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A commercial real estate development boom is in the air in Miami, which is also causing a slew of developers to look at opportunities in the far North areas. Just last year, major Miamia brands such as SBE’s Hyde Beach, The Gale, Four Seasons, Auberge, and Paramount have made the announcement of new CRE projects in Fort Lauderdale.

So why Fort Lauderdale? Commercial real estate developers are noting that competitive pricing and the opportunities of availability of underdeveloped land are present here. Fort Lauderdale is being sought after by both hotel developers and real estate developers. Fort Lauderdale has always been known to offer land and overall value at lower prices.  Harvey Hernandez, founder of Newgard Development Group stated that, “We see a tremendous value in Fort Lauderdale.” “Everybody is looking at Fort Lauderdale as an extension of Miami, and that’s true whether you’re a visitor or a buyer.”

Better locations likely equate to better pricings in CRE development. “If we were building the Gale on this scale in Miami Beach, it would probably be worth $1,500 a square foot,” Hernandez also says. “The Gale in Ft. Lauderdale is about $600 per square foot, which just goes to show you the type of value that we can deliver in Fort Lauderdale.” The Four Seasons in Fort Lauderdale is asking an average of $1,500 a square foot for its residences, which is approximately 40 percent less than what Four Seasons condos have been selling for in Miami Beach, stated Nadim Ashi, Fort Partners’ chief executive, who is developing both projects.

It was just last year when Fort Lauderdale began undergoing its vast makeover. New luxury hotels and buildings along the beach promenade have been attracting buyers. According to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, nearly $1.5 billion in residential and hotel developments are under way in the Fort Lauderdale area. South Florida witnessed over a dozen commercial real estate deals of more than $100 million dollars in 2015. There has been billions of dollars of shopping malls, office buildings, warehouses, and condos which were bought and sold throughout the area.

“The price of land in Miami is very expensive and people have been looking at other nearby markets,” Suzanne Amaducci-Adams, a Miami attorney at Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP who works on hospitality and development stated to the WSJ. “Fort Lauderdale has beautiful beachfront and older properties that are not developed to their fullest potential by today’s standards.”

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