Asian companies are behind the two largest commercial projects in Miami this year, with Hong Kong’s Swire Pacific obtaining approval for Brickell CitiCentre, and Genting Malaysia Berhad paying $236 million for the waterfront site of the Miami Herald. The Brickell project is a $700 million plan of retail, hotel, residential and office space. According to Mayor Tomas Regalado, the Swire project will bring in $2 million in permit fees next year, along with $5.5 million in annual property taxes. Regalado visited Taiwan in May, and city officials are planning a trip to Peru in November. In all, overseas buyers bought $447.9 million worth of commercial property in the first half of this year in Miami, according to Real Capital Analytics. “The large-scale projects indicate the interest to stay in the market a significant amount of time,” said Ben Thypin, market-analysis director at Real Capital. “I think of Miami along the lines of a San Francisco or Manhattan.” [Bloomberg]
While it garners an overwhelming share of the coverage, Latin America isn’t the only foreign region betting heavily on Miami real estate. As Seeking Alpha noted, Asian investors – led by Malaysian-based Genting – are now focusing on the city.
Asian companies like Miami because of the rapid growth of its tourism industry, Seeking Alpha said. In 2010 it hosted a record 12.6 million people, and the city is expected to draw more than 17 million in the near future. That growth supports businesses throughout the city and compelled Swire Pacific to plan for a $700 million Brickell CitiCentre, a retail, office, hotel and condominium project.
In 2011, Miami attracted $471.5 million in foreign commercial real estate investment, compared to $142 million and $120.3 million for Palm Beach and Broward counties, respectively, and $205 million for all non-South Florida counties combined.
Thanks to Genting, $252.3 million of the $951.2 million of foreign investment in Florida’s commercial real estate market came from Malaysia, the most of any foreign country.
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