From Brooklyn to Boca Raton, the once ultra-hip urban core of America’s cities now finds itself beyond the reach of many of the professionals who helped make it so desirable. These former residents are fleeing big metropolises in search of affordable rents and mortgages, safe schools, and open space. But they still crave the comforts of urban life—walkable neighborhoods, vibrant food and culture, access to the city—and, where these features don’t yet exist, they may bring these qualities with them.
This migration marks a new take on the move by an earlier generation, which left cities out of fear for their safety due to rising crime rates. Now, city dwellers are leaving because they simply can’t afford to live there.
This shift has become a large enough trend that some realtors now specialize in it. One realtor spends much of her time moving New Yorkers out of New York (85 percent from Brooklyn alone), to “laid back” villages and towns in Westchester, along the Hudson River, and in suburban New Jersey—areas once thought of as boring bedroom communities.
The youngest (and largest) generation makes up a significant portion of those making this move. According to global real estate company CRBE, approximately 103,000 more millennials ages 25 to 29 moved out of cities than moved in, and 167,000 more ages 20 to 24 did the same.
Granted, some of this migration can be attributed to underemployed young professionals moving back into their parents’ basements – but a significant portion moved to find a more affordable lifestyle. And it doesn’t stop with millennials. The numbers for Gen X are even more striking: 660,000 more fled cities than settled in them.
Yes, these young professionals are heading to the suburbs. But not just any ‘burbs will do.
No sprawling neighborhoods with few sidewalks surrounded by causeways clogged with big box stores. For these former urbanites, a healthy mix of affordable housing, locally-based food culture, and cultural literacy are necessary ingredients to complement the leafy-green streets. Towns like Irvington and Hastings in New York, Homewood, and Berwyn near Chicago, and Doral and Plantation in South Florida have stepped up to fill the bill.
Developers have noticed. Many towns within striking distance of the Big Apple have significant building projects underway and in the planning stages:
In short, these new transplants want the best of urban life, through a suburban lens:
While much of the focus of the “hipsturbia” movement has been focused on places like New York City, South Florida is no stranger to the trend. Some CRE developers have increasingly turned their attention away from downtowns like Miami, West Palm, and Fort Lauderdale to put down stakes in the likes of Doral, Plantation, Sunrise, and Boca Raton. Indeed, 64 percent of new construction in South Florida has moved to these suburban markets.
Chief among the reasons for this shift are workers reaching their breaking point on commute times and traffic congestion. On the developer side, land costs are significantly less, sometimes by as much as $10 to $15 a square foot.
Make no mistake, the vibrant urban cores of our cities aren’t going anywhere. But just as a rising tide lifts all boats, the suburbs are now seeing a real share of that vibrancy come to their communities. We at Morris Southeast Group are excited to see where this trend leads and are ready to work with you on your CRE project, no matter the locale. Call us at 954.474.1776 for a free consultation on commercial real estate investment or property management services. You can also reach Ken Morris directly at 954.240.4400 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A hallmark of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in 2017 was the creation of Opportunity Zones. In short, the program was another effort to encourage investment in economically depressed communities around the country. And true to the current state of politics in the country, both cheerleaders and critics were quick to voice their opinions.
In 2018, Florida joined the list of states eager to participate in the program. The candidate neighborhoods, identified as census tracts, represent counties throughout the state but South Florida leads the pack in the number of communities in need of investment. Nevertheless, nearly two years after its passage, Opportunity Zones (OZ) remain a highly debated topic.
The basis of the program is to promote economic investment while offering a tax break incentive. In short, when taxpayers sell an appreciated asset, they can then invest that gain in governor-nominated census tracts. Some key details:
Naturally, there are pluses and minuses – philosophical and economic – to investing in Opportunity Zones. For investors, it’s a tax incentive that also holds the potential to do good: reduce poverty, increase employment, and spur growth in some of the poorest communities in the nation. In fact, of the top 10 cities predicted to benefit the most from the Opportunity Zones program, five are in Florida: Orlando (1), West Palm Beach (2), Tampa (3), Fort Lauderdale (8), and Miami (10).
Critics, on the other hand, say, “not so fast.” Some point to previous programs that they say failed in the long run, as well as the number of people who would be displaced as a result of living in an Opportunity Zone and the convergence of investments in neighborhoods that were already seeing a surge in investments prior to the start of the new law.
Even in the midst of the debate, though, opportunities are there – but for the investor, the best advice is to proceed with caution, for some very good reasons:
Morris Southeast Group is excited about the possibilities found in Opportunity Zones throughout the region – especially when one of these investments is researched thoroughly and represents the right move for one of our clients. To learn more about property investment opportunities, and/or other services, call Morris Southeast Group at 954.474.1776. You can also reach Ken Morris directly at 954.240.4400 or via email at email@example.com.
While it may seem a far way off, June 1 is right around the corner – the start of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season. You don’t have to be a meteorologist or climatologist to know the far-reaching effects that hurricanes have on South Florida. After a storm hits, the future of the local economy sometimes hangs in the balance, and CRE plays a crucial role in helping get businesses and neighborhoods back on their feet.
This makes it all the more important to set your disaster preparation in motion to protect your commercial property from mother nature’s wrath.
Don’t wait until your property is in the midst of repairs or a rebuild to consult your insurance policy. When prepared properly, these policies are living documents, adapting to the ever-shifting risk landscape. Review them annually, if not more frequently, to be sure they accurately reflect your understanding of what will happen once they take effect.
Some questions to consider:
When that “Hurricane Watch” alert flashes across your screen, it is typically too late to begin complete preparations for what’s likely to come. Ideally, the planning process begins every January – just over a month after the close of the previous season – which will give you the time and clarity to properly plan your disaster response.
Every CRE business should have the following on their active agenda, even while hurricane season is the faintest glimmer in the distance:
Once that “Watch” bulletin pops up, these protocols should be put into action. If you wait until the alert elevates to a “Hurricane Warning,” time may not be on your side. As always, contact your local emergency management agency to learn about specific risks in your area.
Some hurricane preparations will come in the form of standard facility maintenance, such as trimming trees, cleaning roofs, and clearing gutters. But there are a number of additional steps to take in order to fully protect your property:
In the event that a storm temporarily forces you and your staff to hunker down at work, you’ll want a fully-stocked supply of essentials to get you through until the sun shines again. Some items to include:
While the exact path and timing of a storm can be uncertain, the preparations needed to withstand it are not. With proper planning and regular maintenance, your team and your property will be ready when the winds begin to blow. Such diligence minimized the impact of Hurricane Irma on South Florida’s CRE market and set new national benchmarks for building codes and construction standards. Morris Southeast Group is proud to serve this market and invite you to consider partnering with us. For a free consultation on commercial real estate investment or property management services, call us at 954.474.1776. You can also reach Ken Morris directly at 954.240.4400 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s an old joke that if one holds onto old clothes long enough, they will eventually be back in fashion. While it may be some time before ‘70s polyester leisure suits are chic again, the same cannot be said about motels.
What was once a dilapidated and dying element of the hospitality industry has undergone a revival revolution in recent years, and the momentum isn’t slowing down. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. With a limited number of properties available, more and more smaller independent and larger hoteliers are working feverishly to make kitsch cool – and South Florida, because of its long love affair with midcentury architecture, is at the heart of the motel revival movement.
In many ways, the motel industry is the result of a post-WW2 booming middle class from decades ago. With a strong economy and automobiles, American families embarked on road trips, and motels satisfied a need for affordable accommodations located near roadside attractions, such as small amusement parks, western town re-creations, and caverns.
As the nation became more connected through an extensive and well-linked interstate highway system, motels and local roadside attractions were often bypassed. Travellers were more likely to stay in no-frill chain accommodations located near on and off ramps. In order to stay afloat, motel clientele changed, its reputation now tarnished by whispers of extramarital affairs, hourly rentals, criminal hideouts, and overall seediness.
In the decades since the motel’s decline, more branded chain hotels swept in to fill the void and luxury hotels grew more luxuriant and expensive. A younger generation of travelers, weighed down by college debt and a weaker economy but valuing experience and affordability, helped to put Airbnb on the map.
The intimacy of renting accommodations in a stranger’s house, though, wasn’t for everyone – and inventive and creative hoteliers see an opportunity in the supply of aging motels. Often, these relics had remained in families for generations or had owners who were simply overwhelmed by the challenges of running a profitable operation. Either way, buyers and investors found eager sellers – and the revivalism revolution began.
The new hoteliers have pretty much stumbled upon a formula for re-doing an old motel, one that celebrates the personality of the structure without demolition. That formula’s success, though, is based on a few key elements:
On a local level, several South Florida motels have found a way to pay homage to the region’s historic and nostalgic architecture while creating a hip-but-authentic place for not only a new generation of travelers but also an aging Baby Boomer population looking for a stroll down memory lane. In Miami, there’s Vagabond and the New Yorker. Both are known for their nod to classic vintage style and an independent and community mindset. A little further up the coast, in Fort Lauderdale, is Manhattan Tower, with its iconic tower and Intracoastal views.
At Morris Southeast Group, we’ve written extensively about the opportunities to repurpose old structures into something else – and we think it’s fantastic to repurpose an old motel into a celebration of its glory days that serves a new market of travelers. To learn more about hidden retro gems and other property investment opportunities, and/or our other CRE services, call Morris Southeast Group at 954.474.1776. You can also reach Ken Morris directly at 954.240.4400 or via email at email@example.com.