Doug Irmscher

MIAMI—JLL’s Doug Irmscher is beating the expansion drum. Under his leadership, the company has plans to double its statewide revenue by 2020, which we discussed  in part one of our exclusive interview “How JLL is Blowing Up Big in Florida.”

But he’s also got his ear to the ground of Florida’s commercial real estate market. In part two of our interview, we discussed what’s driving investment demand, some of the hottest trends he’s seeing, and what growth areas he’s focusing on in 2014 and beyond.

GlobeSt.com: We’ve seen several significant office trades take place in South Florida in recent months. What groups are driving the investment demand and is this a sign of more to come?

Irmscher: The investor appetite is certainly on the rise for South Florida office product. We’re even seeing sales activity on the part of institutional owners not accustomed to off-loading assets. That’s a good sign that the market is hot.

One recent example of a major office trade in Miami was the $145.8 million sale of Courvoisier Centre in Miami’s Brickell Key. Decreasing vacancy and rising rental rates in prime office markets is boosting investor confidence and motivating sellers and buyers alike. We should see more trade activity during the remainder of the year and into 2015.  

GlobeSt.com: What are some real estate trends that you’re seeing having success in Florida?

Irmscher: The Orlando industrial market is beginning to see more spec construction, particularly in the Southwest submarket. On the office side, our Orlando office team is representing The Church Street Exchange.

This historic property was once a shopping complex and is being transformed into an innovative tech hub for downtown Orlando. The team just inked a deal with Canvs, a coworking space, and recently welcomed the headquarters of tech company PlanSource.

Over in Tampa, we are seeing the market’s overall health really improve. For example, the recent sales of large tracts of land, including 330 acres of land in Pasco County, signal a rise in developer confidence and should lead to new commercial projects in the near future.

GlobeSt.com: What areas of JLL’s Florida business are you focused on growing in the years ahead?

Irmscher: It’s an exciting time to be growing the JLL footprint in Florida given improving real estate and business fundamentals. We expect to see growth in all of our business service lines, with a strong focus on the retail and industrial practices.

One of the markets we are expanding our presence in is Jacksonville, where we’ve added office and industrial brokers and recently gained exclusive leasing rights for Prominence, a 54-acre business park located in the Butler Corridor. Our industrial teams in South and Central Florida are closing significant sales and lease transactions, with that market’s growth expected to continue over the next 12 to 18 months. Overall, we estimate JLL’s Florida-based revenue will double by 2020.