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Investors Love the Keys for Their Barriers to Entry

South Florida Hotel

The Florida Keys don't amount to a lot of land. That’s why investors are so keen to get a piece of the action, State Street Realty president George Pino tells us. (Save a freak underwater volcano, no one is making more land down there.)


The Keys, which have seen a strong recovery in visitor numbers since the end of the recession, are delivering hospitality and multifamily yields more commonly associated with much larger top-tier markets, such as New York, George says. Investors, including large institutional players, have taken notice. Last year some noteworthy Keys properties traded hands, including two beachfront resort and marina assets in Islamorada, and a five-hotel portfolio totaling 516 rooms.


But it isn’t just a shortage of land in the 1,700 islands that comprise the Keys that make for high barriers to entry, George notes. Highly restrictive rate-of-growth ordinances are also a major factor making properties attractive. George says he expects to see more deals this year as investors strive to get in. Recently State Street Realty, along with the Ocean Reef Club Real Estate Co, repped the private buyer of a three-acre property in Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, which includes 750 feet of waterfront and consists of eight large two-bedroom rental properties. Russell Post Sotheby's International Realty also participated in the deal. The buyer plans to redevelop into a 30-unit condo property.