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South Florida Industrial Market Softens, Rents Rise Again In Fourth Quarter

South Florida’s industrial market slowed down slightly in the final quarter of last year, as vacancies inched up while asking rents rose again.

The tri-county region posted a 4 percent vacancy rate compared to 3.4 percent during the same period of the previous year, according to a recent Newmark report. And leasing activity across Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach dropped to 3.6 million square feet in the fourth quarter, compared to 6.3 million square feet in the preceding quarter.

At the same time, landlords again raised the average asking rent in South Florida’s industrial market. In the fourth quarter of last year, they asked for $13.16 a square foot, compared to $11.97 a square foot in the third quarter and $10.11 a square foot, year-over-year, Newmark found.
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Tight Industrial Supply Turns Subleases Profitable

Some dynamics of logistical and industrial space leasing are feeling pressures of inadequate supply, according to a panel of NAI Global industrial and logistics real estate experts meeting virtually.

Although demand pacing ahead of supply had become expected by partway through the pandemic — industrial with multifamily being the two darling property types for owners and investors — many markets have become weaker. A recent Cushman & Wakefield study found that industrial had shown signs of slowing down in the fourth quarter of 2022. Only five of 81 tracked markets posted double-digit quarterly increases, although some bright spots such as Charleston, Inland Empire, Phoenix, and Miami all recorded annual gains of 40% or higher. Coastal and port/population-proximate markets continued to see premium pricing.

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Moving Miami-Dade’s Urban Development Boundary Could Jeopardize Work To Restore Water Flow To Biscayne Bay

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Late last year, just before Miami-Dade County Commissioners made the controversial decision to move the urban boundary that protects wetlands and farms to make way for a warehouse complex in South Dade, former chairman Jose ‘Pepe’ Diaz lectured opponents at the crowded commission chambers.

“It is not environmentally sensitive land,” he said. “What is important is that the people are not misled. Because if it was environmentally sensitive land, none of us could go into it.”

But even planning officials say the area is, in fact, among the most sensitive, long seen as a key link to restoring the Everglades and fending off sea rise.

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