Coconut Grove Commercial Real Estate Neighborhood News Restaurants Small Business

A Good Pandemic-Related Change

Fuller Street in Coconut Grove Closed To Traffic Open to Outdoor Dining

It may sound strange, but there are several things that resulted from the pandemic that I am grateful for. One of the ones that I hope will stick around is the increase in street narrowing or closing to allow for more outdoor dining. It always struck me as strange that South Florida doesn’t have a lot of outdoor dining. I know summers get hot and sticky and we can get severe thunderstorms, but we also have a lot of beautiful days and evenings that are perfect for outdoor dining.

Commercial Real Estate Investment Real Estate Pinecrest

Wild Fork Foods Continues Expansion

Wild Fork Foods Opens More Stores

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I had a socially distance dinner with our neighbors on their back patio. Dinner was delicious and when I raved about the meat, they raved about Wild Fork Foods, which had recently opened their Pinecrest location.

I had heard about Wild Fork before, from a foodie friend of mine who also happens to be a great cook. He had told me about their salmon and said he was so impressed by the quality. Now that I had heard about it from two reliable sources, I was ready to go visit a place I had been curious about, since I had seen its storefront in Coral Gables, across from the University of Miami.

Their Pinecrest space is approximately 5,000 square feet, typical of their store size, full of freezers and nicely displayed food options, from plain ingredients up to fully cooked. They have a variety of meat, including some specialty meats, such as alligator, yak and elk. They also have frozen sauces, side dishes, veggies, fruit and desserts. Based on their pricing, strategic locations, quality, and the fact that the pandemic has made people change their shopping habits to go out less frequently and order groceries on-line, I think Wild Fork is going to see success in the Florida market and will continue to expand. If you own a retail center, you may want to consider them as a tenant.

Commercial Real Estate Investment Real Estate

Fearless Friday

Fear Can Hold You Back Or Propel You Forward

Since tomorrow is Halloween, I decided to start a new series on Fridays. The purpose of Fearless Friday is to share my thoughts, experiences, conversations and readings on fear, how it has held me back, and how I learned, and continue to learn, to address the fears. I am amazed at our human ability to self sabotage and a lot of the reason we do so is due to fear. defines fear as “a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined“. Wow! My imagination has lead me to pass up on great ideas and business opportunities. Luckily, during one real estate purchase I almost sabotaged, after having done so on several before, I realized it was fear, I found a way to address it, and went through with the purchase, which I am grateful for every day. I will share the whole experience with you next week. It is the one that opened up my eyes and has allowed me to identify and address my fears. So, unlike the fearful sign “Beware, Go Back” I prefer Be Aware and Go Forward.

In The Shark And The Goldfish, Jon Gordon states, “Fear and faith have one thing in common – they both believe in a future that hasn’t happened yet”. For a faith over fear story and how it relates to real estate, you can read, “Snakes, Skunks and Real Estate” See you next Fearless Friday. In the meantime, stay fearless.

Buying Coconut Grove Commercial Real Estate Investment Real Estate Neighborhood News

Renovating Commercial Real Estate

Offices at CocoWalk

Back in May, the National Association of Realtors released “Case Studies of Repurposing Vacant Malls.” Although none of them were in Florida, the case studies, and Morgan Stanley’s warning that 30-35% of U.S. shopping malls could close permanently, got me to thinking about what some of our local shopping malls have done to not close or have to repurpose.

New Restaurants from Groot Hospitality Coming to Coconut Grove

My favorite one of the moment is CocoWalk. Purchased in 2015 for $87.5 million by Federal Realty Investment Trust, Grass River Property, and Michael Comras, the property is currently undergoing a major renovation turning it into a modern, mixed-use center, with office, retail and entertainment. I am especially looking forward to the offerings by Groot Hospitality

I am not one of the people who believe retail is dead. I only think it is changing, from old and passive to new and exciting. As always, those with a vision like the new CocoWalk group, will bring the change required to revive and renovate commercial buildings that may be affected by the pandemic.

Commercial Real Estate Coral Gables Neighborhood News Selling Small Business

Small Businesses Expand During Covid-19

Aria Rose Boutique 305 Palermo, Coral Gables

Yes, you heard that correctly…some small businesses are expanding during the pandemic. Aria Rose Boutique in Coral Gables is just one example. Owned and curated by Lauren Patao, this boutique started out in a bedroom, grew to a small store front and, in the middle of a pandemic, expanded to it’s beautiful new location. I think Lauren’s positive attitude, clear vision, friendly disposition, customer service, and the gratitude she exudes in everything she does, as well as her sense of easy, comfortable style, accounts for her success.

Aria Rose Instagram Wall

Buying Commercial Real Estate Investment Real Estate Selling

From Distraction to Traction

Yesterday, during Beth Azor’s Rockstar Book Club, we discussed the book ‘Indistractable‘, by Nir Eyal. In it, Eyal discusses the difference between external triggers (think social media, e-mail notifications, knock on the door by a colleague) and internal triggers (such as boredom, stress or fear) and how these triggers can lead us to either traction or distraction. The former moves us forward toward achieving our goals and the latter leads us away from them.

If we focus on the negative side of anything, we are vulnerable to distraction and, chances are, our outcomes will be negative. Many authors have discussed how we are hardwired to see things from a negative perspective. It is what has allowed us to survive and evolve. However, we can change the way we think about our triggers by identifying them, and coming up with several methods of dealing with the triggers. One of my favorites, was the identity pact. Here, you change the wording from a negative context (I can’t eat meat, I am not an athlete, I have to exercise) to a positive one (I am a vegetarian/vegan, I am athletic/active, I exercise). By doing so, you will define yourself or the situation positively vs negatively and that will change your mindset. Saying “Remember to” vs “Don’t Forget To” is similar.

This is not a new concept, but especially now, during a worldwide pandemic and when negative news and behaviors bombard us, I find it is worth remembering and practicing. What does this have to do with real estate? If your goal is to invest in real estate, open a business or expand or pivot a current one, avoiding the distractions and focusing on your goal will ensure that you can say, “I am a real estate investor/business owner”.

Buying Commercial Real Estate Freebies Investment Real Estate Selling

Commercial Real Estate in South Florida Just Got Easier to Find

Miami Commercial Real Estate
South Florida Commercial Real Estate Search

Commercial real estate is different from residential real estate in so many ways, starting with finding it! Residential real estate has local MLS,, Zillow, Trulia, residential real estate company websites, and plenty of social media posts, pictures, and video.

Commercial real estate has always been a bit more elusive. Investors either relied on their network/word of mouth, commercial agent, or driving neighborhoods and knocking on doors. Commercial agents who didn’t have properties that met their investors’ criteria also relied on their network/word of mouth, driving neighborhoods and knocking on doors.

With the advent of the internet and rise of social media, real estate investors have become more efficient in their search for property and millennials are driving the demand for more information and data. As a result, there is a lot of money being spent on gathering commercial property data and developing new, on-line methods of marketing, some of which can be very expensive.

MIAMI Commercial, the commercial division of MIAMI Realtors, saw the need to provide both agents and the public with a transparent way of searching for commercial and investment property and, in September 2019, launched The South Florida Commercial MLS.

This platform takes all properties, excluding residential which are already on public platforms, that are listed in MIAMI Realtors MLS and allows the public to search for free, without registering or providing any contact information. It is intuitive and the searching public can choose to search in English, Spanish, or Portuguese, a variety of currencies, or in square feet or square meters.

The numbers relating to the public site for November are as follows:

  • 4,064 listings
  • 3,039 users
  • 2,068 new users
  • 25,087 page views

Argentina, Venezuela and China were the top four countries outside of the U.S that searched the site and the top three U.S. States outside of Florida were California, Texas, and North Carolina.

Searching for commercial property in South Florida? Your search just got a bit easier.

Florida Life Investment Real Estate Things To Do

5 Ways Dubai Compares to Miami

You know how as soon as you decide on the make and model of the new car you want you start seeing it everywhere? Well, that same phenomenon is happening to me now with Dubai. A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to go on a trade mission with Florida Realtors to Dubai. What an amazing trade mission it was. Now, I see Dubai everywhere! Ads for Emirates Airlines, with convenient, direct flights from Fort Lauderdale; an article in Prestige Magazine, and now a good friend and designer extraordinaire, Adriana Hoyos‘ furniture is in Bloomingdales Dubai.

So how is Dubai a bit like Miami? Other than having a Bloomingdales and being hot, a lot hotter than Miami, there are other similarities:

  1. Amazing Architecture – Like Miami’s Instagrammable architecture, Dubai is an architect’s dream. From Palm Island Jumeirah to the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, to the beautiful mosques, there are amazing buildings everywhere you look.
  2. Culturally Diverse – Dubai is an extremely international city with a large community of expats.
  3. Beautiful Beaches – Miami beaches are world famous. Dubai beaches are also becoming popular.
  4. Real Estate – Miami real estate is in demand by investors from around the world. Dubai real estate is being sought out by investors looking for deals due to the high inventories.
  5. Malls and Shopping – The Dubai Mall, like Bal Harbour Shops and Aventura Mall, is a place to visit even if you are like me and don’t particularly like to shop. There is an indoor aquarium in the middle of the mall and beautiful art installations throughout.

I really enjoyed our trade mission to Dubai and am grateful for the experience. I am even more grateful that I love life in South Florida and get to call Miami Home!

Brickell/Downtown Miami Coral Gables Florida Life Neighborhood News South Miami Things To Do

Donuts Are The New Cupcakes

From bottom left: Salty Donuts Key Lime, White Chocolate Tres Leches, Guava + Cheese, and Traditional Glazed

Quick Disclaimer:  I rarely eat doughnuts and when I do, it is usually only a jelly doughnut.  A long time ago, a very non-nutritious friend of mine told me that the jelly doughnut was the most perfectly balanced food because it contained all of the 5 basic food groups.  When I asked her how she figured that, she told me with a straight face, “The dough is the bread/grain group, the jelly is the fruit group, and they are made with milk and eggs.”  I pointed out that she was missing the vegetable group and she responded that they are fried in vegetable oil!  Anyway, I digress and have made this disclaimer longer than I thought.

Remember several of years ago when cupcakes, large and mini, were everywhere?   Cupcake wedding cakes, cupcake birthday cakes, bridal showers, you name it, there were cupcakes and little cupcake shops were popping up in neighborhoods everywhere.  I rarely eat cupcakes either, but I did enjoy all of the new, creative flavors that popped up when the cupcake craze hit.  The craze hasn’t necessarily died down, I am happy to say that both Misha’s Cupcakes and Buttercream Cupcakes in Coral Gables near South Miami are both still around and are very popular.  Misha’s are still so popular that you can find them at Miami International Airport.

But we’ve moved on in the carb alphabet from the “c’s” to the “d’s” for the latest food fad.  Although they actually started popping up in 2015-2016, stores are opening up second locations and Instagram activists are snapping away.  In South Miami, Honeybee Doughnuts has been open since 2016, they are frequently closed when I drive by because they sell out so often, and they are opening a second store in The Falls Shopping Center.  Their doughnuts are works of art and extremely Instagrammable.

The Salty Donut has been around since 2015, since it started as pop-up in Wynwood.  They recently opened their second store, this one in South Miami. They too have a cult following and I am sure the reason they opened up in South Miami was to satisfy their customers in the southern end of the county who spent countless hours driving to their Wynwood location.

Mojo Donuts, with locations in Hollywood and Miami, are opening up a third location in Coral Gables/South Miami.  Mojo Donuts also has fried chicken, so I guess they are the new “chicken and waffles”.

Brickell/Downtown Miami Commercial Real Estate Florida Life Investment Real Estate Neighborhood News

The Underline’s Brickell Backyard Is Under Construction

I drove by  The Underline’s Brickell Backyard, the first phase of  9 phases, and am excited to see that construction has started.   This ambitious project will  convert 10 miles and 120 acres of unused space under the existing MetroRail into a vibrant linear park.  In the process, it will transform the real estate along the 10 mile corridor as well.