By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor
According to a recent report by CB Richard Ellis, Florida’s commercial property market will continue to recover at a slow and steady pace, with Miami-Dade County leading the way in new activity. The report shows that the area’s vacancy rates are still in the double-digit range—around 20 percent—yet the real estate experts at CB Richard Ellis are confident that the remainder of 2011 will bring more leasing and sales activity, paving the way for a steady recovery over the next five years.
However, the attention is directed mainly toward two large office towers that have emerged in downtown Miami—1450 Brickell and the Wells Fargo Financial Center—with the office market being shadowed by the two new towers, leading to an increasingly fragmented market. Both 1450 Brickell and the Wells Fargo Financial Center had a strong start in 2010, taking in a large wave of tenants in their very first months on the market.
1450 Brickell, a 582,817-square-foot Class A office tower in Miami’s Brickell Financial District, will now serve as regional headquarters for global insurance broker Willis of Florida Inc., who plans on relocating its Latin American operations to the 35-story tower. With Willis as its newest multinational corporate tenant—signing a long-term lease for 18,875 square feet—1450 Brickell is now 70 percent occupied; other blue-chip tenants of the first LEED Gold certified Class A office building in Miami’s Downtown/Brickell district include JP Morgan Chase, BNY/Mellon, American Express, law firm Bilzin Sumberg, commercial real estate services firm Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP, law firm Berger Singerman, Spanish financial institution Bancaja, City National Bank, executive search firm Korn/Ferry International and private investment firm H.I.G. Capital.
According to Tere Blanca, president and CEO of Blanca Commercial Real Estate—which represented landlord 1450 Brickell LLC and Rilea Group in the transaction, assisted by Danet Linares—this recent lease firmly establishes “the building’s standing as the market’s premier Class A office tower.”