Business News & Notes

Spring 2020

Timing is Everything

It’s been noted in our feature about Gables-based banks, but for the record, Professional Bank raised $59.7 million with their initial public offering in February. That was back before the market collapsed under the pressure of COVID-19. The bank trades under the symbol “PFHD.”

They Just Keep Growing

When we featured Coral Gables-based MasTec in the magazine last year, their revenue had reached $6 billion. That was for 2018. Revenue figures for 2019, reported in February, topped $7 billion. Their fourth quarter profits exceeded $100 million. MasTec is one of the leading telecom and energy infrastructure construction and service providers in the nation.

Jose Mas, CEO of Coral Gables-based MasTec

Sales Shift

Merrick Manorthe 10-story, 227-unit high-end development in the Merrick Village area, has engaged a new sales team. Having taken sales in-house after The Agency left the project, developer Henry Torres announced that Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices EWM Realty would take over sales. The new team will be led by Patrick O’Connell, senior VP at EWM. The Manor is 60 percent sold, with about 100 units left. Prices start at just under $400,000.

No Cloud Without a Silver Lining

Despite the rocky slide of the stock market due to the COVID-19 virus, there must be opportunities to buy. So says Gables-based, which rates and recommends penny stock buys. Their latest prognostications are for tiny biotech startups that could boom with the bust.

More Towers on the Edge

While not actually inside Coral Gables, another development could join the high-rise cluster growing at the Douglas Metrorail station on the edge of Merrick Village near the Shops at Merrick Park. The Adler Group and 13th Floor Investments are creating the Link at Douglas project next to the station, with two rental towers at 22 and 36 stories high. These will add 733 rental units. The next development, proposed by Gables-based Shoma Group, would add 400 rental units in two towers (17 and 18 floors) where the Deel Volvo dealership now sits on Bird Road. The idea is that renters will use the nearby mass transit for work, but shop in the Gables.

Gables-based Shoma Group could add 400 rental units in two towers at the edge of Merrick Village, not far from the Shops at Merrick Park.

Faith in the Future

In a bet on the future of downtown Coral Gables, veteran real estate investor Bill Kerdyk, Jr., has purchased the Rey’s Cleaners building at 2619 Ponce de Leon Blvd. for $2.3 million. Kerdyk is president of Gables-based Kerdyk Real Estate, which already owns three other buildings adjacent to the property. With the new acquisition, Kerdyk owns 11,600 square feet on Ponce, with plans to create a high-rise project on the site in three to five years.

A Condo Glut?

In a new study issued last month, Condo Vultures Realty LLC reported that more than 40 luxury condos at a minimum price of $1 million are now listed for sale in Coral Gables. Based on the luxury condo sale average of two per month in 2019, that means the city has a 21-month supply of units for sales. A balanced market, according to real estate pundits, should have about a six-month supply of units for sale.

A Nod to our Expertise

With the market in turmoil, a recent article in the prestigious financial periodical Barron’s discussed the situation with leading wealth managers. The first expert quoted? Matt McGrath, managing partner and wealth manager at Gables-based Evensky & Katz/Foldes Financial, one of the oldest and most respected wealth management firms in South Florida (35 years).

Good Farming

Coral Gables-based Fresh Del Monte Produce has doubled down on its sustainability efforts with the appointment earlier this quarter of Hans Sauter as the company’s first Chief Sustainability Officer. The move will enhance the corporation’s sustainable initiatives, which include increasing the amount of produce sourced from certified sustainable farms, expanding the use of solar energy and low-emissions vessels and vehicles, reforesting the areas where Del Monte farms, and applying water conservation techniques.

Sign of the Times

It used to be that shared workspaces were for entrepreneurs, start-ups and solo professionals. Then came the maverick, flexible units of larger companies. Now it has become mainstream: The office of the Honorary Consul of Ireland, Mr. Ian O’Flaherty, is now officially in the WeWork complex on Giralda Avenue.