If you grew up in the ’70s or ’80s, you probably think of Spring Break when you think of Fort Lauderdale. While the beaches are certainly among South Florida’s best, Fort Lauderdale has matured – just like those Spring Breakers – a lot over the past few years. According to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, more than 150 corporations have headquarters in the Fort Lauderdale region, and proximity to three major airports and two seaports have contributed to a vibrant industrial sector there as well.
With population and job growth driving residents and offices back to the downtown for the live-work-play environment, it's fair to say that Fort Lauderdale is in the midst of a renaissance. New luxury multi-family development, an overall revitalization of Fort Lauderdale’s urban core, and the imminent launch of All Aboard Florida – the first passenger railroad system to connect Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach and Orlando – are having a transformative impact on commercial real estate dynamics downtown – which is one of the reasons why the City of Fort Lauderdale recently hired CBRE to serve as its exclusive real estate advisor.
What’s happening in the office market is a good indicator of this overall trend. Office market fundamentals for downtown Fort Lauderdale have been robust, with 387,000 square feet of positive absorption over the last year and a half, reducing vacancy to 13.3% - a level not seen since 2008. Even more telling, since 2011, CBRE has tracked 27 tenants totaling 375,000 square feet that have relocated from the suburbs to the CBD. Assuming this trend continues, we anticipate market rent growth of 32% in Fort Lauderdale over the next five years.
There’s no question that this is an opportune time for investors, developers, businesses and retailers to take a closer look at Fort Lauderdale, which, like Miami, is so much more than a tourist destination – it’s a world-class city in its own right.
By: Ken Krasnow
Managing Director | CBRE South Florida
Ken Krasnow is the Managing Director for CBRE’s South Florida offices. In 2013, his region executed over 1000 transactions – 175 sales, and 825 leases – with an aggregate value exceeding $2.8 billion. In addition, CBRE South Florida completed over 1,400 valuation and advisory assignments and $600 million in loan originations.
Follow CBRE on Twitter: @cbre_Florida
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