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Tax Relief May Be Coming To Miami-Dade Commercial Property Owners

Tax relief may be coming to commercial and industrial property owners in Miami-Dade County.

Miami-Dade County’s Office of the Property Appraiser announced on Thursday that it will consider landlords’ financial losses when assessing 2021 fair market values.

The office will consider local market conditions, like vacancy and rental rates, as well as individual property conditions such as lease agreements and concessions, according to a press release. The move could help landlords save on property taxes while the country returns to pre-Covid-19 activity.

The office will also consider expenses as of Jan. 1 of the year, unit counts, leasable areas, gross rents and professional estimates of market value from licensed appraisers.

That’s good news for some of the harder hit properties in the area. Landlords in the Miami-Dade office market, for example, have offered incentives in exchange for keeping rents from dropping as workers go remote.

“The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the commercial real estate market have been unprecedented,” Miami-Dade Property Appraiser Pedro Garcia said in a statement. “Many property owners relying on rental income to cover operating expenses are struggling or unable to meet their financial obligations.”

Last year, the owners of Aventura ParkSquare, the SunTrust office building on Brickell and the Delano South Beach filed lawsuits against Garcia, seeking to lower their tax appraisals for the 2019 tax year.

Overall, property tax values across Miami-Dade County rose in 2020 compared to the previous year. The taxable value for Miami-Dade properties totaled $324.36 million, up 5.1 percent from 2019, according to the property appraiser’s office.


Source:  The Real Deal

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Robot Used To Kill Coronavirus In Hospitals Now Being Tested In Residential Buildings

The Xenex LightStrike Xenon-Ray Robot is the world’s only proven Coronavirus-Killing UV light disinfection device, according to a just-released peer-review study published by the UK’s Cambridge University Press.

And now, LightStrike, which is used in hundreds of hospitals, is, for the first-time, being debuted and deployed in a Miami residential building.

According to the study, LightStrike is 99.99% effective at deactivating SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

No other UV ray device has been proven to kill the coronavirus.

LightStrike is not used on people or pets. It disinfects the air and an array of surfaces.

Miami is one of the most coronavirus-impacted cities in the U.S. It is also one of the world’s most-competitive and high-value real estate markets, where developers are vying to offer anti-COVID features.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has created demand for a new disease-conscious lifestyle,” says Paramount Miami Worldcenter’s CEO-Developer Daniel Kodsi. “Buyers and residents consider disinfecting technologies essential and we are the first to offer these features; providing security and peace of mind to our residents.”

LightStrike Technology

LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robots are used in 650 healthcare facilities, worldwide. They include the Mayo Clinic, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Veterans Affairs hospitals from coast-to-coast.

“There are a lot of UV products on the market that make a lot of claims,” says Xenex (Zen-X) CEO Morris Miller. “LightStrike is the only robot that has been proven to kill SARS-CoV-2 and there are over 40-plus independent studies proving its efficacy.”

He emphasizes, “As an example, the robot was tested against SARS-CoV-2 at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, which is one of only 10 Bio Safety Level 4 Labs in North America. Scientists there concluded that LightStrike achieved a 99.99% level of disinfection during a two-minute treatment.”

LightStrike’s intense, pulsating bursts of xenon UV light are not only proven to destroy the virus that causes COVID-19; but its robotic disinfection system also deactivates C.diff, Ebola, MRSA, SARS and other viruses and pathogens, according to an array of studies published by major universities and hospitals.

Paramount Miami Worldcenter is the only residential tower currently to be chosen to evaluate the efficacy, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the LightStrike Robot, according to Xenex.

According to Kodsi, Phase One of the Paramount Miami Worldcenter LightStrike Robot evaluation focuses on the building’s public areas and a select number of its luxury high-rise homes.

He explains, “The primary public areas include the 5,700 SQF spa & fitness center and the building’s game room, kids’ playroom, indoor basketball and racquetball courts, elevators and restrooms.”

Phase Two disinfection will include high-rise homes.

About Xenex LightStrike

▪ Made-in-the-USA: San Antonio, Texas.

▪ Each LightStrike robot costs $125,000, which equates to a cost of approximately $100 per day over a 37-month period.

▪ Hospitals report disinfecting as many as 60-rooms per day with a single robot, which equates to a cost of about $3 per room.

▪ Robot emits bursts of brilliant, broad spectrum UV light that quickly destroys microscopic viruses and bacteria.

▪ Different pathogens are susceptible to UV light at different wavelengths.

▪ With broad spectrum UV light, LightStrike robots quickly deactivate viruses and bacteria by destroying their molecular structures and cell walls.

▪ Average-sized bedroom requires two, two-minute disinfection cycles (one on each side of bed) with additional two-minute treatment in the bathroom.

▪ LightStrike’s rays destroy micro-organisms on high-touch surfaces without causing damage to equipment, furniture, clothing and other items.

▪ Safely operated for more than 23 million cycles.

▪ No chemical residues or toxic fumes.

▪ LightStrike currently in-use at more than 650 healthcare facilities, food processing plants, and government buildings.


Source:  EIN Presswire

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There’s A New COVID-19 Store In Miami & It’s The First Of Its Kind

There is a store in South Florida that is dedicated to protecting you from the novel coronavirus. COVID-19 Essentials in Miami is open for business in the Aventura Mall. The pop-store is gearing Floridians with all the necessary tools for the pandemic.

COVID-19 Essentials sells any-and-everything novel coronavirus related, but with a dash of Miami flare added to the mix. Nadav Benismitzky, the owner of the store, has been operating the brick-n-mortar shop for about three weeks.

Before you even set foot in the store, patrons are prompted to a thermal imaging machine. Working with Kent Services, the machine checks prospective shoppers’ temperature and ensures that they’re wearing a mask before entry.

After passing the scanner, you’ll enter the chicest COVID-19-centric store you will ever lay your eyes on.

They sell $9 hand sanitizers, portable UV lamps, infrared thermometers, and fashionable face masks.

All of the store’s masks are made with 100 percent cotton, N95-grade material, and some are fashioned with LED lights, Benimetzky told Narcity. In short, these aren’t your Walmart face coverings on display.

In Miami, there is zero-tolerance for drab, so Benismitzky set out to change the lackluster mask scene in the area. He says he got the idea to open the store because he was “tired of seeing the ugly N95 masks around town.”

Working with Aventura Mall, he was able to land a lease for a space in the Nordstrom wing of the shopping center.

With most of South Florida now under some form of a face mask mandate, and a continued spike in cases in-and-around the region growing more worrisome by the day, Benimetzky’s unique store could see more business.

For now, the store is a pop-up, but Benimetzky says they’ll “be here as long as the pandemic is here,” with hopes that it’ll be a permanent fixture at Aventura.

The next time you’re on South Beach with your cool LED mask, raise a glass to Bemimetzky.


Source:  NARCITY

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From Bankruptcies To Rent Relief, Here’s How Retail Landlords Can Prep For The Coming Fallout From Covid-19

For the last 18 months, Noah Shaffer has been counseling retail landlords who lease space to Pier 1 Imports to be ready for the company to declare bankruptcy.

Pier 1, known for its eclectic mix of home goods and furniture, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March. This week, the Fort Worth, Texas-based retailer said that it was unable to find a buyer for its business and that it will close all stores nationwide. Shaffer’s clients, however, were ready and already in talks with new tenants to take the space.

Navigating tenant bankruptcies will be far more challenging in the era of Covid-19. The novel coronavirus pandemic has forever changed the restaurant and retail business, beginning with stay-at-home orders across the U.S. in March and April to a severe drop-off in consumer spending. A wave of bankruptcies is expected in both the retail and restaurant industries in the coming months, affecting everyone from national chains to mom-and-pop shops.


Source:  SFBJ

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What CRE Will Look Like as America Reopens

The United States has had more than 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, with a death count approaching 70,000, as of Monday. And new reporting from the New York Times revealed that the Trump administration is “privately projecting a steady rise in the number of cases and deaths from the coronavirus over the next several weeks, reaching about 3,000 daily deaths on June 1 […] nearly double from the current level of about 1,750.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, meanwhile, is forecasting “about 200,000 new cases each day by the end of the month, up from about 25,000 cases now,” according to the Times.

So while some cities and states have begun to relax “stay at home” orders in recent days, those numbers shed doubt on whether the U.S. as a whole is on a steady path toward reopening yet.

Still, at some point the worst of the pandemic will subside. When it does, we will not be returning to the same world. That has sparked many discussions in the commercial real estate industry as to what a post-COVID-19 landscape will look like and what that will mean for the various sub-sectors in the industry. How we use buildings will change. That means layouts, density and uses will have to evolve in order to allow for people to safely come back. As just one example, restaurants will not be able to squeeze tables as tightly together as they did previously. Not many people will be willing to eat meals while rubbing elbows with fellow diners as we used to.

There will be universal changes. Temperature checks might become the norm to enter any business. Masks could be required for a while. Hours of operation may be altered to allow for staggering the workday to reduce density. We will also see an increased premium placed on cleaning and hygiene.

“All of the sustainability certification systems–including LEED and WELL–prioritize indoor air quality for the health of the occupants of buildings, but reducing air filter quality was a common strategy in non-certified projects for saving construction costs because most people would not notice or care about the difference. In the post-COVID-19 world, the quality of the air that we breathe in our homes matters, even if we cannot physically see or feel it,” says Benjamin Kasdan, AIA, LEED AP, principal, KTGY Architecture + Planning.

In other ways, though, it’s not so much a reimagination of commercial real estate, but an acceleration of trends that had already begun to emerge.

“While the pandemic and its associated stay-at-home orders have suddenly and unexpectedly interrupted all of our lives, many of the architectural design impacts that will ‘result from’ the pandemic were actually already growing trends for contemporary residential design,” Kasdan says. “In particular, we expect the emphasis on building healthy communities to continue to gain momentum as a result of this shared experience, as will a renewed interest in self-reliant design strategies and resilience.”


Source:  NREI

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For Retail Sector, Liquidity And Communication Key To Surviving Coronavirus Crisis

Measures to contain the spread of coronavirus are still shifting by the day — and so are responses by investors, developers, builders, banks and buyers. To track the impact in real-time, RE|source Miami is asking area real estate professionals in various sectors for on-the-ground reports.

Today we hear from Michael Comras, president & CEO of the Miami-based Comras Company, which specializes in the development, leasing and sale of urban and suburban retail properties across South Florida.

As a principal in various development entities, Michael has also been involved in shaping retail in high-profile destinations including Coconut Grove, Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road, Design District, Wynwood, and Downtown Miami.

Q: How is the South Florida retail sector coping with the unfolding coronavirus crisis, and the economic slowdown we are experiencing?

In the short term, the market has been significantly impacted due to the government mandates requiring that all restaurants and non-essential retailers close their doors to curb the spread of COVID-19.

As a community, we need to acknowledge the challenging times ahead and recognize that by working collectively we will get through the pain and ensure that the retail and restaurant community lands on its feet. Now more than ever, tenants and landlords need to work in unison toward a common goal: sustaining business and our retail and restaurant economy.

Everything that existed prior to the coronavirus pandemic will exist again, but there is no silver bullet to solve the economic slowdown. The building blocks to recovery will depend on solid relationships and positive collaboration amongst all stakeholders.

Landlords do not want widespread vacancies and tenants want venues where they can grow their business and thrive. Fusing these objectives into a cohesive goal will allow the retail sector to reemerge stronger, faster. In addition, banks and lenders need to work closely with developers and property owners to make sure liquidity continues to flow. State and Federal financial relief will also provide necessary support.


What is the state of construction in Miami-Dade? Are real estate projects still getting built, and have timelines been delayed due to the virus?

The good news is that most construction projects in Miami are making headway and moving forward as planned, to the extent that the work can be completed in a safe manner. Construction firms are following strict guidelines to ensure social distancing inside job sites.

We expect to see delays in lease negotiations and leases that have not been executed. The permitting and approval process required for tenant interior buildouts will also take longer, and projects currently undergoing inspections may lag as there are new restrictions that will limit on-site inspections. In addition, the plan approval process will be extended by cities prohibiting the “walk-through” of plans. A process that provides for a quicker review of buildout plans.


Many retail tenants have shut their businesses. How are you counseling regarding landlords and rent concessions?

Communication is key. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy to resolve these issues. Every landlord has a unique relationship with their tenants and the parties must openly communicate to arrive at a sustainable solution that can work for both sides.

Local retailers and restaurateurs are integral to the fabric of our community and, unfortunately, they are the ones being most affected. In the spirit of working through a difficult time, all sides must be honest and transparent. Often, landlords are not privy to tenant sales figures, which is the main indicator of how a business has been performing. It will be important for tenants and landlords to look at the sales trends prior to the crisis to strategize towards a successful resolution.

Access to information can help guide landlords when evaluating potential rent concessions for their tenants. Solutions may include rent abatement, deferrals or other payment structures that allow both the tenant and landlord to navigate this hardship and remain open for business.


Do you anticipate that this outbreak will have a long-term, lasting impact on the way real estate projects are planned and designed?

Prior to COVID-19, retail was already going through a major transition, becoming more experiential and interactive. This will only become further pronounced as we emerge from this pandemic. At the same time, people are becoming even more accustomed to ordering goods online – since they have no other option at this time – and this could have a ripple effect on select brick-and-mortar businesses. Retailers will need to continue to improve their business’s online capabilities.

Miami is a unique “city of villages”, a series of walkable destinations such as The Miami Design District, Wynwood, Miami Beach, Brickell, Coconut Grove, Downtown Miami and South Miami. Connectivity, walkability, and revitalization will continue to fuel our local real estate economy. As human beings, we are social creatures who thrive on congregating and being a part of something greater than ourselves. Experiential retail will perfectly align with the pent-up demand people will have to enjoy experiences from dining and shopping to family entertainment once these stay-at-home measures are lifted.

There is no city as resilient as Miami. We’ve endured natural disasters with devastating hurricanes, deadly diseases with Zika and H1N1, and now the novel coronavirus – but with each setback we’ve come back stronger and have continued to thrive. This is a serious crisis that we will overcome. By supporting one another and working together, we will once again come out on top.

Source:  Miami Herald

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