Monday, December 11, 2017

On the intersection of Design and Disruption / Presentation by Bernard Zyscovitch

Bernard Zyscovich at the Miami-Dade CCIM Meeting
On November 10th 2017, the CCIM Miami-Dade district hosted its monthly meeting at Morton’s Steakhouse in Coral Gables. 

It was a unique occasion with guest speaker Bernard Zyscovich, founder and CEO of Zyscovich Architects. Mr. Zyscovich leads a transnational team of architects impacting lives around the world with innovative architecture and interior design for consumer consumption (see

Mr. Zyscovich's talk was entitled, “On the intersection of Design and Disruption.”


The underlying theme of Mr. Zyscovich’s presentation is disruption. Disruption has been most evident in the sector of technology. For almost a century, Kodak held the dominant position in the photographic film industry. Remember the Kodak moment? Yet, they failed to adapt; the disruption of digital photography was in full force. Towards the end, Kodak became protector of patents, instead of innovator in technology.

Disruption is also felt in our social lives, where social media and cellphones rule. Through the advent of social media, it is hard to establish a network without Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram. 

These platforms are embedded into our social lives. Even in conversation with friends, we often show them a new picture on our phone. 

Block-chain such as the architecture of Bitcoin.  Other systems will emerge using "block-chain" which may change the way banking and financial transactions are transacted. 

Disruption and Design

Disruption is also occurring in the design sector, where micro apartments are the new buzz. Micro- apartments are units as small as 300 Sq.Ft. To put it into perspective, the average two-door garage is between 480 to 625 Sq.Ft. Now this begs the question, why would anyone want to live there? Mr. Zyscovich provides an answer. People, especially millennials are looking for an experience. These micro-apartments have a wall bed, kitchen, and bathroom, all you need for urban living. Furthermore, they form on social space, where people tend to congregate.

According to Mr. Zyscovich, the old gospel preaching location, location, location is not true anymore. Retailers, developers, designers must find where the people are. The people are looking for an experience, for amenities, communal work, walking space, social areas with Wifi. If you make a destination where it is cool and interesting, where people want to be, almost any use would work.

Mr. Zyscovich shared how the thinking in architecture has changed. Before, many architects had a vision of being the person that would change the world through design; now, many architects are happy to be a participant in a successful project. Collaboration in the office is essential and should be fun.  As an example, playing ping-pong with your colleagues should be part of the experience.

In the end, “the intersection of Design and disruption is to understand these trends and embrace them!” – Mr. Zyscovich.

Upcoming CCIM Miami-Dade Events:

December 13th REEAC and CCIM Toy Drive Networker
Bocas House Coral Gables, 2 Aragon Avenue.
5:00 PM- 8:000 PM

January 17th, 2018 CCIM Outlook Commercial Real Estate Conference
Coral Gables Country Club
7:30 AM to Noon

Britt J. Rosen, CCIM, Miami-Dade District President &
Carlos Rodriguez Jr., CCIM Miami-Dade Board of Directors

Saturday, November 4, 2017

CCIM Miami-Dade October Meeting / Gridics

On October 10th, 2017, the CCIM Miami-Dade-Monroe district hosted its CCIM Monthly Meeting at Graziano’s in the Gables.

The luncheon included many of Miami’s commercial real estate professionals.  Also in attendance were attorneys, brokers, appraisers, architects, and zoning experts. 

Felipe Azenha and Max Zabala, Co-Founder and Vice President of Product Gridics, gave the talk entitled, ‘Become a Zoning Expert’.


The beauty and uniqueness of a city is reflected by its development. Restaurants, concert halls, professional sport stadiums, universities, all give life to a city. Miami is an international city, going through an unprecedented redevelopment phase. Urban life is growing in Wynwood, high-rise condominiums are being completed in Brickell and waterfront luxury condos in Edgewater. Zoning is what controls these developments.

Zoning is a set of laws that restrict and define the type of land uses and development that can occur on each parcel of land.  Zoning includes regulations governing lot size, building bulk, placement, and other development standards.

Miami-Dade CCIM District Meeting at Graziano's in Coral Gables

Zonar by Gridics is a proprietary zoning software that allows real estate professionals to understand the development potential of any site with a few clicks. It expedites the process by providing detailed feasibility reports. Currently the City of Miami is using Zonar for planning purposes, and processing development project reviews, which has helped reduce the process from 15 hours to 3 hours.
New Urbanism and Miami

With the evolution of the city of Miami, the Miami-21 Zoning Code has been updated to promote New Urbanism. This is “an approach to urban planning that integrates housing, workplaces, shopping, and recreation areas into compact, pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use neighborhoods linked by transit, bikeways, and greenways. New urbanist development is characterized by buildings placed directly along relatively narrow streets, with parking and driveways located to the rear, complemented by pedestrian-oriented amenities such as front porches, retail, and sidewalk cafes.” (See

There are several key principles that guide New Urbanism:
  • Walkability: Most things an individual needs should be within a 10 minute walk from home and/or work.
  • Mixed-Use and Diversity: A mix of shops, offices, apartments and homes. Promote safer neighborhoods of diversity.
  • Urban design: Emphasis on beautiful surroundings, aesthetics, and creating a sense of place.
  • Smart Transportation: network of high-quality transit alternatives connecting cities, towns and neighborhoods.
  • Sustainability: Minimal environmental impact of development and its operations.
New Urbanism is Miami’s future.

Carlos Rodriguez Jr.
KW Commercial


Friday, July 21, 2017

Cyber Fraud Awareness - Commercial Real Estate and Banking

On June 9th 2017, the CCIM Miami-Dade-Monroe District hosted its CCIM Monthly Meeting at Morton’s Steakhouse in Coral Gables. The topic was on Cyber Awareness by Chris Scott, an expert on Cyber Security.  Mr. Scott is also an "ethical hacker", advising banks and businesses on internet fraud. 

Miami-Dade CCIM District Monthly Meeting / Cyber Awareness re Fraud

Fraud is Everywhere in Our Digital Workplace

As we transact business in the information age, where global economies rely heavily on computers and e-commerce, we need to be alert to the various sources of fraud perpetrated via email and especially with bank wire transfers.  In commercial real estate, we spend a large portion of the day on our computers using the internet emailing clients, researching properties, market values, property owners, and analyzing investment properties. The computer and the internet have become an integral part of the profession.

Mr. Scott warned us to be extremely careful with our digital communications as cyber fraud is on the increase.  In particular, the headers of an email should be carefully examined to see the URL and information regarding the sender.

According to the AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey, 73% of companies were targets of payments fraud in 2015, up from 62 percent in 2014. Moreover, 39% of corporate practitioners from these companies report the potential loss from fraud was greater than $250,000. And the preferred payment method responsible for fraud loss was checks and wire transfers.

Common Fraud Tactics

Mr. Scott lists common fraud tactics:

  • Phishing - An email that tricks recipient into taking some type of harmful action
  • Business Email Compromise (BEC) - A certain attack where the attacker pretends to be an authorized user of a system in order to gain access to it
  • Ransomware - A certain malicious software made to block access to a computer system
  • Wire Fraud - Targeting of banks and financial institutions via wire transfers
Common Scenarios

As an example, ten employees work for a boutique real estate company. The company decides to hire a new employee to work in accounts payables.  A cyber criminal, without being noticed, may have already compromised the real estate company’s network as a result of prior surveillance and email communication. Cyber criminals do their homework and may have set up a fake URL that closely resembles the company information and web site. They monitor the existing network traffic and observe the writing styles of key figures in preparation to compromise the systems.

Another scenario: What if the Cyber Criminal masquerading as the company’s boss or high ranking employee sends an email to the new employee with wire instructions to send $100,000 to client?  He or she may not be fooled but that email, but what if the Cyber Criminal more clever?


Mr. Scott provides helpful tips against Cyber Criminals. They are:
  • ·        Check the email address and email header. Look for the sender’s name and email header.
  • ·        Be suspicious of attachments. Only download and open those that you are expecting.
  • ·        Notice the email’s greeting. Does the sender know your name and use it?
Anyone can be a target of these cyber criminals, but it is our responsibility stay alert and educated.

by Carlos Rodriguez Jr. & Britt J. Rosen, CCIM

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Contaminated Property and Sea Level Rise / S Florida

On the 10th of February, the Miami-Dade District held its monthly luncheon at Morton’s Steakhouse in Coral Gables. The topic was “Environmentalism and Commercial Real Estate.” Michael Goldstein, Esq., Managing Partner at The Goldstein Environmental Law Firm, gave the first presentation: An Environmental Primer to Help CCIMs Successfully Navigate Contaminated Land Transactions in South Florida.

Historically, contaminated land has been a problem for buyer / sellers and to finance. It was considered not only an environmental problem, but also a business problem. Banks would not lend, thus deals would not close. But Mr. Goldstein explained how contaminated land is not a problem but rather an opportunity for investors, developers, and government to cooperate. 

One of the earliest brownfield (land with environmental issues) projects in Miami-Dade County was AMD Codina Beacon Lakes- NW 117TH AVE and NW 25TH street. It was a massive illegal landfill site, contaminated with petroleum hydrocarbons and arsenic. Through State Liability Protection and Voluntary Cleanup Tax Credits, the site was redeveloped into an office warehouse park.

Mr. Goldstein debunked several myths concerning contaminated land:

-         Myth: It is impossible to transact contaminated land in Miami-Dade County.
-         Fact: Goldstein Environmental Law firm supported over 100 such transactions in 2016.

-         Myth: You can’t get financing on contaminated land.
Fact: Lenders routinely lend on contaminated land of all kinds.

-         Myth: You can’t insure contaminated land.
-         Fact: The marketplace is awash with environmental insurance.

State and Federal governments are subsidizing cleanup costs for these development projects, which represents a wonderful opportunity for investors.

The second talk was given by Wayne M. Pathman. He is managing partner of Miami-based Pathman Lewis. He is one of Florida’s distinguished lawyers with more than 30 years’ experience. Mr. Pathman heads the firm’s Land Use, Zoning, and Environmental Law Section. He is the Chair of the City of Miami’s Sea Level Rise Committee and the Chair of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce. 

Wayne M. Pathman, Esq.
Mr. Pathman spoke about the risks of sea-level rise, especially in Miami and costal areas. Sea-level rise is not something that will happen in 20 years or in 10; it is occurring every day. In West Miami, some residents were recently concerned of a foul odor, and one of the reasons was attributed to sea-level rise. About 40% of Miami-Dade County has septic tanks which are vulnerable to the water table rising due to waste collecting below ground which would be exposed to the rising water.  Also, sewer lines that are buried underground are vulnerable to sea level rise.  Thus, there is a lot of work to be done with our infrastructure in getting it ready for the water level rise.   It is interesting to note that FEMA has done little to remap the United States with regard to coastal area and this issue.

Miami is vulnerable to sea-level rise because of its low-line geology and limestone foundation. This will inevitably have an effect on both residential and commercial real estate. We are witnessing it now in Miami Beach, where insurance premiums are and will continue to rise.  

Sea-level rise affect other sectors of business including financing, environmental laws and taxes. Most importantly, how will it affect south Florida investments and investors?

Carlos Rodriguez Jr. // KW Commercial

Sunday, January 22, 2017

2017 Environmental Primer // South Florida Commercial Real Estate Transactions

What Commercial Real Estate Professionals Need to Know About Sea Level Rise and Chemical Contamination / Brownfields

On February 10, 2017 - The Miami-Dade CCIM District is excited to announce this timely, cutting edge lunch seminar focusing on two very pressing and unique South Florida environmental concerns that real estate professionals are increasingly confronted with when negotiating deals - chemical contamination and sea level rise.  

We are fortunate to have two experienced legal practitioners to speak to these issues and provide insight into how CCIMs' and their guests can successfully navigate the challenges, recognize and take advantage of the opportunities, and advise buyers and sellers regading negotiations resulting in a successful closing. 

Michael R. Goldstein is the Managing Partner of The Goldstein Environmental Law Firm, P.A. in downtown Miami, FL. Michel R. Goldstein is a Martindale Hubble AV Preeminent and Chambers & Partners rated attorney and the Managing Partner of The Goldstein Environmental Law Firm, P.A., a boutique Florida environmental practice focusing on property transactions, Brownfields redevelopment, pollution assessment and remediation, facility permitting, compliance assurance, defense of regulatory enforcement proceedings, and environmental based economic incentives. Michael's practice over the past 25 years has emphasized helping clients navigate environmental risk and liability risk issues associated with buying, selling, financing, building on, and otherwise reusing properties impacted by contamination. 

Wayne Pathman, the Managing Partner of Pathman Lewis, LLP will be on the panel of speakers.

Wayne M. Pathman is managing partner of Miami-based Pathman Lewis. He is one of Florida’s distinguished lawyers with more than 30 years’ experience. Mr. Pathman heads the firm’s Land Use, Zoning, and Environmental Law Section. He is the Chair of the City of Miami’s Sea Level Rise Committee and the Chair of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce.

Wayne M. Pathman, Esq. 
Mr. Pathman represents businesses, developers and individuals before administrative and regulatory bodies at the municipal, state, and federal levels in land use, zoning, and environmental matters. He is a leading authority and lecturer on issues regarding water law. 

To sign up for the event, please click here.

Early registration is recommended due to high demand and limited seating.

The meeting will be held at Morton's Steakouse in the BAC Colonnade Building in Coral Gables, one block north of Miracle Mile on the east side of Ponce de Leon. 

2017 Outlook Commercial Real Estate Conference

Coral Gables - January 18, 2017

The CCIM Institute Miami-Dade District hosted the event "Storms on the Horizon"  with 320 guests in attendance at the Coral Gables Country Club.  This annual Outlook Commercial Real Estate Conference was chaired by Paul White, CCIM. 

National CCIM President Robin L. Webb and CCIM State Chapter President Scott Lloyd were present.   

The conference featured economist George Ratiu, Director of Quantitative & Commercial Research with the National Association of REALTORS® in Washington, D.C.  Mr. Ratiu spoke about the local and national economy and expects the commercial and residential real estate industry to "continue its upward performance" this year despite Miami's large inventory of luxury condominiums.  Much of the optimism is fueled by South Florida's large population growth and low unemployment rate, Ratiu said. 

TotalBank was the Grand Sponsor for the 7th year, and Ten-X was the Platinum Sponsor. Ten-X also hosted a "The Night Before" party at Graziano's in Coral Gables. Ramon M. Rodriguez, EVP of TotalBank addressed the CCIM group along with Ten-X's Justin Latour and Marc Whol. Gold Sponsors included: Allied Building Inspection ServicesCoconut Grove Bank.

Speakers on Miami-Dade commercial real estate sectors included the following:
The local economy and issues pertaining to Miami were covered by Tom Hudson, WLRN .      
Britt J. Rosen, President CCIM Miami-Dade District

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Xceligent – Welcome to Miami

August 9th - Coral Gables

The CCIM Miami-Dade-Monroe District hosted its monthly meeting at Morton’s Steakhouse in Coral Gables.

The topic was the commercial real estate company Xceligent, and its emergence into the Miami-Dade market.  Xceligent is a leading provider of proactively researched and verified commercial real estate property and listing information.

Wayne D’Amico, CCIM speaks to Miami CCIMsWayne is a Past President of the CCIM Institute

Two presentations were made. The first by Danny Rice, the Regional VP of Sales for the Florida market; the second by Wayne D’Amico, the Executive Vice President of Corporate Development & Strategic Relations. Also in attendance were Francisco Jaramillo and Ana Isabel Besu, Directors of Client Services and Sales, and Peter Morris, Director of Analytics.

Xceligent is a leading provider of commercial real estate information across the United States. Their research team pro-actively collects:
  • Comprehensive inventory of commercial properties
  • Buildings available for lease and sale
  • Tenant information
  • Sales and lease comparables
  • Historical market analytics on vacancy, absorption and lease rates

Danny Rice, Regional VP - Exceligent
This invaluable information assists real estate professionals, appraisers, owners, investors, banks and developers that make strategic commercial real estate decisions. 

One of the main questions posed was: How does Exceligent differentiate itself from Costar.  The response included: 
  • Analytics: Results in industry endorsed market analytics
  • Certification: Provides a level of transparency and detail unseen before such as future vacancy and future occupancy.
  • Move-in / Move-out: Secures the most accurate source of tenant move-in and move-out data.
  • Data Strategies: Work with brokerage companies to establish the most efficient flow of information.

Xceligent, a leading provider of commercial real estate information, makes a powerful entrance into the Miami market as the sole challenger to Co-Star.

Carlos Rodriguez Jr. // KW Commercial