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Commercial Real Estate update a year after Ian: Moore About Business


I recently attended a Southwest Florida commercial real estate market update, the first comprehensive take since Hurricane Ian, and it had some surprises.

Justin Thibaut of LSI Companies announced the largest transaction to have ever occurred on Fort Myers Beach.

"This is the Outrigger Resort. $38.2 million just over 5 acres in total between Outrigger and Charlie's," Thibaut said, then predicted what was to come. "This signals the next bit of happenings on Fort Myers Beach. This is not the last. It's one of the first. And there's a lot of these that are going to occur. So, what exactly is planned here. Not sure, but I can tell you it's not what was there before."

He said that in spite of fears of a land grab after Hurricane Ian, this is the first big purchase after TPI Hospitalities bought land to expand Margaritaville.

Adam Palmer of Land Quest commercial spoke highly about the office sector in Southwest Florida. "It's been talked about in the Wall Street Journal and others. We're the ball of the ball when it comes from office space. We are outperforming practically every other market and submarket across the country, right here."

Patrick Fraley of Investment Properties Corporation of Naples talked about how traditional retail is being reshaped to combat the convenience of online shopping. "Commercial retailers in Southwest Florida are increasingly emphasizing experience driven concepts and entertainment options. Interactive displays pop up events and unique dining experiences are being incorporated into retail spaces to attract and retain customers."

Mike Doyle of Land Quest commercial discussed positive trends in the industrial space, especially with the help of hurricane relief. "The market's just on fire, you know, with a one percent vacancy level. How many people have tried to find a 5000 square foot warehouse space for lease? Can you find anything?"

So the future looks good for Southwest Florida, according to Doyle. "Between 80 to $100 billion for the next 10 years will flow into this area from Sarasota to Marco, just based on hurricane relief. So that's going to be a huge boost. And just imagine all the need for construction."

Karen Moore is publisher of Southwest Florida Business Today, and weekly business contributor to WGCU Public Media.

Publisher of SWFL Business Today