Trump presidency to have a positive impact on SoFla real estate investment: panel

Alex Horn, Jay Olander, Paulo Tavares de Melo Scott Pryce with Donald Trump
Alex Horn, Jay Olander, Donald Trump, Paulo Tavares de Melo and Scott Pryce

As Donald Trump inches closer to his 100th day in office, the pivotal moment most U.S. presidents are judged as to whether their agendas are moving forward, the commander-in-chief remains mired in a never-ending storm of controversy.

Yet, having the New York billionaire developer at the country’s helm will only bode well for South Florida’s real estate market in the next four years, real estate panelists said on Wednesday.

“We have a pro-business, pro-development president,” said Scott Pryce, founder and managing partner at TRX Industrial USA. “Obviously that is good for our business. On the regulatory and tax side, the more he can accomplish, the better.”

Pryce joined Cornerstone Realty Advisors Managing Partner Jay Olander, Integra Investments principal Paulo Tavares de Melo and BridgeInvest Managing Partner Alex Horn in a discussion called “Real Estate Investment in the Trump Era” at Brickell City Centre’s East, Miami hotel. “If  [Trump] is successful, and to what extent he is successful, will be good for all of us,” Pryce added.

The event was hosted by TRX, which last year broke ground on two modular warehouses in Hialeah Gardens and Doral totaling $60 million. Earlier this year, TRX and Cornerstone formed a joint venture to acquire existing multifamily properties.

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Olander said tough regulations such as Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act during the Obama era had a negative impact on borrowing for companies like Cornerstone. “I think Trump is looking to roll it back so it can’t hurt us any further,” Olander said. “I think what we are seeing in terms of change will be good for our industry.”

He also foresees the Trump administration deregulating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which will help multifamily developers cut through bureaucratic red tape when seeking financing.

Horn echoed Olander’s remarks, but cautioned that Trump’s campaign promises to loosen Wall Street and banking regulations have yet to become actual policy initiatives. “Everything still remains a question mark,” Horn said. “Trump wasn’t able to roll back Obamacare last week and the markets took notice.”

Horn also added that nontraditional lenders like BridgeInvest were able to thrive during the Obama years. “There was a drought of debt out there, and traditional developers and borrowers could not get financing and had no one to go to,” Horn said. “We stepped up and filled that void.”

Pryce also said that Trump’s trade policies will create more profitable investment opportunities for foreign investors. “South Florida is a huge market for foreign capital,” Pryce said. “So there should be a huge influx in the coming years.”