NAIOP South Florida Hosts Mid-Year Review in Anything But Normal 2020

The news from the commercial real estate industry is positive according to panelists participating in NAIOP South Florida’s most recent mid-year review who remain cautiously optimistic moving into the second half of this year and into 2021. NAIOP South Florida is the leading commercial real estate development organization in the region.

Seasoned professionals Christopher Thomson, executive director, industrial brokerage for Cushman & Wakefield, who served as moderator, and panelists Rick Colandreo, CPA, chief financial officer for Current Builders, Ryan Holtzman, managing director of Cushman & Wakefield, and Brian Smith, managing director and South Florida industrial lead for JLL, discussed the current pandemic and the effects on supply chains, available capital, South Florida’s once robust economy and how it has affected the commercial real estate industry, as well as what they see in the short term future.

Here are some key takeaways from the discussion:

Ryan Holtzman, managing director of Cushman & Wakefield, is bullish on South Florida post-COVID because of weather, taxes and product availability. He’s seeing increased activity in virtual tours and noted that demand for space is as high now as it was in February and even one year ago.

“I also believe that new product with post-COVID solutions will excel,” said Holtzman. “Investments will be made in touchless technology, air purification systems and UV lighting, to name a few. I am bullish on new construction and have been getting calls from companies moving out of big cities around the country, interested in 50,000, 75,000 and 150,000 sq. ft. of space.”

Brian Smith, managing director and South Florida industrial lead for JLL, said that JLL is studying the data. “We are seeing positive activity in industries such as logistics, parcel delivery, food & beverage, grocery and grocery delivery and e-commerce.

While Smith says statistically industrial is performing well but there will be winners and losers because small business has been negatively impacted by COVID. “I didn’t think back in February that we would still be in a time of uncertainty today,” he added.

Rick A. Colandreo, chief financial officer of Current Builders, said that while February was bright, March was like a sledgehammer. But he’s optimistic for 2021. “I do see Florida faring better than the rest of the country, but there will be changes brought about by COVID,” he said.

Colandreo said that while COVID caused some jobs to be delayed, his company continues to build residential properties, such as multifamily housing, student housing and assisted living facilities. “Florida is still is a place of choice,” he added. “For our business, we need people to get back to work so they are able to live in the rentals we are building.”

To hear the entire discussion, log on to: For more information, visit, email or call 954-990-5116.