Yearly Archives : 2017

CREC Tapped by Thor Equities to Reposition & Draw High-Street Retail to Prime Fort Lauderdale Beach Shopping Destination

CREC Tapped by Thor Equities to Reposition & Draw High-Street Retail
to Prime Fort Lauderdale Beach Shopping Destination

Florida’s leading commercial real estate firm to transform The Gallery at Beach Place
into a live-work-play lifestyle center following major renovations.

CREC – Florida’s leading, independent, full-service commercial real estate firm – announced today that it has been selected by Thor Equities as the exclusive leasing agent for The Gallery at Beach Place in Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida. Bringing extensive expertise in high-street retail, CREC together with Thor Equities will reposition the property’s tenant mix, revitalizing this Fort Lauderdale Beach landmark.

A major $1.9 million renovation by Thor Equities, including a fresh façade and modernization of finishes throughout, is currently underway to appeal to shifting demographics and increased demand for tailored, experiential retail in the Fort Lauderdale market.

“We are excited to collaborate with Thor Equities to reposition this trophy asset and bring it to full occupancy,” said CREC Vice President Rafael Romero. “The 360-degree renovation of The Gallery at Beach Place encompasses not only the aesthetics of the property, but our team’s commitment to re-imagine this property as a 21st century lifestyle center anchored by an inspired collection of eateries, offices, health and fitness centers, and entertainment retailers.”

With this appointment, CREC continues its track record of reshaping the retail blueprint of lifestyle shopping destinations in Florida. Most recently, the firm created and executed a vision for a revitalized tenant mix at Downtown Dadeland. Prior to CREC’s involvement in 2014, Downtown Dadeland struggled to attract retail occupants that boosted foot traffic. CREC has since positioned Downtown Dadeland as Miami’s premier location for chef-driven restaurants, situated in a pedestrian-friendly, open-air environment. The restaurant lineup includes four James Beard Award winners and nominees including Pubbelly Sushi, Harry’s Pizzeria, The Brick and Zuuk.

The Gallery at Beach Place is situated at 17 South Fort Lauderdale Boulevard, just steps from the sand, and directly on the main thoroughfare of Fort Lauderdale Beach’s State Road AIA. The property’s prime location affords breathtaking ocean views and heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic from neighboring hotel brands, including Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, W Hotels and Westin. Tourist attractions such as The Fort Lauderdale Air Show and Tortuga Music Festival add seasonal boosts of foot traffic. The area attracts over 13 million annual visitors, spending more than $10.6 billion each year.

Comprised of 95,769 square feet of mixed-use space amid three floors, The Gallery at Beach Place is currently 70 percent occupied, with 32,618 square feet of rentable space available. Thor Equities’ significant investment in infrastructure will transform the property to provide a platform for CREC to attract high-quality tenants to Fort Lauderdale Beach’s newest live-work-play lifestyle center.

CREC Vice President Rafael Romero and Senior Leasing Associate Ariel Bernstein will oversee leasing and marketing The Gallery at Beach Place. Current anchor tenants include CVS, Escapology, Hooters, Lulu’s Bait Shack, and Maui Nix.

 

About CREC

CREC is the leading, independent, full-service commercial real estate company in Florida with offices in Miami, Orlando and Jacksonville. Since its founding in 1989, CREC has provided fully-integrated real estate services, including brokerage, leasing, management, tenant representation, receiverships, workouts, as well as debt and equity financing. The company continues to uphold its mission of being “Your Florida Partner” through its commitment to providing clients with unrivaled service and a streamlined approach. Through the years, CREC has built a portfolio of more than 13 million square feet across 100-plus properties throughout Florida. For more information, visit www.crec.com.

 

Miami Beach office market in ‘very best of health right now’

May 18th, 2017

By Catherine Lackner

S.Hurwitz_CREC_2016Miami Beach, a small, boutique office market, is “phenomenal as an asset class and arguable in the very best of health right now,” said Stephen Rutchik, Colliers International executive Vice President.

With no new office product introduced since 2002 and exploding values that make residential and mixed-used projects the highest and best use for raw land, tenants are shopping around in existing spaces and landlords are re-investing in older buildings, he said.

“There’s been a very significant appreciation in rents,” he said. “We’re still at a discount to the central business district, but not as much as before.” Class A rents in downtown Miami are about $45-$50 per square foot gross, while that space can be had on Miami Beach in the mid-$40s, he said.

“Many employers are looking for a submarket that has all the amenities their employees want as well as places to entertain clients. Miami Beach provides that and it’s not horribly congested like the CBD. It also has that cool factor, like Wynwood,” which doesn’t have much in the way of pure office space, observers say.

On Miami Beach, a higher proportion of people get around on bikes, skateboard and scooters than on the mainland, which is appealing to the millennial who work for or own tech companies, Mr. Rutchik said. “Tech firms are the drivers of net absorption. Being on Miami Beach checks their boxes.”

“We are seeing that the Miami Beach office market is currently performing quite well, with several similarities to other South Florida boutique office markets, such as Aventura and South Miami,” said Steven Hurwitz, a partner at CREC who leads the firm’s office leasing practice, via email.

“They provide a wide range of high-end, close-to-home opportunities for professionals wanting to avoid the ever-growing traffic congestion in South Florida. In Miami Beach, calls A vacancy remains in the single digits, and rental rates continue to climb, with supply constraints and limited, to no new deliveries on the drawing board.

“Land values and the return on other asset classes – like residential, retail and hospitality – have made Miami Beach’s office supply flat for many years. It is highly unlikely you will see an institutional-quality office building being delivered in South Beach anytime in the near future,” he said.

Miami Beach tenants are typically middle- to high-net-worth decision-makers, the fund and investment managers, principals in music and talent agencies and others who don’t typically need to be downtown, he said.

“Compass (a new tenant to Miami Beach) took the top two floors at the old Sony Building at 605 Lincoln Road in the past year and Warner extended its lease last year and is staying on Miami Beach, so that’s also good news for the market,” Mr. Hurwitz said. “Miami Beach tenants are those that want great quality in a location outside the more congested downtown and Brickell markets. Many of them live on Miami Beach, as do their employees.”

“Miami-Dade County’s pace of total office leasing activity bounced back from a tepid showing in 2016 with little adjustment to near-record high asking rate,” said JLL’s first quarter 2017 office report.

“Countywide total leasing activity registered 40% year-on-year growth (representing the largest single-quarter square-footage leased since the fourth quarter of 2015), led by the long-awaited return of suburban submarkets to long-term historical average activity.”

Miami Beach is a relatively small market with 1.9 million square feet of office space, the report continued. Throughout the Beach, rents average $41 per square foot, and the vacancy rate is 9%. Miami Beach class A space fetches $45 per square foot (with an 8% vacancy), while rates for class B are $39 per square foot with a 9% vacancy.

CREC Tapped To Exclusively Lease 43,000 SF Of Retail Space For Luxury Mixed-Use Development In Downtown Miami

May 16th, 2017

CREC has been appointed the exclusive leasing agent for 43,301 square feet of prime retail space of the luxury mixed-used development Vizcayne, located at 200 Biscayne Boulevard, in the heart of downtown Miami.

Vizcayne is situated within walking to distance to the American Airlines Arena, in a dense urban area with a strong population of businesses and growing residential base. Comprised of 849 condominium units in two residential towers, the development’s retail space provides everyday conveniences and services that appeal to the surrounding demographic.

Current ground-floor tenants include Orangetheory Fitness, CVS, Smoothie King, Zona Fresca, and The Learning Experience, with available retail space between 2,875 and 13,047 square feet. Additionally, Vizcayne offers a 126-space parking deck and abundant street parking along Biscayne Boulevard and adjacent side streets.

CREC Vice President Rafael Romero, CCIM and Senior Leasing Associate Ariel Bernstein will oversee leasing and marketing of the project.

“Vizcayne’s retail component provides a unique opportunity to attract lifestyle tenants that complement the neighborhood’s thriving residential base, as well as the bustling business community,” said Romero. “We are carefully selecting a retail mix that heightens the amenities of the luxury mixed-use development, while remaining conscious of drawing retailers that deliver a sense of ease to those who regularly frequent the area.”

Strategically located on Biscayne Boulevard, Vizcayne is across from Bayside Marketplace and Bayfront Park. Developed by Cabi Developers, the projected was designed by Fullerton-Diaz Architects, Inc. and completed in 2008.

“We are excited to add another luxury mixed-use project to our portfolio, and look forward to curating a lifestyle retail mix that brings great value to Vizcayne and Downtown Miami’s thriving pedestrian market,” added CREC President and Co-Founder Carol Greenberg Brooks.

Events company moves to top floor of South Beach office building

Events company moves to top floor of South Beach office building

INDUSTRIES & TAGS. Commercial Real Estate

By Emon Reiser – Digital Producer South Florida Business Journal 

GDS Publishing, an international events and technology services company, has relocated to the top floor of a 90,000-square-foot office building in Miami Beach.

The Bristol, United Kingdom-based company moved its South Florida branch to 10,000 square feet at 1688 Meridian Avenue. The firm will occupy the entire penthouse floor of the office space with more than 40 employees. Cushman & Wakefield Managing Director Gordon Messinger represented the property owner in lease negotiations and CREC’s Steven Hurwitz represented the tenant.

1688 Meridian Avenue is a 90,000-square-foot office building in Miami Beach.
PHOTO COURTESY CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD

GDS relocated from 1691 Michigan Ave.

The company’s fellow tenants now include Regus, a major flexible workspace company; international modeling agency Next Model Management and international advertising agency J. Walter Thompson Worldwide.

Ivy Realty acquired 1688 Meridian Ave. and 1674 Meridian Ave. in July 2016. The office buildings total 120,000 square feet. The Connecticut-based company is planning improvements for both buildings including renovations to the lobbies, bathrooms and other common areas.

Long slog of Miracle Mile revamp alters business scene

WEEK OF THURSDAY, APRIL 13, 2017

A Singular Voice in an Evolving City.


COMMERCIAL & OFFICE SPACE


Long slog of Miracle Mile revamp alters business scene

By Catherine Lackner

The renovation of Miracle Mile and Gerald Avenue has been a long slog and, with completion set for January, it’s far from over. Stakeholders on the streets have experienced the construction differently.

“We’ve been very fortunate, but we are sensitive to the fact that others have had serious difficulties,” said Barbara Stein, executive producing director of the Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile.

“We’ve become somewhat of a destination, and people seem to be able to get to the theater on time,” she said. “People have a choice to see or not see the show, and we’ve had some good series.”

Parking is a challenge, she said, “but parking is always a challenge, and not just in Coral Gables, but everywhere. We’re hoping the return of valet service will help.”

On balance, Ms. Stein called the renovation “a little bit of pain for some gain.

“These are going to be amazing improvements, and we hope that the people we bring in will help generate opportunities for everyone,” she said. “We’re all working together for the prosperity of the community.”

An unintended consequence of the renovation forced Flowers & Services, formerly of 366 Miracle Mile, to leave the city.

“Due to the construction, the owner of our former location raised the rent from $4,000 to $11,000,” said Maria Budow, co-owner of the business. “We moved. Once the renovation is done, a restaurant can come in there and put tables on the sidewalks, which we couldn’t do.”

Flowers & Services moved to 6600 Coral Way. “It’s really nice and there’s plenty of parking,” Ms. Budow said. “We’re happy.”

Rent increases may be part of a trend, said Rafael Romero, Vice President of CREC, via email.

“While some retailers may not survive these challenging times, the long-term gains will deliver enhanced tenants and increased market vitality. With less than a 3% retail vacancy rate in Miami today, any vacancies will be absorbed quickly in this area.

“We expect landlords of existing retail buildings to upgrade infrastructure to meet the vision of the new streetscape, playing a significant role in the new retail aesthetic,” said Mr. Romero, whose office at 2121 Ponce de Leon Blvd. is two blocks from Giralda Avenue and four blocks from Miracle Mile. “Coral Gables will also need to work closely with the surrounding landlords to deliver a destination with a synergetic tenant mix.”

“This is a defining moment for downtown Coral Gables,” said Christopher Brown, co-developer of Giralda Place, a nine-story, 33-unit condominium project at 2222 Ponce de Leon Blvd., which will have 13,390 square feet of ground-floor retail and about 100,000 square feet of office space.

“We’re already seeing growing interest in Giralda Place due to the streetscape project taking shape across the street. While tenants have seen a dry sales period, there is real buzz surrounding the streetscape’s completion and resulting increase in foot traffic,” he said via email.

“The improvements will greatly benefit current retail tenants by helping to boost lost revenue from the heavy construction and providing them with a competitive advantage, as there are no other thoroughfares in the vicinity that share the same attributes.”

“We invite people to come experience the progress of the Miracle Mile streetscape as you stroll the south side of the 100 and 200 blocks of Miracle Mile [which house] the Miracle Theatre, Barnes & Noble and dozens of quality shops and eateries,” said Javier Betancourt, Coral Gables economic development director, via email.

“Hand-cut stone pavers – inspired by our beautiful South Florida skies – are being meticulously installed on ultra-wide sidewalks to create a captivating pedestrian experience for locals and visitors alike,” he said. “The first phase of this multimillion-dollar renaissance has successfully addressed long-standing drainage issues while installing high speed fiber, new shade trees, and specialty lighting. The drainage work is done and the magic is now taking shape.”

The first phase of the Giralda Plaza streetscape is taking shape, as well, he said. “To celebrate,

‘Parking is always a challenge, and not just in Coral Gables, but everywhere. We’re hoping the return of the valet service will help.’

Barbara Stein


‘While some retailers may not survive these challenging time, the long-term gains will deliver enhanced tenants and increased market vitality.’

Rafael Romero


many of the restaurants along ‘restaurant row,’ (the 100 block of Giralda Avenue) will operate impromptu outdoor cafes in the plaza each Saturday from breakfast to midnight.

“Entitled Giralda Alfresco, these Saturday experiences will allow us to get a taste of what’s to come, because it’s just too pretty now to wait until summer, when it’s officially complete,” Mr. Betancourt said.

The project – which was discussed for years before the first inch of pavement was broken – will create streets that are more walkable, vibrant and attractive, he said. Giralda Plaza is scheduled for completion by early summer, and seven of Miracle Mile’s eight blocks are scheduled for completion by November of this year (in time for the holiday season), with the last block slated for completion by January 2018.

“The city is sensitive to the hardships faced by merchants during this period of construction,” he said. Coral Gables has taken steps to support the merchants, including:

‘While tenants have seen a dry sales period, there is a real buzz surrounding the streetscape’s completion and resulting increase in foot traffic.’

Christopher Brown


‘The first phase of this multimillion-dollar renaissance has successfully addressed long-standing drainage issues while installing high speed fiber.’

Javier Betancourt


  • Working with the contractor to accelerate and expedite the work.
  • Attracting people to downtown through a variety of free events, such as Wellness Wednesdays, Jazz in the Gables, Movies on the Mile and Giralda Al Fresco.
  • Providing discounted or complementary parking for customers, including free parking vouchers and free valet vouchers for Giralda Avenue merchants.
  • Conducting a robust marketing and advertising campaign in publications and social media.
  • Installing more than 180 business continuity parking and wayfinding signs.
  • Waiving city permit fees and expediting permitting for facade improvements.
  • Providing flexibility with respect to certain code enforcement regulations.
  • Enhancing privately owned paseos at the city’s expense.
  • Providing rent abatement for retail tenants in city-owned properties.
CREC Tapped to Manage, Lease Miami Office Building

April 5th, 2017

CREC has been selected as the exclusive leasing agent and will be managing the office asset for Park Centre Boulevard in Miami Gardens.

The ‘Class A’ office building was acquired for $8.5 million in February by 1111 PCB Holdings, LLC.

Located at 1111 Park Centre Boulevard, the property offers 56,634 square feet of office space amidst four stories. The building is currently 92-percent occupied, with 5,162 square feet of rentable space available. CREC Senior Leasing Associates Katie Fernandez-Espinosa and Teri Jarp will oversee leasing.

“We are excited to be collaborating with the new ownership team for Park Centre Boulevard to bring this asset to full occupancy,” said CREC Co-founder and President Carol Brooks. “The property is currently home to a strong mix of professional tenants, including law offices, medical companies and government agencies, seeking convenient workspaces in proximity to major thoroughfares. The location, coupled with the building’s on-site amenities, will serve as a strong draw for our network.”

Park Centre is  situated west of the Golden Glades Interchange.

CREC Negotiates 88,000 SF Lease Renewal

CREC has completed a long-term, 88,000-square-foot lease renewal with Bayview Asset Management in Shops at Merrick Park Offices in Coral Gables.

The lease renewal will maintain the national mortgage investment firm’s corporate headquarters at 4425 Ponce De Leon Boulevard. Bayview Asset Management has occupied the space since the office building was delivered to the market in 2002.

CREC Partner Steven Hurwitz and Senior Vice President Douglas Okun represented GGP, owner and operator of Shops at Merrick Park Offices, while JLL Managing Director Matthew W. Cheezem represented the tenant, Bayview Asset Management.

“We were able to achieve terms for GGP to accommodate the tenant’s needs, which included ample on-site parking and facility improvements geared toward upgrading the tenant’s floors,” said Hurwitz. “We are pleased that Bayview Asset Management will remain in the building. This is a strong statement for both the project and the thriving Coral Gables submarket.”

Shops at Merrick Park Office is a Class A, five-story office building comprised of 126,019 square feet. The tower is situated immediately adjacent to the area’s high-end retail and dining destination, Shops at Merrick Park, which features anchor tenants Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. It enjoys exposure to U.S. 1 and is within walking distance to Metrorail and the Coral Gables Trolley Station.

CREC Arranges $27.4 Million Sale of Turtle Crossing in Metro Fort Lauderdale

Coral Springs, Fla. — CREC has arranged the $27.4 million sale of Turtle Crossing, a 99,174-square-foot shopping center located roughly 20 miles northwest of Fort Lauderdale in Coral Springs.

The property is shadow-anchored by a 174,000-square-foot Super Target, and home to tenants including Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Panda Express, AutoZone, Panera Bread, Buffalo Wild Wings, Vision Works and Chipotle Mexican Grill.

Warren Weiser and Harry Blyden of CREC represented the seller, Turtle Run Venture LLC, in the transaction. There was no broker representation for the buyer, Turtle Crossing Coral Springs LLC, a joint venture between Ross Realty Investments and SunCap Real Estate Investments.

 

 

Pollo Tropical spreads its wings to new HQ near Miami airport

Pollo Tropical spreads its wings to new HQ near Miami airport

Fast-casual chicken restaurant group reduced its footprint from 17,000 sf to 10,000 sf
March 03, 2017 12:45PM
By Katherine Kallergis

Pollo Tropical office (Credit: Gigi Alvarez) Inset: CREC’s Carol Brooks and Glenn Rozansky, vice president of real estate for Pollo Tropical

After nearly 20 years spent in fragmented office space in Dadeland and a test kitchen in Doral, Pollo Tropical has moved into a newly built-out space near Miami International Airport. 

Pollo Tropical, a subsidiary of Fiesta Restaurant Group, is leasing a 10,000-square-foot building at 7255 Corporate Center Drive, Carol Brooks told The Real Deal. Brooks, president and co-founder of CREC, represented Pollo Tropical in the lease along with senior leasing associate Katie Fernandez-Espinosa. Diana Parker, CBRE senior vice president, represented the Landing at MIA.

The new regional headquarters for Pollo Tropical includes an open floor plan of offices and conference space surrounding a roughly 1,100-square-foot test kitchen. The company went from leasing about 17,000 square feet on noncontiguous floors in an older building in the Dadeland area, plus a test kitchen in Doral, to a smaller and centralized space.

“They had grown over decades into a space that was no longer efficient and it didn’t accommodate their culture. They wanted to consolidate offices, their training facility and test kitchen under one roof with ease of access, abundant onsite parking and onsite amenities,” Brooks told TRD. “Those requirements – the parking and test kitchen – were inherently limited and that pushed us geographically.”

The building is within the Landing at MIA office park, which recently underwent a $17 million renovation, according to a press release. Records show SPUS7 Miami ACC Land LP owns the 50-acre complex. The limited partnership, which is controlled by CBRE Global Investors principal Claudia Walraven, paid $129.25 million for the office community in 2014.

Brooks declined to provide terms of the lease, including rents, but said that in general rents are lower in the Dadeland submarket, and that it’s difficult to compare rent within the airport submarket because of the kitchen and training facilities.

The popular fast-casual chicken restaurant chain added skylights to the building as part of the extensive build-out. Gigi Alvarez of G. Alvarez Studio designed the new headquarters.

“It’s so cool. We really talked a lot about culture; food is what they do, so the kitchen now is exposed to the central work area. Everybody has a view,” she said.