This Week in Miami Real Estate: Engel & Völkers, Compass office openings and a city scorecard

by Andrew Morrell

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Engel & Völkers announced Aug. 30 that it would open two new franchise locations in Fort Lauderdale, adding to its list of seven brokerage offices throughout South Florida. Francisco Garcia will serve as license partner for Engel & Völkers Fort Lauderdale, set to open near the end of 2018, as well as Engel & Völkers Fort Lauderdale Beach, opening in 2019. Garcia previously served as a real estate advisor for the global firm, and before that was the owner and operator of 27 nightclubs and bars around South Florida.

“Francisco has demonstrated his keen business sense and leadership over the last 30 years,” said Timo Khammash, managing partner of Engel & Völkers Florida in a news release. “We are thrilled to have him represent Engel & Völkers continued interest in the Fort Lauderdale market.”

In other local real estate news:

  • Compass Florida announced a merger with Greater Miami Investments, a Coral Gables-based firm representing residential and commercial real estate clients. GMI’s 50 agents, co-led by Orlando and Iliana Abella, will form the GMI-Abella Team under the Compass brand, and the firm’s Coral Gables office will also rebrand under Compass. Meanwhile, another Compass office in Coral Gables led by Jorge Fernandez and Yasser Ponce has officially opened, and includes Audrey Ross and her team of seven full-time associates. Compass added that to mark the occasion of the new offices and mergers, it would offer a complementary one-year membership to the Coral Gables Museum to every client who purchases a home in Coral Gables through Compass until the end of 2018.
  • It has been months since Amazon gave any official indication that it had narrowed its list of candidates for a second headquarters location, but speculation on the ultimate decision has been constant. The latest is from CNBC, which has been touring all 20 cities named as finalists for the project, including Miami. Based on reports from correspondent Scott Cohn, Miami’s chances of landing the Amazon HQ2 deal are better than those of Chicago, New York or Los Angeles. CNBC gave Miami a B+ rating overall based on the criteria that Amazon is using to judge candidates, which includes geographic location, access to skilled labor, transportation and financial incentives from local government, among many others. CNBC gave Miami high marks for its large, diverse population with close ties to developing Latin American markets. However, it earned only a C+ from the network for the city’s “potential to attract and retain strong technical talent.” Austin, Dallas, Nashville, Denver and Boston all tied for the top spot in the network’s rankings. On the other hand, the Miami Herald points out that Miami’s odds for winning the bid are the longest of all 20 cities on at least one major gambling website.
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