Buyers find silver lining in South Florida commercial market

By Jennifer LeClaire | February 25, 2010 02:41PM

From the South Florida Web site: The economic downturn has all but crippled the commercial real estate market, leaving private equity groups and other strategic buyers to begin exploring the advantages of purchasing commercial properties out of bankruptcy.

The opportunities are plentiful, though the market is still
establishing its pricing scale, and few buyers want to tip their hands about how much they would pay. But the bankruptcy filing rate for South Florida businesses increased 28 percent in 2009, according to statistics reported by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida.

No company wants to file for bankruptcy, but there is a silver lining for strategic buyers, according to Kevin Lamb, a corporate attorney and shareholder at the Gunster law firm in West Palm Beach. Strategic buyers with funds at the ready in mergers and acquisitions, he said, can cherry-pick the company’s real estate assets while leaving the liabilities behind. [more]