Anyone wondering about the future location of new offices in here can learn more by looking at how the mass transit systems are connecting the downtown area of its major cities: Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.
Why? Because the area’s rapidly expanding mass transit system has become a major factor in dictating major office growth of the future, believes Steven Hurwitz, Director of Office Leasing and Partner at CREC.
“It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when but about five years ago as South Florida continues to grow, there was a tipping point and transportation started to become an issue. People began thinking ‘where’s my office and how much time am I spending in my car?’” Hurwitz tells GlobeSt.com.
It’s not a new concern but it has become a major issue not only for office users but for investors as well, says Hurwitz, whose office division represents nearly two million square feet of office space throughout South Florida.
Both office users and investors focusing on transportation
“Investors we talk to are very focused to buying into downtown and Brickell and their first conversations are about transportation,” he says.
Mass transit will also influence suburban office growth but less so than in the area’s three major downtowns, Hurwitz thinks.
The privately owned Brightline train system, connecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, opened earlier this year. The higher speed train service, which debuted in January, has proven to provide faster travel than commuting by car between the city’s downtowns.
“It opens you up to a region instead of a city,” said Patrick Goddard, Brightline’s president and chief operating officer. “Your backyard just got bigger.”
Already, there have been news reports that the stops are luring new development and other amenities at stations in South Florida.
Even more recently, in late August, there was news that Miami-Dade’s transportation board approved giving South Dade the county’s first rapid-transit bus system.
The obvious impact on office development is not only future locations but also increasing values, Hurwitz predicts.