The Real Deal Miami

Office-condo craze hits Miami

Forgoing leases, companies are testing a different ownership model for their workplaces

November 23, 2015 10:30AM
By Ina Cordle

  • Print

Ofizzina 1200 has attracted international buyers for its office condos.

From the October issueWhen the accounting firm Gerson, Preston, Robinson & Co. decided two years ago to sell its Miami Beach headquarters of 56 years, the partners carefully compared the costs of buying space to those of renting.

In the end, an office condo seemed to be the logical choice. “We like the idea of owning our space and building the equity ourselves,” said partner Alan A. Lips. After paying $2.7 million for 12,000 square feet at 4770 Biscayne Boulevard in Miami and investing $1.5 million more to renovate it, the firm is moving in this fall.

“If you look out 15 or 20 years, I can tell you with confidence that our overall cost of owning will be less than the cost of rental under a normal commercial lease,” said Lips, contrasting the bite of the expected annual rent increase with the benefit of paying off a mortgage and just incurring fees and taxes.

All around South Florida, a wave of office buildings being marketed as condos is emerging as financial firms, private companies and other businesses increasingly opt to buy their own spaces. Developers are luring investors with sleek new office-condo towers and selling entire floors in the preconstruction phase. [more]