Orlando, Florida, a city with an economy that is largely dependent on tourism and construction, was hit hard during the recent recession. “We were almost considered a pariah,” says Melissa Marcolini-Quinn, referring to financing for projects during and immediately following the recession.
Marcolini-Quinn, the senior director and SVP of NorthMarq’s Central Florida operations, stated that there were still many Orlando submarkets with strong performance during the recession, and to see so many lenders shy away from Florida at large was frustrating.
Despite these adversities, the days of financial hardship and instability due to the recent financial crisis have largely passed. Today, Orlando’s unemployment rate is below not only Florida’s average, but also the national unemployment rate. While some of this rebound can be attributed to an uptick in the tourism industry, much of it is due to a resurgence in the construction industry.
Marcolini-Quinn has speculated that construction and real estate markets are making a comeback across the board, from single family residential to commercial markets, as well as in multi-family buildings. Bobby Palta, a vice president with CBRE, has noted that retail real estate is also on the rebound, and that differing retail submarkets offer advantages for everyone involved. For example, pricing for class A product rents are at record highs, largely supportive of a landlords market. However, class C product is exactly the opposite, with lower prices supportive of a tenant’s market.