Today’s Hottest Residential Construction Spot Revealed

High demand for residences and business has developers targeting this area.

By Andie Lowenstein, Associate Editor

St. Petersburg, Fla.—The Sunshine State is the hot spot for construction.

According to reports by Metrostudy and Bisnow, high-rise residential development is surging in South Florida. Power Design Inc., a national electrical contractor, is experiencing the boom firsthand.

Nearly seven years ago, South Florida housing construction came to a standstill and didn’t start up again until recently, Lauren Permuy, vice president of business development at Power Design, Inc., told MHN.

“There has been a lot of international interest in South Florida especially from South America and Russia due largely to their economic stress,” Permuy said. “Wealthy investors see South Florida as a safe place to invest, and the need is there. Miami is also a great hub for businesses interested in working with Latin America. As businesses relocate their hubs and new startups pop up, additional housing is needed.

The St. Petersburg-based company earned its highest value of contract awards in 2014 after 25 years in business. Nearly a third of the awards came from South Florida. Power Design now has more than 40 projects presently under construction in the South Florida market.

Of the nearly 40 projects, nine of the top 10 largest contract values are in condominium projects. Surf Club tops the list, followed by Jade Signature, Brickell Heights, SLS Lux Brickell, One Thousand Museum, and Marriott’s Crystal Shores.

Power Design South Florida

“High rise buildings are most popular right now, because they can achieve the density/high unit counts while using minimal land,” Permuy told MHN. “South Florida is one of the few markets that we are seeing condos go up, due largely to their creative financing structure. Developers require a much larger deposit at contract time and then collect the remainder incrementally based on construction milestones. This heavy cash market should also avoid the devastating crash that occurred after the financial crisis. In addition, we are seeing a lot more design-build contracts to reduce the schedule and bring the most value. Developers are very focused on getting their product to market as quickly as possible.”

The construction trend not only benefits Power Design’s projected revenue, but hiring opportunities in the local Tampa Bay and South Florida areas as well. Some of the nationally top developers and general contractors are reaping the benefits from the South Florida surge in construction.

Permuy said modern, very vertical designs are popular right now. The high-rises currently being built in South Florida are unlike anything else in the country. World-renowned, prize-winning architects, such as Zaha Hadid and Richard Meier, are working on two high-profile projects in South Florida for Power Design, Inc. They are incorporating a lot of glass work and unique exoskeletons.

“With available labor already tight and continuing to get tighter, several developers and general contractors are creating exclusive agreements with their trades early on in the project to ensure resources are available and pricing holds for their projects,” she said. Permuy said she only sees this type of collaboration increasing in the foreseeable future.

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