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Stricter building codes saved Florida commercial buildings in wake of Irma's wrath

A little over two weeks after Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida, it’s business as usual for commercial real estate brokers on the ground.

“We had downed trees and inconvenient electrical outages, but other than some roof damage, it turned out to be pretty much a non-event on the commercial side,” says John Dunphy, senior vice president in the Tampa office of real estate services firm JLL. “We escaped the worst of it, but the farther you get into Polk County and in Orlando and Jacksonville the story may be different.”

Downtown Jacksonville experienced major flooding, according to Tripp Guilliford, managing director in the Jacksonville office of real estate services firm CBRE—the likes of which hasn’t been seen since 1846. Winds blew water up the St. John’s River, causing a storm surge. The river narrows in downtown, so the water got choked up and flooded the area, Guilliford notes. The high watermark in downtown reportedly reached up to 60 inches.

Source: National Real Estate Investors