Denny Grimes
Denny Grimes

As a Southwest Florida business professional, your business likely ebbs and flows with the local real estate market. When demand is freely flowing, business flourishes and you can concentrate your focus on accomplishing what is in front of you. However, when it ebbs, businesses often need to consider whether

For those of you who missed it, Thursday’s 2017 Commercial Real Estate Outlook Conference offered exciting sneak peeks into new, major downtown Fort Myers developments, insightful discussions on the impacts technology and millennials are having on the real estate industry, and a general feeling of optimism toward 2017’s real estate market.

While blogging etiquette won’t

Guest post by Henderson Franklin’s Construction Chair, J. Matthew Belcastro, Esq.

5-4-2016 8-11-32 AMFreedom to contract is one of the cornerstones of our system of jurisprudence. As long as the subject of the contract is not illegal or contrary to an established public policy, we Americans can contract in just about any manner we wish.

Yet, all too often when disputes arise in connection with a construction project, we find parties who have no contract or (potentially worse) a contract which is not suitable for the nature of the project and/or the interests the parties wish to protect.

The construction industry is somewhat unique because of the wide range of potential parties and relationships involved in a project: owners/developers, general contractors, design professionals, subcontractors, materials suppliers, lenders, sureties, just to name a few. These numerous relationships make it all the more important to protect yourself with appropriate contractual provisions.


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From left to right: Ryan Binkowski and Alexis Crespo (Waldrop Engineering) with Molly Maggiano and Austin Turner (Henderson Franklin)
From left to right: Ryan Binkowski and Alexis Crespo (Waldrop Engineering) with Molly Maggiano and Austin Turner (Henderson Franklin)

This year’s two day Urban Land Institute (ULI) Annual Florida Summit was held in Miami at the Turnberry Isle Resort and was comprised of more than 650 attendees. The theme of this year’s event was Creative Disruption: “The Future Ain’t What it Used to Be.”

The mission of ULI is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. ULI is an independent global nonprofit supported by the top real estate professionals from throughout the state including developers, attorneys, engineers, architects, and land use planners, from both the private and public sector.

The “Creative Class”


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On January 21, 2016, Certified Commercial Investment Members (“CCIM”), Southwest District, held its 16th Annual Commercial Real Estate Outlook Conference at the Harborside Event Center in Fort Myers, Florida. The annual event was well attended and full of positive projections from local leaders regarding market trends for Southwest Florida’s real estate industry. Land Use Attorney Austin Turner and Real Estate Attorney Michael Lehnert attended and provide the following recap:

The Mayor’s Inside Look at Downtown Fort Myers

The program began with the City of Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson providing an “inside look” at downtown. He explained that our community is postured for many robust real estate opportunities in the next decade, such as the development of its urban infill areas. Mayor Henderson seemed confident that the real estate market, both on a statewide and local level, “is back.” He stated that Fort Myers has recently issued permits for private development that will result in $450 million invested into the downtown area. The Mayor also stated that Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW’s) new baseball stadium and potential basketball arena will positively influence the community’s youth.

The Macro Outlook of Florida’s Real Estate Market


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To continue our series to recap the Real Estate Investment Society’s “Challenges and Strategies for Property Development Today” workshop, and to follow Cody Vaughan-Birch‘s post on Development Incentives and Local Pro-Growth Policies, the second panel of professionals provided an overview of the current trends, challenges and strategies in property development from a legal and practical perspective.

Southwest Florida Real Estate:  Problem or Opportunity?

Steve Hartsell, a zoning and land use attorney with the Pavese Law Firm, summarized two circumstances where legal and practical strategies are needed:


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The Real Estate Investment Society and Urban Land Institute conducted a workshop, “Challenges and Strategies for Property Development Today,” last Thursday morning in Fort Myers. Mary Gibbs, Lee County‘s Director of Community Development, got right to the point:

All properties today are challenging. Nothing’s easy anymore,” noting that property location, infrastructure availability, and objections from surrounding residents seem to be the most common constraints. 

Local governments are reacting to these economic and site-specific development difficulties by implementing changes and adopting more business friendly approaches to complex development issues that may delay or kill potential new projects.
 
Bonita Springs City Manager Carl Schwing joined Ms. Gibbs in a panel discussion regarding tactics and strategies local governments can utilize to help facilitate private development in a difficult economy. Both indicated that engaging in discussions with local government development staff 


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