Office Towers Years Ago Won Niches Atop Today's Market
March 3, 2010


Staying on top in today’s aggressive office market isn’t easy.
But offering concessions in exchange for lease extensions early on has proven successful for some Miami-Dade office buildings that are towering over their competitors. Buildings that were built and initially leased up six to seven years ago such as 355 Alhambra, 4000 Ponce and 2525 Ponce in Coral Gables have lease expirations that are two to five years out and, for the most part, are not vulnerable to today’s market, said Douglas G. Campbell, president of Campbell Real Estate
Advisory Group in Miami. ...

... This is in trade for a seven- to eight-year extension,” he said. Robert Orban, senior vice president and branch manager at tenant rep firm Studley, agrees that 701 Brickell has been effective in attracting top tenants and retaining them despite having three class A buildings rising nearby. Foram Group is building a 40-story buildingb across from the tower, and blocks to the north and south 47-floor Met 2 Financial Center and 35-story 1450 Brickell are slated for completion this year. Among 701 Brickell’s leading tenants are law firm Holland & Knight with 100,000 square feet and Bank of America, which occupies 80,000.
“They’ve [the owners] kept very much on top of this highquality building,” Mr. Orban said.
The class A office buildings that make up Waterford at Blue Lagoon in the Airport West area are another bright spot in today’s stormy office market, Mr. Orban says, home to tenants such as FedEx, construction equipment company Caterpillar and liquor company Diageo.
“The class A portion of that project is still very successful,” Mr. Orban said. “It’s considered the standard for the suburban market by which other projects are judged.”

Despite preparing to lose two major tenants to under-construction projects Met 2 and 1450 Brickell, Mr. Orban says Wachovia Financial Center is still the “epicenter for some of the best law firms and other firms that make Miami their home.” ...

... “In a building this big, you are always going to have a few moving parts,” said Mr. Orban, whose office is in the building. To keep its competitive edge, the 55-floor office tower, which recently obtained the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design gold certification to be awarded in the area, is in the midst of upgrading bathrooms on various floors and remodeling its plaza. ...

... “Those landlords that have not been proactive and have kept their heads in the sand,” he said, “now find themselves in a terrible position of having to compete with new buildings in order to retain their core tenants.”

Link to article.