Land Grabs See Rare Miami Sites Hit Market
MIAMI—Even as more cranes begin to pepper the South Florida skyline, there’s a land
grab going on that’s seeing some of the last
few remaining prime sites hit the market.
Skyline Equities Realty recently sold its
rights for a proposed luxury residential
development in Mary Brickell Village to
Lynd Development and LNR Property.
Instead of SkyPalace, the co-developers will
build EnV Brickell in the heart of Miami’s
Brickell District. Construction of the
35-story tower, to be built above an existing
Publix market and multi-level parking
structure for the Shops at Mary Brickell
Village, will be completed in 2014.
Nearby, the last waterfront development site in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood is up for grabs. 1201 Brickell Bay Dr.
is a shovel-ready, 2.5-acre parcel with 300
linear feet of frontage on Biscayne Bay.
The site has existing approvals for more
than two million square feet of development. Current plans call for 787 condominium units, 1,500 parking spaces, waterfront restaurants and retail shops.
“Now is a great time to begin developing
a new project for the next cycle,” says CBRE
SVP Gerard Yetming. “We’ve seen very rapid
absorption of the inventory that was built
during the last cycle. The demand dynamics
are strong for a developer to deliver units
two or three years down the road.”
Meanwhile, HFF is marketing two devel-
opment sites spanning 4. 53 acres along
Biscayne Bay in Miami. The sites are
located between NE 31st and NE 32nd
Street in the Biscayne Corridor, close to
the American Airlines Center, Arsht
Center and Downtown Miami. The 3.12-
acre south parcel has 180 linear feet of
waterfront along Biscayne Bay.
The timing seems right, as investor interest for premium assets in the Miami market
is healthy. For example, Malaysian gambling
company Genting acquired a bay-front site
and adjoining properties for approximately
$500 million in 2011 with plans to develop a
mix of residential, retail and hospitality.
And Swire is building Brickell Citi Centre,
slated to feature more than 4. 6 million
square feet of high-end retail, office, residential, hotel and parking.
Further south, a private owner has sold
off a 17.1-acre parcel in Miami’s Kendall/
Tamiami submarket. The property features
frontage along heavily-trafficked Southwest
137th Avenue and is adjacent to Country
Walk, a 1,600-home residential subdivision.
The parcel is among the few remaining
developable sites in the submarket.
“In the rental recovery cycle, developers
were primarily targeting emerging markets
and urban infill to cater to generation Y
renters,” says Peter Mekras, SVP at
Continental Real Estate Cos. “But given the
continued strength of the rental market
and the high barriers to entry in South
Florida, developers are pursuing more tra-
ditional family markets to capture future
rental market trends.”—Jennifer LeClaire
Pop Up Retail: Not Just Seasonal Anymore
Anyone who has seen a Halloween costume store or a Christmas decoration store is
familiar with “pop up” retail. Prior to the Great Recession, when retail real estate was
white hot, landlords had waiting lists of tenants willing to sign long-term leases for vacant
space, and did not have much incentive to sign leases for temporary stores. But with the
high vacancy rates, landlords became much more willing to sign
temporary retail leases in order to create operating income from
space that would otherwise have sat fallow.
From the point of view of the retailer, pop
ups became attractive because of the limited
time and expense that would need to be
committed in order to negotiate a lease and then fixture, open, and
operate a temporary store, as compared to a “regular” store. And
pop ups are not just for local mom-and-pop retailers without the
financial wherewithal to operate a regular store.
Many national retailers began to utilize pop ups when they realized that a temporary
store could be a great way to try out a new geographic market or a new retail concept
without committing a large amount of resources. A quick Internet search reveals a number of national retailers that have embraced the temporary store concept in one form or
another, including Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Gap, Macy’s, Gucci and Ann Taylor.
For both landlords and tenants, the hope is often that a temporary store will be successful and will turn into a “regular” long-term lease at the project. For those accustomed to
the weeks- or even months-long process involved in negotiating a long-term lease agreement, a tremendous benefit to temporary retail stores is that, although legal issues still
must be considered and addressed, the lease agreements (or license agreements) for pop
ups are typically on much shorter forms and much simpler to negotiate and finalize.
For example, temporary stores typically will have a fixed gross rent payment and will
not involve the pass-through of operating expenses. That by itself saves a tremendous
amount of time and energy that is normally required to finalize the operating expense
provisions of a long-term lease. Another benefit is a temporary store will have a minimum amount of construction, fit and finish, and so the time and expense of a build out
is very limited compared to traditional stores.
An interesting but related twist on pop up retail involves pop up restaurants. These
have provided a way for restaurateurs and up-and-coming chefs to move into vacated
but still-fixtured restaurant space with very limited investment and begin to operate
While pop ups are most often thought of for retail stores and, to a lesser extent, for
restaurants, even office and industrial owners hard hit by the economic downturn and
with limited prospects for long-term tenants saw the benefit of signing temporary tenants to maximize cash flow during periods of high vacancy.
Although the availability of pop up locations will decrease as the economy recovers and
competition increases for space, the benefits of temporary stores and lessons learned during the Great Recession show that this concept has a place in the retail landscape.
By Eric D. Rapkin
Eric D. Rapkin is a shareholder in Akerman Senterfitt’s Fort Lauderdale, FL office. He may be
contacted at email@example.com. The views expressed here are the author’s own.
Vital Signs... The effects of job growth on Atlanta office space is muted; vacancy will remain above 20% this year.—Marcus & Millichap