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Slow growth expected for Florida's commercial real estate market in 2013

Although a majority of states across the nation are experiencing gigantic booms in their commercial real estate markets, Florida landlords have yet to see the fruits of the rebounding economy.

"It's still a tenant's market," explains the vice president for Jones Lang LaSalle in Palm Beach County. And although rental rates and occupancy levels have remained steady at the start of the New Year, leading many brokers to believe that the worst of the downturn is over, some experts point out that the Florida commercial real estate market is rebounding at a slower rate than expected.

Because many tenants are choosing to rent existing commercial properties, some real estate experts predict that there will likely be little-if any-construction of office space during 2013.

But good news has been pouring in from businesses across the state who have been opening new stores and locations since the start of 2013. Landlords, who have been enticing tenants in with free rent and other incentives, have been filling a majority of existing locations that have spent months vacant and unused.

North Miami Beach, for example, has seen a huge increase in restaurants looking to expand, like Duffy's Sports Grill which opened the last of its 24 restaurants in June 2011. Once consumer confidence increases some more, the restaurant is expected to start expanding again.

As most business owners know, purchasing commercial real estate is a huge commitment that requires not only a large amount of funds, but a certain amount of confidence in the economy as well. As we crawl further and further out of the shadow of the recession, Florida businesses will keep their fingers crossed that an upwards market will once again allow them to flourish.

Source: The Sun Sentinel, "Commercial real estate market 'bouncing along bottom'," Paul Owers, Jan. 3, 2013

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