For the third year running, Lightle Beckner Robison has presented its Annual Commercial Real Estate Forum. This year’s event was held on January 28th, entitled “2020 Vision – This Is How We See it,” at the Rialto Hilton. The forum has quickly become the authoritative report of the area’s commercial real estate sector. The goal of The Forum is to provide a market update and guidance for the coming year to over 250 attendees consisting of real estate developers, investors, engineers, architects, real estate attorneys, community leaders, tenants, elected officials and others. The data at The Forum is presented by the partners of the firm and is a combination of market data from over 80 years of collective experience, third party sources, case studies and a body of transactional results throughout Florida and Georgia. The firm is active in asset management, project management, owner and tenant representation, real estate investment strategies, consulting and all aspects of commercial real estate.

The tone this year was upbeat, optimistic and bullish for 2020. Brevard is in the middle of a boom that appears to have very few factors that will cool the market sector. All of the vital signs for a good real estate market are still in place. Some of the vitals reported were continued job growth and creation, Brevard’s unemployment rate according to FRED, is 2.8%, while Florida is 3.1% and the nation is at 3.5% for November 2019.

Space innovation continues to provide numerous benefits to our market, including the attention of the world. Some out of market investors have compared our market to the likes of Silicon Valley due to space innovation. Interest rates will continue to be low throughout 2020 as reported by the FED. The market is not over building, if anything the market is prime for speculative building in certain sectors based on demand. Occupancy is very strong across all sectors and are continuing to enjoy all-time highs in Brevard and as compared to markets throughout Florida. Rental rates and property values continue to see modest increases across all sectors.

Brian Lightle, CCIM, SIOR highlighted the market’s dynamic innovators and their determination and vision to accomplish their goals dramatically impacting today and the future of county. “Jeff Bezos started selling books out of a garage and created Amazon,” Lightle observed, “Now he is investing over a billion dollars of his Amazon profits into space. His vision is almost as unbelievable as his vision of Amazon years ago. There is a Prime truck in all of our neighborhoods every day.”

Lightle also discussed the impact of secondary and tertiary companies to support the efforts of the many companies that have committed to our market, whether it is Blue Origin, SpaceX, Boeing, L3 Harris, Northrup Grumman, TUI … the list goes on. The vendors for these firms and many others will continue to be in the market for real estate for years to come.

Rob Beckner, SIOR focused on the state of office sector in the market and how incredibly strong demand is in this sector. He is insistent that speculative office space is needed to support the market’s demand. He was thorough in comparing the health of the office sector in Brevard as compared to other markets in central Florida and the State. He is looking for the next developer to build a state-of-the-art office park that meets the needs of the market and todays sophisticated tenants. He reports that he is expecting 2020 to be a great year for office owners, investors and developers.

Michael Moss, SIOR emphasized the industrial sector is feverish and clammy. He stated that there is not enough space! Demand is exceeding supply and he to reported that he is looking for a speculative industrial park or two. He states, “Rental rates continue to rise, and vacancy has little room to move.” He emphasized the caliber of tenants in our market and those that continue to seek a home in Brevard.

(Jeffery T Robison CCIM) For my part I highlighted the health of Brevard’s retail market and the continued low vacancy in the market. We are not over-building with little to no speculative building. I explained the basis for optimism in retail real estate is not foolish. Retailers are resilient and will continue to figure out how to innovate and meet the needs of today’s consumer, thus requiring space. I expect tenant driven construction and minimal speculative building for 2020. There will also be new projects give the markets new infrastructure.

The Forum is an invitation only event if you are interested in attending in 2021 please email Jeff Robison, CCIM at jeff@teamlbr.com