Assessing the real estate impact of David Beckham’s proposed soccer stadium

Peter Zalewski
Peter Zalewski

Question: Marlins Park is having little to no impact on the surrounding neighborhood’s residential real estate market, as you’ve noted before. Is it simply impossible for a sports venue to stimulate a real estate market? I ask with international soccer legend David Beckham’s stadium pursuit in mind.

Economic redevelopment was a key lobbying point for the Miami Marlins in the lead-up to winning political support to build a new stadium in the economically depressed Little Havana neighborhood using funds primarily provided in the form of financing from Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami.

Supporters promoted the fact that professional stadiums such as Baltimore’s Oriole Park at Camden Yards and San Diego’s Petco Park had previously revived struggling neighborhoods in other major U.S. cities.

More than two years after the state-of-the-art Marlins Park opened in April 2012, the surrounding neighborhood on the south bank of the Miami River looks quite similar to the way it did before the stadium was ever built on the site of the former Orange Bowl.

A check of the Southeast Florida MLXchange shows the area’s residential real estate market stretching from the Miami River south to Flagler Street, and Northwest Eighth Avenue west to 22nd Avenue is uninspiring.

As of Thursday, less than three dozen condo units are on the resale market at an average asking price of $282 per square foot. In the first eight months of 2014, buyers acquired 37 condos at an average resale price of $161 per square foot. The current available inventory represents about seven months of supply.

An additional nine single-family houses are on the market at an average asking price of about $133 per square foot. In the first eight months of 2014, buyers acquired less than a dozen houses at an average price of $128 per square foot. At that resale pace, the available inventory represents about six months of supply.

On the rental complex front, there are currently 10 apartment buildings for resale at an average price of $145 per square foot. In the first eight months of the year, buyers purchased a dozen apartment buildings at an average price of $117 per square foot. This means the area has about seven months of inventory remaining.

A healthy residential market is thought to have about six months of inventory. Any additional months of inventory suggests a buyer’s market, while fewer months indicate a seller’s market.

Despite the lackluster residential resale activity around Marlins Park, the area’s rental market is showing positive signs despite the slow transaction velocity.

Less than 10 residences are currently available for lease in the area at a median monthly price of $1.68 per square foot. In the first eight months of 2014, tenants leased 40 residences at a median price of $1.49 per square foot. The area currently has about two months of rental supply available for lease.

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The community’s experience with Marlins Park is valuable to consider as international soccer star David Beckham lobbies government leaders for assistance in identifying a site on which to build a stadium for a new Major League Soccer team.

Recent history has shown South Florida that sports stadiums such as the American Airlines Arena, Sun Life Stadium, BB&T Center and even the former Miami Arena have done little to generate redevelopment in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Cynics could argue that sports stadiums in today’s South Florida should be viewed along the same lines as shopping centers that desperately need to be located near popular residential neighborhoods in order to thrive in the future.

The unanswered question going forward is whether Beckham can leverage his star power to convince the owners of some of Greater Downtown Miami’s most significant assemblages of developable land to allow the soccer megastar to build a new stadium within planned or existing mixed-use complexes such as Resorts World Miami, Midtown Miami and Miami Worldcenter.

Thought Of The Week: The Cultural Evolution Of Condo Launch Parties

The preconstruction condo launch party – a mainstay of the real estate industry since at least the 2003 market boom – may be evolving for the better in South Florida.

The days of celebrating the launch of presales for a proposed condo tower with an evening of serious boozing, overeating and conversing may be giving way to something a bit more culturally productive in South Florida.

At least this was the sentiment on Thursday night, when the Melo Group kicked off the “official presales” of its planned 53-story Aria On The Bay tower with 647 units in the Edgewater neighborhood of Greater Downtown Miami with a series of theatrical performances at the nearby Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center For The Performing Arts.

Despite an evening of culture that featured a menu limited primarily to fine wines and hors d’oeuvres, a few of Miami’s veterans of condo launch parties resisted the positive change by finding a way to revert to their old ways.

Peter Zalewski is a real estate market consultant, non-practicing licensed real estate broker and columnist for The Real Deal who now answers reader questions about the South Florida real estate market in a new weekly Friday column. Questions and comments can be sent to The TRD editors will choose which submissions will be addressed.