Florida prepares for new railway real estate opportunity

"All aboard!" and I’m not just talking about the train conductor’s broadcast made to hurry along lingering passengers. In Florida, the phrase "All Aboard" has taken on a completely new meaning for commercial real estate developers. The name is now connected with the future passenger rail system slated to run through the state, connecting major cities such as, Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach with the Orlando airport and Miami. The official name for the plan is All Aboard Florida.

Unnamed sources recently shared details about the new rail development plans facilitated by Florida East Coast Industries (FECI).

At this time, the estimated cost for the business’ transportation venture is $2.4 billion, $125 million invested by the parent company itself. It has also been reported that $320 of that amount is to be allocated to commercial real estate properties surrounding the track. Assistance from the federal government in the form of a transportation-related loan has also been requested to help fund the necessary upgrades to the existing railway’s infrastructure.

While the powers-that-be who are behind the project seem to be resolute at remaining tight-lipped, some information has been shared. For example, in addition to enjoying the "Grand Central Station-like" design of the Miami main terminal, passengers will also be able to take in other amenities like cell phone tower service along the right-of-way.

The projected commercial real estate development along the rail’s right-of-away opens up ample opportunities for investors. Businesses hoping to get in on the ground floor of this new expansion will benefit from consulting with legal professionals who understand the intricacies of contract negotiation and zoning laws.

Source: South Florida Business Journal, "Exclusive: All Aboard Florida’s train, real estate build cost is $2.4B," Oscar Pedro Musibay, Sept. 11, 2013