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Little Havana Real Estate, Foreign Investment in US Real Estate, Jim’s Thoughts on Summer

Episode 319: 06-04-15

On this week’s show we get insights on Little Havana real estate, discuss foreign investment in US real estate, and get Jim’s thoughts on summer.

Frank Rodriguez Melo, CCIM, is CCIM Miami President and Principal. He is also investor and Broker at Melo Real Estate. Melo leads the local efforts to represent and expand awareness of the local CCIM District, a non-profit organization composed of commercial real estate practitioners.

At Melo Real Estate, he assists clients in the acquisition and disposition of real estate assets. Specializing in multifamily and retail acquisitions and management, Melo invests in and makes a market in Little Havana.

We discuss the development trajectory of Little Havana and how being a CCIM has helped him build his business.

Chad Bozza is SVP of Fund Investments & Asset Management at BVT Equity Holdings, Inc. Bozza is primarily responsible for the origination and asset management of equity investments in U.S. real estate and other selective asset classes including renewable energy and timberland. He assess the associated risk of each investment to determine if suitable for BVT’s German closed-end funds and their unique requirements.

We discuss his perspective on the U.S. real estate markets.

It is hot and the roads are quieting down – somewhat. It is summer. Hear Jim’s thoughts on the season.

Episode 319: 06-04-15 (To download, right-click and select “Save Link As”.)


Broadcaster: 880 AM The Biz. South Florida’s All Business Station welcomes you to Fried On Business. He grew up in South Florida. Has been in business here since the early 1990s and has closed over one billion dollars in deals. He’s seen it all. He always has an opinion, and he’s always ready to share it. Informed, entertaining, and connected, he has his finger on the throbbing pulse of South Florida’s business community. He’s Jim Fried. Exclusively on 880 AM The Biz. To talk to Jim and his guest, call 305 541-2350. That’s 305 541-2350. Now, here’s your host, Jim Fried.

Jim Fried: All right we’ve got a great show today. We’ve got D running the show back there. We got Frank Melo. He’s the president of the Miami CCIM, and he’s also the go-to guy for me for Little Havana. We’re going talk about Little Havana. Then we’ve got a real treat. Calling in from Atlanta, it’s going to be Chad Bozza. Chad is the SVP of Fund Investments & Asset Management for the German Fund BVT Equity Holdings. We’re going to talk about the perception of US commercial real estate in Europe, and what the Europeans are looking to do here in the United States. It’s going to be awesome. And then, the last segment, hey, it’s summertime! I’m going talk all about that. So, stick with us. Lots of good Little Havana real estate, lots of good international real estate perspective, and, of course, it’s always fun when I give you my perspective. So, D, take it away!

[music] [commercial break]

Broadcaster: You’re listening to Fried On Business. To talk to Jim and his guests, call 305 541-2350. That’s 305 541-2350. Now, back to your host, Jim Fried.

Jim Fried: All right, we’re back, we’re on with the CCIM voice this week, and this week the CCIM voice is Frank Rodriguez Melo. Frank is the local president of CCIM here in Miami. He’s also my go-to guy for things in Little Havana. Frank, welcome back to the show. 

Frank Rodriguez Melo: Hey, thank you, Jim. A pleasure to be here today.

Jim Fried: Yeah, it’s good to have you here today, Frank. At least in body. Get your mind in here, too. Now, Frank, you became a CCIM, we first met you at Aztec Group when you were working for the DOT, and we were working on a project and we came in touch with you. My gosh, Frank-

Frank Rodriguez Melo: Bo Ashbel

Jim Fried: Bo. High five to Bo. He’s on his way to Israel right now. But, Frank, you went from the DOT, from a guy out in the field, to DOT, to being the president of one of Miami’s most significant commercial real estate organizations. Why?

Frank Rodriguez Melo: Why? Well, you know, I was doing eminent domain at the DOT. I loved it, and it was great training field. And after 4 or 5 years over there, I pretty much had sucked out pretty much everything I could learn from an eminent domain point of view. Then I realized that I really was a business person, and I wanted be in the brokerage side, which then has led me into the ownership side.

Jim Fried: Frank, you’re more than just a business person. You’re an inspiration to just about anybody who can know your story. I suggest everybody look up Frank’s story on LinkedIn.

Frank Rodriguez Melo: Thank you.

Jim Fried: My pleasure. Frank, you hit it a little that you’re a broker, but you’re also an investor. I know that the market that you farm and work real hard is Little Havana. Little Havana has been in the news today. Why don’t you bring us up to date on a little bit of what’s been going on in Little Havana, and give people your perspective on where opportunities might be.

Frank Rodriguez Melo: I think before we talk about opportunities, I must say I’ve been out there for about nine years- going on nine years. Unbelievable.

Jim Fried: You look pretty good, Frank, for nine, you know?

Frank Rodriguez Melo: Yeah. Thank you. I started when I was nine.

Jim Fried: I was going to say.

Frank Rodriguez Melo: So, a lot has changed in the interest. And I think it’s really due to the fact that the city put a lot on emphasis on creating a better living environment.

Jim Fried: Oh, it’s beautiful there now. It reminds me of really, South Beach!

Frank Rodriguez Melo: Not quite yet. There’s still events that occur and there’s a lot of groundwork. There’s a lot of groundwork.

Jim Fried: Well that happened in South Beach. It happened in Wynwood. This is what an up-and-coming neighborhood goes through.

Frank Rodriguez Melo: Exactly. So right now it’s going through that dramatic change, and it’s being infused by, obviously a lot of hype, and a lot of activity. Literally, volume of sales from real estate transactions have folded about four times since the recession period.

Jim Fried: Wow.

Frank Rodriguez Melo: We’ve been tracking that. I’ve always been a guy about fundamentals for our investors, and for myself when I’m doing deals. If I can’t buy it myself, normally, then it’s not a deal that our investors are going to be referred to it.

Jim Fried: Well, seems to me like your investors have become your partners, Frank.

Frank Rodriguez Melo: That happens. That happens now and then. We’re quite honored to have that occur, and it’s a process that happens naturally.

Jim Fried: Now, Frank, last I saw you out in the field, we were at the ULI event at the Ball and Chain. Beautiful event, great facility. The facility and the location are indicative of what’s going on in Little Havana.

Frank Rodriguez Melo: Yes. So, basically, you have a lot going on with the historical side. There’s a lot of historical preservation coming along, and there’s a new area that’s just been designated and, I hope it gets actually expanded. Ball and Chain- Bill Fuller’s venue- it exemplifies, basically, what the properties can become, how they can be utilized, how much energy can surround it.

Jim Fried: Yeah. High five to Bill Fuller for doing all that, by the way.

Frank Rodriguez Melo: Yes. Yes. And there’s actually-the mayor, Mayor Tomas Regalado, right now is also very in favor of the historical preservation of East Little Havana and the benefits that it brings. Because, then you get culture, you get a lot of things that get discovered. You know, who was there, and why. I’m seeing now, from Chinese, to Russians, to-I’ll guess we’ll start having Cuban tourists from Cuba, come to Little Havana to check out everything it is. So, having a historical designation out there, and having it expanded, I think it’s something that’s going to take us all really far. It’s all very good.

Jim Fried: So, Frank, let’s talk a little bit about, if you were putting your money out in Little Havana, which you are, what would you looking at. Because, things that appeal to me in Little Havana are good commercial locations. I like the historic buildings. I’d like to buy some of the buildings, even after they’re designated historic because I think that they offer incredible values. Especially when you look at what happened in South Beach. Where do you see the opportunities in Little Havana?

Frank Rodriguez Melo: Sure. I think that the historical designations still, because there’s up-zoning going on, also. So you have the combination of up-zoning and the historical. And, together, they actually can still allow people to build behind, or around these properties, while preserving part of the assets. So, you can have a property go from a one story, or a two story, to a five story. And, truly incorporating the historical side with new development is phenomenal. And, I think that we’re going to see a lot, a lot of that happening in Little Havana. A lot of new construction.

Jim Fried: D’s got a caller for us.

Frank Rodriguez Melo: Oh, wonderful.

Jim Fried: Hi. This is Jim and Frank. You’re on with us. So, who do we got holding on the line? I couldn’t understand D when he tried to tell me. Hello? D? Okay, well. See, Frank, the caller, I guess he disappeared. Anyway, Frank, what’s been going on East Little Havana per say, right on the river. What have you been seeing going on there?

Frank Rodriguez Melo: Right on the river we have-everything there is being picked up. Everything that was dilapidated is being demolished. You got large assemblages starting by the Jose Marti Park which, by the way, is getting through the CG Miami River venture, and the City of Miami. That park is going to be revamped. They’re going to pump in about $7 million to Jose Marti Park-

Jim Fried: It’s a beautiful facility. People don’t really realize what you’ve got on the eastern side of Little Havana, and when you cross the river into Miami, how you’ve got great access to parks, great access to food shopping It’s just an awesome great place.

Frank Rodriguez Melo: Basically, along the river, the fact that it was cleaned up a few years ago by the Army Corps of Engineers, and now the fact that it’s all getting demolished and assembled, and prices are really, really moving anything that’s actually on the river, we’re going to start seeing very large towers there and access for housing. How affordable will it be? Well, that’s to be seen. And, obviously, the historical is going help preserve some of the affordable housing on the west side of the river-inwards. But the river itself, it should be a place that resembles Brickell on the river.

Jim Fried: I always say Little Havana is the next Brickell. That was my answer. Even last summer. Everybody laughed at me. I told Avra. Six months later, Avra’s closing on her first deal over there.

Frank Rodriguez Melo: Yep. That’s right.

Jim Fried: What do you think about commercial, Frank? I love Flagler, I love South with Stay Street. They both have their own feel. What do you think?

Frank Rodriguez Melo: Yeah. Flagler, funny enough, they have the proper designation for heights already 8 and 12 story. It’s so extensive because it goes all the way from 5th to 27th, on both Flagler and on 8th street. So there’s a lot, a lot of area still to be developed. And how consumer choices on where they want to be, and what areas get developed for. And then we have a lot of owners that are truly entrenched and they appreciate their assets, and they’re not necessarily letting them go any time quickly, so that the assemblages can happen where we can see large towers.

Jim Fried: So it sounds to me that we may not see assemblages which will keep it more in its current state perhaps. But, Frank, what do you want to say to somebody that’s interested in interested in investing in Little Havana? We’ve got one minute left. What’s your direct comment on Little Havana to people are seeking to invest there?

Frank Rodriguez Melo: I think, don’t get swayed by the hype. You must look at fundamentals. Because, everything goes in cycles. Of course, there is a housing crunch. One thing I can say about Little Havana is that it’s in the city of Miami, and the city of Miami is incredibly proactive in ensuring that the slum lords are cleared out. So, when you’re buying a property, you have to be very detailed and thorough in your due diligence process because, otherwise, you will have a lot of surprises cost-wise, that will reduce your return. That’s what we do at CCIM.

Jim Fried: Well, all I got to say is you’re the man, Frank. I’m telling you, when I go and I need something in Little Havana, my go-to person is Frank. I want to thank you personally for being here and being the president of CCIM, and bringing the CCIM voice to us. I’m going to give you one last couple of minutes. Talk to me about CCIM and how people get more information.

Frank Rodriguez Melo: It’s phenomenal. Our group is meeting every single month at Anacapri. We are over 150 members. The members are very active. They’ve been here in your show. Member benefits have increased dramatically. And the CCIM is being elevated every single time by our members. They are doing deals ethically, proactively. It’s a great way to expand your business, and to have a network of people that speak the same language. Because that’s what a CCIM is. You can always check us out at, and you should get designated, and you should go for the education. FIU students, actually, they have a huge advantage because there’s a fast-track program so they only have to take a couple of courses, do their portfolio, and then they become designated and pinned and join our wonderful club, let’s call.

Jim Fried: Club? Heck, it’s a great network to make business. It’s no club! It’s a place where people make money! Frank, thank you so much for coming. Thank you so much for bringing us the CCIM voice every month. It really does help educate our community. You’re to be commended on that. We’ll be right back after this with Chad Bozza, BVT investments in Atlanta. We’re going talk about the German perspective on investing in US real estate. Back after this!

[music] [commercial break]

Broadcaster: You’re listening to Fried On Business. To talk to Jim and his guests, call 305 541-2350. That’s 305 541-2350. Now, back to your host, Jim Fried.

Jim Fried: All right we are back and we are badder than ever. We’ve got more Fried On Business. It’s a real estate day. We just had the CCIMs on, and now we’re going to talk about US real estate investing. We’ve got my good friend Chad Bozza. He’s the SVP of Fund Investments & Asset Management at BVT Equity Holdings. BVT, and their perspective on real estate has been evolving. Chad, welcome to the show.

Chad Bozza: Thanks, Jim. I appreciate it. It’s good to be here.

Jim Fried: Now, Chad, tell us a little bit about BVT and how BVT and their business model has been evolving. That’ll kind of set us up for talking about your perspective on US real estate market.

Chad Bozza: Sure, no problem. BVT has been investing in the US and in real estate, and other alternative asset classes for over 40 year. It’s very involved so it involves from acquiring grocery anchored centers, and when the cap rates were high enough to create a closed in fund for our German investors, and we were selling those investments to, what we could call retail investors, or smaller investors.

Jim Fried: Moms and Pops, basically.

Chad Bozza: Moms and Pops. And, as the recession happened, we had to change our business model. We got hit with the live regulations. The AIFM, or the Alternative Investment Financial Management, regulation hit us pretty hard. We started having to really cater our model to high net worth individuals, or family offices. And then also financial institutions had become a player in US real estate.

Jim Fried: So these are European based families and insurance companies, and institutions.

Chad Bozza: Yeah, most of our clientele is larder industrial families. Maybe they own ship yards or other businesses in Germany, or elsewhere in Europe, and have retired and have family offices designated to seek investments outside Germany.

Jim Fried: Okay. And, so you’ve evolved from mom and pop, to the big family offices, and the big capital deployment institution vehicles. How is your perspective from US real estate changed? From, sort of like the grocery anchored, and triple class A apartments in-what are you doing now?

Chad Bozza: Jim, it’s a good question because it’s become very difficult, as any of your listeners may know, to buy real estate these days at cap rates that make sense for anybody. I think it’s driven by the excess capital that has flooded the market and has been flooding the market. You’ve seen that definitely in Miami, but also the low interest rate environment the FED has instituted for a long period of time has made investors comfortable with these interest rates, and think that they’re going to be around for a while. And the cap rates have reflected that. And it’s really hindered us in shifting from acquiring assets, to development. And we’ve been ground up development, mostly multi-family, since 2004. You were involved with us early on-

Jim Fried: Sure, sure.

Chad Bozza: In a partnership with an institutional developer, and we did about 11 deals-development deals-all across the country. That was about 175 million of equity, and about 750 million of costs. We got into that area very heavily and very quickly.

Jim Fried: What are you seeking to do now? I know that it’s tough. I know that you do some other investments-energy, renewable energy, timberland. How’s that going?

Chad Bozza: Yeah, that’s interesting. I didn’t really give a whole spiel about BVT globally, but BVT in Germany has other fund families. We do renewable energy, life bond funds. We actually have a video game production fund that we used to do. Manage futures fund, private equity fund, so we have-we cover the breadth of the alternative asset class. But in the US, we have really started focusing on-or we have always focused on US real estate, but we’re starting to look at alternative investments in renewable energies as well. So we’re looking at solar parks and wind parts as well.

Jim Fried: Wow. That’s very cool. Now, are those based in the US, or are those in Europe? Because I got to believe that you got a different deal flow depending on where you’re looking.

Chad Bozza: Yeah. In Germany, they were the pioneers in the green movement, so to speak. We did our first wind park in the ’80s, so that is-we have the knowledge and the technical expertise. We have a few “doctors” that really understand the asset class, and we were trying to transport that over. We’re in the midst of creating a fund for that as well, in the US to focus on solar parks here. Not so much wind, but we’re looking at solar parks here in the US.

Jim Fried: Wow. That’s fascinating. So, if there’s going to be a solar energy, I guess farm-you’re calling it a park-built, where are you looking? Are they in Florida? Are there some jurisdictions that are looking to do this? Where are you looking? Where does this happen?

Chad Bozza: Your listeners are probably wondering how do the two relate. How do the two assets relate?

Jim Fried: Yeah, yeah.

Chad Bozza: Real estate and renewable energy. It’s fascinating because every project has a story. Just in real estate. You have neighborhoods in this area-in this field-you have, call it upper-western Texas, where they have built all these grid-lines that are feeding into the grid, and that has a lot of sunlight or a lot of wind in that area and the land is cheap. You can buy and interconnect, whatever you want to call it, and you can build a farm or wind park out there. So, you have to look at the, not only just the atmospheric, whatever you want to call it, the amount of sunlight or the amount of wind, but you also have to look if you can buy the land, and if the ranch owner, or the farm owner would allow you to build that, or lease it to you. It becomes quite complicated.

Jim Fried: I certainly know guys that have a lot of Texas land. I introduced you to them back in the day, so- This is great. We’ve got the German investment funds are looking for opportunities in American. You’re having to seek out different opportunities in just your core real estate. You’re looking at alternative energy, and I would call timber actually. Renewable energy and a real estate deal. What marketplaces are you looking at from a physical standpoint? D, how much more time do we have in this segment? Oh, we got two more minutes. Where are you looking today, Chad? Are you looking in commercial real estate? Are you looking in these alternative assets?

Chad Bozza: I’m primarily focused on the real estate-real estate developments. I would say I focus on Boston, New York, and DC. I’m not like any other institutional investor, but we’re looking kind of below the institutional investor. We like the boutique deals. We like the smaller deals that have a story, that have a very granular story to it, that data support it and research support it. We really like the neighborhood by neighborhood kind of analysis you have to do for these markets. And they are easily recognizable by German investors. So that’s another requirement that I have to go by as well.

Jim Fried: Can you stick with us for just a little bit? Because I’d really like to hear what you have to say about those core markets up in the Northeast.

Chad Bozza: Sure, no problem. I’ll stay on. Thanks, Jim

Jim Fried: Thank you so much. We’ll be right back after this short break. We’ve got Chad Bozza. He’s the head of investments for BVT, the big German investment capital deployment vehicle. We’ll be right back after this. D, take it away. It’s your part of the show.

[commercial break]

Broadcaster: You’re listening to Fried On Business. To talk to Jim and his guests, call 305 541-2350. That’s 305 541-2350. Now, back to your host, Jim Fried.

Jim Fried: All right. We’re kicking it around here at the turn of the show. Frank Rodriguez, the president of the CCIM, he decided to stay. We’re having a great time here talking commercial real estate. First, Little Havana with Frank. And coming up right after my little UHealth read, we’re going to go back to Chad Bozza, who’s the SVP of BVT-I love the way that kind of came out-and we’ll talk about the US real estate perspective in the major East Coast cities that Germans have.

[U Health read] [music]

Jim Fried: All right, we are back. I feel nice like sugar and spice, but it ain’t as good as Frank feels like because Frank just told me his secret. Can I tell people, Frank?

Frank Rodriguez Melo: Sure, go ahead. Why not?

Jim Fried: Okay, Frank’s going to let me tell you. He’s closing in a couple weeks on a big property in Little Havana as a principle. So, whatever Frank was saying on earlier in the show about buying in Little Havana, hopefully you took it to heart. We’re back now, we’ve got Chad Bozza, he’s the SPV up at BVT-I love saying that, Chad.

Chad Bozza: Isn’t it good? I like that.

Jim Fried: It’s great. It’s really kind of well balanced. We talked a little bit about BVT does, who BVT is, and you’re target markets are the big money centered cities: New York, Boston, and DC. What are you seeing going on in those markets because each one is kind of different.

Chad Bozza: Yeah, and they’re all very, very expensive, as you know. The acquisition market climate in those markets are very difficult for anyone, really, to transact. So what we have done, is kind of look for the smaller boutique deals that are, maybe not inside the Seaport district of Boston, or Cambridge per say, but maybe in the neighborhoods that are just surrounding it. We’re doing the little value play in development right around the corner. We feel like that is a better risk adjusted return, than trying to buy something at a four cap rate, or a five cap rate, that you have to rely on rent growth to really realize your investment. That’s what we’re typically doing.

Jim Fried: If you can find something and build it to a six or a seven, and sell it for that four, four and a half or five, that sounds like a deal.

Chad Bozza: Yeah, what we’re doing is we’re piggybacking off the larger developers that are bringing in value to the neighborhood, and then we’re just going around outside of those and using the-kind of the marketing that they’re doing for the neighborhood, and going right outside of it and presenting a value to, in this case, multi-family tenants. Where it might be $5 in a foot, per month, which is kind of outrageous in Cambridge, we’ll be in Summerville which is outside that, for $3.50. It doesn’t sound cheap for most of us, but for those people living there, that is a value play.

Jim Fried: Wow. We’re sitting here pushing $3 a foot in Miami, and we’re barely able to make the number works. I guess we’ll be heading up to Boston to get the Boston rents. Too bad we don’t have Boston incomes to help support them. Now, Chad, what do you see in New York City? You got any ideas? You looking at some deals up in New York? What might work in New York these days?

Chad Bozza: Yeah. When you say you’re investing in New York, every thinks big office towers and everything else, and that’s just for the world of the black stones and the other larger guys that can write big checks and have been in those markets for a number of years. What we’re doing is we’re looking at Brooklyn, and we had been looking at Brooklyn for the last few years, and Williamsburg is already kind of right across on the L train, is already saturated with new projects.

Jim Fried: Yes.

Chad Bozza: So we’re having to actually expand outside the Brooklyn neighborhoods. What you find in Brooklyn, you know the industrial buildings that may need rehabs, and you can still present kind of a loft-like environment for a renter. Those are the deals we’re looking at there. We’re kind of even going down towards Park Slope and some of the other neighborhoods that have been traditionally owned, that are condos. We were trying to do rentals in those markets because they’re very attractive to young families that want to get out of the city and can’t afford the rents. Talk about expensive, that’s where Manhattan is getting pretty outrageous.

Jim Fried: Yeah, I’ve had people tell me that you can’t really live within one hour of Manhattan for a number that makes sense to most people.

Chad Bozza: Right. It’s quite difficult.

Jim Fried: Now, Chad, Frank’s sitting here. He’s glad he’s in Little Havana, not in downtown Manhattan there. 

Chad Bozza: Yeah.

Jim Fried: Yeah, exactly. Now, what’s your thoughts on DC, Chad, because I know you’ve been doing deals there too.

Chad Bozza: In DC we have a little bit different structure. We have an established partner there that we trust. We’re looking at actually doing some office deals there. Most would be acquisitions, and we’re kind of trying to source them a little bit off market, so that we can understand the story a little bit better. We’ve owned an office building there for a number of years, and understand kind of how the leasing goes, and how it is tied to government expansion and contraction. It’s a rental market that’s very tough to understand, and we really have started really looking towards other asset classes there.

Jim Fried: Okay.

Chad Bozza: That’s tough to kind of compartmentalize by neighborhood, but we like that area as well.

Jim Fried: Now, you’re physically located an office in Atlanta. You’ve talked about the high barrier to entry markets of DC, Boston, and New York. I guess Atlanta is the exact opposite. 

Chad Bozza: Yeah. It is definitely the case. We’ve actually never done a development deal here in Atlanta for multi-family, but we did retail deals back in the day. It’s the same with Houston. We had a leftover deal of the partnership I was talking about earlier, and we’re actually going to exit that. We’re seeing the barriers to entry playing a very important role in our investments, and if you look at a development map, you can get them from these brokers that will tell you, “Look, here’s 50 projects that are proposed. 20 of them will get built”. Your asset is not in the radius, but the renters don’t just shop your little area, so you got to be very cognizant of what’s going on in the whole area in the sub-markets. It is very difficult but there’s no barriers to entry, definitely.

Jim Fried: So what you seek is, you seek an operating partner that’s got capital that they can invest next to you, that can come in, that’s got good track record, best in class, or a smaller best in class, and you look to work with them to deploy capital to get the most advantage, and the highest return for your investors.

Chad Bozza: I couldn’t have said it better. Yes, Jim. That’s perfect.

Jim Fried: Thank you. Well, that’s great. Well, Chad, listen, if people want to learn more about BVT, you’ve got a website. US people. Can US people invest in any of your funds?

Chad Bozza: We have never had that happen, but we could always-we have been talking about it for a number and we just haven’t had kind of the bundle enough of the investors to really make a dent in some of the requests, but we are definitely-if you’re interested we can create some kind of feeder fund, definitely.

Jim Fried: Well, I’ve got my checkbook ready. I’ll be calling you and Harold tomorrow. Maybe we can cut a deal. Chad, thanks so much for being on the show giving us the international perspective on some US real estate investing. I really enjoy it. Look forward to coming up again to Atlanta real soon and seeing you hopefully in the next couple of months.

Chad Bozza: All right. Thanks, Jim. I really appreciate it.

Jim Fried: It’s our pleasure. Chad Bozza, SVP for BVT. I just love saying that. It’s kind of balanced, you know? Here on Fried On Business with Frank Melo Rodriguez, our CCIM president holding court with us as well. We’ll be right back after this short break, I’m going to talk about summer, and what I see coming up. Right after this. Thanks again Chad.

[commercial break]

Broadcaster: You’re listening to Fried On Business. To talk to Jim and his guests, call 305 541-2350. That’s 305 541-2350. Now, back to your host, Jim Fried.

Jim Fried: All right, we are back. It’s the fourth quarter. We had this week the CCIM voice, we had Frank Rodriguez Melo. He makes the market out in Little Havana, and he’s also the president of CCIM. So, Frank’s going to join me here and we’re going to talk a little bit about summertime. We also had Chad Bozza. He was the SVP for BVT. They are the German capital deployment vehicle for family offices, high net worth individuals and big corporations. So if you want to hear more about what Chad had to say about the US real estate market, listen to the show on my website

Now we’ll talk about how I know it’s summertime The number one reason, number one thing about summertime in Miami, other than the rain, is the Royal Poincianas. The development has been cutting down a lot of the Royal Poincianas. You don’t see as many as you used to, but they’re out there, they’re beautiful. My favorites are the yellow ones and the blue ones. They’ve got the red ones everywhere, but if you can find a yellow one, or a blue one, or a purple one, that’s what you should be looking for. If you really want to see some good Royal Poincianas, go down to South Miami Avenue, just south of Brickell. Drive up and down. It’s absolutely spectacular. Drive Coconut Grove. It is just beautiful this time of year. What else is there out there? Well, it’s green. It’s green because it’s raining every day, and the plants are finally coming back.

I’ll tell you something I’m not really looking forward to this summer. That’s the election. I’ve had enough of this. I don’t know if it’s Hillary, I don’t know if it’s Billary. I don’t know if it’s Rand Paul, I don’t know if it’s Jeb Bush, I don’t know if it’s Marco Rubio. I just know it’s a little bit early for all of this.

The other thing is that there’s no school. And what that means is if there’s no school, there’s not as much traffic. Notice they didn’t say no traffic, just not as much traffic. You still see those random knots of insanity, but it’s been a little bit better the past week and a half. I’m already kind of getting tense imagining how it’s going to start ramping up again in early August.
So, let’s see what else is there. Oh, my gosh, baseball. Baseball. Hey, high five to the Gator’s softball team. Women’s Softball for Florida. I’ve been watching that. Those girls are awesome. High five to the Gators softball, but now, we turn our attention to the Marlins. Giancarlo Stanton leading the league in RBIs, and batting under 225. Imagine what’s going to happen for the Marlins when he catches fire and the rest of the guys start hitting, and when Alvarez and Fernandez come back. We still got a great second half of the season for entertainment. Their 10 and a half back, or whatever. I’m not sure they’ll catch the leaders, but maybe they can make a play for the wildcard, but go out to Marlins park. I take my wife out. She’s always asking me, “When are we going?”, and I got all the Saturday night games for her because she likes to go out. We get our exercise, we get some entertainment, we get some good food.

Hey, you know what else is here for summertime? Vacations. Vacations. I’ve already gone to Atlanta for a quick weekend. My wife and I are going to go to a couple of other waterfront destinations. Maybe we’re going to attend a wedding that’s going to be out in Napa Valley. High five Charlie on your wedding! If we don’t do that. I got to get her up to the mountains, but we finally got my wife, we got over the travel hump, we got out of town. We figured out how to make sure that she’s safe and secure, and we got her out of town. We had a great time.

Oh, yeah. One of the things I always try to do at least once in the summer, is go to Dolphins training camp, and it is hot out there, guys! Hot! Dolphins training camp, always hot. So, what do you do after that? You go to the beach. The beach is just beautiful. You got to get out there.

And what is the number one thing that I think you’re going to see more and more of this summer? Buildings under construction. For the last 18 months, people have been pouring concrete and steel into the foundation. Now those buildings are rising. Go everywhere. Coconut Grove. The twisting towers. If you go and see anything, go to the Grove and see the Terra Group’s twisting towers at the Grove building they’re doing next to my office. Or, go to Brickell if you can get in our out of Brickell, and look at what city center is happening over there. It’s just amazing. Downtown, shoot, the building that ZOM is finishing downtown. I got to go through all the deals. It’s insane. It’s just going crazy. So, look for the cranes. They’re everywhere.
And with the construction, what does that mean? Hey, as when it’s summer, when it rains, I don’t get my car washed anyway, but with all this dust from the construction, and all the pollen, forget about it! I can’t keep my beautiful Warren Henry car clean! So, that’s my list. Frank, what do you see coming up this summer?

Frank Rodriguez Melo: Wow!

Jim Fried: You liked that?

Frank Rodriguez Melo: That’s amazing.

Jim Fried: Roll, roll with me, buddy. Roll.

Frank Rodriguez Melo: You’re a storm! So, basically, listen, the summer, for me, long days. That’s the first thing that I notice, and I enjoy them. I get out to the pool, and I get out to the gym. It’s a time to trim down.

Jim Fried: You’re fit and trim. You’re looking good, Frank, looking good.

Frank Rodriguez Melo: Thank you, thank you. And, then, you know what? You got to do all the short trips. We’re busy out buying real estate, and the summer is the best time to do it because it’s hot and everybody wants to get disappeared out of here. The snowbirds-

Jim Fried: Less competition.

Frank Rodriguez Melo: Exactly.

Jim Fried: I take advantage.

Frank Rodriguez Melo: The New York billionaires are out.

Jim Fried: No, no. They left us their checkbook. I got their phone number, Frank. I got their phone number.

Frank Rodriguez Melo: That’s right. And all their CCIMs are here, too, looking and searching.

Jim Fried: That is correct. They send their CCIM looking for deals.

Frank Rodriguez Melo: So, I take the short trips. I’m actually going to go to the town of Doris Sutton, Chicago. And I’m going-

Jim Fried: High five to Doris. I want to go to Chicago too, by the way.

Frank Rodriguez Melo: Yes. We were just talking about it, and I’m so excited. I’m taking my family out there.

Jim Fried: It’s great. I worked in Chicago. It’s an amazing place. Make sure you go to the Industrial Museum, Museum of Natural History. I went to the Industrial Museum. They got like a cave down there, you go down there to blow things up. It’s really awesome. Frank, we got a minute. Keep going.

Frank Rodriguez Melo: You know what? I’m going to go. I wrote it down. So, that’s one of the things that I’m doing. I’m going to the Dominican Republic. Hey, my native land. And Fourth of July. I love Fourth of July.

Jim Fried: Oh, I love the fireworks.

Frank Rodriguez Melo: I look forward to that. I love pyrotechnics. I go out and buy as much as I can.

Jim Fried: I’m concerned, Frank.

Frank Rodriguez Melo: Well, not so much. I know. I love baseball, also.

Jim Fried: Frank, I didn’t know that! You’re coming with me to a Marlins game!

Frank Rodriguez Melo: We got to go!

Jim Fried: OMG! OMG, Frank!

Frank Rodriguez Melo: That’s right. I get out there, and it’s a time to see the family. We do that.

Jim Fried: It’s a great time to sit and talk.

Frank Rodriguez Melo: Exactly.

Jim Fried: It’s beautiful thing to do.

Frank Rodriguez Melo: You know, Dominicans. We really love baseball.

Jim Fried: Hey, now, I’m not a xenophobe. Everybody loves everything.

Frank Rodriguez Melo: Exactly, exactly. And the beach. You can’t live in South Florida if you don’t go to the beach.

Jim Fried: La playa, si?

Frank Rodriguez Melo: That’s part of the things on my list for the summer. Happy summer to everybody.

Jim Fried: Listen, you know what’s the number one thing on my list, Frank? The number one thing on my list is to thank you and the CCIMs for being sponsors to this show. Even D is giving me a high five. You know, D got a new car from Warren Henry. Part of it’s because you’re a sponsor.

Frank Rodriguez Melo: Wow. That’s phenomenal.

Jim Fried: You see that? You’re even helping D have a nice life there. I want to thank KIND Snacks. Kind, thank you so much for being a sponsor. UHealth. South Florida Business and Wealth Magazine. The Warren Henry Automotive. The NFL alumni, the Miami Dolphins, the Miami Marlins diving right in all the time. Social Media 305, the Aztec Group, Lauren’s Kids, the Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Florida. And then we got the University of Miami Health System, we call them UHealth. But of course, the number one person-people I always want to thank are listeners. There’s a lot of you, there’s more, you come up, people come up to me all the time at events, when I’m shopping and they say, “Jim, we love it”. They tell me what they want to see. If you want to tell us what you want to see-oh, I forgot a couple of sponsors. Magnum Energy Solutions, and the Miami Dolphins. Oh, my gosh. Oh, I sold the Miami Dolphins. So, anyway, I want you to join our community, give us feedback and comment on our Facebook page. Tell us who you want to hear from. You can Tweet at me. The show’s @FriedOnBusiness. Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube. The website keeps on going up. If you missed today’s show, it’ll be up on our webpage probably tomorrow, if not, certainly Saturday.

That’s This is Jim Fried for Fried On Business. Look for us next week on 880 AM, Thursday at 6 o’clock. Why? Cause I love doing this, and D’s going to meet me here. We got it down. We’ll have a great show with UHealth on. So, remember, this is not a rehearsal, this is your life. The person that wants to do something finds a way. The other finds an excuse. Now, go out there and make it happen. D, take it away.

Thank you. Thank you, everybody, thank you.



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