Brian Gale Sees No Slowdown in Sight as His Leasing Team Looks Towards Another Record Breaking Year

The Taylor & Mathis of Florida Miami-Dade leasing team had a record breaking year in 2013.  The team whose leasing portfolio encompasses four million square feet of office space throughout Miami-Dade as well as an office tower in West Palm Beach completed over 100 leases last year.  The leases totaled nearly 700,000 square feet and were valued at $165 million.  “The office market is sizzling right now,” said Taylor & Mathis Principal Brian Gale.   “Rents are increasing and tenant concessions are beginning to dwindle. Most of the tenant expansions have been in the field of professional services which include law firms, accounting firms, insurance agencies, etc. The Downtown/Brickell market was the hottest of the Miami-Dade submarkets in 2013 and is showing no sign of slowing down. Rental rates are increasing as is the absorption of vacant spaces.”

Taylor & Mathis leasing team includes Brian Gale, Andrew Trench, Ryan Holtzman and Jeannette Mendoza. “Throughout our 4 million square foot portfolio, we leased over 322,000 square feet of new leases, 276,000 square feet of renewals and over 92,000 square feet of expansions. We did six leases over 30,000 square feet and two were over 40,000 square feet.   Key lease deals included:

  • Akerman Senterfitt’s 40,000 square foot lease and Morgan Stanley’s 30,000 square foot renewal at Phillips Point in West Palm Beach
  • GrayRobinson’s 35,500 square foot lease at Wells Fargo Center in Downtown Miami
  • Quest Workspaces’ 20,000 square foot lease at 777 Brickell and 37,000 square foot lease at Espirto Santo Plaza in Miami’s Brickell Financial District
  • Weil Gotshal & Manges’ & Fowler White Burnett’s renewals at Espirito Santo Plaza

One of the keys to the leasing team’s success was securing renewals and expansions. Many of our existing tenants were courted heavily by nearly every Brickell and Downtown Miami office building including the new developments.  The key to getting those deals done was our existing relationships and our outstanding management teams,” said Andrew Trench, Taylor & Mathis Leasing Director.  “We were able to negotiate and finalize those renewals relatively smoothly, despite the market aggressively pursuing them.”  Taylor & Mathis was named Property Management Company of the Year at the 2013 Miami-Dade BOMA awards.

The Taylor & Mathis of Florida Miami-Dade Leasing Team

Andrew Trench, Nicole Gamarra, Brian Gale, Jeannette Mendoza & Ryan Holtzman

t&m leasing team

West Palm Beach’s Financial District’s Biggest Need: Good Office Space

Phillips Point 1

We have great office space opportunities at Phillips Point in West Palm Beach! Proud to be mentioned as Class A offce space by  Kelly Smallridge, president and CEO of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County.” – Brain Gale.

“What they consider Class A is Phillips Point…,” Smallridge said. “They want ocean and Intracoastal (Waterway) views. They want buildings with amenities such as restaurants.”

West Palm Beach’s Financial District’s Biggest Need: Good Office SpaceWest Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio (pictured above) stepped from the podium last Tuesday morning at Palm Beach County Convention Center and dropped a drape to expose a fancy street sign bearing the proposed logo of the “Flagler Financial District.” The city plans to mark off a piece of downtown already hosting brokerages, banks and investment houses, in hopes of luring more to set up satellites or even move their headquarters wholesale. “We already have a portion of our city where banking and finance is heavily concentrated. Now we need to let the world know about it,” the mayor told about 900 attendees at her third annual “State of the City” breakfast gathering. The district would run from Sixth Street in the north to Okeechobee Boulevard and from Rosemary Avenue east to Flagler Drive and the waterfront. “We’re really trying to sell our city,” Muoio told reporters after her talk. “We really want to see new businesses in our downtown.” But she said in her speech, “We all know putting up signage alone will not make it happen.” That usually means tax breaks and other incentives. Not necessarily, said Kelly Smallridge, president and CEO of the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, which has helped lead the “Flagler Financial District” initiative. “The mayor’s move this morning really solidifies our effort to recruit (white collar) firms to this area,” Smallridge said Tuesday. “They’re already coming. Probably two dozen that came throughout the county in two years.” But she said that while financial breaks often are the carrot needed to lure down the really large firms, for not-so-huge operations, “they’re not asking for it, and we’re not offering it.” She said most of those coming down – and she sells all of Palm Beach County, not just West Palm Beach – are looking for good weather, of course. Cheaper commercial and residential real estate. A lower cost of living. And the big one: no state income tax. “If you make a million dollars in Manhattan and a million dollars in West Palm Beach, there’s $127,000 you’re paying in a (New York) state income tax,” Smallridge said. The biggest hurdle, she said, is that while residential real estate is exploding downtown, there’s a dearth of quality office space. And what’s there, she said, is running out. “What they consider Class A is Phillips Point; Esperante,” Smallridge said. “They want ocean and Intracoastal (Waterway) views. They want buildings with amenities such as restaurants.” Smallridge said she’s encouraging the city to expedite permitting. Chris Roog, the city’s economic development director, said the city’s been pounding the drums for a while about the lack of good office space. “That’s a great problem to have,” he said. “Now we need to fill the demand.” He said the city already is speeding up permitting. He also said that, as in your freshman Economics class, supply usually reacts organically to demand. But he said the city’s also been reminding the real estate community of the need. Source: Palm Beach Post

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Our South Florida Team Garners Five TOBY Awards

Award WinnersEvery year BOMA MIAMI-DADE honors outstanding buildings, property managers, and associates, not an easy task with so many great buildings and members competing for the coveted The Office Building of The Year or TOBY Awards . The roaring twenties themed event at the Historic Alfred I. Dupont Building was truly a night to remember!  This year our South Florida Taylor & Mathis team came away with five awards! According to the BOMA judges, all the nominees did such an amazing job showcasing their buildings that it was not easy for the judges this year. They said this year’s TOBY competition was incredible from the building entries to the individual awards.

“The level of dedication these individuals and our entire South Florida team puts into the properties is immeasurable by this award alone. They are an amazing group of people.  With these awards they have been distinguished by their industry peers for management excellence over many consecutive years, a standard that we know they consistently exceed.  We are very proud of each of you!  Thank you for all you do!”  — Marlene Diaz, Director of Operations.

Join us in congratulating our winners!

“Thanks to all of you who make a difference every day and for taking such great care of our owners and their buildings,” – Hank Brenner, President

Broward Leasing Team Closes Out 2013 with 3 Deals Totaling 23,571 Square Feet

Taylor & Mathis of Florida’s Broward leasing team led by Donna Korn closed out 2013 with three new deals totaling 23,571 square feet.   Donna Korn and Jennifer Gemma of Taylor & Mathis brokered the following lease transactions on behalf of the landlords.  Taylor & Mathis, the exclusive leasing agent for these properties ended the year with nearly 180,000 square feet of leases throughout their Broward County portfolio.

  • Long term tenant, Amcor Rigid Plastics USA, Inc., signed a 15,706 square foot renewal and expansion at MetLife’s Huntington Centre in Miramar, Florida.  The deal was co-brokered by Elizabeth Santos of Sime Realty Corporation who represented Amcor.  The firm is a leading supplier of consumer-driven rigid plastic packaging for the world’s most popular brands in the food, beverage, pharmaceutical and personal / homecare industries.  For more information visit www.amcor.com
  • PointOne Holdings, a Real Estate Investment Group with offices in Hollywood, FL and Atlanta, GA, leased 2,766 square feet at MetLife’s Venture Corporate Center in Hollywood, FL.   The deal was co-brokered by Adam Starr of Brenner Real Estate Group. PointOne Holdings is an investment and operating platform which presently owns and manages a diversified portfolio of residential, commercial and hospitality assets with a value of more than $150 million.   For more information, visit www.pointoneholdings.com
  • Synechron Inc expanded their offices leasing 5,099 square feet at UBS Realty Investor’s Corporate Centre II in Sawgrass.  Chris Constant & Chris Smith of Cushman & Wakefield of Florida, Inc. co-brokered the deal on behalf of the software company.  For more information visit www.synechron.com

The Six-Week Deal Quest Workspaces Leases Full Floor at 777 Brickell

Brian Gale’s leasing team had their best leasing year ever in 2013 with 625,000 square feet of office space leased at a value of approximately $158 million.

Quest - Espirito DSC_6876Within six weeks of learning full floor tenant Jordan Burt would not be renewing their lease at 777 Brickell due to a merger with Carlton Fields, Taylor & Mathis signed Quest Workspaces to lease the 20,000 square foot space to be vacated by the law firm. The executive suite company will open their second location in Miami’s Brickell Financial District in April moving to temporary space at the building until the new space build out is completed.

“The same day we learned the merger had gone through we called the Quest Workspaces’ broker, Lance Benson of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, and said we have a great space for Quest if they are looking for another location on Brickell,” stated Taylor & Mathis Partner Brian Gale. “We made one phone call and six weeks later had a signed lease.”  The space is ideal for Quest. Former law firm space is very office intensive a necessity for an executive suite.  Taylor & Mathis also signed Quest to a 37,000 square foot renewal and expansion at Espirito Santo Plaza earlier this year.  The Taylor & Mathis’ Miami leasing team of Brian Gale and Andrew Trench worked with co-broker Benson representing Quest Workspaces, to complete the transactions.

“Quest Workspaces is an emerging executive center with a trendy & modern vibe,” stated Trench. “This is not your 1980’s executive suite.  They will be a great asset to 777 Brickell which is an impeccably maintained office building with class A finishes.  Executive suites often serve as incubator space for new companies poised for growth.”

“Miami is evolving into a world class city and Brickell Avenue is setting the pulse for the area’s growth and expansion,” said Laura Kozelouzek, founder and CEO of Quest Workspaces. “777 Brickell is a superior fusion of a chic and professional office space, in a prime location, priced at 20 percent less than our current Brickell [Espirito Santo Plaza] pricing, which will give clients the added value of a prestigious, downtown office address at a more affordable square footage price tag.”

Quest’s seventh location in less than three years and second location on Brickell Avenue is located in the hub of downtown Miami’s financial district. The new development solidifies Quest as the 15th largest tenant in Miami’s burgeoning business district among the ranks of Bank of America, HSBC and Florida International University.  The new center at 777 Brickell Avenue, encompassing the entire fifth floor, will feature more than 90 offices and offers flexible workspace solutions that cater to companies of all sizes from start-ups to global brands.

The SunTrust Building at 777 Brickell Avenue is a multi-use facility with business and lifestyle amenities, gourmet restaurants including Truluck’s, a beauty salon, covered parking garage, banking with ATM and 24/7 building access and security. The Energy Star labeled property is within walking distance to Mary Brickell Village and is less than 10 miles from Miami International Airport.

About Quest Workspaces

Quest Workspaces provides flexible and affordable workspace solutions to support companies of all sizes and stages. Quest offers move-in ready, executive office suites, virtual offices for home-based and mobile workers and conference/meeting rooms for hourly and daily rental. Quest features seven, state-of-the-art executive centers including: the Time Life Building at 1271 Avenue of the Americas in New York City, Espirito Santo Plaza in the heart of downtown Brickell, SunTrust Building at 777 Brickell Ave., 1200 Building in Boca Raton, 2525 Ponce de Leon in Coral Gables, the 101 Tower in downtown Fort Lauderdale and 515 N. Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach. For more information, please call 1.800.268.1051 or visit www.questworkspaces.com.

GrayRobinson Law Firm Signs 35,358 SF Lease at Wells Fargo Center

WFT_E_AD_IMG_4810FGrayRobinson, one of the fastest growing law firms in Florida with 280 attorneys and 11 offices across the state, is relocating its Miami office. Taylor & Mathis signed the firm to a long-term 35,358-square-foot lease at MetLife’s Wells Fargo Center in Downtown Miami.  The full service law firm is moving from 1221 Brickell to Wells Fargo Center in January 2015. GrayRobinson along with several other tenants are moving from Brickell to Downtown Miami—and taking up residence at Wells Fargo Center.

Brian Gale, Principal, and Ryan Holtzman, Leasing Director, both of Taylor Mathis, negotiated the long term lease on behalf of MetLife.  “GrayRobinson is the sixth tenant we have signed at Wells Fargo Center last year with new leases topping over 90,000 square feet,” stated Gale. GrayRobinson will occupy the 31st and 32nd floors of Wells Fargo Center. Gale also stated, “Wells Fargo Center, because of its location at the south side of the Brickell Bridge, has drawn a plethora of Brickell tenants across the river”.

“We explored several options in Brickell and Downtown Miami before settling on the Wells Fargo Center,” said Steven Zelkowitz, Managing Shareholder of GrayRobinson’s Miami office. “Cresa helped us navigate the landscape and balanced our short-term and long-term needs with an eye toward sustainable growth. We’re convinced we’ve found a strategic location at the Wells Fargo Center.” Barbara Liberatore Black, a Managing Principal at Cresa South Florida, represented GrayRobinson in the deal.

“It was important for GrayRobinson to establish the firm’s offices in a class A building in the urban core. Wells Fargo Center met all of the firm’s criteria,” said Liberatore Black. “GrayRobinson’s office space will facilitate the firm’s new office standards and technologies. The firm also has the ability to continue expanding at Wells Fargo Center by leasing additional space.”

“GrayRobinson is a welcome addition to the high quality tenant roster at Wells Fargo Center. The development, a long-term investment for MetLife, has attracted many of the Country’s most notable companies this year,” stated Chuck Davis, regional director of MetLife’s Tampa real estate investment office.

The law firm was attracted to Wells Fargo Center, in part, because it is attached to a world-class JW Marriott Marquis.

GrayRobinson established a presence in Miami six years ago when it retrofitted existing office space at 1221 Brickell. Although the space accommodated the firm’s needs at the time, its rapid growth—now approaching 50-plus attorneys—required GrayRobinson to seek new class A office space that mirrors its other locations and gives the firm room for future growth as it continues to expand in South Florida. GrayRobinson plans to lease temporary office space at Wells Fargo Center in January 2014 to accommodate immediate growth in its Miami office, and then move its entire legal staff to the building at the beginning of 2015.

“Our growth in Florida this year remained strong,” said Byrd F. “Biff” Marshall, Jr., President and Managing Director of GrayRobinson. “Finding quality real estate solutions in prime locations in the Florida cities we serve is vital to accommodate the needs of our clients.” The decision comes just months after GrayRobinson announced a new location in Boca Raton and recent expansions in Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale.

Wells Fargo Center is a 750,000 square foot Class A office tower located downtown one city block off Interstate 95 and south of the Brickell Bridge.  It is home to some of the most prominent and respected companies in the country, including Wells Fargo Bank, Greenberg Traurig, Deloitte, McDermott, Will & Emery and Littler Mendelson PA.  The office building shares a site with the first of its kind JW Marriott Marquis hotel and the first Hotel Beaux Arts, a new hotel of Marriott International luxury group.  Tenants benefit from the five-star amenities of the hotel, which include dining, conference facilities, an entertainment complex, fitness center, salon and spa, and the Jim McLean Golf School.  For more information, visit www.wellsfargocentermiami.com

About GrayRobinson

GrayRobinson is a full-service corporate law firm with over 280 attorneys throughout 11 offices across Florida. The firm provides legal services for Fortune 500 companies, emerging businesses, lending institutions, local and state governments, developers, entrepreneurs and individuals across Florida, the nation and the world. GrayRobinson has been named among Corporate Counsel magazine’s Go-To Law Firms for America’s 500 largest companies. Selected firms were chosen for delivering exceptional work for the Fortune 500.