MIAMI—It's not easy to convert a for-lease office building intoan office condo development. But Newgard and others are doing justthat in the urban core.

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GlobeSt.com caught up with Harvey Hernandez,chairman and managing director for Newgard, to getinsight into the key steps involved in a conversion as well as whathe sees in the future of Downtown Miami's in part two of thisexclusive interview. You can still read part one: Why Newgard is Betting on Office Condos.

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GlobeSt.com: What are some of the key steps neededto convert an office building into an office condodevelopment?

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Hernandez: For an office condo conversion to besuccessful, a strong investment must be made in making necessaryupgrades that meet the needs of both owners and tenants. The jointventure between Midgard and Newgard—which coincidentally havesimilar names but no prior connection—is investing $10 million inrenovations throughout the building which will be made to thelobby, office spaces, common areas, and restrooms.

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Elevators, electrical and HVAC systems are also being updated.These upgrades will help improve the experience for all who workand visit the building—while maintaining the historic elements anddesign that have made the building a Downtown Miami icon.

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GlobeSt.com: What do you think is in store for thefuture of the downtown office market? And how will it impact thesuccess of the office condo model?

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Hernandez: Miami has become an internationaldestination for not only visitors, but for businesses that arelooking to extend their reach into other regions of the world andrealize the city's gateway status. I think that reputation willcontinue to strengthen in the coming years and as a result, theoffice market will continue to grow.

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Further supporting this theory—the Miami Downtown DevelopmentAuthority recently put out a study that says 750,000 square feet ofoffice space has been absorbed in Miami's urbancore since the recession and pricing the in area continues to rise.These factors point to a growing office marketthat is a sound investment for buyers and a great place forbusinesses to be located.

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