Coastal homes during a hurricane endure winds and storm surge

Building in the Danger Zone

Much of the most valuable property across the United States is near the coasts, and the estimated costs from coastal hazards and rising sea levels are enormous — amounting to over a trillion dollars. Florida represents perhaps the best example of the explosive combination of severe weather hazards and a large population. Warm weather and [...]

An aerial view of condos lining the coastline

Cause and Effect of Florida’s New Condo Law

Following the 2021 collapse of the Champlain Tower South condominium in Surfside, Florida, the state Legislature enacted a new law to address high-rise condo safety concerns. The new regulations require increased inspections, specify the involvement of experts, mandate the funding of reserves and remove inspection exemptions. If executed with diligence, these new requirements should improve [...]

Apartment buildings with a retention pond in the foreground and chart lines overlaid on the sky in the background

Ups and Downs for Apartments

Over the last four years, the commercial real estate market has undergone a series of major changes, marked by three periods. First, uncertainty: In 2020, the world was rocked by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns that brought global economies to a virtual standstill. The real estate industry was among the hardest hit as government [...]

Looking down on construction equipment in the middle of a stripped out building

A Narrow Path

Repurposing office buildings to housing has been one of real estate’s hottest topics in recent years. It’s little wonder. In the four years since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, vacancies in office buildings reached record levels and an increasing shortage of housing has plagued parts of the country. Consider two data points: 19.6% of [...]

An aerial view of an industrial storage facility where many trucks and storage containers are parked

Industrial Outdoor Storage May Be the New Self Storage

This may be a good time to start noticing industrial outdoor storage (IOS) facilities, a tiny segment of the industrial sector dominated by small-to-midsize properties with fractured ownership and localized operations. It’s such a small part of the real estate business that you won’t find reliable aggregate returns and other market data to analyze. Instead, [...]

Southtown Senior development in Birmingham, Alabama

Building in Birmingham

The Benoit Group leads the $40 million development of 143-unit affordable apartments on a recently demolished low-income housing property near downtown Birmingham, Ala. The 158,000-square-foot project is in the mixed-use redevelopment area known as Edgehill at Southtown. It aims to fill the needs for seniors 62 and older with one- and two-bedroom units. The four-story [...]

Two people walk along water by palm trees and tall buildings in the background with a population graphic overlay

Shrinking Miami-Dade?

It’s surprising to read headlines about Miami-Dade County losing population from 2019 through 2022. “Miami Sees its First Population Drop in Decades,” the Wall Street Journal reported in August. “What’s the Matter with Miami?” read the headline of a piece by New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. Both reports blamed increasing housing prices as a [...]

Sun shines through the trees and Spanish Moss in the Withlacoochee Wetland in Green Swamp

Banking on Mitigation

In the Fall of 2018, Clay Thompson was living in Frankfort, Ky., when he got a call from an old Air Force buddy who was enjoying the good life in Florida. But his friend was having trouble obtaining a permit to build a backyard swimming pool at his home in Lutz, a fast-growing community north [...]

A graphic of many tall city buildings and the sky

Listed REITs and Private Property Investments

Debates erupted over the years whether listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) are a substitute for commercial property in a diversified portfolio. Institutional investors often include publicly traded REITs and privately held properties in their real estate allocation. Yet academic research suggests that though the private and public markets both exclusively own and operate commercial [...]

Generated image of a human-like face but all white and robotic with circuit board line and other overlays

Using AI to Review Construction Plans

City and county building officials are increasingly under pressure to expedite their reviews of development projects. But checking whether a proposed development or structure complies with numerous land development and building codes is a laborious process that may take short-staffed city and county building departments many weeks or even months to complete. What if, instead [...]

The U.S. Capitol building with dark clouds above

The Tax Man Cometh?

Real estate investors face a growing risk that taxes on capital gains could increase sharply as Congress looks to cut the ballooning $1.6 trillion U.S. budget deficit. Three factors make this risk especially great for real estate investors. First, is economic: The mounting deficit recently caused Fitch to downgrade U.S. debt from AAA to AA+, [...]

Water vapor view of Hurricane Ian on the Gulf Coast of Florida

One Year After Ian

Many Southwest Florida residents had an eerie feeling in late August when yet another major hurricane with a name beginning with “I” — Idalia — rapidly intensified and zeroed in on the western coast of the state. Was it déjà vu? Less than a year earlier, even mightier Hurricane Ian barreled ashore on a Lee [...]

An aerial rendering of the Progress District in Alachua, Florida shows houses and businesses along a road and small, yellow airplane flying above

The Vision: The Progress District, Alachua, Florida

The Progress District is a mixed-use project being master planned by Concept Companies in collaboration with the Roberts Companies on 800 acres in Alachua, just north of Gainesville. The development includes Momentum Labs (center-right), which is slated to open next year with 55,000 square feet of collaborative laboratory space for science businesses. The building is [...]

A passenger train departs MiamiCentral on an elevated track with tall buildings all around

Now Boarding

Brightline, originally known as All Aboard Florida, is a fast-speed passenger rail service developed by a company that traces its roots to industrialist Henry Flagler, who built a pioneering railway along Florida’s eastern coast more than a century ago. Now it appears the new railroad is giving a lift to not only increasing numbers of [...]

An aerial view of a parking lot with many cars and only one empty parking spot

Parking Puzzle

Roughly a century ago, as car ownership boomed and the automobile reshaped America, cities discovered they had a problem. Where to park all the cars? “American cities are faced with an extreme shortage of automobile parking spaces,” bemoaned a 1952 U.S. traffic engineering study entitled “Zoning and Traffic.” Happily, the authors reported, cities had found [...]