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Monday, December 5, 2016

Comras tapped to reposition stretch of Las Olas Boulevard

Michael Comras plans to bring a new vibe to the retail market in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

Comras and his senior director of retail leasing Jeffrey Evans were hired to handle leasing for the three major property owners along a four-block stretch of Las Olas Boulevard, which control about 90 percent of storefronts: Las Olas Companies, Barron Real Estate and Hudson Capital Group. In all, the Comras Company is handling about 250,000 square feet of retail space from Route 1, where the Cheesecake Factory is, going west toward the canal.

“Those four blocks for years have been sort of held back,” Comras told The Real Deal. “These independent owners are banding together to remerchandise and restrategize.”

He and Evans are launching leasing at ICSC New York on Monday and Tuesday, and have started wrapping storefronts with new marketing materials. The 250,000 square feet includes 50,000 square feet of new space and another 50,000 square feet that’s underway, Evans said. Las Olas Co. is building Las Olas Place, a two-story, 30,000-square-foot retail and office building next to American Social, a restaurant and bar on the corner of Eighth Avenue and the boulevard.

Comras declined to provide asking rents, but said that market rents currently range from $70 a square foot to $80 a squre foot. He plans to bring in similar tenant mixes like those on Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road and Sunset Harbour, and in Coconut Grove, including small fitness companies, home furnishings and accessories, athleisure, and high-tech stores.

Just west of the Las Olas shops is Fort Lauderdale’s central business district, where the Related Group is building Icon Las Olas. To the east are high-end single-family homes, and to the north, Flagler Village,  which is undergoing significant redevelopment geared toward attracting millennials and baby boomers. More than 40 projects are in the pipeline in Flagler Village.

Comras said he plans to redirect those consumers, who would otherwise go to Town Center at Boca Raton in Palm Beach County or Aventura Mall in Miami-Dade.

Posted at 3:02:00 PM

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Seat of power

America’s exhaustive and exhausting two-year presidential cycle is drawing to a close, which means that the White House will soon have new — or, at least, newly returned — residents. Spread across 18 acres, the mansion is 55,000 square feet, with 132 rooms, including three kitchens and 35 bathrooms. Still, the White House is considered modest compared to the official residences of some other heads of state. The property was built for one purpose only — as a symbol of American political stability. It has never been bought or sold. “In view of the frantic nature of many election campaigns, it is amazing that there has never been an interruption in the lawful exchange of residents at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” writes the White House Historical Association on its website. Of course, that hasn’t stopped people from speculating on its market value. Zillow estimated the value of the property at $393 million. That, of course, includes a large premium for its historical significance.


The year that President Theodore Roosevelt officially gave the White House its current name. At various times in history, the White House has been known as the “President’s Palace,” the “President’s House” and the “Executive Mansion.”


The denomination of U.S. currency that features the White House. The bill is slated for a redesign in 2020, with Harriet Tubman, the former slave and abolitionist, replacing President Andrew Jackson, a slave owner. The reverse side, which features the White House, is expected to remain unchanged.


The number of Christmas trees decorating the White House in 1997, during the Clinton administration. The display eclipsed the Eisenhower administration’s long-held record for most trees, that of 26, which were installed throughout the building’s six floors.


The year the British Army set fire to the White House, destroying the interior and charring much of the exterior. The building had been completed just 14 years prior. The marauding Brits torched not only the White House, but other Capitol buildings, the culmination of a campaign of terror aimed at forcing the U.S. to capitulate. Before destroying the house, troops reportedly stopped to eat the dinner First Lady Dolley Madison had laid out in the dining room.


The annual yield that the White House, which has 15 to 16 bedrooms, would generate if it was converted to a rental or a B&B. That comes to about $5 million a year, using L.A.- based Gray Real Estate Advisors’ $90 million valuation. But Zillow’s annual rental estimate is nearly five times higher at about $25 million a year.


The number of days the White House is open to the public free of charge. American citizens can submit a request through their Congressional representative no fewer than 21 days — and no more than three months — in advance. The tours are granted on a first-come, first-served basis. By comparison, Élysée Palace, the French presidential residence, is open only one day a year.


The number of pieces inside Lego’s “architectural replica of the real-world White House,” which retails for $49.99. The assembled model stands 3.9 inches high, 8.8 inches wide and 5.6 inches deep. Lego’s version of the United States Capitol Building is twice as big and expensive. It has 1,032 pieces and costs $99.99.


The number of hours it will take expert movers to help the President-elect and his or her family transfer their possessions into the White House on January 20, 2017. While the swearing-in takes place, movers will remove the Obamas’ possessions. Former White House usher Gary Walters, who worked on five presidential move-ins, described it as “well-organized ballet choreography.”


The number of gallons of white paint it takes to cover the White House. The building first took on its current hue in 1798, when it was covered with lime-based whitewash to protect the stone facade from freezing. In 1818, a coat of white lead paint was applied.


~The Real Deal

Posted at 2:43:55 PM

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Rental demand puts the squeeze on Fort Lauderdale’s multifamily market

With only a handful of new apartment deliveries in Fort Lauderdale over the past year, growing demand for rentals has started to strain the city’s supply.

A new report from brokerage Marcus & Millichap shows a dearth of new construction helped shrink Fort Lauderdale’s vacancy rate to 3.2 percent in the third quarter. Rents, on the other hand, spiked 8 percent year-over-year to an average of $1,614 per month.

Much like Miami, Fort Lauderdale — and Broward County in general — has seen a wave of demand for apartments stemming from buyers getting shut out from the increasingly expensive housing market, according to the report. Even with the county’s median income rising to an all-time high of $55,200, the report states, Broward’s $293,200 median price for a house means homeownership is still out of reach for many residents.

The growing popularity of neighborhoods like Flagler Village among millennials, who typically favor renting over homeownership, is also contributing to the increased demand.

Development activity is starting to ratchet up in response. Of the 7,300 apartments under construction in Broward with delivery dates spread between this year and 2018, 1,800 are within Fort Lauderdale. Even with that influx of new supply, Marcus & Millichap forecasts that vacancies will continue their gradual fall, causing rents to rise.


~Courtesy of The Real Deal

Posted at 9:09:19 AM

Monday, October 10, 2016

Florida jumps past Texas as third-most popular state among billionaires: Forbes

Florida’s wealthiest residents have some new neighbors. An influx of the ultra-wealthy has boosted Florida to third place for popularity among billionaires in the Forbes 400 list.

Nine new billionaires from the Forbes 400 are calling Florida home this year, boosting the state’s roster of the ultra-wealthy to 40. That’s also seven more billionaires on the list than Texas’s 33, the lowest number the state has seen since 2000, according to Forbes.

And as one might expect, many of Florida’s richest made their billions from real estate. By The Real Deal’s count, 19 of those billionaires in the state list their primary source of wealth from properties, financial markets or money management. Although he’s not on the Forbes 400, Starwood Capital founder Barry Sternlicht recently said he and several other executives were also switching addresses to Florida during the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha Conference.

Among those who made the move last year: Interactive Brokers Group founder Thomas Peterffy, who became Florida’s richest resident last year when he left the ritzy enclave of Greenwich, Connecticut for Palm Beach. Forbes pegs his net worth at $12.6 billion, ranking him No. 32 on the list.

One of the main factors driving the wealthy to Florida — besides the tired tropes of sun, sand and palm trees — is the state’s lack of state income and estate taxes, Forbes reported. That perk alone saved Tom Golisano, who chairs payroll company Paychex, $5 million when he moved to Florida in 2009.

Apartna Mathur told Forbes that Florida’s attractiveness to the financially savvy can also be chalked up to favorable business conditions and bankruptcy laws, which protect personal personal real estate from seizure. [Forbes] — Sean Stewart-Muniz


For more infomation visit

Posted at 9:42:18 AM

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

South Florida Braces For Hurricane Matthew

As South Florda braces for Hurricane Matthew lines at grocery stores and gas pumps continue to grow. Currently Palm Beach County is under a hurricane warning while Broward County remains under a tropical storm warning. Yesterday Governor Rick Scott declarded a State of Emergency and ordered partial activation of the Florida National Guard. According to the Sun Sentinal the weather service put odds of hurricane force winds of at least 74 mph at 20 to 25 percent. The Florida Power & Light Co. announced it was activating its emerygency reasponse plan, preparing to deploy 4,000 workers to restore power. In light of these looming events we have compiled a list of items that should be in your emergency survival kit to help you weather the storm.




The Core Emergency Survival Kit

• Water – one gallon per person, per day.

• Food – nonperishable and canned foods, along with a non-electric can opener.

• Sanitation and personal hygiene items.

• Flashlights with extra batteries.

• Battery-powered or hand crank radio. If battery-powered, have extra batteries.

• Extra clothing and blankets.

• A first-aid kit.

• Emergency cash and checks – credit cards may not be dependable if there is a power outage.

• Electronic chargers, including chargers that can be used in your vehicle.

• A whistle to signal for help.

• Duct tape.

• Copies of personal documents – including a home inventory list, insurance policies and other important legal and financial documents.

• Bug spray.

• Pen and notebook – use to keep notes, important phone numbers, etc., if power is out and electronic devices are not working.

• Baby supplies – diapers, wipes, infant formula, food and bottles.

• Pet food and extra water for your pets.

• Medications – if you, a family member, or a pet rely on daily medications, be sure 
to include at least a three to seven-day supply.

• Copy of your insurance policies – both home and auto.

• Wills, trusts, deeds and birth certificates.

• Account numbers – bank accounts, insurance accounts, etc. 

• Personal and family records.

• Copies of licenses and/or ID cards.

• Medical records.

• Legal and financial documents.

• An inventory of your home’s contents

• Photographs of your home and your belongings.


As we prepare for Matthew and lines grow longer and longer please remember we are all in this together so be kind to one another and help your neighbors and the elderly as best you can. Please make sure you are prepared as well as possible and stay safe!



Posted at 10:15:48 AM

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

New Listing at the Symphony


Posted at 10:47:58 AM

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Two restaurants slated for development directly on the beach

Two veteran restaurant groups have agreed to build new locations directly on the beach through a partnership between a developer and the Pompano Beach Community Redevelopment Agency.

The same company that owns Grille 401 Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale, the Piñon Grill in Boca Raton and Brimstone Woodfire Grill in Pembroke Pines signed a deal to open the Pompano Beach House just east of the new Pompano Beach Pier parking garage at 10 N. Pompano Beach Blvd. The 6,700-square-foot restaurant should break ground in October and open in September 2017, said Timothy L. Hernandez, principal of New Urban Communities. Pompano Pier Associates, which is owned by Hernandez, Kevin RickardRick Caster and Brian Grossberg, was selected by the CRA to lease and develop the commercial space in and around the parking garage.

Hernandez said the Pompano Beach House will offer burgers, steaks, chops and fish.

The 9,570-square-foot Oceanic restaurant is slated to break ground on the same site in June 2017 and open in spring 2018, Hernandez said. Oceanic is owned by Raleigh, North Carolina-based LM Restaurants, whose other brands include Bluewater, Taverna Agora and Carolina Ale House. The first Oceanic is at the base of a pier in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.

“The city of Pompano has made a great investment in revitalizing its beachfront with landscaping, restrooms, wide sidewalks and a large parking garage,” Hernandez said. “This will differentiate it from other beachfronts, where parking is a problem.”

New Urban Communities is also offering leases in 6,000 square feet of commercial space in the parking garage and three site pads between the parking garage and the beach with development potential of 7,000, 5,200 and 6,200 square feet.

Hernandez said he’s in negotiations with a beachwear store for the largest space. The smaller space will probably be subdivided into two or three restaurants. The 6,200-square-foot space, which will have an unobstructed view of the beach, will probably be a restaurant, he said.

Quick service restaurants are also the most likely tenants for the garage commercial space given the heavy foot traffic expected there on weekends, Hernandez said.




Posted at 3:20:28 PM

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