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Report shows hurricane risk isn’t impeding real estate development

On Behalf of | May 28, 2015 | Construction Law

It may seem hard to believe, but next Monday marks the official start of the Atlantic hurricane season. While this likely won’t generate too many headlines given that no major storm is currently forecast to hit Florida, the news never fails to resonate with residents, particularly those who have lived here for the last decade.

That’s because an astounding number of major hurricanes have struck the Sunshine State over this period, leaving an almost unfathomable trail of destruction and billions of dollars in insurance claims.

Interestingly enough, a recently released report shows that despite our state’s stormy past and the threat of storms to come, development in its coastal communities has now reached record highs, adding roughly 500 new homes and 1.5 million more people over the last decade.

In fact, the report found that over half of the $337 billion spike in property values among Florida’s coastal communities was centered right here in South Florida, including Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties.

Why then are so many people proving willing to undertake residential development in the coastal communities?

According to experts, much of the answer can be found in the changes made to the state’s building code back in 2002, which not only mandated more stringent inspections, but also required all new structures to be built using hurricane-proof glass, reinforced concrete, and special straps designed to strengthen the connection between the walls and roof.

These changes, say experts, have served to greatly minimize the risk of major hurricane damage and encouraged people to build on locations where they might have once had second thoughts.

Developers are also taking their own steps in order to make their residential structures more hurricane proof. For example, many of the new oceanfront condo towers are now purposely designed with empty ground floors in case of flooding, initial units placed high above projected storm surges and even emergency generators.

As encouraging as all this is, it’s important to note that homeowners’ insurance rates here in Florida are still more than twice the national average.

Whether you have questions about real estate development — commercial or residential — or concerns regarding a construction issue, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional to learn more.