Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

ORLANDO-Although he feels Central Florida’s economy is largely insulated from a full-blown recession, George D. Livingston, one of the area’s longtime senior developers and investors, says one runaway horse that won’t be roped easily is the cost of developable land. It’s going higher every day.

“Land prices have stabilized nationally, but while the trend is also evident in Central Florida, there is a marked shortage of land where development is currently permitted,” Livingston tells GlobeSt.com. “Clearly, higher land prices are imminent.”

GlobeSt.com research finds average asking prices for dirt in established metro Orlando industrial parks are $2 per sf in sites such as the 1,350-acre Orlando Airport Industrial Park to $12 per sf in high-profile locations such as the 21-year-old, 1,800-acre MetroWest mixed-use development near Universal Orlando.

Livingston also notes construction costs remain high. “Receding labor and lumber costs caused by a leveling off of major construction activity has been more than offset by high prices for petroleum products,” the developer says. “The overall cost is declining, however.”

The build-to-suit market has slowed nationally. “This is reflected here in Central Florida as well,” Livingston says. “Prospective tenants are more modest in their space requirements and tend to follow their business budget more carefully.”

Sophisticated developers are overcoming the economic hurdles and planning for the recovery by providing “cutting-edge technology,” Livingston says. “Broadband access and energy availability figure prominently, as do high parking ratios, high clear spans, flat floors, flexibility and increased amenities.”

The developer remains upbeat on the national economy. “It is my view that the economy will turn up early next year,” he tells GlobeSt.com. And when it does, real estate investment trusts will be in a favorable position again, Livingston feels.

“Reits have shown an excellent total return and beat the market over the last year,” he says. “This is an indication of better things to come.”

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

Dig Deeper

GlobeSt. NET LEASE Spring 2021Event

This conference brings together the industry's most influential & knowledgeable real estate executives from the net lease sector.

Get More Information

GlobeSt. NET LEASE Awards 2021Event

These awards honor the industry's most influential and knowledgeable real estate executives from the net lease sector.

Get More Information


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.