Looking Forward, Looking Back: A Few Word from Ted Konigsberg, SIOR
President of Infinity Commercial Real Estate
Looking back at 2017, This has been a very good year for the real estate industry, barring the retail submarket, and I am very proud of our accomplishments. During our most productive year ever, we maintained high ethical standards, served our clients faithfully, and grew even closer as friends and co-workers. I am so lucky to work with such great people!
So much change… At the beginning of the year, we sold our offices out from under us, the last building at the quarter million square foot, 8 building Golden Glades Office Park (GGOP). We moved into GGOP when we obtained the listing, just as the owners had 150,000 feet go dark. We successfully leased most of it, then used the remaining vacancy to leverage owner-user sales, dividing the Park into 4 parcels. We turned a catastrophic loss into a profit for Accesso Partners, selling out at about $21 million. In February the new owners told us they would not renew our lease, so we acquired, built out and moved to new offices Miami Lakes in March. Our new, beautiful home is a big step up!
In July, Mary McBride, my friend and office manager of many years retired, moved to North Florida and got married! “Mom” is sorely missed by all who worked with her. She helped train her replacement, Maria Cuevas, whose enthusiasm, technical proficiency and general “can-do” attitude are proving to be a real benefit to us and our clients. We love having her with us. As the year continued, I was honored to coordinate the 2nd Challenge Grant Competition with Nova University’s Masters in Real Estate Development students, with support from the SIOR Foundation and SIOR Florida Chapter. We gave thousands in scholarship dollars to deserving students. The award ceremony was attended by the President of SIOR global, the Dean of the Wayne Huizenga School of Business, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the SIOR Foundation, the President of the Broward Alliance and many noteworthy developers and Brokers. The competition model was so successful, it’s being rolled out to SIOR chapters worldwide, and I was asked to join the Board of Trustees of the SIOR Foundation.
Sherri Beregovoy has taken Corporate Park of Doral and Crossroads Business Park to near full occupancy, while successfully growing her buyer and tenant representations. She is heading up our leasing team for the Brickell Bay Office Tower, a Class A, 32 floor office building fronting Biscayne Bay in the Brickell submarket with 717,00 square feet of office, structured parking, retail and magnificent common area on site. She and I continue to work closely with Hendry County, US Sugar Corporation, Hilliard Brothers and Airglades International Airport on the development of the first publicly funded, privately owned cargo airport in the Continental United States, and the industrial infrastructure surrounding it.
John Dohm advanced our corporate consulting and public advisory work. He remains a National Director for NAR, Director of the Miami Association of Realtors, and CCIM Director. This year, he was appointed to Florida Freight Advisory Committee of the State DOT, the Freight Transportation Advisory Committee (FTOC) of the Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization, the FTOC of the Broward County Municipal Planning Organization and as a real estate consultant to the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Master Plan, the Port Miami Tunnel Evaluation Study, and the Miami River Freight Improvement Plan, amongst others. His expertise in logistics and civil development are a tremendous asset to all of us.
Jeremy Bedzow deserves special recognition, and not just for his efforts with us. As the founder of Ceiba Groupe, he’s responsible for the overall management, strategic direction and priorities of the firm, which currently has multiple mixed use and multifamily projects under development. He was named the Urban Land Institute's 2017 Young Leader of the Year, and we celebrate his success. Besides his business success, Jeremy is involved in multiple philanthropic efforts. A great guy, a great Broker, and now, a great developer!
Andrew Beregovoy is learning fast and going places! Besides teaming with me and Sherri, this young man accomplished the near impossible, representing Haikutech in the acquisition of a free-standing building with excess land in Doral at a below market price. We were able to help obtain SBA financing for the purchase, a very difficult process for a non-US based company. Andrew also successfully represented several companies in their leasehold requirements throughout the year.
Lissette Gonzalez, sold over 80,000 square feet at the Miami Airport Center in Doral, in addition to multiple, successful buyer and tenant representations. She recently opened her own firm, with offices at the MAC. We know she is going to be a great success and wish her luck and prosperity. Lissette remains a good friend of the firm and part of our extended family.
As to me, I’ve had an exciting year. Besides the sale of GGOP, I represented Taurus Investment Partners in the sale of 6.5 acres to U-Haul, helped the ROK and Morjain families acquire a 150,000 square foot building in Palmetto Lakes, leased up a number of industrial properties throughout South Florida, worked with John on subleasing for L’Oréal and OJ Commerce, assisted Sherri and Andrew with their assignments, worked with Jeremy on the acquisition of development sites, etc. In addition to the SIOR Challenge Grant and my position as a trustee for the SIOR Foundation, I am heading up sponsorship for the SIOR Florida Chapter.
Looking forward to 2018, I see multiple opportunities for success and growth. Although the torrid pace of 2017 will moderate, we expect the industrial and fulfillment segments to remain strong, see multi-family moderating and single family continuing “hot”. Even the office submarket will continue to firm. Retail remains a concern, with smaller properties suffering and malls converting vacant big box to alternate uses. There will be some CAP rate compression, but we expect the Fed to keep interest rate increases to a moderate and measured level. Our new tax structure will spur significant repatriation of profits and U.S. corporate investment in capital improvements should accelerate.
We have a number of new assignments; The sale of the 60,000 square foot Off the Wall building on I-95 across from the new Dania Point development and Oakwood Plaza, leasing of the 150,000 foot Precision industrial building in Palmetto Lakes, leasing of the new class A, Accesso One office building on Federal Highway, leasing at the Varsity Square retail center in Davie, Commercial condo sales at Golden Glades Commerce Park on 441, leasing at the Palmetto Glades Center at the Golden Glades Interchange, our continuing leasing activities at Brickell Bay Office Tower, Crossroads Business Park and Corporate Park of Doral. This is the year Airglades should really take off, and our tenant/buyer representation and consulting businesses have started the year with a bang! John is representing several multi-national requirements, Andrew is truly coming into his own and Jeremy continues to find out of the box development sites. Additional opportunities will present as the year moves forward, and I see us breaking our 2017 record easily.
Having recently turned 60, I feel it’s time to “give back” to an industry that has been very good to me. I will continue my personal efforts on behalf of SIOR and the SIOR Foundation.
We are improving our technology platforms, and becoming more sophisticated in social media marketing. We are looking to add no more than one or two additional Brokers, but are in no rush to do so. I have been running a commercial Brokerage business for many years, and have learned that quantity does not equal quality. It’s important to add the right members to our family; Folks with ethics, business sense and team spirit succeed in good markets and bad, and the help they give each other when things go South lead to a successful company, one that hold together through thick and thin. Our team is what makes me want to go to work every day: We enjoy each other, trust each other, “punch way above our weight”, and are going to continue doing that!