New York Real Estate Developers See Opportunity in South Florida Amid Pandemic

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COVID-19 shook things up across the country, but some out-of-state business owners saw a silver lining in South Florida.

Business owners across various industries are opening up shop, but the hospitality sector in particular is seeing a boom, according to real estate experts.

“New York and Miami are two different worlds with the pandemic,” said Mitchell Hochberg, president of real estate investment company The Lightstone Group.

The developers just opened the Moxy Hotel on South Beach two weeks ago. Hochberg says business has far exceeded their expectations.

“The hotels that we have in New York are running 20 to 30% occupancy, and if you look at the hotels in Miami, they are running 90 to 100% occupancy.”

Commercial real estate also appears to be experiencing a boom. Real Estate Broker Felix Bendersky said he shows properties to about a dozen groups a day.

The interest isn’t only coming from New York, he said– it’s also coming from Canada, Moscow, and Los Angeles. “It’s been the busiest year on record strictly because of the amount of out of state business we are getting,” Bendersky said.

New York’s Altamarea Group also recently opened Osteria Morini on Miami Beach. This restaurant was already in the works pre-pandemic, but the migration of New Yorkers and the name recognition has helped their bottom line.

The weather is also a driving factor.

“You’d be surprised how many people sit outside in New York with 20 degree weather,” said Bill Dorrler, corporate executive chief of Altamarea Group. “With their heaters and their coats, to their credit, they do it. But here, it is a lot easier.”


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