.1 percent during the same period a year ago, according to Cushman & Wakefield. Broward's vacancy was 19.4 percent, compared with 16.1 percent a year earlier. The dot-com bust in the early 2000s and the savings-and-loan crisis of the early 1990s were the only other times in recent memory that vacancies were so high, said Greg Martin, a senior director at Cushman & Wakefield in Fort Lauderdale. "In general, most tenants are cutting occupancy costs to help with the bottom line," Martin said. Many companies trying to downsize are using a strategy known as "blend and extend." They take less space while agreeing to add years to their leases, typically at a lower rent per square foot. Job losses at title companies and law firms have exacerbated office vacancies, said Peter Reed, a broker for Commercial Florida Realty Services in Boca Raton. "The white-collar jobs I don't see coming back," he said. "How are we going to decrease the vacancy? It's going to have to be some kind of new sector." To draw business, landlords drop rental rates and offer concessions such as free rent, said commercial real estate brokers. "It's a difficult environment for [building owners]," said Tom Capocefalo, managing director of the Studley real estate firm in Fort Lauderdale. "We're not going to see any realized increase in occupancy for the next 18 months." While tenants are postponing moves, some are taking advantage of market conditions to boost their visibility. A medical staffing company recently moved from a modest office building to a more prestigious Hollywood complex and is paying only a slightly higher rental rate, said Jonathan Kingsley, managing director of Grubb & Ellis Co. in Miami and Boca Raton. The highest first-quarter office vacancies in Broward were in Deerfield Beach, Tamarac and Margate, all hitting 32 percent, according to Cushman & Wakefield. In Palm Beach County, Delray Beach's vacancy ballooned to 42.6 percent, while Jupiter/Tequesta was at 32 percent.
Copyright © 2010, South Florida Sun-Sentinel


PETER D. REED NEGOTIATES 16,163 SQUARE FEET OF LEASES
Boca Raton, Florida
02/15/10

Signature Logo

Stratis Logo

Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Florida: Commercial Florida Realty Services is pleased to announce the completion of two lease transactions totaling 16,163 square feet. Peter D. Reed, Principal of Commercial Florida Realty Services represented Stratis Business Systems, Inc. in its 7,326 square foot lease at Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA) new building in Boca Raton; 1800 Boca Center. Stratis will be relocating from its current office at the FAU Research Park once the office build-out is completed. The landlord was represented by, Mike Erickson at CB Richard Ellis. In addition, Reed also represented Signature Consultants, LLC in the recasting and renewing of its 8,837 square foot lease at 2101 Commercial Building in Fort Lauderdale, Broward County, Florida. Greg Martin with Cushman & Wakefield of Florida, Inc. represented the Landlord, Mainstreet Capital Partners.


OVER 26,000 SQUARE FEET SOLD OR LEASED AT SANCTUARY CENTRE
Boca Raton, Florida
02/01/10

Sanctuary

Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Florida: George Sacks and Peter D. Reed, Principals of Commercial Florida Realty Services are pleased to announce the completion of eight transactions totaling 26,183 square feet of sales and/or leases lease at Sanctuary Centre. The sale transactions included: the sale to Euro International Mortgage of 6,342 square feet, Smart for Life - 5,921 square feet, Law Office of Eric Klein, PA - 2,996 square feet, Turtle Island Associates – 1,597 square feet and Pro-Tech Personnel – 1,290 square feet. ‘The sales program and transaction process at Sanctuary Centre is one of the best and smoothest I’ve been involved of late’ said Barry Brizel, President of Raintree Properties, who represented both The Law Office of Eric Klein and Turtle Island Associates in the purchase of their units at Sanctuary Centre. In addition, lease transactions with: Venture Partners for 3,398 square feet, Smart Travel – 2,628 square feet and Partners Community for 2,010 square feet were completed at Sanctuary Centre.


GEORGE SACKS REMARKS FOR NAIOP ECONOMIC FORECAST
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
01/28/10

naiop logo

My son Christopher called me from Dallas last week, he is a junior in the undergraduate business program at SMU. Chris often recommends books to me that he is reading in his courses and I often read them, and then we talk about them; it connects me to what he is doing and thinking. He recommended a short list of business books and I was off to Barnes & Noble last weekend to check them out. I ended up buying all of the books, probably several months of reading material. Read More >>


COMMERCIAL FLORIDA LEASES OVER 31,000 SF IN Q4 AT HILLBORO CENTER
Deerfield Beach, Florida
01/15/10

Hillsboro Center Logo

In its first 90 days as Parkway Properties, Inc. (NYSE symbol: PKY) recently retained third-party leasing advisor; Boca Raton based Commercial Florida Realty Services has leased 31,278 square feet of office space at the 215,000 square foot five building Hillsboro Center Office Park located 600-700 West Hillsboro Boulevard in Deerfield Beach, Florida. The new leases included: GHS Solutions (6,327 SF), FLORA Research (3,579 SF), MSE Power Solutions (2,004 SF) and Seven D Wholesale (1,135 SF). Leasing efforts also included lease expansions and extensions with The Ticktin Law Group (9,898 SF), Intercontinental Warranty Services (7,146 SF) and Dr. Mitchell Hantman, DDS (1,189 SF). “We couldn’t be more pleased with the result’s we’ve had in the fourth quarter of 2009. Commercial Florida jumped in and really energized our leasing efforts at Hillsboro Center”; said Lisa Smith, Senior Vice President with Parkway Properties, Inc. “It’s been a real team effort…added Peter D. Reed, Principal at Commercial Florida Realty Services…when you’re given the tools you need to accomplish the tasks at hand the job is certainly much more feasible and that is exactly what Parkway has done here with it’s leasing program at Hillsboro Center.”


PARKWAY PROPERTIES HIRES NEW REAL ESTATE FIRM TO LEASE HILLSBORO CENTER
Deerfield Beach, Florida
9/04/2009

Parkway

Parkway Properties, Inc. (NYSE:PKY) recently hired Commercial Florida Realty Services, LLC as its exclusive real estate broker to lease the 215,000 square foot Hillsboro Center project. Hillsboro Center is located at 600 Hillsboro Boulevard, which is located at the southeast corner of Hillsboro Boulevard and I-95. The project features a Class-A six-story office building and four two-story, suburban-style office buildings in a campus-style setting. The project is currently 72% leased. “We selected Commercial Florida, because they are a boutique real estate firm that really understands the Deerfield Beach office submarket. We also felt that they would represent the aggressive and creative leasing style Parkway has established within our other properties across the country,” said Lisa L. Smith, Senior Vice President of Parkway Properties. “Hillsboro Center has always been a great economical alternative to the Boca Raton office market. In today’s market, companies are continuously looking to reduce their occupancy costs and Hillsboro Center offers an excellent opportunity to do that. In essence, you are in Boca for a great value,” added Peter D. Reed, Principal at Commercial Florida. Read More >>


STRATEGIES - A New Game Plan
Commercial Florida partners George Sacks and Peter Reed featured in the South Florida Business Journal. 4/24/09
South Florida Business Journal. 4.24.09

REAL ESTATE - Lease restructuring a widespread, growing trend
Commercial Florida Principal George Sacks featured in the South Florida Business Journal.  2/20/09
South Florida Business Journal. 2.20.09
 
 


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