Edward Joffe, J.D.

Commercial Realtor

 Dadeland Mall goes to war against a white toy poodle, Shiloh

 The law suit arose out of an incident on November 14, 2010, at the Dadeland Mall - the plaintiff, Gladys M.  Cordoves, had a confrontation with security personnel that ended with her arrest. The incident was precipitated by the presence of Shiloh, a small dog Cordoves was toting in a stroller while shopping with her mother and daughter. The following facts—many of which are disputed—was presented by Ms. Cordoves.

  Cordoves suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”), a psychiatric condition that causes her to experience, among other symptoms, severe panic attacks. Her PTSD was induced by an automobile accident in 1999: Cordoves was in a car with her daughter, Barbara Cordoves (“Barbara”), when an automobile attached to a tractor-trailer in front of them broke loose from its moorings and crashed down onto the hood of Cordoves’s car, trapping her inside. Cordoves has been seeing psychiatrists to help her cope with her PTSD, but her panic attacks still sometimes require hospitalization, and she has been unable to work.

 In 2007, Cordoves began psychiatric treatment with Dr. Cuervo, who diagnosed Cordoves with PTSD, severe panic disorder, and major depression recurrent.  According to Cordoves, on May 4, 2009, Dr. Cuervo recommended she get a service dog to help her cope with her PTSD and depression.  Cordoves and her daughter Barbara then spent about seven months looking for a service dog. Barbara contacted organizations that bred and trained service dogs, but the organizations had long waiting lists, and their services were expensive.  Cordoves and Barbara therefore decided to purchase and train a dog on their own.

 On December 13, 2009, at a pet store called Cute Puppies, Cordoves purchased Shiloh, a white toy poodle, because “there was an immediate connection and bond between” them.  Shiloh was ten weeks old, with no prior training other than potty training. Despite his lack of prior training, from the very beginning of their relationship, Shiloh could detect the onset of panic attacks in Cordoves. Whether Shiloh is next to Cordoves, on the floor, in a stroller, or even in another room, once he detects an impending panic attack, he runs over to Cordoves, jumps onto her lap, and applies a pressurized, massage-like licking pattern to the left side of her body.  He also paws on Cordoves, nudges her chin, and yelps to get the attention of Barbara. Cordoves claims Shiloh’s alerts minimize or alleviate her panic attacks, which have decreased in frequency and severity ever since Shiloh became part of her life.  

 On November 14, 2010, Cordoves, Barbara, and Cordoves’s mother went to Dadeland Mall and brought Shiloh along in a stroller.  After entering the mall through JC Penney—outside of which they had parked their car—they headed to the food court to grab a bite to eat. Cordoves took a seat at a table with Shiloh and her mother, and Barbara went to Johnny Rockets to order some food.   While Barbara was away, security guard Alex Caminero (“Caminero”), an employee of Valor (an independent contract of Dadeland Mall which provided security services), approached Cordoves and told her she had to leave the mall because pets were not allowed. Cordoves responded that Shiloh is a service dog, but Caminero ignored her and again demanded she leave the mall.  

 At that point, Barbara approached and asked Caminero what the problem was.  Caminero again explained pets were not allowed in the mall.  He then led Barbara to a nearby sign, which stated no pets were allowed.  According to Cordoves, the sign did not indicate any exception for service dogs.  Barbara and Caminero returned to where Cordoves was, and Caminero again ordered them to leave the mall.

 The parties agree Cordoves then asked to speak with Caminero’s supervisor and started trying to read something on Caminero’s sleeve, but Caminero kept turning away.  Cordoves claims she was trying to see if Caminero had any identification displayed on his clothing, but after he kept turning away, he “spontaneously yelled out ‘don’t touch me’ while he grabbed his clothes and pulled them to make it appear the Cordoves women had disheveled his clothing.” Defendants, in contrast, assert Cordoves got angry, “called him a monkey because ‘he was from the Dominican Republic,’ ” and then Cordoves and Barbara “began pulling on his shirt.”  

 At that point, Cordoves, her mother, and Barbara decided to heed Caminero’s directive to leave the mall, so they headed in the direction of JC Penney, near where their car was parked.  As they walked away, Caminero followed them while “speaking into [his walkie-talkie] saying things that the Cordoves women could not hear.”  A female security guard approached them and warned them to leave, but they explained they were heading to the exit where they had parked. Soon enough, they were surrounded by a number of other security guards, at which point Pompee, an off-duty Miami–Dade County police officer working at the mall, arrived.

 Encounter with Pompee

Caminero told Pompee that Cordoves was not following his order to leave the mall on the basis pets were not allowed.  Another security guard, Dwain Pratt, told Pompee, “we need to move them out of the Mall.”  Pompee asked Caminero if Caminero wanted Pompee “to arrest her (meaning Gladys Cordoves) for hitting [him],” to which Caminero responded, “Yes.”  Cordoves asked Pompee if he had seen Cordoves hit Caminero, but Pompee said he did not have to see that happen to arrest her.

 According to Cordoves, “[e]verything happened very fast.”  First, “Pompee ... immediately grabbed forcefully and painfully on ... Cordoves[’s] right wrist.”  Then he “grabbed the left forearm area forcefully causing pain and bruising on the forearm of Ms. Cordoves.”  He “then spun Ms. Cordoves around so that her back was to him. He pulled both of [her] arm[s] up against her joint causing pain and injury. He then placed her in a bear hug and began squeezing her extremely hard causing pain.”  Next, Pompee lifted her up and “began pulling her back in the direction of the food court.”

 As Pompee carried her in his arms, with her back to him, “she began to sweat, became pale and proceeded to appear that she would pass out.” (Id. ¶ 156). Next, “Pompee slammed Ms. Cordoves into the Godiva [Chocolatier store] window causing it to vibrate”, but the glass did not shatter, nor was Cordoves cut. Cordoves then told Pompee “she was disabled, that she was not feeling well”, but she never told him what her disability was.   With her back still turned to him so that he could not see her face, he squeezed her again.  “Cordoves then lost consciousness, became limp in Officer Pompee’s arms and Officer Pompee then threw her to the floor.”  She “hit her head when she fell and was unable to move.”  Cordoves claims she “never resisted” Pompee during this encounter.

 Pompee used no other force on Cordoves.   He also was never able to place her in handcuffs. Cordoves was taken away by an ambulance and treated at a hospital, where she was identified as having “a contusion to the head and Anxiety Reaction.”  A few officers met her there, and she signed a notice to appear without having to serve any jail time.  The next day, Cordoves checked herself into an emergency room because she was still in pain. The hospital found she “was suffering from a chest contusion, head contusion, two contusions of the left forearm and a contusion on her right thigh.” Since then, Cordoves has seen a doctor and an orthopedic surgeon for continued treatment, including surgery, for lasting injuries and pain resulting from the incident at the mall.  

 Cordoves was charged with disorderly conduct, battery, resisting arrest without violence, and trespass. On April 5, 2011, a bench trial was held in state court, following which all charges against Cordoves were dismissed.

 

Miami-Dade County’s Office Market Vacancy Decreases to 10.6%

Vacancy

The office vacancy rate in the Miami-Dade County market area decreased to 10.6% at the end of the third quarter 2015.  The vacancy rate was 11.0% at the end of the second quarter 2015, 11.5% at the end of the first quarter 2015, and 12.1% at the end of the fourth quarter 2014.

Class-A projects reported a vacancy rate of 13.0% at the end of the third quarter 2015, 13.6% at the end of the second quarter 2015, 14.3% at the end of the first quarter 2015, and 14.7% at the end of the fourth quarter 2014.

Class-B projects reported a vacancy rate of 11.8% at the end of the third quarter 2015, 12.2% at the end of the second quarter 2015, 12.7% at the end of the first quarter 2015, and 13.8% at the end of the fourth quarter 2014.

Class-C projects reported a vacancy rate of 6.0% at the end of the third quarter 2015, 6.4% at the end of second quarter 2015, 6.6% at the end of the first quarter 2015, and 6.4% at the end of the fourth quarter 2014.

The overall vacancy rate in Miami-Dade County’s central business district at the end of the third quarter 2015 decreased to 15.7%. The vacancy rate was 15.9% at the end of the second quarter 2015, 16.2% at the end of the first quarter 2015, and 16.4% at the end of the fourth quarter 2014.

The vacancy rate in the suburban markets decreased to 9.3% in the third quarter 2015. The vacancy rate was 9.9% at the end of the second quarter 2015, 10.4% at the end of the first quarter 2015, and 11.0% at the end of the fourth quarter 2014.

Absorption

Net absorption for the overall Miami-Dade County office market was positive 506,085 square feet in the third quarter 2015. That compares to positive 418,570 square feet in the second quarter 2015, positive 41,918 square feet in the first quarter 2015, and positive 265,905 square feet in the fourth quarter 2014.

The Class-A office market recorded net absorption of positive 177,229 square feet in the third quarter 2015, compared to positive 237,062 square feet in the second quarter 2015, positive 92,200 in the first quarter 2015, and positive 219,941 in the fourth quarter 2014.

The Class-B office market recorded net absorption of positive 221,126 square feet in the third quarter 2015, compared to positive 123,057 square feet in the second quarter 2015, positive 7,136 in the first quarter 2015, and positive 76,412 in the fourth quarter 2014.

The Class-C office market recorded net absorption of positive 107,730 square feet in the third quarter 2015 compared to positive 58,451 square feet in the second quarter 2015, negative (57,418) in the first quarter 2015, and negative (30,448) in the fourth quarter 2014.

Net absorption for Miami-Dade County’s central business district was positive 37,246 square feet in the third quarter 2015. That compares to positive 72,657 square feet in the second quarter 2015, positive 29,885 in the first quarter 2015, and positive 88,542 in the fourth quarter 2014.

 

Net absorption for the suburban markets was positive 468,839 square feet in the third quarter 2015. That compares to positive 345,913 square feet in second quarter 2015, positive 12,033 in the first quarter 2015, and positive 177,363 in the fourth quarter 2014.

Largest Lease Signings

The largest lease signings occurring in 2015 included: the 125,806-square-foot lease signed by NCL Corporation Ltd. at The Landing at MIA - Building 11 in the Miami Airport market; the 123,263-square-foot deal signed by Citibank at Miami Center in the Downtown Miami market; and the 107,714-square-foot lease signed by Simply Healthcare at Flagler Corporate Center in the Miami Airport market.

Sublease Vacancy

The amount of vacant sublease space in the Miami-Dade County market increased to 196,457 square feet by the end of the third quarter 2015, from 195,121 square feet at the end of the second quarter 2015.  There was 186,746 square feet vacant at the end of the first quarter 2015 and 190,765 square feet at the end of the fourth quarter 2014.

Rental Rates

The average quoted asking rental rate for available office space, all classes, was $30.87 per square foot per year at the end of the third quarter 2015 in the Miami-Dade County market area.  This represented a 1.0% increase in quoted rental rates from the end of the second quarter 2015, when rents were reported at $30.55 per square foot.

County’s CBD was $37.92 at the end of the third quarter 2015, and $27.87 in the suburban markets. In the second quarter 2015, quoted rates were $37.28 in the CBD and $27.76 in the suburbs.

Deliveries and Construction

During the third quarter 2015, one building totaling 20,000 square feet were completed in the Miami-Dade County market area. This compares to five buildings totaling 78,750 square feet that were completed in the second quarter 2015, two buildings totaling 56,942 square feet completed in the first quarter 2015, and 55,500 square feet in two buildings completed in the fourth quarter 2014.

 Some of the notable 2015 deliveries include: Somi Building, a 50,000-square-foot facility that delivered in second quarter 2015 and is now 1% occupied, and 7331 74th St, a 36,942square-foot building that delivered in first quarter 2015 and is now 100% occupied.

The largest projects underway at the end of third quarter 2015 were Two MiamiCentral, a 187,000-square-foot building with 19% of its space pre-leased, and Three Brickell City Centre, a 134,552-square-foot facility that is 82% pre-leased.

Sales Activity

Tallying office building sales of 15,000 square feet or larger, Miami-Dade County office sales figures rose during the second quarter 2015 in terms of dollar volume compared to the first quarter of 2015.

In the second quarter, 21 office transactions closed with a total volume of $322,146,000. The 21 buildings totaled 1,394,762 square feet and the average price per square foot equated to $230.97 per square foot. That compares to 19 transactions totaling $256,487,857 in the first quarter 2015. The total square footage in the first quarter was 884,459 square feet for an average price per square foot of $289.99.

Cap rates have been lower in 2015, averaging 5.11% compared to the same period in 2014 when they averaged 6.03%.

One of the largest transactions that has occurred within the last four quarters in the Miami-Dade County market is the sale of Espirito Santo Plaza in Miami. This 260,000-square-foot office building sold for $142,000,000, or $546.15 per square foot. The property sold on 9/11/2015, at a 3.52% cap rate.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Miami-Dade County’s Retail Vacancy Stays at 3.4% 

Vacancy - The Miami-Dade County retail market did not experience much change in market conditions in the third quarter 2015.  The vacancy rate remained the same at 3.4% in the current quarter.   Over the past four quarters, the market has seen an overall decrease in the vacancy rate, with the rate going from 3.5% in the fourth quarter 2014, to 3.5% at the end of the first quarter 2015, 3.4% at the end of the second quarter 2015, to 3.4% in the current quarter.

 Shopping Centers

The Shopping Center market in Miami-Dade County currently consists of 1400 projects with 46,141,756 square feet of retail space in 2,042 buildings.  The Shopping Center market is comprised of all Community Center, Neighborhood Center, and Strip Centers.

  • After absorbing 31,081 square feet and delivering no new space in the current quarter, the Shopping Center sector saw the vacancy rate go from 4.3% at the end of the second quarter 2015 to 4.2% this quarter.
  • Over the past four quarters, the Shopping Center vacancy rate has gone from 4.7% at the end of the fourth quarter 2014, to 4.6% at the end of the first quarter 2015, to 4.3% at the end of the second quarter 2015, and finally to 4.2% at the end of the current quarter.
  • Rental rates ended the third quarter 2015 at $26.02 per square foot, up from the $25.60 they were at the end of second quarter 2015. Rental rates have trended up over the past year, going from $25.33 per square foot a year ago to their current levels.
  • Net absorption in the Shopping Center sector has totaled 514,090 square feet over the past four quarters. In addition to the positive 31,081 square feet absorbed this quarter, positive 138,444 square feet was absorbed in the second quarter 2015, positive 99,844 square feet was absorbed in the first quarter 2015, and positive 244,721 square feet was absorbed in the fourth quarter 2014.

Power Centers

  • The Power Center average vacancy rate was 1.1% in the third quarter 2015. With positive 2,900 square feet of net absorption and no new deliveries, the vacancy rate went from 1.2% at the end of last quarter to 1.1% at the end of the third quarter.
  • In the second quarter 2015, Power Centers absorbed negative (4,050) square feet, delivered no new space, and the vacancy rate went from 1.1% to 1.2% over the course of the quarter. Rental started the quarter at $30.03 per square foot and ended the quarter at $30.93 per square foot.
  • A year ago, in third quarter 2014, the vacancy rate was 1.8%. Over the past four quarters, Power Centers have absorbed a cumulative 20,785 square feet of space and delivered cumulative 0 square feet of space.  Vacant sublease space has gone from 20,797 square feet to 0 square feet over that time period, and rental rates have gone from $24.99 to $30.93.
  • At the end of the third quarter 2015, there was no space under construction in the Miami-Dade County market. The total stock of Power Center space in Miami-Dade County currently sits at 3,348,138 square feet in 9 centers comprised of 47 buildings.
  • No space was under construction at the end of the third quarter 2015.

General Retail Properties -   The General Retail sector in Miami-Dade County currently has average rental rates of $38.80 per square foot per year.  There are 1,072,525 square feet of space under construction in this sector, with 68,938 square feet having been completed in the third quarter.  In all, there are a total of 7,767 buildings with 59,188,981 square feet of General Retail space in Miami-Dade County.

Malls

Malls recorded net absorption of positive 7,508 square feet in the third quarter 2015.  This net absorption number, combined with no new space that was built in the quarter, caused the vacancy rate to go from 2.1% a quarter ago to 2.1% at the end of the third quarter 2015.  Rental rates went from $40.10 per square foot to $42.08 per square foot during that time.  In this post the Mall market is comprised of 20 Lifestyle Center, Regional Mall and Super Regional Malls.

Sales Activity

  • Tallying retail building sales of 15,000 square feet or larger, Miami-Dade County retail sales figures fell during the second quarter 2015 in terms of dollar volume compared to the first quarter of 2015.
  • In the second quarter, 14 retail transactions closed with a total volume of $252,980,000. The 14 buildings totaled 979,674 square feet and the average price per square foot equated to $258.23 per square foot. That compares to 16 transactions totaling $396,799,100 in the first quarter 2015. The total square footage in the first quarter was 618,883 square feet for an average price per square foot of $641.15.
  • Total retail center sales activity in 2015 was up compared to 2014. In the first six months of 2015, the market saw 30 retail sales transactions with a total volume of $649,779,100. The price per square foot averaged $406.48. In the same first
  • Absorption & Deliveries – For the past nine months, the market posted 20 transactions with a total volume of $171,103,000. The price per square foot averaged $228.30.
  • Cap rates have been lower in 2015, averaging 5.68% compared to the same period in 2014 when they averaged 7.87%.
  • One of the largest transactions that has occurred within the last four quarters in the Miami-Dade County market is the sale of 1001-1045 Lincoln Rd in Miami Beach. This 75,000 square foot retail center sold for $370,000,000, or $4,933.33 per square foot. The property sold on 9/1/2015, at a 3.38% cap rate.”