For older generations, Fort Lauderdale is a city that comes to mind when you mention teenage heart-throb movies (like Elvis Presley’s Girl Happy) or a college spring break. But the trite touristy image of Fort Lauderdale is a disservice to the area’s current state: today Fort Lauderdale is on the rise. Fort Lauderdale and its surrounding areas are brimming with development, as commercial developers are investing in major real estate.
Even residential investors are capitalizing on the hot real estate market in Fort Lauderdale. And it’s easy to see why. Fort Lauderdale offers its residents a stunning shorefront, a strong economy, and a relaxed coastal vibe. And Fort Lauderdale is stepping out of Miami’s shadows, as the city continues to announce new restaurant, hotel, and shopping options.
As Fort Lauderdale continues to gain traction in the commercial market, now is the ideal time to consider moving your company to this booming beach city. To learn more about commercial office space in Fort Lauderdale, filter through our real-time listings by location, size, and number of employees, and check out the rest of our city guide for everything else you need to know about finding office space in this Floridian hot spot.
Fort Lauderdale Office Space | Lease Data and Trends
Compared to its business rival, Miami, Fort Lauderdale office space has always presented a more affordable alternative. Although Fort Lauderdale is growing rapidly, the average asking rent an office in the broader Fort Lauderdale area is $31 per square foot — nearly 20 percent below Miami’s average of $38 per square foot.
However, it’s worth noting that commercial rent in Fort Lauderdale’s buzzing downtown is much higher compared to its surrounding suburbs. In Fort Lauderdale’s central business district, Class A office space averages $47 per square foot; whereas Class A commercial properties in the suburbs cost closer to $31 per square foot. The disparity is similar when you combine Class A and Class B office space rates, as the overall average asking rate for a commercial property in Fort Lauderdale’s central business district is $43 per square foot, compared to $28 per square foot in Fort Lauderdale’s suburbs.
Despite the rental rate discrepancy between central and suburban Fort Lauderdale, areas both inside and outside of the city center continue to show signs of commercial growth. In the Downtown area, major real estate transactions are taking place. In 2018, KEMET Corporation signed a lease at 1 East Broward for a 45,000 square feet office space. Likewise, growing company Spaces leased a 32,000 square feet corporate space in trendy in Las Olas Square part of Downtown.
Outside of Downtown Fort Lauderdale, other areas are gaining traction. In the neighboring in SW Broward area, developers are planning to break ground on a major project called “The Edison.” Other significant commercial projects in this submarket are already well underway, like the 56,700-square-foot campus for Miramar Tech Center.
Watching Commercial Real Estate Growth in Fort Lauderdale
Over the past three years, commercial real estate rents in Fort Lauderdale have risen steadily. For companies who are considering relocating their businesses to the Fort Lauderdale area, this is good news. In the past decade, data shows that the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance “has helped create or retain more than 28,000 direct jobs that generated an estimated $12.3 billion in annual economic impact for Broward County.”
Major transactions are making a notable impact on the area’s economic health. For instance, luxury car rental company, Sixt Rent A Car, recently established a corporate headquarters in Fort Lauderdale. This move is predicted to result in 300 new jobs for Fort Lauderdale’s workforce, and it’s expected to bring in $10.4 million in capital investment for Broward County.
With a healthy, growing economy, now is a great time to set up shop in Fort Lauderdale. And our brokers are here to help.
Popular Sub-Markets to Rent Fort Lauderdale Office Space
If you need help deciding which part of Fort Lauderdale is best for your company, here’s an insider look at different areas around the downtown core.
As the city’s central business district, Downtown Fort Lauderdale is the most desirable place to lease commercial properties in the area. There’s a growing demand for new Class A office space in the area, but Downtown is also thriving due to its significant luxury development. There’s an influx of new residents and visitors flocking to Downtown Fort Lauderdale, which has resulted in new waterfront eateries, shopping centers, and high-rise apartments. The wealth of beachfront amenities encourages a positive work-life balance, making Downtown an area that provides employees with amenities to thrive both in and out of the office.
Cypress Creek boasts more commercial office space than any other sub-market in Fort Lauderdale, including Downtown’s central business district. The Cypress Creek corridor attracts big name companies with its key transportation advantages, which include quick access to the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, Interstate 95, and the Cypress Creek Tri-Rail station. Current commercial tenants in Cypress Creek include Microsoft, Trividia Health, Hotwire Communications, and Zimmerman Advertising.
Another up-and-coming area, Fort Lauderdale’s SW Broward district has the lowest vacancy rates in the area. With a total vacancy rate that hovers just above 7%, commercial office space in SW Broward rivals other suburban areas in terms of desirability. And as a bonus? The average direct asking rent for commercial properties in SW Broward is $33 per square foot, a substantial $10 per square foot less than Downtown Fort Lauderdale.
A mere 15 minutes outside of Downtown Fort Lauderdale, Plantation remains another popular option for companies looking to save cost on rent, without sacrificing ample office space. As the geographic heart of Fort Lauderdale’s Broward County, employees in Plantation residents enjoy direct access to Florida’s Turnpike, I-595, and the interstate highway system.
Not sure about the differences between Class A and Class B office spaces? What about triple net leases and tenant improvement allowance? Check out our Leasopedia and Types of Office Space guide for more about the office space leasing process.
Transportation in Fort Lauderdale
Fort Lauderdale’s transportation system is robust and easy to navigate. Several systems work together to offer commuters access to buses, a rail system, a bike share program, and water taxis.
While many employees do take advantage of public transportation options in Fort Lauderdale, this city has something that many other Florida metropolitan areas lack: short commute times. According to an analysis of Census data, Fort Lauderdale ranks in the top 10 Florida cities with the fastest average commuting times. Most employees are able to drive from home to work in under half an hour, a perk that could attract prospective talent to the area.
And transportation could be getting easier. Brightline, a popular, privately-owned train company, is revolutionizing inter-state travel. The diesel-electric trains already carry passengers from Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach, and there are plans to extend the train’s service from Miami to West Palm Beach — with a stopover station in Fort Lauderdale.