Invest: Charlotte 2020 Post Event Press Release

Invest: Charlotte 2020 Post Event Press Release

By: Felipe Rivas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

September 11, 2020

Charlotte’s economic resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges, recovery efforts and future development in the region highlighted the launch of the inaugural edition of Invest:Charlotte 2020.

CHARLOTTE, NC — In this time of uncertainty, it has never been more important to showcase the strength and overall resilience of the local community and economy. On Thursday, integrated media platform Capital Analytics provided an opportunity to shed light on the challenges and opportunities in the region as it launched its 152-page analysis Invest: Charlotte 2020 with a virtual business conference held via Zoom Webinar.

 Known for its affordability, highly educated workforce, and reputation as a major banking hub, the Queen City is poised for continued growth and economic diversification even in the midst of current coronavirus-related challenges and uncertainty. This first edition of Invest: Charlotte dives deep into the top economic sectors in the Charlotte Metro Area, including real estate, construction, utilities and infrastructure, transportation and aviation, banking and finance, legal, healthcare, education, and arts, culture and tourism. 

Like other parts of the nation, the Queen City has felt the economic constriction and health challenges created by the pandemic. But, it has also experienced notable job expansion announcements and continued work on capital projects, Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said in her keynote address. The pandemic has also allowed city and business leaders to collaborate on addressing recovery efforts and creating solutions for the socio-economic challenges also highlighted by the pandemic. “The pandemic has stopped us in some ways. But it has also given us a great opportunity to resolve some of the disparities that we have seen and to create the vision that we want to have for the future. We are going to make a difference in Charlotte. And we are going to do it together,” Mayor Lyles said.

“Charlotte was an important expansion for us as it is the nation’s second-largest banking city and a key driver of economic growth in the Southeast. The Queen City is experiencing positive economic activity as national and international companies choose Charlotte as a place to grow or relocate their operations. Our Charlotte expansion showcases how metro areas are more than just cities, but rather a diverse ecosystem made up of many companies, locations and environments. Despite the challenges put upon us by COVID-19, Capital Analytics remains steadfast in our purpose: to deliver in-depth business intelligence through its print and digital platforms. Now more than ever, information is not only necessary, it is vital,” said Abby Melone, President and CEO of Capital Analytics. 

Two Panels, focused on banking and development, featured local leaders in conversation about present challenges, recovery efforts and what the future of the Queen City may look like. 

During these uncertain times, sound insights and collaboration between the public and private sectors will be pivotal in ensuring financial recovery for both businesses and residents. The first panel “Financial recovery for businesses and individuals in the wake of a pandemic,” was moderated by Stuart Goldstein, managing partner Charlotte Office, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, and featured Truist Metrolina Regional Charlotte President Heath Campbell, Fifth Third Bank  Mid-Atlantic President Lee Fite and Wells Fargo Managing Director and Senior Economist Mark Vitner. The second panel, “The future of development in the Charlotte region,” was moderated by Taiwo Jaiyeoba, assistant city manager and director of Planning, Design and Development, and featured Zach Pannier, business unit leader, DPR Construction; Marcie Williams, president, RKW Residential; Clay Grubb, CEO, Grubb Properties; and Lawrence Shaw, managing partner, Colliers International.

Over 550 high-level guests and officials from Charlotte’s key industries and economic institutions tuned into the event via Zoom Webinar. For those who missed the event or would live to revisit some of the highlights from the day, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1478&v=X9eRuLg27G0&feature=emb_title

About Capital Analytics:

Capital Analytics produces in-depth business intelligence with a focus on providing comprehensive investment knowledge on markets within the United States for the domestic and global business community. Over a seven-month research period, it meets with more than 200 top political, commercial and industry leaders to deliver targeted information, in-depth analyses and strategic insights to the global business community on economic trends and investment opportunities.

Capital Analytics has a global readership and includes among its readers top executives working in real estate, finance, technology, trade and logistics, health, hospitality and others. Books are distributed locally, nationally and globally to trade and investment boards, executives of Fortune 500 companies, institutional investors, consulates and embassies, hedge funds, leading chambers and associations, as well as high-level summits and conferences.

 

For more information, contact: 

Max Crampton-Thomas

Content Manager 

305-523-9708 Ext: 233

 

Innovation and Sustainability: Palm Beach County entrepreneurs endeavor to preserve the world

Innovation and Sustainability: Palm Beach County entrepreneurs endeavor to preserve the world

By: Felipe Rivas

5 min read August 2020 — The coronavirus pandemic put a spotlight on the importance of health, wellness, the essentiality of work, and the innovation that is possible in the midst of a constantly changing landscape. The global pandemic also shed light on the need for businesses and companies to ramp up their sustainability efforts, reduce their carbon footprints, support green initiatives and leave the world a better, cleaner place for future generations. In Palm Beach County, from the air to the ocean, local entrepreneurs are working hard to innovate in an effort to preserve the health of the planet in South Florida and beyond. 

For the past two years, local Palm Beach County resident and entrepreneur Tim Sperry has toiled to transform the ubiquity of paint into an air purifying instrument. His company, Smog Armor, is a solutions provider keenly focused on ending air pollution. With its slogan, “We innovate, you improve,” Smog Armor is committed to helping business owners and residents improve the air quality around them in an effort to eradicate air pollution. 

More than an eco-friendly paint, Smog Armor produces a water-based paint that is nontoxic, free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and infused with enhanced zeolite minerals for maximum absorption of air pollutants. Sperry’s patented process is optimal for reducing air pollution for up to five years depending on the condition of the environment it is painted in. Multiple independent testing has shown Smog Armor paint to reduce 95.1% of indoor air pollution in one hour, while its Green Wise certification ensures it has zero VOCs. 

With a background in real estate and business, and a consuming passion for entrepreneurship and preservation of nature and environment, Sperry transitioned from a life as a restauranteur to a biotech entrepreneur. “I needed to come up with something that I was passionate about, fulfilled by. With my love for nature, I wanted to find a way to help nature and do something that I really enjoyed doing,” Sperry told Invest: Palm Beach. As someone with a sensitive respiratory system, he knew helping reduce air pollution would be the main path in his journey to innovation and preserving the environment. 

His journey began by attempting to reduce vehicle carbon emissions because at that time “that’s what I saw,” he said. He spent months on end researching the dense, esoteric, chemistry-related literature revolving around air pollution and efforts to reduce it. “I essentially became a self-taught chemist,” he said. “I had two computers open. One with the research, and another to decipher those readings.” Time and time again he read about zeolite, a negatively charged mineral that is extremely effective at trapping carbon emissions and airborne pollutants. He designed a series of exhaust tips infused with zeolite aimed at directly reducing CO₂ emissions from cars, conducting and measuring air quality with and without the specialty exhaust tip. His exhaust tips proved to reduce car emissions by as much as 80 to 90 percent, he said. But after driving around for a while with the specialty exhaust tip, he realized that the system was impractical for the average consumer because the tips would constantly fall off and would become saturated after a few months of use. After going back to the drawing board, his light bulb moment came when he considered replicating this process with paint rather than the exhaust tips.

“At that point, I had to try something new,” he said. “Everyone uses paint, so I am not teaching people new habits.” After months of researching the proper paint manufacturers, honing the formula and testing the air purification efficacy of the paint, Smog Armor was ready to cover the walls of commercial and residential buildings and beyond. Local hotels have already used Smog Armor paint to improve consumer confidence in the coronavirus landscape, Sperry said. On the community outreach end of the spectrum, the company has tapped into the power of the arts, collaborating with nonprofit organizations to create impactful murals that purify the air of their local surroundings. To put it in perspective, three gallons of Smog Armor paint will remove as much CO₂ as one adult tree does in an entire year, Sperry said. For Sperry, giving back to the community via the art installations, for example, while advocating for a more sustainable future is the ultimate goal. “We have seen a spike in what we are doing because of all that is going on. We’ve got some amazing collaborations, working with amazing artists and companies, that are interested in showing that they are improving customer experience while building customer confidence and showing that they care about the environment in a public way,” he said. 

Similar to Sperry, two Florida Atlantic University alumni and entrepreneurs are on a mission to end plastic pollution in the ocean. Docked at Florida Atlantic University’s Research Park, 4ocean is a public benefit corporation founded by Andrew Cooper and Alex Schulze. 4ocean’s mission is to end the ocean plastic pollution crisis through global cleanup operations and a variety of methods that help stop plastic pollution at its source. In March, the company relocated it’s corporate headquarters to FAU’s Research Park. 

Through it’s “One Pound, One Promise,” 4oceans supports its efforts from the sale of bracelets, apparel and other products made from recycling recovered materials. Each product purchased removes one pound of trash from oceans and coastlines. To date, the company has recovered more than 10 million pounds of ocean plastic and trash, according to the company’s tracker, found on its website.

“Partnerships like this are extremely important in advancing our mission to end the ocean plastic crisis,” said Director of Operations Desmond Reese in a press release related to its move to FAU. The Research Park at FAU was the ideal location for future growth and innovation because it offers an opportunity to collaborate with FAU’s faculty and students on research and development, Reese said. 

FAU’s College of Engineering & Computer Science will work with 4ocean on several projects, such as developing enhanced methodologies to track ocean cleanup volumes in real time, diving deeper to understand the impact of cleaning waste from specific coastal and river outflow locations, developing additional cleanup operation tools and increasing its efficiency at interruption, capture and prevention of ocean inflow waste in remote regions while also developing datasets and tracking models.

“The arrival of 4ocean is very exciting,” Research Park President Andrew Duffell said in a press release. “It offers real-world research opportunities for both the faculty and students at FAU who can see how two of their fellow alumni are making a positive impact on our environment through entrepreneurship.”

For more information, visit:

https://www.smogarmor.com/breathe-cb

https://www.4ocean.com/

Ghost kitchens very much alive in South Florida

Ghost kitchens very much alive in South Florida

By: Beatrice Silva

2 min read August 2020  — The digital age means consumers can enjoy a restaurant experience without leaving the comfort of their own home. Even before COVID-19, people appreciated the convenience of having their food delivered. An estimated 44 million Americans use food carrier apps like UberEats and GrubHub every year, according to EMarketer. To feed the demand for more food delivery options, ghost kitchens, also known as virtual restaurants, have started to emerge. 

Ghost kitchens are similar to traditional restaurants except for the fact that they don’t technically have an official location. Cloud kitchens can be established almost anywhere that has running water and electricity. Warehouses, food trucks or other large commercial spaces are typically the most popular locations for virtual restaurants to set up shop.

Establishing a virtual eatery has become a lucrative business for not only inspiring restaurant owners but for real estate investors as well. Early this year, Simon Property Group partnered with SBE Entertainment Group to develop around 200 ghost kitchens in vacant retail spaces, according to The Wall Street Journal. Once furnished with proper kitchen equipment, spaces can be leased out to chefs and small-business owners to make their culinary dreams a reality. 

“We expect in the current pandemic we’ll see more of this repurposing; real estate operators doing anything they can to drive revenue from their existing properties. Likewise, we’re going to see a lot of new operators looking to fill the void with cheaper concepts … more delivery-friendly concepts that require less capital up front,” Michael Schaefer, global lead for food and beverage at Euromonitor International, told Restaurant Dive.

Real estate developers using large abandoned buildings offer all parties involved a chance to make money. Not having a traditional brick and mortar location saves restaurant owners thousands of dollars in rent each month. “It could literally be a third or less of what you might otherwise be paying with a traditional lease. These kitchens are not just for you; there are other people using them, so the costs are spread for the owner,” Herman R. Lipkis, a Fort Lauderdale-based attorney for Holland & Knight LLP, told RestaurantOwner.

For one ghost kitchen, having the option to save money on rent gave its owner the leg up he needed to launch a physical version of his virtual brand off of N. Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale.

Brian Peter, a virtual restaurateur, originally owned and operated a traditional restaurant. However, low sales and even lower profit margins left him no other option but to close his doors. Fortunately for Peter he was able to pivot and shift his focus to delivery. Doing so, he was able to become profitable enough to launch his virtual brand, Wicked Cheesesteaks, Pizza and Wings, into a physical sit-down restaurant. “After trying and trying, we finally arrived … All the food is still on food-delivery apps but now we have a true brick-and-mortar,” Peter told the Sun Sentinel

Even though the pandemic is taking a heavy toll on the hospitality industry, physical restaurants don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Nevertheless, ghost kitchens and food delivery apps are the hottests trends in the food industry. As the world continues to evolve digitally so does the typical restaurant experience. “In the future, a more robust ghost kitchen market could also usher in advanced restaurant automation,” Schaefer told Restaurant Dive. “In five to 10 years, this shift could translate to full automation for the production of certain menu items, like pizza, ramen or high-end coffee, to drive speed of service and lower food production costs.” 

Financial recovery for businesses and individuals in Charlotte

Financial recovery for businesses and individuals in Charlotte

By: Felipe Rivas

2 min read August 2020 As the summer wanes, Queen City businesses and residents face major challenges related to personal finances and overall financial recovery. With back-to-school season and the November elections looming, uncertainty in an already volatile economic cycle will remain a constant for the rest of the year. 

The Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP loans, has been a major support for local businesses. Data released by the Small Business Administration show that almost 19,000 Charlotte businesses tapped into these resources, the Charlotte Observer reported in July. As a major banking hub, Charlotte’s banking sector plays an important role in the Queen City’s financial recovery. With major institutions such as Truist, Wells Fargo and Fifth Third Bank calling Charlotte home, or having a considerable presence in the region, Charlotte is poised to weather the pandemic-related economic challenges, much like it did during the Great Recession. 

Currently, Charlotte remains in the Safer At Home Phase 2, as Gov. Roy Cooper extended the phase another five weeks in an effort to decrease COVID-19 numbers as students and staff prepare for back-to-school season. Mecklenburg County had reported more than 22,000 cases and 226 deaths as of the beginning of August, according to the Johns Hopkins University Covid-19 Status Report. “Other states that lifted restrictions quickly have had to go backward as their hospital capacity ran dangerously low and their cases jumped higher. We will not make that mistake in North Carolina,” Cooper said in a press release. “In keeping with our dimmer switch approach with schools opening, and in order to push for decreasing numbers, which will keep people healthier and boost our economy, North Carolina will remain paused in Safer At Home Phase 2 for 5 weeks.”

Balancing health and safety with goals for opening the economy has proved to be a precarious task for state and municipal governments across the country. While businesses have measures such as PPP loans, embattled residents laid off by the impact of the pandemic have to rely on local and national governments to help make ends meet. Gov. Cooper has been vocal about urging the national government to extend unemployment benefits as the talks for more stimulus packages continue. “The additional $600 a week unemployed workers have received from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program has been a lifeline for struggling families and communities over these past few months,” Cooper said in a press release. “But unless the federal government acts quickly, these benefits will expire and many people will be without money they need to pay bills and provide for their families. I am urging Congress to do the right thing for the health of our families and the health of our economy by extending this critical program.” 

In an effort to help North Carolinians find employment in this current economic cycle, the governor’s office created NCcareers.org, an integrated career information system that offers residents ways to explore careers and job opportunities during the pandemic. “North Carolinians need resources to navigate the quickly changing job market,” Cooper said in a press release. “The new NCcareers.org helps people research the education and training options that lead them to find good, high-paying jobs available right now across our state.”

During these uncertain times, sound insights and collaboration between the public and private sectors will be pivotal in ensuring financial recovery for both businesses and residents. To learn more about financial recovery in Charlotte, register now for the Invest:Charlotte 2020 Virtual Launch Conference. The conference takes place on Sept. 10 at 11:30 a.m. The virtual conference will feature two robust panels, including “Financial recovery for businesses and individuals in the wake of a pandemic,” moderated by Stuart Goldstein, managing partner Charlotte Office, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP and featuring Truist Metrolina Regional Charlotte President Heath Campbell, Fifth Third Bank  Mid-Atlantic President Lee Fite and Wells Fargo Managing Director and Senior Economist Mark Vitner.

 

To learn more, visit:

https://governor.nc.gov/news/students-return-school-north-carolina-remain-paused-phase-2

https://governor.nc.gov/news/north-carolina-introduces-new-nccareersorg

 

Invest: Charlotte 2020 Press Release

Invest: Charlotte 2020 Press Release

By: Felipe Rivas

Charlotte’s economic resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges to highlight the launch of the inaugural edition of Invest: Charlotte 2020.

July 31, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Charlotte, N.C. – In this time of uncertainty, it is crucial to showcase the strength and overall resilience of the local community and economy. Invest: Charlotte 2020 does just that. With 152 pages of thoroughly researched analysis, the inaugural edition of Invest: Charlotte 2020 highlights the opportunities in the Charlotte Metro Area economy through C-level insider insights and key business intelligence. Known for its affordability, highly educated workforce and reputation as a major banking hub, the Queen City is poised to continue its growth and economic diversification even through current coronavirus-related challenges. These challenges and the steps taken to overcome them are just some of the focal points in this edition of Invest: Charlotte, published by Capital Analytics. The 2020 edition highlights Mecklenburg County and beyond, including parts of South Carolina, such as Rock Hill and Lancaster County, and includes a special focus chapter on Gaston County.

Importantly, this first edition of Invest: Charlotte dives deep into the top economic sectors in the Charlotte Metro Area. The business report features exclusive insights from industry leaders, sector insiders, elected officials and heads of important institutions, brought together for the first time in a comprehensive release. It analyzes the leading challenges facing the market and uncovers emerging opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs and innovators.

The official launch of the publication will take place on Thursday, Sept. 10, at 11:30 a.m. via Zoom Webinar. This event will consist of a brief introduction by Capital Analytics’ CEO Abby Melone and will be followed by two robust panel discussions.

The panels will address the current economic climate as well as prevailing themes dominating the Charlotte Metro Area’s economy: finance and banking in the time of a pandemic and the future of development in the Queen City. Charlotte Mayor VI Lyles will kick off the virtual conference as the opening keynote speaker. Truist Metrolina Regional Charlotte President Heath Campbell, Fifth Third Bank  Mid-Atlantic President Lee Fite, and Wells Fargo Managing Director and Senior Economist Mark Vitner will participate in the panel, “Financial recovery for businesses and individuals in the wake of a pandemic.”Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP Charlotte Office Managing Partner Suart Goldstein will moderate. The second panel, “The future of development in the Charlotte region,” will feature Zach Pannier of DPR Construction, Marcie Williams of RKW Residential-Charlotte, Clay Grubb of Grubb Properties, and Lawrence Shaw of Colliers International. City of Charlotte Planning Director Taiwo Jaiyeoba will moderate. Charlotte Regional Business Alliance CEO Janet LaBar will be the closing keynote speaker. Hundreds of high-level guests and officials from Charlotte’s key industries and economic institutions will be tuning into the event. We are inviting all attendees and those wanting to register for the event to participate in the following survey, the results of which will be presented at the Invest: Charlotte 2020 launch conference. 

“Charlotte was an important expansion for us as it is the nation’s second-largest banking city and a key driver of economic growth in the Southeast. The Queen City is experiencing positive economic activity as national and international companies choose Charlotte as a place to grow or relocate their operations,” said Abby Melone, President and CEO of Capital Analytics. “Despite the challenges put upon us by COVID-19, Capital Analytics remains steadfast in our purpose: to deliver in-depth business intelligence through its print and digital platforms. Now more than ever, information is not only necessary, it is vital.” 

***

About Capital Analytics & Invest: Charlotte

Capital Analytics is an integrated media platform that produces in-depth business intelligence through its annual print and digital economic reviews, high-impact conferences and events and top-level interviews via its video platform, Invest: Insights.

Invest: Charlotte is an in-depth economic review of the key issues facing Charlotte’s economy, featuring the exclusive insights of prominent industry leaders. Invest: Charlotte is produced with two goals in mind: 1) to provide comprehensive investment knowledge on the Charlotte region to local, national and international investors, and 2) to promote Charlotte as a place to invest and do business.

The book conducts a deep dive into the top economic sectors in the county, including real estate, construction, utilities and infrastructure, transportation and aviation, banking and finance, legal, healthcare, education, and arts, culture and tourism. The publication is compiled from insights collected from more than 200 economic leaders, sector insiders, political leaders and heads of important institutions. It analyzes the leading challenges facing the market, and uncovers emerging opportunities for investors, entrepreneurs and innovators.

For more information, contact: 

Max Crampton-Thomas

Regional Editor

305-523-9708 Ext: 233

Face Off: Miami-Dade ripe with opportunity

Face Off: Miami-Dade ripe with opportunity

By: Max Crampton Thomas

4 min read July 2020 While the ongoing pandemic has been nothing short of a gut punch to what was set up to be another monumental year for economic growth, real estate development and investment has continued to adapt and move forward through a somewhat uncertain landscape. Invest: recently spoke with two Miami-Based leaders within these spaces. Real estate investor Jeronimo Hirschfeld, chairman, founder and CEO of One Real Estate Investment (OREI), and commercial real estate developer Bernardo Rieber, president and CEO of Rieber Developments, both spoke to the immediate effect and changes the pandemic has created for their projects and industry, as well as why they continue to believe in the Miami-Dade marketplace regardless of the roadblocks thrown up by COVID-19. 

What advantages does the Miami marketplace offer to your business operations?

Bernardo Rieber: I think that Miami is one of the greatest cities in the world. I travel a lot, especially in recent years, and it is hard to find a city like Miami where everything works. It’s new, beautiful, with great weather most of the year. People are amazing, and the properties in general are still less expensive than in other major urban centers. The airport is one of the top in the nation and they have done a great job of expanding to meet the need. I think that Miami will continue to grow. Money will continue to be invested here.

In the commercial segment, I also see a strong market, for several reasons. In particular, more and more people are moving to South Florida. It might be because of low taxes, and the fact that it is becoming more of a global city, compared to 40 years ago when it was beaches and malls. Now, we are a culinary center, with new cultural centers, museums, a lot of great things happening. People move here from the East Coast, from South America and Europe. There are a lot of young professionals in areas such as Brickell. There is great demand for offices because a lot of international companies in the financial world are doing business here.

But there has also been a situation related to traffic, in which smaller municipalities, like Aventura, have been developing more commercial infrastructure to accommodate the people who live there and don’t want to commute into Downtown Miami. More offices are needed, and that’s fueled the market. In my particular case, as I am a developer of mostly medical spaces, I see Miami as a tremendous hub for medical tourism. I am right next to the Aventura Hospital and Medical Center, which is a level two trauma center, with 500 beds. I am finishing an extended stay hotel next door, and a total of 80,000 square feet of offices.

Jeronimo Hirschfeld:  In today’s market, especially in the asset class that OREI operates in, which is multifamily, I believe there are going to be many opportunities here. In previous years, there were a lot of developers and investors deploying money into these investments, but as more uncertainty surrounding the real estate sector becomes apparent, opportunities begin to arise for firms like One Real Estate Investment.  What we are seeing today is that these investors are now realizing that their strategy and their returns are not what they expected, so they are turning around and selling.

Bernardo Rieber

Jeronimo Hirschfeld

 

 

Multifamily assets are commonly tiered in A, B, C, and D categories based on the asset, location, and tenant base. In the market where I play, which is typically workforce housing in the B+ to C+ space, the assets tend to have a level of insulation from macro market drivers and economic factors. This is because when there’s a crisis and we see unemployment increase, many people begin to downsize to a living space that is more economically practical and feasible. So, when looking in multifamily real estate, you’ll see renters that were previously paying $4,000 in rent coming down to $3,000, and so on. Looking at the assets I invest in, the rents average between $750 and $1,200. These assets tend to perform in times of crisis because, as I mentioned, when people adjust their lifestyle, rent is usually a major expense that can be altered. As individuals who were once living in the Class A and B apartments begin to see a decrease in income, they will make the shift to a B or C class apartment. Ironically, I’ve seen the occupancy of my properties across the board tends to increase during a crisis between 1 to 2% because in addition to the individuals downsizing, many tenants who currently reside at our properties work blue collar jobs that aren’t drastically affected by a downturn. We feel very good about where we sit and what we are doing. Our competitive advantage is showcased through finding the right opportunity, taking advantage of the right deals and making sure we put the appropriate debt structure in place. Multifamily is an asset that sustains itself and performs very strongly during these times.

 

Where do you see the real estate market in Miami going over the next couple of years?

Rieber: We are mostly focused now on selling office condominiums in the medical sector, and there’s been a great response. We are sold out at our project Ivory 214 and we broke ground on our 12|12 Aventura mixed-use development in early 2020. We demolished the previous structure, prepared the land, started piling, and we are now about to start the foundations. We are on schedule to be up and running by the first quarter of 2022. Of course, since the COVID-19 situation began, we have had to adjust our sales process, but we continue to have interest in our offering and I expect to fully rebound.

Hirschfeld: In terms of neighborhoods, Wynwood is pretty hot, and you have nearby Allapattah, which is also a growing area with a lot of opportunities. It is still industrial, but as population and developments move up north, all these industrial neighborhoods will start changing into places where people are going to be living, playing and working. That’s what we saw with Wynwood. OREI is still very much in acquisition mode, as we are consistently sourcing new deals, while bringing in new equity groups and private investors who are interested in the multifamily space. 

How has the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic altered your developments at least for the near term?

Rieber: It’s been a shock from a business perspective. We are monitoring the situation daily. Of course, there have been ripple effects because Miami-Dade County’s building department closed, and you cannot call for inspections, which you need to continue building, and permits are delayed, but everyone is powering through and adjusting as best as possible during this unprecedented time. I truly believe that this short-term pain does not compare to the long-term potential of this community. 

Hirschfeld: (With  more people working from home in the future) there are a lot of things that we are implementing. We are implementing USB outlets in new projects, to make sure people can connect their devices directly. We are also implementing smart thermostats that you can control remotely through your phone, making it more efficient because you can set it up to emit minimal power every time you leave and to start cooling five, 10 minutes before you return to the apartment. In our Wynwood project, we have a large bike space at the street level.

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

http://www.rieberdevelopments.com/

https://www.onerealestateinvestment.com/

The Post-Pandemic City

The Post-Pandemic City

By: Abby Melone, President & CEO, Capital Analytics

It’s a truism in today’s hyper-connected world that people go where the jobs are, more so now than ever before. But what happens when your job suddenly can be done from anywhere?

 

The 19th century ushered in the first and second Industrial Revolutions that saw more and more people move to urban environments, precisely because that’s where the jobs were. In the United States, the rise of manufacturing opened a new world of employment possibilities, pushing people from the farm to the factory. It’s a push that in one way or another continued into the 20th and 21st centuries. The result is seen today in the population densities that cram big cities from coast to coast, border to border.

According to the United Nations’ World Urbanization Prospects report and the website Our World in Data, the world crossed over in 2007. That’s the fist year the number of people living in urban areas rose above the number living in rural areas (3.35 billion versus 3.33 billion). In the United States, around 82.3% of the population lives in urban areas, according to the World Bank. Growth trajectories project a steady increase in urbanization as far out as 2050. 

Today, the millennial generation is changing the character of urbanization by spearheading the live-work-play ethos. This generation prefers to skirt the traffic jams and live and play near where they work. The goal to have it all close by has given rise to the mixed-use building concept that puts everything – your living options, your entertainment choices and your shopping – all in one convenient location, which preferably, is near your workplace. 

It also means we are all living closer to each other in smaller and smaller spaces. That seemed to suit a lot of people just fine. Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened, and all of sudden, none of that seemed fine at all.

The pandemic resulted in shelter-in-place orders that forced people to live 24 hours a day in their homes while also working from their home offices, if they had one, or their kitchen tables if they didn’t. The very idea of needing to go somewhere else to do your job turned out to be not so much of a necessity after all. In just a few months, priorities appear to have shifted. Now, many of us seem to crave space, the great outdoors, and we seem to be split 50-50 on whether we want to continue working from home, wherever we choose that to be, or prefer an official office setting, mostly for the socializing.

There is little doubt that the world has changed as a result of the pandemic. Most experts are puzzling on whether that change will last and just what our cities will look like as a result. The fact is, though, that change was already in play before COVID-19 hit.

My company focuses on nine major U.S. markets like Orlando, Miami, Atlanta and Philadelphia. We talk to industry and political leaders to understand the issues their communities face to gauge the direction in which they are moving. Today, everyone is talking about the pandemic’s impact on the retail sector, for example. Yet, e-commerce was already a thing before COVID-19. In 2019, a record 9,800 stores were shuttered, according to a Bloomberg report, with 25,000 closures expected in 2020 due to the coronavirus impact, the report said, citing Coresight Research. Yes, that’s a devastating impact, but the pandemic really has only accelerated the pace of implementation. It pushed more people online immediately, but those people were likely headed there anyway.

Many of the leaders we have spoken with during the pandemic agree that retail and commercial real estate was already undergoing a slowdown as industrial space to accommodate last-mile delivery for the Amazons of the world was booming. Many expect this trend will continue.

More importantly, what the pandemic has done has caused a rethink of priorities among individuals and it is this impact that will likely shape the post-pandemic city. Living in lockdown awakened people to the “smallness” of their space, forced on them by a combination of convenience and higher and higher housing prices in big cities. The median listing price for a home in Miami-Dade, for example, was $465,050 in May compared to the average U.S. listing price of $329,950, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Interestingly, population growth in Miami-Dade was already slowing as more people moved out, with escalating living costs among the factors. With the pandemic highlighting the risks of living so close together, will more people decide that farther away is not only cheaper, but safer?

Big city living will change in the post-pandemic world as social distancing forces “people places” like gyms and restaurants to accommodate lingering fears from the virus. Tens of thousands of small businesses have already closed down for good, clearly altering the very unique characteristics of cities that attracted people in the first place.

The biggest impact, however, will be on how – and where – jobs are done. Remote working is hear to stay in some form or another. Like the industrial revolutions of the 18th and 19th centuries, people will always go where the jobs are. For many, those jobs will now be done from home, which means that home can be virtually anywhere. It creates choice like never before, and this will dramatically alter the character, although not likely the course, of urbanization. That’s an important difference. 

Big cities have seen the ebbs and flows of population growth before and will likely see them again. Through it all, they have more often thrived than not. The post-pandemic city may look and feel a bit different – the way condo units are built, for example, may change to accommodate working from home, while adding elements like air filters to battle any future virus outbreak – and there may even be a greater push to the suburbs in the short term. Overall, however, continued urbanization likely will remain on the cards. If we’re lucky, there may just be a little more distance between all of us.

 

South Florida real estate leaders analyze opportunities in current economic cycle

South Florida real estate leaders analyze opportunities in current economic cycle

By: Felipe Rivas

Virtually every sector of the economy has been pinched, crushed, or depleted by the initial impact of conducting business during the coronavirus landscape. Months into the “new normal,” industries and businesses have had to adapt operations to cope with COVID-19 related challenges. While many businesses remain embattled by the current economic cycle, innovation and opportunity are beginning to rise from the initial shocks of the novel coronavirus. 

 

In South Florida, a region hit particularly hard by coronavirus, real estate professionals are closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 to the market while analyzing current and future opportunities. “Simply put, the South Florida industrial real estate market is healthy, even in the midst of a global pandemic,” Miami Cushman & Wakefield Managing Partner Gian Rodriguez told Invest: Miami. When you factor in the scarcity of developable industrially-zoned land, a growing population, single-digit vacancy rates, steady air and sea cargo volumes from our ports, as well as positive lease absorption of industrial product, it’s no wonder the major institutional owners and occupiers have a large stake in our market,” he said. These factors coupled with demand for e-commerce provide opportunities for distribution, logistics and warehousing subsectors in Miami-Dade County. “With the onset of COVID-19, we’ve only seen an increase in demand for well-located distribution space, further spurred-on by stay-at-home mandates which have only bolstered online orders.  Just take a look around, there are UPS, FedEx, DHL and Amazon trucks rolling down our streets almost on an hourly basis, and each one of those come from a warehouse within our market,” Rodriguez said. 

New construction will likely experience a growth in demand as population growth continues in South Florida and residents settle into the suburbs and other communities away from the downtown areas. “While we are only in the early innings of the COVID-19 impact on real estate, we are following several trends closely. New construction may have an advantage over existing, as residents will likely equate “new” with “clean and safe,” Lesley Deutch, principal with John Burns Real Estate Consulting in Palm Beach, told Invest: Palm Beach. “We are also anticipating a trend we call ‘the Great American Move.’  For safety reasons, financial prospects, life change improvements, personal comfort, or employment, we expect a surge in household and business relocations that will provide new strategic opportunities for the real estate market,” she said. This trend will likely create opportunities for real estate developers, investors and home builders. “New construction can incorporate technology such as air purification and touchless lighting which will appeal to future residents. A stronger focus on health and wellness will translate into new housing product with better home offices or private workspaces in apartments, flexibility for multigenerational living, private outdoor space, and a preference for functionality over design appeal in the home,” she said.   

 

 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit: https://www.realestateconsulting.com/

https://www.cushmanwakefield.com/en/united-states/people/gian-rodriguez

 

 

2020 Hurricane season in the face of coronavirus

2020 Hurricane season in the face of coronavirus

By: Felipe Rivas

2 min read May 2020—A few days shy of the official start of the 2020 hurricane season and the Southeast has already seen two named tropical storms. Tropical Storm Arthur brought inclement weather to the Carolinas a full two weeks before the June 1 start date and on Wednesday Tropical Storm Bertha formed quickly in the morning and drenched South Carolina before dissipating to a depression, all in a day’s notice. 

 

As the country reels from the devastating effects of the coronavirus, states on the East Coast can expect an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season, according to forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service. States like Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas can expect a 60 percent chance of having an above-normal hurricane season with a likelihood of three to six major hurricanes making landfall. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, peaking in August and September.

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to have 13 to 19 named storms, six to 10 hurricanes, and three to six major hurricanes, according to the National Weather Service. As states juggle coronavirus-related safety concerns with the reopening of their economies, state leaders urge residents to begin their preparation and evacuation plans early while emphasizing the importance of hygiene and keeping in mind social distancing measures. “This early season storm reminds us that we always need to be prepared for severe weather,” North Carolina Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry said during the formation of Tropical Storm Arthur, which set off tropical storm warnings along the North Carolina coast from Surf City north to Duck. “The time to prepare is now,” Sprayberry said.  

COVID-19 may put a damper on the way residents traditionally prepare for the months-long season. “Social distancing and other CDC guidance to keep you safe from COVID-19 may impact the disaster preparedness plan you had in place, including what is in your go-kit, evacuation routes, shelters and more. With tornado season at its peak, hurricane season around the corner, and flooding, earthquakes and wildfires a risk year-round, it is time to revise and adjust your emergency plan now,” said Carlos Castillo, acting deputy administrator for resilience at FEMA, according to the National Weather Service. “Natural disasters won’t wait, so I encourage you to keep COVID-19 in mind when revising or making your plan for you and your loved ones, and don’t forget your pets.”

In Florida, a magnet for constant hurricane activity throughout the season, leaders are strategizing on how to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the midst of a hurricane threat.      “We don’t know how the virus is going to react as we move into these various stages,”Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a news conference in Sarasota, according to the U.S News & World Report.  “We don’t know what it’s going to look like a month from now, three months from now, but we have to assume that it’s going to be with us in some capacity, so how do you deal with hurricane issues?” he said. 

Days before the official start to hurricane season, Florida has reported more than 52,000 cases of the coronavirus and more than 2,300 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine’s Coronavirus Resource Center. “This virus really thrives and transmits when you have close sustained contact with people inside an enclosed environment,” DeSantis said. “As you’re looking at sheltering for a hurricane, you have to keep that in mind. If you pile people into a place, under normal circumstances that may be fine, but that would potentially allow the virus to really spread if somebody is in fact infected,” he said.  

Florida leaders are working with the Federal Emergency Management Agency on changes to sheltering and evacuation procedures to account for the coronavirus implications. Florida emergency management Director Jared Moskowitz said those changes could include shelters that only accept people infected with the coronavirus, or shelter in place orders depending on the strength of the building and magnitude of the storm. “We’re going to do more non-congregate sheltering instead of mass congregate sheltering,” Moskowitz said.

In similar fashion, Georgia leaders and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency urged all Georgians to prepare and follow activity in the tropics. Tropical Storm Arthur did not cause too much impact as it curved away from the Peach State while traveling through the Atlantic Ocean. Though unfazed by Tropical Storm Arthur, Georgia has dealt with severe weather conditions since the start of the spring. In March and April, Georgia experienced heavy rainfall and severe flooding in more than 100 counties while also dealing with the aftermath of the coronavirus. In March, Gov. Brian Kemp signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency for 120 Georgia counties south of I-20. “The state is working to ensure counties impacted by flooding across Georgia have access to all the resources necessary to respond,” Kemp said at the time. “I encourage residents to listen to their local officials and news sources and heed the directions of their local emergency management officials,” he said. 

To learn more, visit: 

https://www.noaa.gov/media-release/busy-atlantic-hurricane-season-predicted-for-2020

ReadyNC.org

https://gema.georgia.gov/

https://floridadisaster.org/

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1589997234798-adb5ce5cb98a7a89e3e1800becf0eb65/2020_Hurricane_Pandemic_Plan.pdf