Was There Even A Summer Slowdown?

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In the last couple months of networking and collaborating with colleagues around the country, I've learned from and heard some valuable thought leaders express the following thoughts.

Population growth, GDP growth and e-commerce are all driving demand. Structural change in our consumption habits are taking us to new directions that we don’t know what will happen.  Lots of changes in consumption have been due to technological efficiency, and time savings have helped soften inflation.  Plus, 40 million people have been added to the states in the past decades. 

In 2006 something happened that never happened before on Earth and that was that more people lived in cities than in the countryside.  That occurred just as we fell into the Great Recession and we never got to really witness the growth.  Now that we’re out of that recession, and we know this new information about city growth, we can position Tampa as an attractive city for others to relocate to.  We also can’t judge Tampa by prior metrics of ups and downs.  We are going to see growth at a different pace and we have to prepare for that pace rather than prior paces of activity.

Tampa as a city is changing as it never has before, as are most cities, and our leaders (past and present) have had the foresight to position us as a tech hub for others to come to. 

There’s a lot of talk about downtown Tampa’s growth, there have been 1 or 2 national corporate names that are projected to take large blocks of space.  Quietly though, the I-4 Corridor has been stacking up large corporate tenants for years and continues to do so this year with fierce velocity. 

Amazon, Wal-Mart, Quaker Oats, Gatorade, Best Buy, Home Depot, Williams Sonoma, just to name a few household names. Plus there’s over 4 million SF of speculative construction that has been going on to meet the forecast demand. Some believe that’s not even enough for what’s coming, and we’re seeing a continued appetite for more land from developers and end-users that want to locate their businesses here in order to be part of Florida’s growth and population increases.  If the I-4 Corridor was a state it would have the 4th largest population growth in the country.

We are tracking over 10 million sf of activity searching for distribution centers or industrial real estate in Central Florida along the I-4 Corridor!

All I’m saying is...pay attention to what’s going on in East Hillsborough county and Polk county because it’s a precursor to what’s happening in our urban cores.

Add to that, our airport and seaport are growing and so are the industries that serve those.  Soon you’ll also see automotive uses need space in Polk.  Construction and building materials industries are seeing growth from residential. Agricultural industries are expanding as well as the vendors that serve those manufacturers, such as the packaging industries.  Distribution of consumer goods is growing due to population growth, as well as the vendors that supply the distribution centers. 

With the added new industries of cannabis and autonomous vehicles, as well as the revived aerospace industry at the space coast, Florida should be welcoming many new innovative companies to locate here and take up commercial space.

Call Fortress CRE, so we can talk expert advice on where your real estate strategy should be focused in West Central Florida. Fortress Commercial Real Estate (CRE) adds value to business owners looking to grow through their real estate, office and building needs.


Visit www.Fortress-CRE.com and call or email me for more sound advice.

kostas@Fortress-CRE.com

813.444.3330

Tampa's Bubble

Tampa is in a bubble. I said “in” a bubble not “on” a bubble. Big difference. I believe we are insulated from some of the things that are threatening the macro economy. We might be looking out from within a safe bubble of activity, growth and new progress. No earth shattering info, just some good consistent growth based on a solid foundation that isn’t as speculative as the last cycle.

Here’s a good article on how to spot a softening market and why Florida is well positioned.

Our growth, our position in the state, our diversification over the last decade, and new developments that are coming to both our urban cores of Tampa and St Pete, as well as our I-4 corridor are propelling us to new levels. There are secular changes that have occurred that will create a new foundation in coming economic cycles.

Just about every business you talk to locally is seeing and capitalizing on increased opportunities, and non local businesses that are moving here are coming because of the new demographics being created that they can also tap into. Sometimes it even seems new markets are being created locally by successful entrepreneurs and mentors. Look at our tech ecosystem for starters! We’ve got a bunch of great young companies making waves and getting funded or acquired.

Just check out what the media is saying about us and you’ll notice what’s going on around you daily. Even some of the things you’ve taken for granted in the past are now new areas for growth.

Port welcomes new container services

Tampa makes list for top locations for active lifestyles

Tampa ranks among the top states to start a business

Tampa ranks as the best big city to live in in Florida

Florida Unemployment Stats Remain Strong and show signs of improved talent levels at the high school level

Call Fortress CRE, so we can talk expert advice on where your real estate strategy should be focused in West Central Florida. Fortress Commercial Real Estate (CRE) adds value to business owners looking to grow through their real estate, office and building needs.

Visit www.Fortress-CRE.com and call or email me for more sound advice.

kostas@Fortress-CRE.com

813.444.3330


When Does This End? Who Cares?

When Does This End?  Who Cares?

Why should we care about the indicators of a recession?

Things Are Changing Around Here

It is summer time in the sunshine state and we all know it’s hot around here, but this time it’s even hotter and it’s not just the weather that’s causing it! 

Keep your head up and eyes open.  Look around at Florida from your local perspective and from a satellite view.  You’ve noticed its growing all around you but you will soon also notice it’s growing in many other parts of the state too.  We quickly became the 3rd largest state in population and now our Tampa metro has also become one of the hottest real estate markets for investment.  People from all over the country and the world are paying attention to our diverse and expanding demographics, and they want to be part of it.  That is causing some structural changes in our economy and creating new norms. 

Every week you read a new article highlighting new accolades for our region, and at work you hear more and more large companies coming to the area, with more and more new people moving here not just for retirement reasons.  Construction is going on all around us and our aesthetic is improving with these new buildings and concepts.  Our core drivers are still strong and our new economic drivers are vibrantly taking their place.  Infrastructure is the next challenge we face so that we can support everyone coming here, along with everyone already here. 

There’s a whisper that some type of recession is coming nationally, but you don’t hear many around Florida talking about it with much worry in their voice.  Sure, we need some pricing relief, but our foundation only seems to get stronger at a “new normal” level which means there have been some secular changes that should push us swiftly through an impending national recession. 

Nationally the consumer confidence index rose again last month, although at a lower level than last year at this time, signaling that the near term should still expect to see continued growth through the summer but signs that a slow down in momentum is occurring.  

The national employment trends are also moving in the same direction of positive growth but at a similar slowing pace with mostly lateral month over month gains.  The expectations are all within desired ranges that don’t cause any panic or worry. 

Welcome to Tampa!  Your investments in this area are safe here...for the long term.

Call Fortress CRE, so we can talk expert advice on where your real estate strategy should be focused in West Central Florida.  Fortress Commercial Real Estate (CRE) adds value to business owners looking to grow through their real estate, office and building needs.

Visit www.Fortress-CRE.com and call or email me for more sound advice.

kostas@Fortress-CRE.com

813.444.3330

Question What You Thought About Slowing Down

It seems there’s still gas in the engine for growth, and Nationally the Leading Economic Index rose again for the first time in 5 months, which indicates improved financial conditions and a rebound in stocks that offset any labor market issues that might have been as a result of the government shutdown.  The economy is still healthy with unemployment near a 50 year low and there are still very few major reasons to worry about the fundamentals. 

There are spots to watch such as the treasury yields in financial markets and rising construction costs in real estate markets, but with the Fed indicating how they’ll slowly approach rate increases this year it continues to breathe life into the economy.  Add to that fact that recessions usually appear close to 2 years after yield curve inversions and you get more confidence that time is on our side for 2019.  Yes, slowdowns could occur in the areas of lower yields for investors and more disciplined lending by bankers, which slow down investment returns, but the amount of capital and liquidity in our system is more than eager to test those theories.

Florida outpaced the country’s average in 2018 for job growth, and local sentiment is that Tampa Bay’s economy and growth have plenty of runway to go, and good tailwinds behind us, with some experts thinking that we’re just catching up to where other metro areas are in their stage in the economic cycle.  Population growth is the 2nd highest in the country and that popularity is bolstering investment decisions locally. 

With the trajectory of Tampa’s direction, the notion that time flies by quickly, and the fact that we have a NFL Super Bowl here in 2021, it points to a busy 2019 and 2020...  So, there’s no real detrimental slowdown in sight…Right?  We’ll see, but either way if you network around town and meet the business leaders that are helping shape our growth you will notice that there is a lot of excitement and positivity around our future here. If you haven't seen the reasons to move to Tampa yet, please click here to read this article.

From a commercial real estate perspective, a Call to Action that I see is that we need more real and available supply before major companies will move and relocate to Tampa Bay.  The timeframes those companies consider when relocating require more immediate supply to allow them to make the right decision based on their demand. If the I-4 Corridor was a state it would have the 4th largest population growth in the country, and with that growth you can believe major corporations are considering our area, asking questions about what’s available, and deciding if their business plans meet the timing of new development or if they should wait until more office or warehouse product is available to move in to.

From a seaport perspective, the industrial projects in this area are not limited to just the new warehouses being built along the I-4 Corridor, but also on the Port of Tampa near downtown. The Port has millions of dollars of development being planned, both in cross docking and in a new steel mill on port property, as well as land at the edge of downtown Tampa’s central business district that could be a mixed use development in the coming decades.  Our Port’s revenues break records every year and it’s not just from the cruise business.  Get to know your local Port...there’s a lot more going on there than you think!

Call Fortress CRE, so we can talk expert advice on where your real estate strategy should be focused in West Central Florida.  Fortress Commercial Real Estate (CRE) adds value to business owners looking to grow through their real estate, office and building needs.

Visit www.Fortress-CRE.com and call or email me for more sound advice.

kostas@Fortress-CRE.com

813.444.3330