Leasing Begins on New South Florida Luxury Apartments Amid Rising Vacancy


July 24, 2023

By Richard Lawson

Construction Boom Producing Steady Flow of New Units

Developers kicked off leasing of an apartment property in a South Florida mixed-use development amid an ongoing construction boom that is pushing vacancy higher.

Meyers Accesso, a joint venture between investment firm Accesso and developer Meyers Group Partners, announced it has begun leasing for the 336-unit Avery Dania Point East in Fort Lauderdale. The apartment property, billed as luxury living, is set open in September with move-ins scheduled for October.

Fort Lauderdale’s construction pipeline started filling at a steady clip in 2021 and into last year in response to demand flowing from the highest domestic net in-migration in country last year. New construction has slowed with rising interest rates and concerns of overbuilding. But the Fort Lauderdale area still has more than 12,500 units on the way, according to a recent report from local brokerage firm Matthews.

While strong, construction trails Miami, Orlando and Tampa. Matthews’ report said vacancy rates may remain tighter than other Florida cities.

Vacancy has pushed up to about 6%, roughly double through last year’s first quarter. The number may exceed 10% in the early part of next year. Annual rent growth that pushed near 20% in 2022’s first three months has slowed to about 1.2% by June this year, Aparments.com reported recently.

Meyers Accesso’s new property is a companion property to a 264-unit one opened in 2020. Both sit within Kimco Realty’s $800 million, 102-acre master-planned development that has open-air shopping. Retail tenants include Tommy Bahama, Urban Outfitters, Nike and a Regal Cinema. There are two Marriott hotels.

Spirit Airlines has been building a new headquarters in the development as well. JetBlue has a $3.8 billion deal in place to buy Spirit Airlines but has promised to retain the South Florida operations.

Meyers Accesso launched their joint venture last April to build some 5,000 units around mostly South Florida.

Melbourne on Florida’s famed Space Coast is in the mix because of the rapid rise in commercialization of launching rockets carrying satellites into outer space. NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station are nearby along with launch and manufacturing operations of space companies including SpaceX, Boeing Co., Blue Origin and Lockheed Martin Corp.

Amazon announced July 21 that it is investing $120 million in a satellite processing facility at Kennedy Space Center at a launch and landing area once used for Space Shuttle missions. The operation will prep satellites for the ecommerce giant’s push into the satellite-based internet business.

Named Project Kuiper, it will compete with billionaire Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk’s Starlink. Starlink has more than 4,200 small satellites in low-Earth orbit, launching from Florida’s Space Coast.