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Rising Rents And Micro-Apartments: Landings Real Estate President At Bisnow’s Tampa Event


While commercial real estate markets across the country are racked with uncertainty, in Tampa, things are looking up, particularly in the multifamily sector. 

The city’s population continues to grow, and the multifamily market has been growing along with it. Toward the end of last year, the average occupancy rate in Tampa’s stabilized multifamily properties was 94.7%. Since 2018 rents have spiked 38% in Tampa and 36% in St. Petersburg, and the forecast for 2023 is strong, as demand is expected to rise

What is in the development pipeline for the coming year? Will demand continue to heat up not only in Tampa but also in nearby submarkets? What do some of the top local CRE executives predict for the rest of 2023 and beyond? The answers to these questions and more will be heard at Bisnow’s Tampa Bay Area State of the Market event on Tuesday at the JW Marriott on Water Street. Register here for the event

Landings Real Estate Group President Christopher Bicho will be speaking at the event on a panel titled Tampa State of the Market: Our Executive Outlook. Bisnow sat down with Bicho to learn more about where he sees the Tampa market heading, the challenges that lie ahead and the micro-apartments Landings is bringing to the market to meet the growing demand. 

Bisnow: How would you characterize the state of the Tampa market? 

Bicho: We characterize the Tampa market as unique and bucking the national multifamily trends on several fronts. Tampa is experiencing a consistent and prolonged migration of both people and businesses relocating from the northern part of the country. As we scan our various submarkets, we are seeing rent trends similar to most of the Sun Belt cities. However, the downdrift in rent growth is the least pronounced in the Tampa market, and we are actually seeing the highest rent growth of all our submarkets in the Water Street submarket, based on our on-the-ground rent surveys.

Overall, Tampa is experiencing some similar trends to the rest of the multifamily industry across the country. However, the negative trends are far more muted in Tampa compared to other markets we own and operate in.

Bisnow: What Tampa CRE trends are you most excited about, and what potential challenges do you see ahead? 

Bicho: The expansion of downtown Tampa is one of the most exciting developments in the country. When we bring investors to the Water Street, Ybor, Armature Works and the St. Pete areas, they are shocked by the vibrancy. What really draws them in is the mixed-use development and the population of these areas — the combination of residential development, office, entertainment and retail, and young and active demographic. 

Every city has its challenges, and for Tampa, part of those challenges revolve around the potential for hazardous weather. Tampa’s narrow escape from Hurricane Ian last year elevated local awareness of potential disaster scenarios and the raised cost of insuring our assets against those scenarios. While the severity of this issue is increasing across the country, Florida and coastal locations like Tampa are getting the brunt of the cost impact.

Bisnow: What inspired you to attend Bisnow's Tampa Bay Area State of the Market event? 

Bicho: This Bisnow event presents an opportunity to hear about the latest local development trends and projects coming to Tampa, as well as the opportunities surrounding new development. We hope to gain a stronger understanding of the challenges our industry is facing, particularly when it comes to talent recruitment, rent control and zoning regulation, and the impact of large operating costs like insurance and taxes on both new developments and operating properties.

Bisnow: What projects is Landings Real Estate Group working on in the area? 

Bicho: We are excited to bring new, innovative, expandable furnished micro-apartments to Tampa and St. Pete. Our 801 Whiting St. building in Tampa and 1601 South Ave. property in St. Pete, across from the Trop, are new buildings with sub-550 SF apartments — 75% of which are as small as 396 SF to 409 SF. Each unit will be furnished with an Ori Cloud Bed that sits in the ceiling until it is needed at night and can be brought down with the push of a button. While the bed is safely stored in the ceiling, the system has a sofa, couch and coffee table which can be used by the resident during the day and then stays in place when the bed is brought down for the evening.

To hear more from Bicho, register here for Bisnow's Tampa Bay Area State of the Market event. 

This article was produced in collaboration between Landings Real Estate Group and Studio B. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.

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