Published Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Class A office space in Palm Beach County is scarce.  According to CBRE’s 2017 fourth quarter research, the vacancy rate for Class A space is at 11.8%.

The BDB has seen an influx of inquiries from hedge funds, private equity, and private family offices from the northeast looking to open offices in the county, and it’s these types of companies that are in the market for Class A space.  That being said, it’s not surprising that the BDB is an advocate for increasing the amount of Class A space in the County and has shared this message with many different cities. 

Additionally, the BDB launched an advertising campaign last winter targeting financial services companies in Connecticut and Manhattan and commenced a new version of the campaign beginning in January 2018.  ( Kelly Smallridge, the BDB’s President and CEO embarked on the strategy to target CEOs in the northeast because of the number of pre-campaign inquiries, and as predicted the BDB has seen even more requests for information since the ads started running.

Smallridge has uncovered several financial services firms that recently located to the county unnoticed. Examples include MSD Capital and most recently Halite Partners.  Although the BDB has many ways to assist financial services firms with relocating to the county, many simply come in under the radar because they do not seek incentive dollars and mandate confidentiality. 

When companies discreetly relocate to or expand in the county, it is an indirect reflection of the BDB’s marketing initiatives, adept ability for attracting press, and strong community and local presence. While the BDB will not claim that it is instrumental in bringing every business to the county, the entity does play an active role in marketing the county as an attractive place for business relocation and expansion; and at the end of the day that is how a proactive and comprehensive approach to economic development success happens - it doesn’t “just happen”.

Although there is not an abundance of available Class A space, and businesses sometimes come in under the radar, it doesn’t mean the BDB isn’t courting significant relocation and expansion prospects.  Recent examples of closed projects include Setomatic Systems, Inc., Bandwave Systems, LLC, and Matrix Private Capital.

Setomatic Systems, a leader in payment technology and innovation, recently moved its corporate office to Boca Raton from Farmingdale, NY.

Bandwave, a premier provider of Broadband Aggregation and WAN Management Solutions, will be opening a new office and tech support location in downtown West Palm Beach to accommodate the company’s rapid growth.

Matrix Private Capital Group is a diversified asset management firm founded in 2016 by a team of investment and wealth management professionals led by Richard S. Fuld, Jr.

The BDB has a robust number of quality projects in its pipeline which includes aviation/aerospace companies, manufacturing firms, life sciences enterprises, and IT and Telecommunications businesses.  

The BDB realizes that Palm Beach County is experiencing a significant growth spurt because of its strong employment and increased population growth; and it will capitalize on this period of economic prosperity by continuing to flex its economic development muscle to attract, grow and retain businesses in the county.

And talking about growing – the BDB, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, and the Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County’s economic development group, are diligently working as a team to make the case for Amazon to bring it HQ2’s expansion project to South Florida.  Read more about how the leaders of these partnering economic development organizations are pitching the regional benefits to be a contender. (View Article Here).

We believe that all of this has been achieved through the power of collaboration.  Our relationships with business leaders,  county commissioners, municipalities and educational institutions is stellar and we are extremely appreciative of all leaders rallying around our economic development programs. Together, we all win in Palm Beach County.