TRD Broward Showcase & Forum attracts SoFla’s top real estate professionals: PHOTOS

Nearly 2,000 real estate professionals attended The Real Deal’s Broward Showcase & Forum last week, marking the second annual go-to event for the industry.

Experts analyzed the state of South Florida’s markets on two panels, while attendees explored the 23 exhibitors on display in the expo area, ranging from developers and architects to kitchen manufacturers and exercise equipment. The event was held at the Design Center of the Americas in Dania Beach, in open-air atriums filled with colorful art installations.

On the “South Florida Development Outlook” panel, developers remained focused on areas poised for growth, despite a residential slowdown across the board. And while many have danced around the decline in sales over the past few months, panelist Fernando De Nuñez was very blunt. “This was the worst season ever for us,” he said.

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And during the “Broward Deep Dive” panel, insiders focused on the county’s hottest markets, including Fort Lauderdale Beach and Flagler Village. As Miami loses some of its steam, developers and brokers said Broward is picking up the slack.

Of the 417 buildings and 51,000 residential units in South Florida’s pipeline, 19 percent are in Broward, according to figures cited by panel moderator Peter Zalewski, a TRD columnist and founder of research firm

“Our economy both in the county and in the state of Florida lives and dies with the real estate industry,” said Broward Mayor Martin Kiar, who gave a keynote address before the panel began. “When the real estate economy is booming, our local economy is booming.”