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    Aurora L. Alvarez

           President

SUPREME COURT ENDS FIGHT OVER MIAMI RIVER CONDOS. AUGUST 14, 2011.- Two controversial residential projects on the Miami River whose city approvals were challenged in court for undermining the marine industry and the city’s comprehensive plan, have reached the end of the line. The Florida Supreme Court denied landlord’s request to reverse a lower court opinion affirming that the city had acted inappropriately by changing the land use from marine industrial to accommodate Hurricane Cove and Coastal on the River. Separately the state had come to a similar conclusion. Attorney Andrew Dickman who represented the marine industry in the case said  It’s the end of the line for them. Dickman said the marine industry  and neighborhood residents who support the industry have come to terms with the city. “They amended the comprehensive plan in a way that is pro-working waterfront as opposed to the prior language that led to litigation  he said. “There was a lot of fuzzy language and developers took advantages of it. Since the litigation was filed millions of dollars have been spent to dredge the river and clean it up. .

ARE INTEREST RATES HEADING UP? JULY 20, 2011.  As the U.S economy navigates a toxic mix of sluggish, high unemployment, rising inflation and trillion dollars budget deficits, increases in interest rates are a real possibility. People already in debt must divert money budgeted for other tasks for paying the additional interest. The Federal Reserve has announced that it will keep the federal funds target rat at current levels of 0 percent to 0.25 per cent. They have also revised downward their expectations for GDP growth for the remainder of 2011 and for all of 2012.. Foreign buyers may not be able to keep financing our deficits. Treasury borrows billions of dollars every month to plug the hole. The number one holder of US debt is China, which as April holds approx $ 1.15 Trillion in US debt.                                   

 

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   LINCOLN ROAD PROJECT CHANGING SOUTH

   BEACH RETAIL REAL  ESTATE  MARKET.

 

JULY 30, 2011– FL- Brokers say the addition of the 1111 Lincoln Road project  in South Beach has altered the retail real estate landscape in the northern portion of the neighborhood. The project which includes tenants like Danny Meyer’s Shake Shack and Nespresso Café, has impacted the way landlords in the area think about their property. Rents in the Lincoln Road submarket have risen approximately 20 % in the last six months, from averaging between $ 130.00  to $ 160.00 per square foot  all the way  to a  current  range  of $ 150.00 to $ 200.00 per foot. The site was designed by Basel Switzerland based architects Herzog & DeMeuron in their first Miami project. The global firm has designed structures from the Beijing Stadium to the Tate Modern in London. The combination of the architecture being widely photographed, it’s gotten a lot of fame.  They said the effect on 1111 Lincoln block, which is at the western end of Lincoln Road where meets Alton Road has caused a new kind of thinking for landlords. They said Lincoln Road is one of the hottest streets in the country right now. That it’s forcing other landlords who are in a position to do so, to address upgrades for their exteriors and their facades and how they are going to enhance tenant’s ability to make a presentation  in the street. The question for each individual block of Lincoln is whether it would have the kind of environment that tenants would want to operate in and be part of it.

 

  CRE LOANS CAUSE 13 BANKS TO CALL QUITS

 

AUGUST 08, 2011- Just before the one two punch Thursday’s stock market dive and Friday’s rating downgrade by Standard & Poor’s new market data from Trepp showed that 13 banks failed due to problem commercial real estate loans in July. This makes it the highest monthly figure since July 2010. Year to date 61 banks have failed and Trepp projects that 100 will shutter by 2011’s end. The irony of this is that local banks were starting to increase their exposure to commercial real estate once again. But after Standard & Poor’s declined to rate $ 1.5 billion commercial mortgage backed security from Goldman Sachs & Co. and Citigroup Inc. Look as the remainder of the year may have a chilling effect on CMBS. According to the report CRE loans comprised $ 797 million or 77% of the total $ 1.03 billion in nonperforming loans at the failed banks. Construction and land loans made up $ 480 million or 47% while commercial mortgages comprised $ 317 million or 31 of the total con-performing pools, Trepp says. The majority of the failures occurred in the Southeast, with seven total, followed by the West at four and two in the Midwest. Out of the 13 banks, three failures took place in both Florida and Colorado. Florida ranks second for bank failures overall, with nine total this year alone. But the largest failure was Integra Bank of Indiana, reporting losses of $ 2.2 billion in assets.  According to Trepp’s 2011 delinquency report CRE loans in CMBS skyrocketed to 51 basis point to 9.88 % the highest rate in the history of the market but much of the jump can be attributed to changes in the way special servicers are calculating the data.

 

  PENSAM BUYS 422 UNITS BRIARWOOD APARMENTS

 

JULY 26, 2011MIAMI, FL.- Pensam Capital  closed on the acquisition of Briarwood Apartments a 422-unit student housing community in College Station Texas. Pensam continues to built multi-housing portfolio, with Briarwood being its fist transaction in the State of Texas. Pensam has acquired more than 1,100 apartments units outside Florida within the past 90 days. Pensam continues to seek value-add multi-housing assets located in select national sub-markets. Pensam and its operating partner, BH Management are planning  a renovation to the 1971 asset, which will include updates to the property fitness center, clubhouse, unit interiors and landscaping improvements to the 19 acre site.