In a year dominated by the high-profile openings of the Wells Fargo Financial Center and 1450 Brickell in the downtown Miami corridor, South Florida’s office market struggled to manage the influx of new space. But the area did see a number of large-scale deals that were positive signs going forward, including retentions and relocations from in and out-of-area companies.
The largest lease of the year was a 171,490-square-foot agreement by ADT Security Services at 1501 Yamato Road in Boca Raton. The company signed the agreement July 5 and moved in Jan. 1, according to a list provided to The Real Deal by real estate research firm CoStar.
Second on the list was a new lease by travel information firm Amadeus, which moved into 105,137 square feet at One Park Square at Doral in the Miami Airport submarket.
Third was a lease by Keiser University, also in the Miami Airport submarket, for 90,000 square feet.
Notable on the list was the fourth-place lease, of 75,000-square-feet (including naming rights) by Wells Fargo at what was then Met 2 Financial Center.
The amount of action in the market, along with the size of the deals, represent a step in the right direction, said Chris Macke, senior research strategist at CoStar.
“In general, it’s just nice to see this level of activity,” he said. “Given what we’ve all been through the last few years, seeing almost three deals that are almost 100,000 square feet is always a plus.”
According to Macke, the Wells Fargo deal was notable in that the company was relocating its Florida office to Miami from Jacksonville.
In fact, only two of the 10 deals were renewals; eight were new leases.
Despite laying claim to two of the year’s top biggest leases, though, Miami is still struggling, Macke said.
“In the third quarter of last year, [Miami] had about 2.9 million square feet of office space under construction, so as a result of that their vacancy rate has gone up to 14.5 percent from 14.2 percent,” he noted.
Palm Beach and Broward counties, however, have managed to keep their vacancies flat, he said.
The biggest lease in Broward County was ninth on the list. It was just over 50,000 square feet at Sunset Plaza in Sawgrass Park in Sunrise.
Overall, the leases mark good signs for 2011 in the office market.
“What [the activity] tells me is that people are very interested in making deals, because when you see this many new leases, it shows there’s a lot of demand.”