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South Florida — 10 things to know

March 25, 2019

South Florida has seen explosive growth on almost every front over the past few years. A population boom, seismic construction and the evolution of the ideal workplace have created a commercial real estate landscape that can be difficult to navigate. Below you will find 10 things we are tracking to help keep you informed.

1. Keys to the future

Having been founded in 1875, Miami—Fort Lauderdale—West Palm Beach is one of the youngest MSAs, yet its population ranks among the country’s top 10 and has the 15th highest projected growth rate. Even though the city is young in years, it brings sage experience. Residents average 41 years of age, the most mature average population of major metros. That makes it a place where businesses thrive.

2. Global access granted

You (and your business) can get there from here...

by air: Our 10 airports (three international, seven private) and 150 direct flights to South and Central America are the most of any MSA.

by sea: Port Miami is the No. 1 largest passenger port in the world (also ferries $9.8 billion in trade). Port Everglades is the No. 1 container port and seaport for Florida exports.

by deals: Of the top 30 private employers in the region, 10 are aviation, trade and logistics or cruises.

3. Keep the change

Our zero local and state personal income taxes—and near lowest business taxes in the country—incentivize families and businesses to plant roots. Florida ranks no. 2 on Chief Executive Magazine’s Best for Doing Business list. Miami made it on Amazon’s finalist list for HQ2. Nation’s sixth least expensive major MSA (avg. SFL asking rent $35.35).

4. Giant moves

Job growth: Since 2000, South Florida has added 550,900 jobs while maintaining an unemployment rate at 70 basis points lower than the country overall. Corporate strength: Some of the biggest new-to-market tenants over the past five years have been Conifer, Envision, SR Technologies, Cambridge Innovation Center, Ford Motor and Total Bank. Talent boost: Most of South Florida’s domestic migration hails from New York City, Orlando, Atlanta, Tampa and Philadelphia.

5. Got talent!

Florida has won the top spot on U.S. News & World Report’s Best State with Higher Education for two consecutive years. More than 250,000 higher-education students call the tri-county area home, making us competitive with most major metro areas. Roughly 63,000 students matriculate each year, providing a pipeline of skilled labor for the region’s companies.

6. Inventing strong since sunscreen

Since Benjamin Green invented Coppertone sunscreen in 1944, South Florida has been fostering business innovation and entrepreneurship. The MSA ranks No. 1 on Kauffman Foundations’ U.S. Cities for Startup Creation. Leasing activity in 2018 was dominated by Finance (28.2 percent), PBS (22.6 — 50 percent of which is legal activity), Health (11 percent) and Technology (8.1 percent).

7. We speak the language

Known as the U.S. gateway to LATAM, our population speaks over 90 languages. What’s more, 100 consulates, foreign trade offices and bi-national chambers of commerce reside here.

South Florida’s diversity and favorable geographic location count among the reasons 16 Fortune 1000 companies headquarter here.

8. Eye of the storm

The eye of development is shifting from the suburbs to the CBD. Since 2009, 45.7 percent of development concentrates in the CBD, compared to 18.9 percent developed between 2000 and 2008. Fort Lauderdale ranks among the top 10 markets set to grow, with 4.7 percent under construction as a percentage of inventory. A bullish development pipeline boasts 11.6 million square feet, which represents 14.3 percent of existing inventory. The highest-activity submarkets are Downtown Miami, Brickell, Plantation, North of Downtown (including Wynwood and Design District), Coral Gables and Aventura.

9. The sun always rises

For nearly two decades, South Florida’s glowing economy has been consistently heating up. Over the past 17 years, GDP growth in the region (4.0 percent) has outpaced that in the state and country (3.9 percent). This market resilience over three economic periods speaks to lasting business appeal.

10. Wyn-ing?

The whole town is talking about the fringe and trending Wynwood and Design District. Situated in North of Downtown, the submarket has experienced a leap frog expansion this economic cycle. Retail landlords have been winning, commanding Brickell-competitive rents. Because of this success, office development has picked up pace. With the deliveries of Wynwood Garage, Wynwood Cube and a pipeline greater than 500,000 square feet, the micromarket is entering a new phase. The year will be telling for how well office product succeeds in this retail rich environment.

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