Millennials Influencing Orlando’s Economic and Real Estate Future

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JLL hosted its latest Pulse360 event in Orlando this month, gathering institutional property owners, lenders, developers and top commercial real estate brokers for a panel discussion on the latest trends impacting the region’s real estate market and forecasting what’s ahead for Orlando. The panelists touched on topics ranging from urban infill neighborhoods, the increasing influence of Millennials in the market, and investment in re-tooling supply chain strategies to attract more port-related business.

Our speakers included John Sikaitis, US Research Director at JLL who shared national trends and their influence on the Orlando market. His presentation was preceded by a video on the Pulse of the Orlando market, and followed by a panel discussion led by the following esteemed speakers: Jayson Lipsey, Chief Operating Officer at Parkway Properties; Craig Ustler, President of Ustler Development; K.C. Conway, Senior Vice President, Credit Risk Management at Sun Trust Bank; Paul Maxwell, Vice President of Investments at Regency Centers; and Jeff Morris, Managing Director of Capital Markets at JLL. The panel was moderated by journalist Anjali Fluker, real estate reporter with the Orlando Business Journal.

A few trends to watch that resonated with the more than 100 real estate professionals who attended the Pulse360 luncheon are:

A more innovative Orlando
As many other emerging cities in the US, Orlando is experiencing the influence of a Millennial workforce that is shifting the needs and demands for commercial real estate and the broader economy in Central Florida.

“Orlando needs to become the center of the world for something unique,” Mr. Lipsey of Parkway Properties told attendees. “If we could develop a tech-centered but unique industry, it could be a huge catalyst for Orlando.”

Mr. Ustler of Ustler Development pointed out that video game design education taking place makes it an industry with potential to expand. Mr. Conway of Sun Trust Bank noted how Orlando is also the top market in the US for simulation engineers, giving the region another competitive edge.

KC Conway, SunTrust Bank, discussing supply chain strengths of East Coast ports.

KC Conway, SunTrust Bank, discussing supply chain strengths of East Coast ports.

The Millennial factor
Creative Village is a 68-acre mixed-use and transit-oriented development planned in downtown Orlando that aims to create a unique live-work-play community with college campuses and high-tech companies. Mr. Ustler will lead the development of student housing and market-rate apartments as part of the project. Mr. Morris of JLL added how Millennials are driving the demand for rental housing, with more than 3,000 units under construction in downtown Orlando today as rent growth allows more projects to get off the ground. The increase in residential base is driving the demand for more services on the retail front, Mr. Maxwell of Regency Centers noted. Demand for products and services that residents need, such as pet hospitals, is evident today.

Re-thinking the supply chain
The investments being made at ports across the Southeast are making them more efficient, innovative and modern. Add to that the fact that labor disruptions are not an issue because most states in this region are right-to-work states, making East Coast ports more appealing and giving them a competitive edge over West Coast ports. Mr. Conway discussed how manufacturers and retailers alike are seeking the most efficient supply chains and the fastest access to the populations they serve. With companies seeking to retool their supply chain models with an emphasis on East Coast ports, it will create new business opportunities that are likely to benefit Florida ports among others in the Southeast over the coming years.

For more information on the real estate market in Orlando, please contact:
Nick Poole, Senior Vice President, Tenant Representation:
John Gilbert, Managing Director, Owner Representation:

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