2009 Industry Outlook
Real Estate 2009
Where's the Bottom? The retail, commercial, and office sectors join in on the misery.
Infill developments such as this one in Fort Lauderdale are showing promise. [Photo: Eileen Escarda]
While suburban projects “are pretty much kaput right now,” says Alan S. Karrh, senior vice president for retail acquisition and development at Stiles Retail Group in Fort Lauderdale, urban-infill projects with already-established populations are showing promise. “Deals are still slow,” Karrh says, “but there are deals.” Realtors also report higher home sales in urban, close-in neighborhoods.
Other short-term bright spots include government projects, especially in healthcare and education. Florida’s economic developers say that many city and county governments are offering big incentives and are removing bureaucratic barriers for construction in an effort to jump-start local economies.
Longer term, major new-town developments, such as Kitson & Partners’ Babcock Ranch community in southwest Florida and the Pugliese Co.’s Destiny in rural Osceola County could someday be home to tens of thousands of residents. Both developments claim sustainability as a hallmark, and both plan self-sufficient, alternative energy systems, for example, as well as sustainable farms.