12 August 2020
How COVID-19 Sped Up Construction at a Miami Office Tower

Tenants are moving beyond near-term health concerns and envisioning their personnel and space needs 10 to 15 years in the future.

830 Brickell View 08 Skyline

When the COVID shutdowns hit, commercial real estate struggled through a lot of issues.

But at the 830 Brickell Office Tower there was one silver lining: construction moved faster than expected.

“Crews are currently building the mezzanine floor, on the way up to floor 57,” says Brian Gale, Vice-Chair of Cushman and Wakefield of Florida. “If anything, the development timeline is running slightly ahead of schedule since there has been less traffic on surrounding streets, making it easier to get trucks in and out of the site.”

While construction may be moving faster, COVID-19 caused other challenges. In March and April, Gale saw interest in the 830 Brickell Office Tower from several out-of-market tenants temporarily level off.

But slowly things began to improve for the building, which is billed as the first new office tower in downtown Miami in more than a decade.

“More recently, we have seen a steady increase in inquiries from prospects in the northeast,” Gale says. “We have not been able to do building tours with as much regularity due to COVID, but we have done multiple presentations virtually through video conferences, and we have now resumed in-person tours from our brand-new leasing office, which overlooks the development site.”

In this environment, many companies aren’t eager to commit to a long-term office lease. But that isn’t universal. Gale says some tenants are moving beyond near-term health concerns and envisioning their personnel and space needs 10 to 15 years in the future.

“We are already in discussions with prospective tenants representing more than 400,000 square feet of space, which indicates to us that office users are looking beyond the pandemic and planning for the future,” Gale says.

Gale says 830 Brickell has been designed and developed for blue-chip office users from around the world. “The firms behind the tower, OKO Group and Cain International, have developed more than 50 million square feet of premium office space globally, so they understand what multinational corporations want, and they have applied those features to 830 Brickell,” he says.

Those tenants come from a variety of industries and backgrounds, according to Gale. He says they are interested in the quality of life offerings, favorable tax policies, strong business infrastructure, and connectivity with the rest of the world.

“The pandemic notwithstanding, we are experiencing steady interest among domestic and international companies that value the Brickell brand and want to situate their office or headquarters in one of the most important business and financial districts in the Americas,” Gale says. “Downtown Miami has seen a substantial increase in the number of banking and investment firms doing business in the district, and that growth has attracted everything from hedge funds and private equity firms to international law and accounting firms.”

Read the full story by Les Shaver for GlobeSt.com