Miami’s Industrial Real Estate Has Buyers Lining Up

Miami’s Industrial Real Estate Has Buyers Lining Up

Writer: Sara Warden

2 min read SEPTEMBER 2019 — Miami is an attractive place to live and a business hub, but that also means its real estate doesn’t come cheap. In the huge land expanses involved in industrial real estate, assets cost a pretty penny. But the dynamics of the Miami market mean developers are not shying away from putting their hand in their pocket.

A key example of this is the recent sale of the three-building, 74-acre Centergate development at Gratigny in Hialeah for $178 million, Florida’s biggest sale of the year. Real estate giants CBRE closed the sale on behalf of the buyer.

“Centergate is one of the largest industrial offerings to come for sale in South Florida in recent years,” said CBRE Executive Vice President Jose Lobon in a news release. “Given the challenges to aggregate square footage in our market, Centergate presented a unique opportunity to acquire critical mass in one of the most desirable logistics markets in the nation.”

The sale can be broken down to a price of $111.25/ft2, a steal compared to recent deals in the greater Miami area. At the end of last month, institutional investor The Blackstone Group bought the 14-acre Airport Trade Center property west of Miami International Airport for $56 million, or $152/ft2.

Also this month, CBRE closed another multimillion-dollar industrial real estate deal, selling the five-building Miramar industrial portfolio to Stockbridge Capital. This deal equates to an eye-watering $192/ft2.

“It’s hard to buy industrial real estate in South Florida. It’s very competitive. Particularly when you see something of this size, multiple buildings,” Lobon added. “The opportunity to be able to buy in one stroke over 600,000 square feet of Class A, high-quality institutional industrial real estate in South Florida, those opportunities don’t come around that frequently.”

With these values, it’s not hard to see why other industrial real estate investors have made Miami a prime focus in their business plans. NYSE-listed real estate corporation Terreno has made Miami a cornerstone in its six-market strategy. 

“Terreno acquires, owns and operates industrial real estate in six major coastal US markets. Exclusively. Functional, flexible, infill real estate located at the intersection of growing demand and limited, or even shrinking, supply,” the company says on its website.

E-commerce is one of the reasons why industrial real estate close to the city limits is in such high demand in recent years. Miami is the sixth-most densely-populated city in the United States and the metropolitan area is home to over 6 million people. 

A 2017 study by San Francisco technology company Trove Technologies found that Florida is No. 1 for discretionary income in the South Atlantic region. Discretionary income is the amount left over after paying for the essentials such as rent and bills.

A huge captive population combined with sizeable disposable income is not only good news for e-commerce, but also for the US industrial real estate giants that are betting on the greater Miami area.

 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

https://www.cbre.com/about

https://www.blackstone.com/

https://stockbridge.com/

https://terreno.com/

Philly Legal: These Sectors Are on the Right Side of the Law

by Yolanda Rivas

2 min read SEPTEMBER 2019 — Over the last few years, Philadelphia’s legal sector has seen a steady flow of law firms entering the market as well as local firms expanding in and outside the region. As the market gets more concentrated, many firms are betting on key growth areas to expand their practices. 

According to Invest: interviews with leading legal voices in the Philly area, health and life sciences, technology, real estate and finance are some of the sectors keeping attorneys busy. With a diverse business ecosystem in Philadelphia, firms like Zarwin Baum DeVito Kaplan Schaer Toddy, P.C. are experiencing high demand in commercial business, especially in the areas of banking, leasing, real estate financing and real estate development.

“We also have seen growth in our employment practices area, in part due to the #MeToo movement, which is generating many more workplace claims. Commercial litigation is also a growth area for us,” Mitchell Kaplan, managing shareholder at Zarwin Baum, told Invest:. “But we are currently seeing the most growth in our data privacy and cyber-liability department. That department gets involved in the training of businesses to prevent data leaks and breaches. We provide training, prevention and breach response,” Kaplan said. 

Similarly, St. Louis-based Armstrong Teasdale LLP is growing its intellectual property presence in Philadelphia as a result of the increasing demand in technology litigation around the country. “Intellectual property services, whether it be trademark, patents or copyrights, are required by any business. We support our clients with many trademark and retail issues. For example, in the science, healthcare and pharmaceutical fields, we do a lot of patents and protection of intellectual property. There is high demand for intellectual property services in Philly,” Armstrong Teasdale’s Eastern U.S. Partner and Leader Richard Scheff said in an interview with Invest:. 

According to an article from The Legal Intelligencer, Pennsylvania-based firms saw demand growth of 2.6 percent last year, slightly above the industry average of 2.3 percent. One of the benefits of Philadelphia’s legal sector is the presence of 20 Fortune 500 companies and over 75 Fortune 1000 companies. 

Besides technology and intellectual property services, financial institutions and real estate companies are particularly robust areas for Philadelphia’s legal sector. “Blank Rome’s Real Estate and Financial Services practices are very strong, particularly in Philadelphia. Both continue to be core areas of our law firm with a strong national presence,” Alan J. Hoffman, chairman at Blank Rome LLP, told Invest:.

Finance and technology also form part of Duane Morris LLP’s Top 5 sectors in terms of revenue and areas of focus. “About 85% of our revenue is in the following industries: financial institutions, health and life sciences, technology and telecommunications, infrastructure (including construction and energy) and finally, retail and consumer products. Those areas are our focus across the firm and in Philadelphia, which is our largest office with over 200 lawyers,” Matthew Taylor, chairman & CEO at Duane Morris LLP, told Invest: 

Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group’s Q2 2019 report projects a good year in 2019 relative to earlier post-recession years, although it will be a challenge for the industry to see a repeat of 2018’s strong performance.

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

Zarwin Baum DeVito Kaplan Schaer Toddy, P.C.: https://www.zarwin.com/ 

Armstrong Teasdale LLP: https://www.armstrongteasdale.com/ 

Blank Rome LLP: https://www.blankrome.com/ 

Duane Morris LLP: https://www.duanemorris.com/ 

Atlanta’s Westside: Where Opportunity Meets Walkability

By Sara Warden

 

2 min read September 2019 — There are 26 qualified Opportunity Zones in the city of Atlanta, with the majority of them running down west of the I-75 in the city’s Westside. The qualified Opportunity Zones were born from a fiscal effort to drive private business into low-income communities. But it is more than just tax incentives that make Atlanta’s Westside one of the city’s fastest-gentrifying areas.

“There is demand,” Avison Young Principal Casey Keitchen told Bisnow. “There’s way more capital chasing qualified Opportunity Zone deals than there are qualified Opportunity Zone deals.”

This week, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation awarded a $17.5 million grant to Atlanta BeltLine Partnership to support development of Westside Park. The 280-acre park is slated to be the largest greenspace in Atlanta when it opens, with the first phase set to be inaugurated in 2020. The donation will be combined with $26.5 million from the city.

“Westside Park is a transformational project that will set an exciting new precedent for greenspace development across Atlanta,” said John Dargle, Jr., Commissioner for the city’s Parks & Recreation department in an interview with Atlanta Daily World.

According to Arthur M. Blank, Chairman of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, the aim of the project is to create a community in an area that did not have the facilities to do so. “We want these Westside communities to feel like this is their park where residents, neighbors, and visitors are connecting and gathering because that is when Atlanta is at its very best,” he told Atlanta Daily World.

In the last few years, private developers have flocked to the area to take advantage of the qualified Opportunity Zone, among other features. 

“Westside is all the rage [for] creative office. That makes sense,” Banyan Street Capital Principal Taylor White told Bisnow. “It makes a lot of sense for Opportunity Zone investors to go to that market.”

The magic of the Westside is that it is the point of crossover between most qualified Opportunity Zones and the Atlanta BeltLine project, meaning this real estate is worth its weight in gold. It can offer easy mobility, green spaces, social spaces and entertainment. Added to this is the Westside’s easy access to educational facilities, in particular Georgia Tech, which means that for developers, the sky is the limit. 

One developer that saw opportunity in the area is CrossStone Management, a firm that purchased several land parcels and is now looking to build retail, residential and commercial space. “I was attracted to the areas before Opportunity Zones were even discussed,” said the firm’s founder, Greg Todey, to Bisnow.

 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

https://beltline.org/about/the-atlanta-beltline-project/atlanta-beltline-overview/

https://blankfoundation.org/

https://www.atlantaga.gov/residents/parks-recreation

http://www.banyanstreet.com/

Spotlight On: Rickelle Williams, Executive Director, Dania Beach Community Redevelopment Agency

Spotlight On: Rickelle Williams, Executive Director, Dania Beach Community Redevelopment Agency

By Max Crampton-Thomas

 

2 min read September 2019 — A community redevelopment agency’s main purpose is to encourage public and private investment into an area to help promote economic growth and improve the quality of life of residents. In a flourishing county like Broward, CRA’s play an important role in helping to grow the local economies and development activity throughout the region. A prime example is the Dania Beach Community Redevelopment Agency. Its work is helping to revitalize and redevelop the city of Dania Beach. Invest: Greater Fort Lauderdale had the opportunity to speak with Rickelle Williams, Executive Director for the Dania Beach CRA. Her passion for promoting and spearheading economic growth in Dania Beach was front and center during our conversation, in which she discussed the work the CRA is doing to promote this growth, the status of the new City Center initiative and how the CRA’s focus has broadened to include residential revitalization.

How is the CRA working to promote economic growth in Dania Beach? 

The CRA has been spearheading a rebranding initiative on behalf of the city of Dania Beach to promote economic growth. Last year, the city adopted a new logo and slogan: “Sea it. Live it. Love it.” We have been implementing the rebranding initiative through signage at our parks and in neighborhoods as well as through advertising, marketing and public relations. 

These are some of the methods we are using to get the Dania Beach brand out there and to let people know that if they have not discovered Dania Beach yet, now is a great time. To attract business, we promote our incentive programs, Opportunity Zones, and proximity to Port Everglades and Fort Lauderdale International Airport. In addition, the CRA produces an award-winning staple event going into its eighth year, the Dania Beach Arts and Seafood Celebration, recently drawing 19,000 people over a two-day weekend to one of our public parks. This free event is a way to bring people together for art, music, kids’ activities, and to showcase the quality of life in Dania Beach. We’ve also added a monthly street festival and art walk called Dania After Dark to add vibrant activity to our Downtown in preparation for our City Center Redevelopment initiative. 

How is the process going for the new City Center initiative? 

The Dania Beach Community Redevelopment Agency is leading a public-private partnership redevelopment initiative for Dania Beach City Hall, parking garage, library, and fire station as a new mixed-use City Center. The reconceived 6.5-acre site would provide an improved customer experience, a better working environment, needed housing, job creation, commercial and entertainment development, and stimulate a broader redevelopment of the city’s Downtown. We engaged FIU Metropolitan Center to research the city’s market capacity, engage the public in a discussion of possibilities and priorities and provide the city with an action agenda to move the City Center concept from idea to development. We later engaged with Colliers International South Florida through its government division to market the property and issue a request for proposals for parcels collectively appraised at $12.3 million. Three proposals were submitted and are under evaluation. 

How has the CRA’s focus changed or broadened over the last year? 

The CRA has traditionally focused on commercial investments and incentives, but for the first time we’ve incorporated residential revitalization into our cache of programs and initiatives. We started the At Home Dania Beach Program to make people feel at home in their community. This is a comprehensive approach to residential revitalization that encompasses several strategies. Those strategies include down-payment assistance, where we offer up to $20,000 to first-time homebuyers who meet our eligibility criteria. We are also developing single-family homes through our affordable housing development program. We have several homes that are in the development process, and we anticipate adding more homes in the coming months. We also provide a residential beautification grant where eligible homeowners can receive some financial help for landscaping or painting. When people recognize that there is an investment in the community, they take more pride in their homes and improve the quality of life and tax base. 

 

To learn more about our interviewee, visit:

http://www.daniabeachcra.org/

Face Off: Broward’s Construction Boom

Face Off: Broward’s Construction Boom

By Max Crampton-Thomas

 

4 min read September 2019 It seems like more cranes are dotting the downtown Fort Lauderdale skyline every week as new developments emerge from the ground at a record rate. Invest: Greater Fort Lauderdale recently had the opportunity to speak with two of the leading constructors in South Florida, Ryan Romanchuk, the Fort Lauderdale business unit leader for DPR Construction, and Brian Sudduth, the president of Miller Construction. The wide-ranging conversations touched on trends in the sector and how their companies are adapting to these, along with the challenges the industry faces.

What emerging trends are impacting the construction industry and how are you adapting to these?

Ryan Romanchuk: There is a strong movement toward prefabrication similar to what we’ve seen in other parts of the world outside of the United States. It is a movement to become smarter as an industry as our labor costs go up and we move more into a manufacturing environment. We are looking for different components that we can prefabricate off-site, which in turn helps to limit the amount of manpower needed on-site, making our project safer and resulting in a higher quality product. One of the constraints of prefabrication is that it requires a certain level of repeatability to make economic sense for a project. However, as our technological tools get more sophisticated we are going to start to push toward digital fabrication. It’s the idea that every project can be unique but still be prefabricated based on building it virtually first.

Brian Sudduth: Office space construction has been slower over the past several years, but we are now starting to see more opportunities for development and redevelopment of office space. The need for construction in hospitality has continued to offer opportunities, and there is still heavy demand for our services in the industrial market. The residential, multifamily market is slowing down, but we have not typically participated in these sectors. I think this is part of the reason why we are seeing opportunities for Miller Construction growing and why 2020 will be just as good if not better for our business.

What is an ongoing challenge the construction industry faces?

Romanchuk: We are working to incorporate data-driven decision-making into all aspects of the business and really moving toward predictive analytics. Every construction project produces so much data but at the same time every project is so unique, which makes it challenging to harness the data produced. Our ability to harness our data as an industry will make us more predictable and at the end of the day that is what most if not all our clients want: predictable outcomes.

Sudduth: The challenge of finding labor in construction is not limited to just identifying people for management roles; it is also finding quality craftsmen to work on these jobs. There are more opportunities than available workers in the marketplace. People leaving Florida and leaving the industry all together during the recession was one factor, but we also have a skills gap because for the last decade, high-school students were encouraged to go to college rather than consider vocational training for things like electrical, plumbing and welding. Those programs are finally seeing a resurgence, but that gap has had an effect on available labor.

What are the factors that contribute to the longevity of your company?

Romanchuk: DPR is and always has been a self-performing general contractor. It really centers around the belief that we are builders at heart and our central belief as a company to respect the individual. This is why we don’t believe in “piece work” and believe in a fair and honest hourly wage and benefits such as health, 401K and paid care leave for all our craft employees.  We have had high levels of retention and are investing in training our employees to make sure they continue to grow their skillset and have upward mobility within DPR. Being a self-performing contractor requires additional resources, time and capital, but we control our own destiny, carry forward respect for the individual and can be part of our industry working to solve the labor gap. 

Sudduth: The longevity of our company is attributed to our business model of always putting our clients first. We never try to chase a revenue number or a product type. Instead, we focus our efforts on quality clients, and through the years we have done a good job of selecting clients that are looking for a long-lasting partnership. We always look out for their best interests, and in return people appreciate that and come back to us whenever they have new projects. We have never been a company that tries to be the biggest. Our goal has always been to be the best construction company.

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

https://www.millerconstruction.com/

https://www.dpr.com/

Spotlight On: Rick Gonzalez, AIA, President, REG Architects, Inc.

Spotlight On: Rick Gonzalez, AIA, President, REG Architects, Inc.

By Max Crampton-Thomas

 

2 min read August 2019 — Development of commercial and residential facilities is reliant upon well-thought-out and deliberate architecture and design. In a region like Palm Beach County, where there is a flurry of development and redevelopment happening, architectural and design firms like REG Architects, Inc. are in increasingly higher demand. REG Architects specializes in architecture, historic preservation, interior design and community planning, and Invest: Palm Beach had the opportunity to speak with company President Rick Gonzalez. He spoke to Invest: about the firm’s growth, its approach to design work, services that are in the highest demand and emerging trends due to the influx of young professionals into Palm Beach County.

What were some highlights for REG Architects in the past year?

 

One of the highlights was the celebration of our 30th anniversary last spring. We have been awarded some nice projects, like the campus for the Seacoast Utility Authority in Palm Beach Gardens, and we have also been doing new residential work. Last year was probably the best year in a decade, when we had the big recession, and 2019 has started very well.

What are some unique qualities that set REG Architects apart from other firms in the area?

 

Besides our longevity, our approach to design work sets us apart. We do a lot of historic preservation in our office; we like to use historic context when designing to be inspired by a historical place. For example, we worked on Mar-a-Lago for President Trump. We used the design of the place as inspiration. We try to use that in all of our projects, whether it is commercial, residential, equestrian, historic or mixed use. Most companies today tend to focus on cutting-edge or modern architecture, and I think there’s a good place for modern architecture, but we like to have a tie to the community.

 

Which of the firm’s services are seeing the most demand today?

 

We have a healthy balance between commercial, residential and governmental projects. In terms of design services, we do all our work now in Revit, which is a robust architectural design and documentation software application with a 3D modeling system. Animation is now important for clients and it is seeing high demand. We are also known for our design preservation work, and we get a lot of requests in those areas as well. 

 

Have you seen any emerging trends with more young professionals moving to the area?

 

People are picking the place first, and then they’re looking for the job. They want to come to exciting, invigorating places like downtown West Palm Beach or downtown Boca Raton — cities that are unique and well-positioned, where they can live, work, play and study in the same area. People also want to work in interconnected, open office spaces, and they want to live in smaller units with diverse community features, such as outdoor areas, swimming pools, decks, restaurants, shops and easy ways to get around town.

 

To learn more about our interviewee, visit:

http://www.regarchitects.com/

Miami Dolphins Kick Off Season With New Training Complex, Partnerships, Roster Moves

By Yolanda Rivas

2 min read AUGUST 2019 — With a new head coach and a rebuild underway, the Miami Dolphins will field a re-tooled look when the NFL’s 100th season kicks off next week. That look extends beyond the players and coaches, with a new training complex in the works and fresh partnerships that emphasize community involvement and impact. 

The Dolphins recently broke ground on the $135 million state-of-the-art training complex and sports performance clinic in Miami Gardens. The facility, named Baptist Health Training Complex, is part of a multiyear partnership with Baptist Health that is projected to open in spring 2021. 

“The Baptist Health Training Complex will be a state-of-the-art football facility with Baptist Health providing a world-class sports performance clinic available to the public so people can have access to the same care the players get,” Miami Dolphins Chief Executive Officer Tom Garfinkel said in a written statement.

The 125,000-square-foot training facility and 92,200-square foot indoor field will be significantly larger than the team’s current facility. The complex will also house an innovation hub, a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy area, a dedicated recovery area that includes cryotherapy and isolation tanks, an athletic training room with an expansive rehabilitation space, meeting rooms, an outdoor practice area with two full natural-grass fields, full indoor practice facility and other amenities. 

Another significant announcement by the Dolphins and its FOOTBALL UNITES™ program was the partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) through Values Matter Miami, which promotes education and values among the city’s students. According to an official announcement, starting in September, the Dolphins will recognize a student each month who best exemplifies a specific value.

“The Miami Dolphins are proud to strengthen our relationship with M-DCPS by supporting the Values Matter Miami Program to directly impact the students of Miami-Dade County,” Jason Jenkins, Miami Dolphins’ senior vice president of communications and community affairs, said in a written statement about the partnership. 

These initiatives are part of the Dolphins goal to inspire a healthier, more educated and united South Florida community. 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

Miami Dolphins: https://www.miamidolphins.com/ 

Baptist Health: https://baptisthealth.net/en/pages/home.aspx 

Miami-Dade County Public Schools: http://www.dadeschools.net/ 

Values Matter Miami: http://osi.dadeschools.net/valuesmatter/

Tackling Affordable Housing in the Bay

Tackling Affordable Housing in the Bay

Writer: Max Crampton-Thomas

2 min read August 2019   Growth in the Tampa Bay region has been twofold, with a  significant boom in the economy and the population. As the population grows so does the need for more affordable housing options in the region. While there has been a notable increase in the development of luxury apartments and multifamily units, which are popping up all over Downtown, there is a notable deficit of affordable housing options. Mayor Jane Castor, her administration and community organizations like the Tampa Housing Authority recognize that they must work together to find- a solution for this problem.

Since her election in April, Mayor Castor has identified access to affordable housing solutions as one of her top priorities, as noted when she spoke with Invest:. “In reality, the most pressing issues in our community are transportation, affordable housing and workforce development.” She has since taken action to address the housing issue with the recent formation of the Affordable Housing Advisory Team as part of her “Transforming Tampa’s Tomorrow” transition. The role of the advisory team will be to ensure home ownership for all residents in Tampa regardless of economic status. It  will be one of five advisory teams guiding the mayor’s strategic vision for addressing key issues in Tampa Bay. 

One of the members of the Affordable Housing Advisory Team is Leroy Moore, the senior vice resident and chief operating officer for the Tampa Housing Authority. The Authority is not only focused on providing housing assistance to low-income residents. Its role has evolved over the years to better address the affordable housing issue in the region. Invest: recently spoke with Moore, who discussed how the Authority is addressing this need. “The Housing Authority has evolved to not only manage affordable housing, but also to redevelop this housing into real estate that functions as more than just a roof over someone’s head. We consistently ask ourselves what else does a community need? A community needs jobs, quality food and transportation accessibility, which brings in the need for collaboration with transportation agencies in the region. We can meet the needs of the community by developing housing, especially affordable and attainable housing, around accessible transit options. Great transit translates into better housing costs.” 

The Authority’s actions to tackle affordable housing include the redevelopment of a 28-acre superblock of public housing that will be known as the Encore District. In his discussion with Invest:, Moore spoke about the Authority’s approach to this development and how it differs from the original construction., “Seventy-five years ago, the Tampa Housing Authority developed a 28-acre superblock of public housing on the doorstep of what is now Downtown. Seventy-five years later, we are redeveloping that site and realizing that its potential today is far greater than what was ever imagined back then. Instead of just having a 28-acre single-use affordable housing community, we now have 12 city blocks of diverse development called the Encore District.” He continued: “Encore will be a LEED Gold neighborhood development community. All the buildings have a commitment to be LEED Silver or higher. We replaced the affordable and workforce housing and increased the number of affordable units on that exact same footprint. We are also adding other uses like hotels, museums, schools, market-rate housing and grocery stores all within the same 28-acre area.”

The need for more affordable housing is not an issue that will resolve itself and will only continue to manifest into a larger challenge as the population in Tampa Bay grows. The solution is not clear-cut, but community leaders like Mayor Castor and Moore are working to find actionable answers.  

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

https://www.tampagov.net/

 

https://www.thafl.com/

The Future is Now for FATVillage

By Max Crampton-Thomas

 

3 min read August 2019 — Fort Lauderdale’s FATVillage makes up for what it lacks in size with a treasure trove of arts, cultural and technological offerings. Founded in the late 1990s by Doug McCraw, the four-block historic warehouse district has developed into an arts hub to rival the most established arts districts in South Florida. While the area was originally founded as a way to rally philanthropic support around the artistic community in Fort Lauderdale, it is now transitioning into the premier destination for artists, small-business owners, technologists and arts enthusiasts.

The emergence of FATVillage has been a thoughtful and deliberate process of encouraging smart development that never diverts from the emphasis on art as the main part of the neighborhood’s DNA. This stands true for the introduction of more mixed-use development into the area, as McCraw highlighted in a recent interview with Invest: Greater Fort Lauderdale, discussing how that development is not only a new concept but also positively affecting the surrounding neighborhoods. “FATVillage has consistently been a significant economic driver in the Broward County region. It has acted not only as an arts community but also as a nucleus for a lot of the development in Flagler Village. What we are doing in terms of using art as a driver of mixed-use development is still a new concept, and not many developers are integrating product development with a creative community in the same way that we are,” McCraw told Invest. 

He also acknowledged that while FATVillage is undergoing a transition to focus on developing its status as an economic driver in the region, the reason for the district’s success has been the deliberate and careful process of deciding who can lease inside the area. “FATVillage is at a transition point. We are very focused on developing FATVillage to make it a treasure for Fort Lauderdale. We have aggregated various types of coworking spaces with different disciplines, all of which are major components of FATVillage. We have a curated process and we do not just lease to the first person who walks in the door. Our focus on art as an integrated part of the DNA of FATVillage makes us a unique component of Fort Lauderdale’s culture,” McCraw said

Helping to achieve this vision for the future of FATVillage, while also remaining true to its arts identity, is Urban Street Development, which has been involved with the district from the beginning. Invest: recently had a conversation with the Co-Founder Alan Hooper about what the next phase of development for FATVillage will look like. “In August, we intend to deliver a plan that will take the FATVillage Art District in downtown Fort Lauderdale into an exciting era that will combine food with art and technology (FAT) and develop a neighborhood where people and businesses of all sizes can find a place to live, create, collaborate, and socialize. The 5- acre-plus plan fully embraces the arts and elevates the opportunities for artists and creative businesses alike. Positioned inside the downtown core, the Opportunity Zone, and a block from Brightline, the options for community building are endless,” Hooper told Invest:. “We want to help FATVillage evolve into the place it should be. A place that is attractive to creative businesses while maintaining the artists who made us a well-known destination. We want to build some affordable housing for artists and local creative people, as well as really cool workspaces for start-up businesses that might represent art in another way, through video or audio, the art of the word, or the art of food. A place like this will be very attractive to businesses that benefit from hiring within a congregation of talent. In the end, we are creating a village that all people can grow with, be a part of and enjoy.” 

Arts and culture is a major key in Florida’s economy, and even more so in Broward County. Areas like FATVillage play a vital role in keeping arts in the county, and acting as a significant economic driver for the region. FATVillage has long been an attractive destination in Fort Lauderdale, but it is now on the cusp of a major transition into a true arts and economic staple in Broward County. 

 

To learn more about our interviewees, visit:

https://www.fatvillage.com/

http://www.urbanstreetdevelopment.com/