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Real estate professionals met in November for a regional market review organized by the South Florida Business Journal and hosted at the future site of the Related Group’s One Brickell City Centre in Miami.

Brian Belt, a real estate attorney in Gunster’s Miami office, participated in the panel discussion. There were some 120 people in attendance, according to the Business Journal.

The panel consisted of:

  • Brian Belt, attorney/shareholder – Gunster
  • Angelo Bianco, partner – Crocker Partners
  • Michael Comras, CEO/founder – The Comras Co.
  • David Martin, president/owner – Terra Group
  • Patricia Nooney, senior managing director of investor services – CBRE
  • Chris Sutton, vice president – Flagler Global Logistics

The Business Journal’s special report based on the panel’s discussions, Succeeding in a crowded real estate market, is broken down into 5 different articles that can be viewed online (note: a subscription may be required to view):

* * *

Overall, the panelists found that the influx of people into the South Florida region has driven up the residential real estate market – which, in turn, drives demand for retail, office and industrial properties. All of which create opportunities as well as challenges for property developers and investors.

According to the Business Journal articles, panelists discussed a growing trend involving a move back to urban centers. And, as more people move downtown, greater retail opportunities abound while mass transit and parking become bigger considerations, panelists noted. At the same time, an insufficient number of office buildings in the South Florida region (currently and for at least the next few years) has led to low vacancy rates and increasing rents.

Among the biggest burdens facing developers is the high cost of construction – more so than the cost of the land – Belt says in the article.

So what locations do the panelists favor? Attributes mentioned in the articles include:

  • exclusivity, with character
  • in-demand
  • zoning flexibility
  • financing availability

Belt practices in the areas of real estate, hospitality and corporate law. His experience includes acquisition and sales, due diligence, restructuring, land use, leasing, construction and financing. He has advised real estate and corporate clients throughout the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean.

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