Florida is in the midst of an aviation renaissance

Florida is in the midst of an aviation renaissance

By: Beatrice Silva 

2 min read September 2020 — Despite a dismal year for the aviation industry, Orlando Melbourne International Airport is experiencing a period of exponential growth. Companies such as Made in Space and Aerion Supersonic have announced plans to relocate their headquarters to central Florida, which will help bring hundreds of jobs to the region. 

Aerion Supersonic plans to relocate its headquarters from Reno, Nevada, to Melbourne, Florida. The American aircraft manufacturer received a substantial investment from Space Florida that will help bring an estimated 675 jobs to the region over the next six years. Aerion Supersonic and Space Florida also have plans to build a $300-million state-of-the-art campus at Melbourne International Airport. Located on 60 acres of undeveloped property at the northwest corner of the airport, Aerion Park will boast a center for research along with facilities for manufacturing, design and production. 

The AS2, a supersonic business jet, will be the first aircraft manufactured at Aerion Park. Production of this ultrafast fleet is scheduled to begin in 2023. “Our engineers call it science, but we call it time travel,” Aerion said in a tweet. “Why? At the speed of 1,000 MPH, we’re taking you from JFK to Sydney in 13 hours and 43 minutes instead of 18 hours and 6 minutes. Use those hours with your family instead.” 

Florida is in the midst of an aviation renaissance. Despite an unsettling year, the industry has remained resilient. Space Florida has high hopes that the creation of Aerion Park will help captivate other aviation and aerospace corporations to the area, which will only bring more exploration and innovation to the region. 

“This is a truly transformational project for Florida that changes the game for high-speed air transportation as well as for advanced aerospace manufacturing in the state,” Frank DiBello, president and CEO of Space Florida, told AINonline. “The decision to locate design, engineering, and manufacturing of this technologically advanced supersonic flight vehicle here in Florida is a testament to the growing strength and global recognition of the importance of Florida as a world-leading aerospace state.”

Aerion Supersonic isn’t the only corporation that has received investments from Space Florida to help relocate its operations to the Sunshine State. Earlier this year, Made In Space, announced its decision to move its headquarters from Mountain View California to Jacksonville. The engineering company specializes in the manufacturing of three-dimensional printers for use in microgravity.

“Relocating our headquarters to Jacksonville is a strategic step to position the company for long-term growth,” Andrew Rush, Made In Space president and CEO, said in a statement. “By expanding our presence in Florida, we can leverage a skilled aerospace workforce, large-scale infrastructure to support our growth, and key strategic partners like Space Florida that will accelerate our momentum as we continue to develop world-class space technology.”

Industrial investors eager to pounce on faltering retail properties

Industrial investors eager to pounce on faltering retail properties

By: Beatrice Silva 

2 min read August 2020 — Before April, e-commerce was already a booming business but COVID-19 has skyrocketed digital commercial transactions to a whole new level. Despite the current flash recession, the demand for industrial real estate has grown in almost every market. As a result, industrial real estate investors are eager to pounce on faltering hospitality and retail properties. Vacant or unprofitable large-acre facilities are being eyed up as potential warehouses and distribution centers. 

Businesses like hotels, theme parks, restaurants and others in the hospitality industry have taken the greatest hit financially among all major sectors. In Orlando, tourism disparities are now trickling down to those industrial companies that succor these industries. “Orlando’s weakness is that we’re a community built on tourism and convention services. When those industries suffer, typically our market suffers too,” Bo Bradford, industrial expert and co-president of Lee & Associates Central Florida, told Orlando Business Journal

However, with every crisis comes opportunity. If building vacancies do start to emerge as a result of the current economic slowdown it will give new operations a chance to plant roots in Orlando’s limited industrial market. One example is the area around the Orlando airport. In July, two flex industrial warehouses were proposed on 61.8 vacant acres at 6249 S. Goldenrod Road, according to the Orlando Business Journal. Orlando Office Center LLC are the property owners and Kelly Collins & Gentry Inc. are reported to be the project engineers. 

The increase in demand for industrial properties is making real estate investment companies get creative. Simon Property Group Inc. is considering converting vacant Sears and JCPenney stores into distribution centers, according to the Orlando Business Journal. However, in early June, the group decided not to proceed with an agreement with Taubman Centers that could have added various retail properties to its portfolio. “The COVID-19 pandemic has had a uniquely material and disproportionate effect on Taubman compared with other participants in the retail real estate industry,” Simon Property Group said in a press release. The real estate investment company has four properties in Orlando and if it does decide to transform even one of its properties into an industrial building, it could be a win-win for both parties involved in the transaction. 

Since the pandemic began, retail stores have suffered as more and more people shift to online shopping. Within a few years, traditional malls and outlet stores could become a thing of the past. For companies like Amazon, large vacant retail properties provide vital space in a limited market. 

South Jersey, Philly Industrial real estate a hotbed for investors

South Jersey, Philly Industrial real estate a hotbed for investors

By: Beatrice Silva

2 min read August 2020 — Even before the pandemic, billions of consumers had already been shopping on e-commerce sites like Amazon for years. But the pandemic is accelerating the platform’s growth as more and more people pivot away from physical stores. Shoppers say that there is something extremely gratifying about clicking a button and having a product delivered to their door the very next day. That’s music to the ears of those in the industrial real estate segment, as companies see an increasing need for distribution space.

When COVID-19 started to rapidly spread around the world, digital buying was no longer just a trend but a necessity. U.S. online sales grew 76% in June, reaching $73.2 billion that month, according to Digital Commerce 360. As a result, industrial real estate became even more of a hotbed for investment. Warehouses and distribution centers provide companies like Walmart and Target the local space they need to get purchase orders out to their customers quickly and efficiently.

To offer consumers fast shipping, a large majority of the industrial real estate is located near key transportation hubs like seaports, highways, railroads and airports. That’s one of the reasons why a handful of out-of-state investors like Peter Lewis, president and founder of Coastal Realty LLC, have started building their industrial portfolios in the Northeast. Lewis explained to the Philadelphia Business Journal why his firm has increased their industrial properties in South Jersey: “These middle-market companies are going to start transitioning to becoming much more sophisticated online,” he said. “They have to. What that means is they’re going to require more warehousing, which is what our property offers. I continue to see a real demand for warehousing in densely populated areas. It’s going to be all the way from the 4 million-square-foot guys to the 2,500-square-foot guys,” said Lewis. Coastal Realty recently teamed up with Walton Street Capital to buy a 32-building industrial portfolio in Pennsauken. 


South Jersey and Philadelphia are lucrative areas because of their unique placement between Washington and New York. “The overall demand for warehouse space has continued to remain strong, especially with the uptick in e-commerce and the expectation by the consumer to have goods in their hands as quickly as possible. When Amazon Prime was introduced, two days for delivery seemed fast and quickly became the norm. We are now finding that next-day delivery, if not same-day delivery, is an integral part of the supply chain that is driving a lot of companies to look for warehouse space in South Jersey. The new speculative and build-to-suit development in our market has been mostly in the northern parts of Burlington County and the southern parts of Gloucester County,” Ian Richman, senior managing director of Southern New Jersey Colliers International, told Invest: South Jersey 2020. 

As long as there is a continued increase in consumer spending, the demand for retail space and other commercial activities like distribution centers, in theory, should rise. 

To learn more, visit: 


Spotlight On: Ian Richman, Senior Managing Director | Southern New Jersey, Colliers International

Spotlight On: Ian Richman, Senior Managing Director | Southern New Jersey, Colliers International

By: Yolanda Rivas

2 min read March 2020 — The Southern New Jersey region’s low real estate costs and strategic location near major highways is bolstering demand in the industrial market. Ian Richman, senior managing director in the Southern New Jersey at Colliers International, specializes in the leasing and sale/acquisition of commercial and industrial properties in Southern New Jersey. In a recent interview with Invest:, Richman shared the trends in the market and the possible disruptions that could take place in the face of COVID-19.  

How are you preparing to face a possible economic downturn?

We haven’t seen signs of a slowdown yet. Construction is still going on and demand has been outpacing supply to an extent. But with the development of COVID-19, we are expecting to see disruptions in the supply chain and people are starting to get nervous about the impact on the economy. Companies that import raw materials or have their products manufactured in China or elsewhere overseas expect to see a lag in production, delay in delivery or in the extreme case, a stoppage of manufacturing in certain factories altogether. This is uncharted waters and a global pandemic will have ripple effects throughout all industries, not just real estate. 


How strong is the industrial market in South Jersey?

The demand in the industrial market has continued to increase over the last 12 months. One of the biggest drivers has been our rental rates and sale prices on a price per square foot basis relative to neighboring areas such as Northern New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area. A significant part of our activity has been coming down the New Jersey Turnpike from these northern-based tenants, owner-user purchasers and investors. 


What market trends are emerging?

The Philadelphia Port is one of the largest, if not the largest, food port in the country. We see a lot of demand from food-related companies looking for warehouse/distribution facilities or manufacturing facilities. This is not a new trend but rather one sector that has been increasingly growing from a demand perspective in Southern New Jersey. Additionally, the overall demand for warehouse space has continued to remain strong, especially with the uptick in e-commerce and the expectation by the consumer to have goods in their hands as quickly as possible. When Amazon Prime was introduced, two days for delivery seemed fast and quickly became the norm. We are now finding that next-day delivery, if not same-day delivery, is an integral part of the supply chain That is driving a lot of companies to look for warehouse space in South Jersey. 


The new speculative and build-to-suit development in our market has been mostly in the northern parts of Burlington County and the southern parts of Gloucester County, 


How do you expect the market to evolve in the near future?

We expect more companies to continue to consider South Jersey as a home. The prices are what is really driving most of the activity and that is a trend that we will continue to see. We are now seeing a lot of multi-generational family-owned real estate companies starting to sell some of their properties to more institutional owners. We are also seeing the presence of more institutional owners and large regional owners with real estate holdings in our market. Some of that is attributed to the development of large distribution centers and some of this is attributed to the merger and consolidation of ownership groups. 


To learn more about our interviewee, visit:

Colliers International: www.colliers.com



Spotlight on: Adam Mullen, Market Leader, Greater Philadelphia Region, CBRE

Spotlight on: Adam Mullen, Market Leader, Greater Philadelphia Region, CBRE

By: Yolanda Rivas

One of the main drivers of Philadelphia’s economy is the real estate industry, attractive for its affordable prices, advantageous location and the Pennsylvania I-78/I-81 Corridor. A recent report from commercial real estate firm CBRE showed the corridor saw a total of $132 million in capital investment during Q3 2019. In an interview with Invest:, Adam Mullen, CBRE’s market leader for the Greater Philadelphia region, discussed the areas seeing the most growth in Philly’s commercial real estate and what is spurring growth in the market.


What are the lines of business seeing the most growth or demand in Philadelphia today?

It is hard to understate the momentum we are witnessing in the industrial and logistics space. The shift to e-commerce and modernized supply chains have not only created one of the largest warehouse distribution markets in the world in our backyard, the Pennsylvania I-78/I-81 Corridor, but demand continues to be robust for Philadelphia’s industrial properties. A variety of users, including retailers and third-party logistics companies, are driving demand so they deliver goods to consumers more efficiently than ever before. 

At the same time, the local retail market is as vibrant as it has been in years. Philadelphia is at the top of everyone’s list as a major gateway market in the retail space. We have the largest mall on the East Coast, the King of Prussia Mall, which is a prime example of the consumption activity in our region. Also, the food and beverage sector is one of our leading sources of demand, not only in the suburbs and shopping centers, but also in Downtown Philadelphia. Due to the opportunity we see in the retail market, we have had an extreme focus on our retail business in Philadelphia, doubling down on our investments over the last few months. 

We can’t overlook the dynamism in Philadelphia’s office market. Our Downtown office market is larger, in terms of square footage, than Downtown Los Angeles or Downtown Houston, and we are seeing considerable demand from not only tenants but also investors, particularly from Asia and the Middle East. 

Finally, we continue to watch the rise of the multifamily market in the region. Due to low interest rates and a plentitude of available debt capital, the demand for multifamily assets in greater Philadelphia has exploded over the past few years. 

What are the major drivers of growth for Philadelphia’s real estate sector?

The local economy is very strong and is being driven notably by the “eds and meds” segment, which has a unique presence in the Philadelphia region. Not only do the local educational and health services institutions have a huge effect on the economy and are growing rapidly, but they also represent the largest share of our employment base. Consequently, this concentration of talent has created a boom in the local life sciences industry, which is experiencing rapid growth, notably in central Philadelphia where most of the region’s major academic and healthcare institutions are clustered and spurring innovation and new companies. Not incidentally, we are seeing the highest office rents we have ever seen in Center City, and also experiencing a significant uptick in office tenants relocating to Downtown Philadelphia.

To learn more about our interviewee, visit:

CBRE: http://www.cbre.us/people-and-offices/corporate-offices/philadelphia 

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: