The Maturation of Foreign Investments in South Florida Commercial Real Estate

Historically, foreign investors have focused on net leased properties. However, over the last few years, they have actively expanded their portfolio beyond Miami-Dade to include all types of properties throughout South Florida.

There are many reasons for their product and geographic diversification, including familiarity with our markets, increased debt availability and the desire to obtain higher risk-adjusted returns. Most of their investments occur via direct ownership or family-related acquisitions, though they often invest with other local or regional established operators.

Most foreign countries’ economic and socio-political conditions remain challenging given the prolonged and unfortunate effects of the global pandemic, capital markets volatility and the ripple effects of the war in Ukraine. Despite these global challenges, we have seen a strong performance of our commercial property markets across most product types, which has continued to attract significant foreign capital.

We have closed several transactions in the last year alone for various product types spanning from Miami to Palm Beach, ranging from $1 to $25 million. Notably, most of those transactions involved lender financing. While most of those buyers are from Latin America, we also closed transactions with European, Canadian, and Asian buyers.

In a recent transaction, a retail property sold for over $20 million, and the strongest bidders were US institutional investors with strong track records and financial backing. However, given their institutional nature and the need to follow certain acquisition protocols – including investment committees – it precluded them from being as flexible as a private buyer. As a result, we worked with a private high-net-worth family from overseas who saw the value of this particular asset and wanted to be competitive. Ultimately, the private buyer stepped up to full price with a non-refundable deposit, outbidding all the other domestic US bidders. Even though the short-term returns on this particular asset are low, the foreign investor understood the long-term potential of the purchase (a common case with foreign investors), resulting in a successful transaction for all parties involved.

Having worked with foreign buyers for the last 20 years, it is important to understand their expectations and requirements. Many of them are first time investors, so proper counsel with a multidisciplinary team of experts is necessary to assist them throughout the investment process to get a transaction closed successfully.

Not only is experience important, but also the ability to develop the clients’ trust to forge a long-term relationship. Having access to a vast number of resources including research services, financing, and the most extensive exclusive inventory in South Florida provides an attractive entry point and basis for a long-term partnership with them. For more information, visit us online www.marcusmillichap.com or scan to the QR code.

– Alex D. Zylberglait, CCIM, SIOR, is the Senior Managing Director Investments in Marcus & Millichap’s Miami office specializing in office, single-tenant net-lease, industrial, land and retail transactions throughout South Florida. His expertise has seen him featured on CNN, NBC, GlobeSt, Miami Today, the Wall Street Journal, MegaTV’s Ahora Con Oscar Haza, CNN Dinero, The Miami Herald, The Real Deal and many others. [Contact info: (786) 522-7056 ; alex.zylberglait@marcusmillichap.com]

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky



Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.