April 25, 2015

Environment | Engineering

Trendsetters: Environment, Engineering

Mike Vogel | 9/1/2007

Harvesting the Land

Loretta Cockrum
Foram Group
Founder, CEO, Miami
Fallback: Cockrum’s mother wanted her to have a skill, so she earned a dental hygiene degree.
In the develop-it, sell-it and forget-it world of Florida real estate, Brickell Financial Centre developer Loretta Cockrum is unusual. For 17 years, her Foram Group, more an investment manager than a developer, held the Miami land on which she’s now building the 40-story, Brickell office-hotel-condo complex. Also, she’s seeking gold-level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification for it, the largest green commercial office project in Florida when it’s done in 2010, she says.

A Miami native, Cockrum, 69, turned to real estate in the 1970s in Atlanta to support her family as her husband was dying.

She found a niche managing property — initially the books and such — for farming families. Over time, their holdings in timber in Georgia and South Carolina made them wealthy, and they branched out. She’s adopted the harvest and plant cycle for commercial land. Foram tore down an apartment complex in Gainesville it owned for years to build The Bartram, which will be one of the first luxury green rental projects in the nation, she says.

Foram has more than $500 million in assets with buildings in Jacksonville, Boca Raton and Miami and farm, timberland, a 5,000-acre Colorado ranch and planned unit developments in Georgia and South Carolina.

Next year, she plans to start developing a Georgia property with a marina and 200 acres on I-95. But for now, she says, the Miami project “is very much a priority.”

Tags: Trendsetters, North Central, Environment, Housing/Construction

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