Looking sweet in the C-suite

Will the wave of foreign investment in Miami’s office market last?
By Sean Stewart-Muniz | March 16, 2017 10:30AM

Sumitomo Corp. bought Miami Tower, below, for $220 million.

From the March issue: Without a doubt, the biggest news to break in Miami’s office market in recent memory came in December, when Spanish billionaire Amancio Ortega paid an incredible $516.6 million for the landmark Southeast Financial Center downtown.

The deal was a record-breaker for commercial property prices in Miami-Dade County, capping a year that had already seen a host of high-profile office towers trade hands.

But the sale signified much more than just an eyepopping price tag. It came in the same year that Miami’s office market fetched more foreign dollars than any other commercial sector this cycle, with Colliers South Florida reporting the market raked in roughly $996 million worth of net investments alone, though that’s largely thanks to Ortega’s gargantuan purchase.

Miami’s top commercial brokers said the increased appetite for Miami office assets is being driven by deep-pocketed institutional investors abroad.

Major international players accounted for three of the five largest office deals in South Florida last year: Ortega’s Southeast Financial grab, Japanese trade conglomerate Sumitomo Corp.’s $220 million purchase of the Miami Tower and the Spanish family-owned Masaveu Corp.’s $175 million acquisition of a majority stake in the Courvoisier Centre on Brickell Key.

But will the trend hold in 2017? Some in the industry have expressed fears that political and economic turmoil abroad, as well as President Donald Trump’s foreign trade and immigration policies, will put a damper on activity. Many of these elements have already affected South Florida’s residential market. [more]