The best 15 college towns to invest in

An analysis by Redfin brokerage has found one way to make a college career into real estate investment opportunity. (Wikimedia Commons, back; Laura LaRose, front)

From TRD New York: Ask anyone who has been to college recently, or is paying for someone else to go, getting higher education comes at an ever-higher cost these days and there’s not too much you can do to lessen the burden. However, a new analysis by Redfin brokerage has found one way to make a college career into real estate investment opportunity.

Surveying monthly dorm rents at almost 200 U.S. public college campuses in comparison with the local city’s median monthly mortgage rates for condos, the brokerage triangulated 47 places where it’s a better use of money to buy a condo.

Take a look at the top 15 colleges where prices and housing demand among students ensure that opting for a condo over a dorm is the best investment.

University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ

(Wikimedia Commons)

Monthly mortgage: $545
Monthly dorm rent: $811
Monthly difference: $266


Georgia State University
Atlanta, GA

(Wikimedia Commons)

Monthly mortgage: $1,116
Monthly dorm rent: $1,139
Monthly difference: $23


University of South Carolina-Columbia
Columbia, SC

(Wikimedia Commons)

Monthly mortgage: $511
Monthly dorm rent: $671
Monthly difference: $160


Kent State University at Kent
Kent, OH

(Wikimedia Commons)

Monthly mortgage: $664
Monthly dorm rent: $751
Monthly difference: $87


Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College
Baton Rouge, LA

(Wikimedia Commons)

Monthly mortgage: $731
Monthly dorm rent: $837
Monthly difference: $105


University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY

(David Har/Wikimedia Commons)

Monthly mortgage: $650
Monthly dorm rent: $866
Monthly difference: $217


University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY

(Wikimedia Commons)

Monthly mortgage: $730
Monthly dorm rent: $876
Monthly difference: $146


University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus
Norman, OK

(Nicholas Benson)

Monthly mortgage: $470
Monthly dorm rent: $752
Monthly difference: $282


The University of Texas at El Paso
El Paso, TX

(Wikimedia Commons)

Monthly mortgage: $441
Monthly dorm rent: $546
Monthly difference: $105


The University of Texas at Dallas
Richardson, TX

(Wikimedia Commons)

Monthly mortgage: $693
Monthly dorm rent: $769
Monthly difference: $76


University of Akron
Akron, OH

(Wikimedia Commons)

Monthly mortgage: $733
Monthly dorm rent: $780
Monthly difference: $47


University of Delaware
Newark, DE

(Wikimedia Commons)

Monthly mortgage: $605
Monthly dorm rent: $813
Monthly difference: $208


University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Greensboro, NC


Monthly mortgage: $487
Monthly dorm rent: $715
Monthly difference: $228


Sam Houston State University
Huntsville, TX

(Wikimedia Commons)

Monthly mortgage: $427
Monthly dorm rent: $570
Monthly difference: $143


Miami University-Oxford
Oxford, OH

(Wikimedia Commons)

Monthly mortgage: $489
Monthly dorm rent: $831
Monthly difference: $342

[Redfin] — E.K. Hudson

Source: real deal miami

Moss Construction appoints deputy general counsel

Kim Gessner

Moss Construction Management appointed Kim Gessner as deputy general counsel of the Fort Lauderdale-based company.

Gessner previously was counsel and co-chair of the construction practice group at law firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney.

She has more than 13 years of experience in litigation, particularly cases involving commercial construction.

In her new job, Gessner will review, draft and negotiate contract. She also will conduct strategic risk assessments, provide regulatory compliance training to staff, and participate in litigation matters.

Gessner has certification in construction law from the Florida Bar, and serves as a member of the construction law committee of the Broward County Bar Association.

Moss has nine U.S. offices and focuses on managing the construction phase of public-private partnership projects and design-build projects. The company’s projects include construction of Marlins Park, train stations for All Aboard Florida and a 63 megawatt solar array in Arizona. [Daily Business Review] Mike Seemuth


Source: real deal miami

Miami-based firm raises $21.5M for community development district in Tampa

The Heights area of Tampa is located northwest of the city’s downtown.

Miami-based FMSbonds Inc. raised $21.5 million of tax-exempt bond financing to help the Tampa-based Heights Community Development District fund the construction of public infrastructure.

Proceeds from the bond issue conducted by FMSbonds are expected to fund construction of new roads, sidewalks, parking garages and other public infrastructure projects in the 43-acre Heights Community Development District.

Tampa-based SoHo Capital, a private equity firm, is the company behind the planned development of the Heights area, which includes construction of a boutique hotel and a residential project, plus offices and retail space.

“The epicenter of this mixed-use development is the historic Armature Works building, which is being transformed into the Heights Public Market, event hall, and co-working space,” said Adam Harden, co-founder of SoHo Capital, in a prepared statement.

The Armature Works, part of the first phase of the Heights development, is expected to open in November.

Source: real deal miami

Hurricane debris haulers focus on South Florida, snub poorer parts of the state

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi

Storm debris from Hurricane Irma is piling up in many Florida counties because the companies they hired to remove debris are doing the work for more money in South Florida.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said those companies may be violating a state law that prohibits price gouging. Bondi said Gov. Rick Scott is concerned about debris-hauling companies that are “breaking contracts” with Florida counties.

Officials of six counties – Sarasota, Orange, Manatee, Indian River, Hendry and Alachua – complained to the state government last week about debris-hauling companies working only in South Florida, where they command higher prices.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said South Florida counties are paying as much as double the prices that other counties offer to remove from Hurricane Irma, which made landfall in the Florida Keys on Sept. 10.

Hendry County administrator Charles Chapman said the county contracted with companies to haul debris for $5.50 per cubic yard, but the companies’ subcontractors refuse to do the work unless they get a higher price, perhaps as much as $8 per cubic yard.

But Chapman said Hendry County can’t afford to pay $8 per cubic yard to subcontractors of two debris-hauling companies: Deerfield Beach-based Ashbritt Environmental and Crowder-Gulf, headquartered near Mobile, Alabama.

Sarasota County’s emergency chief Rich Collins said the county is prepared to pay debris haulers $8 per cubic yard, but “they’re going where they can get $15.” [Tampa Bay Times] – Mike Seemuth

Source: real deal miami

Apartment property in Rockledge sells for $6.25 million

Rockledge Villas

A 52-year-old apartment property next to a golf course in Rockledge sold for $6.25 million, or $67,204 per unit.

A private investor in New York acquired the 93-unit apartment property, called Rockledge Villas.

The six-acre property at 1525 South Fiske Boulevard in Rockledge was built in 1965 along the northeast corner of the Rockledge Golf Course and Country Club.

The buyer “was in a 1031 exchange from a property they sold in the Tampa area,” Felipe Echarte, first vice president investments in the Fort Lauderdale office of brokerage firm Marcus & Millichap, said in a prepared statement.

Echarte held the exclusive listing for Rockledge Villas together with Evan Kristol, executive managing director investments in Marcus & Millichap’s Fort Lauderdale office.

Rents at the apartment property are “approximately $50 below market,” Kristol said in a prepared statement.

Kristol and Echarte represented the private investor who sold Rockledge Villas and procured the buyer, also a private investor.

Source: real deal miami

Hurricane Irma’s unofficial Florida death toll is 75

Eleven residents of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills died after the nursing home lost air conditioning due to Hurricane Irma. (Source: Reuters)

Hurricane Irma caused 75 deaths in Florida, according to the Miami Herald.

The Florida Department of Emergency Management reported Friday that the hurricane caused 50 deaths statewide, including four in Miami-Dade County and seven in Broward County.

The causes of death ranged from electrocution and heart attack to blunt force trauma and carbon monoxide poisoning from generators.

The Herald’s unofficial death toll includes 25 storm-related deaths not counted by the state’s emergency management department: 14 in the Florida Keys and 11 linked to a nursing home in Hollywood

Eleven elderly patients at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills died after the nursing home lost air conditioning due to Hurricane Irma, which made landfall Sept. 10 in the Florida Keys as a Category 4 storm.

Two of the nursing home residents who died had body temperatures that exceeded 108 degrees. [Miami Herald] Mike Seemuth

Source: real deal miami

Early next year, downtown Hollywood will get its first new hotel since 1969

Hollywood Circle rendering and Chip Abele

Downtown Hollywood will get its first new hotel in almost half a century when the Circ Hotel opens early next year.

The 111-room Circ Hotel is expected to open in February 2018 as part of a mixed-use development called Hollywood Circle along the northeast side of Young Circle, a traffic circle in downtown Hollywood.

In March, construction crews topped off Hollywood Circle, a 25-story building funded largely by Chinese EB-5 investors. When completed, the mixed-use development will include the hotel plus 389 rental apartments, retail shops and a supermarket.

Hollywood Circle LLC, led by managing partner Charles “Chip” Abele Jr., is the developer.

The last hotel built in downtown Hollywood was a 95-room Ramada on Harrison Street, according to Jorge Camejo, executive director of the Hollywood Community Development Agency.

Broward County property records show the Ramada Hollywood Downtown was built in 1969.

The manager of the Circ Hotel will be Trust Hospitality of Coral Gables, which also manages the Langford Hotel in downtown Miami and the El Paseo Hotel in Miami Beach.

The Circ Hotel will feature a coffee bar, gym, rooftop pool and lounge, and almost 3,000 square feet of meeting space. [Sun-Sentinel] Mike Seemuth

Source: real deal miami

Untold number of Internet outages persist in South Florida after Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma cut power and communications throughout South Florida. (Credit: Getty Images)

Many South Floridians, perhaps tens of thousands, are still waiting to regain Internet service after Hurricane Irma shut it down almost two weeks ago.

Florida Power & Light had restored electrical power to 99 percent of its South Florida customers by Sept. 19, nine days after Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys as a Category 4 hurricane.

But AT&T and Comcast, the area’s two largest Internet service providers in South Florida, have refused to say how many South Florida customers they have, or how many are without Internet service.

Across the state, 893,409 customers had Internet outages as of Sept. 18, according to the Federal Communications Commission, which doesn’t specify where the customers are located or which Internet service provider they have.

Daily FCC reports show that the number of Florida customers with Internet outages is steadily declining. But Internet service providers themselves aren’t providing detailed progress reports.

AT&T spokeswoman Kelly Starling told the Miami Herald that specifying the number of customers without Internet service “doesn’t help customers get back in service.”

Mindy Kramer, a spokeswoman for Comcast, told the Herald that the company avoids releasing figures on outages because “the numbers are very fluid” and based largely on power-outage data that utilities provide.

Another Internet service provider, Atlantic Broadband, said it has restored service to 96 percent of its Miami-area customers but has declined to reveal the total number of Miami-area customers. [Miami Herald] Mike Seemuth

Source: real deal miami

Dam breach complicates Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane Maria

Damage in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria (Source: FEMA)

Officials in Puerto Rica scrambled to evacuate 70,000 people who live downstream from a broken dam as the scope of Hurricane Maria’s destruction on the island became clearer.

Authorities sent buses to move people away from the Guajataca Dam in northwest Puerto Rico after an inspection revealed a breach in the 89-year-old dam.

Anthony Reynes, a meteorologist with the U.S. National Weather Service, told Associated Press that the breach might be an early sign of a total failure of the dam.

More than 15 inches of rain fell on mountains surrounding the Guajataca Dam after Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane, raising the level of a man-made lake the dam contains.

Up to six inches of additional rainfall was expected through Saturday.

Complicating rescue and recovery efforts in Puerto Rico are widespread power outages and a hurricane-damaged communications system.

Officials said Hurricane Maria knocked out 85 percent of Puerto Rico’s cell phone towers, telephone and Internet cables.

Government spokesman Carlos Bermudez told Associated Press that 40 of the island’s 78 municipalities had no communications capacity.

Hurricane Maria caused at least six deaths in Puerto Rico, 15 in Dominica, three in Haiti, two in Guadeloupe, and one in the Dominican Republic. [Associated Press] Mike Seemuth

Source: real deal miami

National Cheat Sheet: Online RE investment platform scores funding from Steven Cohen, Florida suspends construction rules to rebuild post-Irma … & more

Clockwise from left: Janet Yellen, Nile Niami’s “Opus,” Ray Sturm and Steve Cohen

From TRD New York: AlphaFlow scores investment from Steven Cohen’s VC fund
Online real estate investment platform AlphaFlow raised $4.1 million in a seed funding round this week. The investors were led by Steve Cohen’s Point72 Ventures and Resolute Ventures and included other big name tech funds. AlphaFlow buys residential bridge loans from crowdfunding companies and hard-money lenders and puts them on “an automated investment platform,” which allows institutions to invest in them. [TRD]

Interest rates hold steady as Fed begins to sell bonds
The Federal Reserve’s policy of so-called quantitative easing is coming to an end as the Fed announced this week it will begin selling the bonds acquired in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The Fed left interest rates unchanged, but officials said they expect one more increase in short-term rates this year. [TRD]

Agents tell TRD how they do business safely
Meeting strangers in empty homes is how real estate agents get the job done. The National Association of Realtors found that while just 4 percent reported actually being the victims of a crime, 38 percent of respondents said they felt unsafe in the last year. Agents told The Real Deal that personal safety is a major factor in how they conduct business. “There are multiple times where you are standing there and someone is intimidating,” said Justine Bray, a broker with Brown Harris Stevens. [TRD]


Florida suspends some construction rules to hasten post-Irma recovery
The state of Florida will suspend certain regulations to speed up repairs at properties damaged by Hurricane Irma. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation issued an emergency order to “suspend certain regulations and fees that may prevent, hinder or delay” construction work, including roof repairs and installations. [TRD]

Brokers try to polish the image of South Florida’s coastal homes
South Florida’s luxury market made it through Hurricane Irma mostly intact, but now agents and brokers are trying to polish the appeal of storm-prone coastal communities. Cervera Real Estate, for example, posted photos of sunny, dry streets and clean, pristine beaches on social media, using the hashtags #MiamiOpenForBusiness and #CondosWithPower. [TRD]

Kushner’s 666 Fifth Avenue benefited from a highly unusual appraisal
Kushner Companies’ record $1.8 billion acquisition of 666 Fifth Avenue in 2007 didn’t look that risky to the bond investors who funded it, because of a highly unusual appraisal. Appraisers valued the property’s office portion alone at $2 billion, making the entire property worth up to $3 billion — about 70 percent more than Kushner paid. [TRD]

NYC attorneys discuss how landlords can maximize collections
The message real estate attorneys have for New York landlords fighting with their tenants is simple: don’t go to court. “If you go to court, you’re really a loser to begin with,” Cory Weiss, a partner at Ingram Yuzek, told the audience at the New York Multifamily Summit. “Because the courts are so tenant-oriented that a tenant could spend months in court not having to pay any rent and then sign a stipulation giving him or her six months to pay the rent,” he said. “The judge won’t impose legal fees on tenants.” [TRD]

Sex doesn’t sell for $100 million: LA’s “Opus” gets $15M price chop
Developer Nile Niami’s trophy spec mansion “Opus” was introduced with a racy listing video featuring half-naked women painted gold and a $100 million price tag, but the 20,500-square-foot Beverly Hills mansion just got a $15 million price cut. Three Damien Hirst paintings, a gold Rolls-Royce Dawn and Lamborghini Aventador Roadster are reportedly no longer part of the sale price. [TRD]

Developers vying for property $20M in tax breaks in Atlanta
Invest Atlanta, the city’s Economic Development Authority, is set to approve development projects for property tax breaks that could be worth more than $20 million over the next decade. Among the biggest potential winners is North American Properties, which submitted a plan to redevelop Colony Square into a 200,000-square-feet of office space and a retail component including a food hall and movie theater. [Bisnow]

Third time’s a charm: Chicago approves revised Uptown development
The Chicago Plan Commission gave approval for a 12-story development in Uptown after changes to the design. Developer Clayco and architect Forum Studio plan to include ground floor retail, 150 rental units and just 29 parking spaces, which met reductions sought under Chicago’s Transit-Oriented Development Ordinance. Clayco’s first design was for an eight-story building, and the second was a 12-story building with a brick-like facade. [Curbed]

Source: real deal miami