Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Sorry there was no photo associated with this article. It always makes me wonder, every time I see the announcement of another new multifamily development (which happens almost daily these days), how can they all be geared towards luxury buyers? I mean are there really that many people out there looking to spend over a million dollars for a high rise apartment in South Florida? I think the jury is still out on that one but the affordability market study is truly alarming. What it shows clearly is that home prices are outpacing wage growth, resulting in making South Florida the 5th least affordable place to live in the U.S. The list reads number 1 is S. Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, New York and then South Florida. It just can’t be sustainable and really leads you to wonder when it will all blow up again. Our housing market is tough to figure out because there is so much foreign capital, like the other least affordable markets, and it is affected by things that take place in other countries. It seems like it is too much too fast again, but the banks are being way more cautious this time around. And so are the developers so maybe this time will be different. This cycle will last at least another 2 years so we can see where we are then, hopefully still building and not realizing that we overbuilt (again). As always thanks for reading and have a great day.

Homes hard to afford in S. Florida

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


I told you that one of the endangered species of a hot market was the golf course, along with trailer parks, and this is a story about one of these. You see these types of properties have huge tracts of land and when times are good there is no question that more money can be made by redeveloping the project. The main ingredient is always residential, and that is usually paired with retail and sometimes office space as well. In this case, The Patriot Golf Course, along Congress Avenue and Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., will transformed into the Sea Palm Resort. The new property will feature 94 single family homes, a 4 story hotel that will have 102 rooms, 48 condos and a 5,000 square foot spa. Before long this 119 acre golf course will be a thriving mixed use development that will be beautiful to look at. I really call this kind of development progress, and it is a win win deal in my opinion for both the developer and the City, who will see their tax coffers rise with the deal. Expect to see many more deals like this come together over the next 24 months. Golf is out for sure and development is back in a huge way. Land is just too valuable again to be used for golf and trailer parks and the banks are lending again. As always, thanks for reading and have a great day.

West Palm Beach approves golf course conversion project

Monday, May 11, 2015


This is sort of a funny one, but has some serious issues as well. For years the restaurants and merchants at City Place have waiting for the hotel across the street. They imagined it bringing thousands more customers through their doors. Now it is getting very close to opening and they just realized that it is really difficult and dangerous to cross the street to get there! SO, in part thanks to a 1,500 person citizen’s petition (all business owners at City Place?), Palm Beach County is now discussing with the traffic engineers and Florida Dept. of Transportation about the possibility of building a walkway over Okeechobee Blvd., the 8 lane street. This is something that if adopted, could be seen in many other instances in several different cities throughout the region. The trend towards walkability is running hot now and many cities are looking for ways to make that happen. There is an amazing and comprehensive plan being hatched now for the Cypress Creek area (now rebranded as Ft. Lauderdale North or Uptown) that you will be seeing soon. They will be turning the 8 lane Cypress Creek Rd. into 2 four lane roads to increase access for pedestrians. One can only hope that all the cities are looking at each other for ideas and that they can take the best of these and implement them all over the South Florida region to create a standard of walkability. Aside from the improved safety and aesthetics, there is a significant health benefit involved, getting people more exercise. And it gets more cars off the road, helping the environment. What is not to love? As always thanks for reading and have a great day.

Skywalk over Okeechobee Boulevard at CityPlace could become reality

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Abacoa Town Center finally changed hands for an amazingly reasonable number of $5.1 million dollars, which comes to just over $55 per square foot. While it is 30% vacant, at this number the new local owners could afford to do deals at very aggressive numbers and still make money. I think that the timing might finally be right for this special little area that comes alive every March for spring training baseball for a 5 week period every year. The new movie theater/bowling alley is going to open this year, making it the only thing of its kind in the area. It will surely draw families and people looking for entertainment. A new 350,000 square foot shopping center is going to be built across the street. Jupiter’s first brewing company, Civil Society Brewing Co., will be opening there this year. But more important than anything else, the 300 apartment Allure is opening, bringing badly needed population here to support the businesses at Abacoa. Finally, there is the new 128 room Courtyard Marriot, allowing for possibilities of more tourism other than the spring training crowd. This is a great little area with what I think is a perfect mixed use community. It is safe, quiet, close to the highway but will never have thriving businesses until you have enough people living there to support them. After all these years I think it is finally coming together and I couldn’t be happier. As always thanks for reading and have a great day.

Abacoa booming, but will people come?

Monday, May 4, 2015


There are many benefits to economic boom times but one of my favorite is road expansions. Since I live out West I use the Turnpike and Sawgrass Expressway as much as possible. So I was thrilled to read that the expansion of Florida’s Turnpike is back under consideration. There is a 5 year plan that will be rolled out in 4 separate segments. The scope of the expansion is the entire Palm Beach County portion of the expressway. The problem is that there is no money at this time to get the project started. The deal is all backwards, with plans prior to funding. So the plan now is to make sure everything is in place for the time when the money comes available, although it usually happens the other way. Typically you first get money for a project and then plan it out. The demand is there, almost at pre- recession traffic levels, so clearly there is a need for this to happen. And with the expansion of I – 75 taking place now, this would further ease access in the Western areas that would allow for more development and businesses relocating there. These types of projects are so exciting because they stand the test of time, regardless of the economy. Once they happen they can never be undone and I think it is inevitable that this is going to happen. With the way we have been collecting taxes these days it shouldn’t be long. And I am going to be really happy when it does! As always thanks for reading and have a great day.

8-lane Florida’s Turnpike in PBC? Plans are launched