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Florida commercial real estate may be near an upswing

Readers in Broward County may be interested to hear that a panel of commercial real estate professionals and municipal officials recently met to discuss the future of commercial real estate in South Florida. They spoke at the annual Real Estate Outlook Conference in Fort Myers. The real estate professionals offered their insights, while the municipal officials described the business climate in each of their areas.

The panelists agreed that, for most kinds of commercial buildings, a lot of inventory is left over from the real estate boom that concluded about five years ago. However, the good news is that not much new construction is going on, so the extra buildings are actually being absorbed into the market.

According to one professional, only 74,000 square feet of office space was built in 2011, and all of that was built at the request of buyers. He said that sort of construction has only an 8 percent vacancy in the area.

Another panelist said that dock-high industrial space (or an industrial building equipped with an elevated loading dock door) has proven to be of great value in the current market.

The audience at the event also expressed interest in the possibility of a casino in Lee County, since the state legislature is debating whether to expand gambling in Florida. Miami Heat president Pat Riley is heading up the group that wants to put a casino in The Forum development in Fort Myers, while there was also talk of setting up a casino in Fort Myers' former Sheraton Hotel, which has long been vacant.

In general, the news was good at the conference. The panelists expect that South Florida's commercial real estate industry is likely at the end of its long decline.

If residents in the Broward County area are seeking to close a commercial real estate deal, they will want to consult with a legal professional who is experienced in facilitating successful sales. A skilled real estate attorney can help ensure an equitable closing for both buyer and seller.

Source: news-press.com, "Industry slide near its end, experts say," Dick Hogan, Jan. 26, 2012

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