The newly created Colliers International South Florida’s Urban Core division made a tactical move by hiring a “real estate curator” to attract strategic tenants to downtown Miami’s high-street retail.
Noa Figari, Vice President of Urban Core Retail Leasing, will identify and attract businesses that are key to bringing to fruition a new vision for downtown Miami, home to many historic buildings.
The Urban Core division also expanded its team by bringing on board broker Sabrina Carapia, who will focus on investment sales in the Fort Lauderdale’s urban core.
Over the last two years, domestic and international investors have acquired more than a $1.7 billion worth of commercial real estate to reposition downtown Miami as the next hottest neighborhood, said Mika Mattingly, who co-leads the Urban Core Division and represents Moishe Mana, one of the largest real esetate investors in downtown Miami.
“Downtown Miami is evolving at a rapid pace as a result of a new wave of private investment,” said Ken Krasnow, Colliers International’s Executive Managing Director for South Florida. “The new owners are interested in attracting specialty tenants that will reactivate great spaces across Miami’s historic downtown and act as a catalyst for change. With Noa’s addition, Colliers will be able to bring unique tenants to a critical mass, helping reinvent downtown Miami as a vibrant neighborhood where people will work, live and play 24/7.”
As demand and asking rates continue to rise – Downtown Miami retail space vacancy tightened to 5.1% in Q3 of 2016 – small users will become more prevalent in the county. Combined with the boutique or off-market nature of many retail spaces in Downtown Miami, the team has adopted a new approach to attracting quality tenants to the urban core.
“The urban core is a fast-moving canvas and we want to be proactive, getting out there, sharing our vision and curating tenants ourselves,” Figari said. “When it comes to downtown Miami, it’s not just about filling the gaps. It’s about creating a sense of place, an actual live-work-play community. For example, The Manhattan – our listing at 137 N. Miami Avenue – is a two-story corner retail space in a historic building that we are positioning to be one of Miami’s trendiest bars because that’s what the area needs based on our vision.”
In Broward County, Sabrina will focus on the downtown Fort Lauderdale market.
“Sabrina’s addition reflects the growing demand for commercial real estate in one of the fastest growing urban cores in South Florida,” said Gerard Yetming, who co-leads the Urban Core Division. “Downtown Fort Lauderdale is seeing a boom in construction of commercial and residential projects catering, for the most part, to the local community. It is a healthy market with room for growth and appreciation; and investors are noticing it.”
Since 2009, more than 4,400 residential units have been built in the Fort Lauderdale urban core and more than 2,800 units are under construction and in the planning stages. Developers, artists, tech start-ups and residents are at the center of the urban renewal transforming Fort Lauderdale. Overall, South Florida’s metro areas recently became the eighth-most populous region in the U.S., surpassing 6 million residents, according to the U.S. Census.
Across the region, the long-time neglected central business districts are emerging as live, work and play destinations. That trend is expected to gain speed with the introduction of All Aboard Florida’s Brightline, a passenger rail set to connect downtown Miami to Orlando with stops in downtown Fort Lauderdale and downtown West Palm Beach.
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