Land Rush Fever Hits South Florida
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL—There are signs of
land rush fever in South Florida. Not only
are land acquisitions and interest on the rise
in South Florida, but Sky Groden, executive
director of Cushman & Wakefield Industrial
Brokerage Services here, also anticipates
that both short-and long-term investments
will rise through the next quarter.
“There is a shortage of commercial and
industrial land for sale in South Florida,
and the contract activity is fast and furious
again,” Groden says. “There is incredible
demand for land, but the enthusiasm to
buy is being tempered by frustrating bottle-
necks in the supply chain and limited rental
rate growth over the past four years.”
Take a look at a few of the recent land
sales in South Florida. In Dade County, 1505
Ponce De Leon Blvd. in Coral Gables sold
for $8.5 million for multifamily. In Broward
County, 19. 6 acres recently went under con-
tract from Florida Citizens Bank for over $8
a square foot in Port 95 to Donovan Marine,
with over a dozen bidders.
Developers Seek Alternative to Condo Structure
As an alternative to projects using a condominium form of ownership, new low-rise or garden-style projects that would typically need
to be structured as a residential condominium have recently been
approved by several Florida local authorities. This could pave the
way for an alternative non-condominium structure for projects that
otherwise would need to be structured as a condominium.
With the proper documentation, including
a declaration of covenants and restrictions,
appropriate disclosures in homeowners’ association and sales documents and necessary
approvals from the
applicable government authorities and lenders, homebuilders can now construct low-rise
residential townhomes, with each unit having
exclusive use of a garage, that can be structured
to allow ownership as non-condo units. With this structure all units
have exclusive use and access to a garage.
Easement. A recorded declaration of covenants and restrictions should include the necessary easements in favor of the Non-Garage Home, including a perpetual, exclusive easement for the
use and enjoyment of the garage and the driveway appurtenant to
Taxes. Fairness would dictate only that the owner of the non-garage home pay the real estate taxes associated with the garage space
over which it has exclusive use and enjoyment, although the garage
is not part of the non-garage home.
Homeowners’ Assessments. Depending on whether assessments
are allocated to each unit based upon square footage or on an equal
basis, a recorded declaration of covenants and restrictions should be
drafted to account for any assessments allocated to the garage.
Utilities. Depending on how the utilities will be metered and
billed, a recorded declaration would have to provide a mechanism
By Jeff Margolis
so that utility costs related to the garage used by the non-garage
home are paid by the owner of the non-garage home. In addition,
issues relating to utility lines serving the garage component would
have to be addressed.
Insurance. Depending on whether the homeowners’ association obtains and maintains insurance coverage over all of the
units in the community, the developer may want to consult with
local insurance companies to determine whether coverage can be
obtained so that the owner of the Non-Garage Home can obtain
insurance, both casualty and general liability, covering the garage
Casualty. Provisions should be set forth in a recorded declaration
of restrictions and covenants to ensure that the garage used by the
non-garage home is reconstructed or repaired in the event of its
damage or destruction.
Maintenance. A recorded declaration should contain provisions
to ensure that the owner of a Non-Garage Home maintains and
safely uses the garage used by the owner of the Non-Garage Home.
Parking. The applicable government entity should confirm that
parking requirements are satisfied, notwithstanding the structure of
this type of development.
Disclosures. Appropriate and sufficient disclosures should be
included in a recorded declaration of covenants and restrictions
as well as sales documents advising purchasers and owners of the
details of the structure, including the easements and issues relating to maintenance, taxes, insurance and property taxes.
Other. A recorded declaration of covenants and restrictions
should account for other issues, including provisions relating to
liability and indemnification issues.
Jeff Margolis is an attorney with Berger Singerman in Boca Raton, FL. He
may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. The views
expressed here are the author’s own.
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