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Four Seasons to Brand Fort Capital’s Luxury Oceanfront Mixed-Use Project

3 Feb 2014, 9:36 am

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Fort Capital, has entered an agreement with Four Seasons to brand and manage The Surf Club, a luxury mixed-use property currently under construction on 9-acres of surfside land that Fort Capital acquired in 2012. Development started on the buildings in fall 2013 with Coastal Construction serving as general contractor. The project is on schedule to be completed in early 2016.

The project includes a state-of-the-art hotel as well as a luxury residential component, both designed by Richard Meier & Partners and KKAID. Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club will have approximately 80 rooms, and incorporate a historic Russell Pancoast-designed building. The Surf Club Four Seasons Private Residences will comprise 150 homes and penthouses in two 12-story towers, ranging from 1,200 to 8000 square feet in size. The residences with up to 20-foot ceiling heights, floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding glass doors feature 12-foot-deep terraces.

CEO of Fort Capital Nadim Achi is confident regarding the partnership with Four Seasons, highlighting that as a result of the collaboration the facility will consistently deliver the highest caliber of service.

“Their expertise, track-record and fully-integrated bespoke service will provide owners and guests with an unmatched lifestyle of luxury and ease. Richard Meier & Partners in association with KKAID have created buildings which will become iconic additions to the Surfside landscape,” Achi says.

Besides the hotel and the two residential towers, the 965 feet of Atlantic oceanfront will include two restaurants, four swimming pools and a spa and fitness center.  40 beach cabanas, a park and oceanside gardens are also part of the plan.

Rendering courtesy of Fort Capital

ARTIC Acquires St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort for $213M

24 Jan 2014, 9:18 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Company (ARTIC) along with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. recently announced that ARTIC has purchased the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort in Miami. The transaction was worth $213 million.

ARTIC is the international hospitality subsidiary of Al Faisal Holding Company, one of Qatar’s largest private diversified industry groups. Engaged in real estate development, acquisition and leasing, the company focuses mainly on the hospitality industry and owns a portfolio of more than 25 hotels worldwide.

This acquisition complements our investment focus on world class assets in prime locations as we continue to expand our presence around the globe,” says H.E. Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani, Chairman of ARTIC.

The company owns properties over the Middle East and North Africa, Europe and North America as well.

Located at 9703 Collins Avenue near South Beach, opposite Bal Harbour Shops, the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort is situated on nine acres of oceanfront land. The 27-story building was designed by Sieger Suarez Architectural Partnership with interiors by Yabu Pushelberg, and was inaugurated on January 19, 2012. The building features 207 Art Deco style rooms and suites as well as a residential division called St. Regis Bal Harbour Residences, which includes branded private residences and condo-hotel units.

A range of amenities also came with the hotel, namely 11,200 square feet of indoor function space and several outdoor venues, a 14,000 square-foot Remède Spa, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s J & G Grill and two other dining outlets.

ARTIC has not revealed plans to rebrand the property and it will also continue to be managed under a long-term agreement by Starwood Hotels.

Photo credits: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

First Miami International Tradeport Warehouse Completed

20 Jan 2014, 7:17 am

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Liberty Property Trust’s Miami International Tradeport initiative reached an important milestone as the commercial real estate leader started the New Year by celebrating the completion of the industrial park’s first warehouse. The grand opening ceremony was held January 9 in the presence of Vice Mayor of the Town of Medley, Griselia Digiacomo, and Council Member Susana Guasch. The event was hosted by Andy Petry, Jim Lutz, and the Liberty Property Trust South Florida team.

Liberty serves commercial real estate customers in the US and UK with a portfolio of 106 million square feet consisting of 843 office, distribution and light industry properties. The company is involved in the development, acquisition, ownership and management of superior office and industrial properties, serving more than 2,000 tenants.

Located at 11455 NW 122nd Street in western Miami-Dade County. Miami International Tradeport is convenient to Miami International Airport, Port Miami, Fort Lauderdale International Airport and Port Everglades. Completion of the 147,840 square foot warehouse facility marks the first phase of Liberty’s $135 million industrial park. The recently inaugurated facility is designed to meet LEED standards, featuring energy-efficient T5 fluorescent lighting throughout the facility and impact glass for natural lighting during daytime. It has a 30-foot minimum clear height; 1/1000 parking ratio; 130-foot to 200-foot truck court with trailer storage available; 2000 amps with upgraded power available and prominent signage that will be visible from the Turnpike.

RLC Architects has been entrusted with planning, the engineer for the facility is Ludovici and Orange, and the general contractor is Butters Construction & Development. Liberty’s senior project manager in charge is Jay Ohanesian.

The industrial park will include 9 class-A warehouse facilities upon completion, totaling around 1.5 million square feet.

Photo courtesy of Liberty Property Trust

Miami Beach’s Southgate Towers Undergo a $40M Renovation

13 Jan 2014, 8:23 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

The bayfront apartment buildings at 900 and 910 West Avenue will soon get a fresh look inside and out as ADD Inc. undertook a $40 million recovery of the community. Henrico, Va.-based Gumenick Properties owns and manages the complex. The improvements include 495 newly designed residential units, public areas, the addition of pool cabanas, retail spaces, a restaurant and a whole new facade. Completion is expected next year. Architect Jonathan Cardello, Principal – Director of ADD Inc. in Miami, is in charge of the renewal project.

ADD Inc, is an architecture and design firm with offices in Boston and Miami. More than 60 finished projects over the nation confirm the company’s success on their website. Workplace, mixed use, academic, retail, branding and residential designs add up to the majority of the portfolio. Their earlier South Florida architectural projects include the Gale South Beach and Shelborne South Beach hotels; Paramount Bay with Kravitz Design; Jade Signature with Herzog & de Meuron; The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater; the Bayfront Amphitheater; BGT Partners’ global headquarters and the River Landing mixed use destination.

The new energized outdoor look will aggregate hurricane-proof windows with perforated aluminium screens and glass rails on the balconies painted white and blue. Indoors the apartment units along with the penthouses will get new carpets in the bedrooms, flush lighting, European-style cabinetry, washers/dryers and porcelain tile in the living areas and bathrooms. The three-bedroom penthouses will be enhanced with top-notch electrical appliances, stone kitchen counters and whirlpool tubs. Located between the two towers, the lobby will be completely redone by adding brand new upscale furniture, classy fixtures, a new hospitality lounge and improving it a with a glass wall that will provide an extensive view of the pool with the bay in the background. The ground-floor clubroom and the fitness center will also be renovated with the addition of a workout room for personal training or yoga.

Photo credits: Southgate Apartments


Greystone Lines Up Its First Multifamily Project in Miami Market, Near Miracle Mile

28 Dec 2013, 12:37 am

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

A new company is set to try the water in Miami as Greystone has lined up its first multifamily project for the area’s market. The financial services and private investment group has acquired a development site in one of the most sought after areas of Miami, Miracle Mile. Greystone is part of a joint venture that also includes local company Alta Developers and Strategic Properties. The three companies will now begin development on a new high-rise residential project. According to a recently released press statement, the overall value of the project would stand at around $40 million.

The project, set to be named The Mile, will be a 13-story tall, mixed-use property that will take shape at 3622 S.W. Coral Way, within earshot of the popular Miracle Mile retail district, in Downtown Coral Gables. When completed, the building will offer 119 residential units, as well as street level retail. The building’s design will be provided by local architecture firm, Behar Font & Partners.

According to the CEO of Greystone Property Development, Jeff Simpson, it is the company’s belief that “Coral Gables market is extremely promising for multifamily real estate development, considering the increasing demand for housing within walking distance of the area’s shopping, restaurants and cultural activities.”

The Mile’s amenity package will offer future residents a health club, swimming pool, secure garage parking, concierge service, as well as a host of other luxury amenities. Greystone has ramped up its activity recently and aside from this newly-announced residential project in Miami, it also has a development pipeline for increasingly popular neighborhoods in NYC including West Village, Williamsburg and DUMBO.

Development Starts on New Hyatt Place Near MIA

20 Dec 2013, 10:37 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Construction is beginning on a new Hyatt Place property near Miami International Airport. Located at 3549 Le Jeune Road near the intersection of State Road 112, the 135-room Hyatt Place Miami Airport will be the first newly built Hyatt Place in Miami. The development is a joint venture between Mayan Properties, Concord Hospitality and Travelers Hotel Group.

“Hyatt Place has carved a niche in the select service category nationally, yet Miami-Dade is lacking a Hyatt Place property that was built from scratch,”says, Boaz Ashbel, Mayan Properties principal.

The Hyatt Place brand is well-known all around the globe due to the broad network of more than 180 hotels worldwide. The facility will offer multiple areas to work and relax, media centers equipped with widescreen HDTVs and spacious guestrooms, all with multitasking travelers’ busy schedules in mind. A fitness center and a bar will be available inside, while a pool deck and a terrace will be at guests’ disposal for outdoor events. Hyatt Place hotels offer daily breakfasts and Wi-Fi access during the stay.

“Our new hotel’s location, amenities, and mid-range price point will appeal to business and leisure travelers looking for a comfortable, convenient and stylish place to stay within close proximity of MIA,” Boaz Ashbel added.

As opposed to current Miami hotel development trends, the project is a local joint venture’s initiative. Based in Coconut Grove, MIA LeJeune LLC is led by one of Miami’s most active private real estate investment firms, Mayan Properties.  Travelers Hotel Group will finance and build the facility, and one of the leading U.S. hotel operators, Concord Hospitality is entrusted with leading the management once the hotel opens. The design team includes PFVS Architecture and local architect Israel Bigelman whereas interior design is MoniOmi Design’s responsibility. RCI Inc. is the general contractor for the $21 million project. A $15 million construction loan has recently been secured by Aztec Group, the Mayan Properties affiliate also raised additional equity for the project.

Mark Laport, president of Concord is confident regarding the project’s success, saying that “Hyatt Place, with its integrated high-tech touches, is exactly the right brand for any airport submarket, but especially for Miami, with its high volume of international travelers and cruise passengers.”

Hyatt Place Miami Airport is expected to open in late 2014.

Photo Credits: Hyatt Hotels and Resorts


Eco-Friendly Live+Work Neighborhood in the Pipeline for Fort Lauderdale

13 Dec 2013, 10:37 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

An innovative residential project is taking shape in Fort Lauderdale’s Oakland Park area. Located at the corner of Prospect and Powerline Roads, 43 Urban Village offers an environmentally friendly, Live+Work lifestyle for future residents. As exclusive listing agent, The Henri Frank Group will connect potential home buyers and investors with this pre-construction development opportunity.

In a nutshell, Live+Work means that the ground level of each unit includes business space and this way residents can run their businesses at home, or live right above their workplace if you like. Because homes and businesses occupy the same space, everyday commutes are practically eliminated, but eco-friendly conservation efforts don’t end here. The homes will also feature extra insulation, low-e windows, programmable thermostats, CFL bulbs, low-flow faucets, low volume flush toilets and Energy Star appliances. Many rapidly renewable materials such as bamboo flooring and all natural wood cabinetry will be included. The well-insulated exteriors will also be made of durable, long lasting components. Drought-tolerant plants and native shade tree species, as well as rain sensor sprinkler systems and pervious surfaces make the outdoor spaces more environmentally conscious.

Overall, the development will use less electricity, gas, and water while staying cooler in the summer and warmer in the cold months thanks to the energy efficient building design. With public transportation, shopping, and other services also close at hand, the community represents an alternative to suburban sprawl by reducing reliance on cars. Prices for the homes start at $274,999.

Rendering courtesy of IDI Urban Developers


Miami Worldcenter Adds Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s Stores to New Mall

9 Dec 2013, 7:37 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Miami Worldcenter Associates, The Forbes Company and Taubman Centers Inc. have recently announced an agreement for a Macy’s and a Bloomingdale’s store to anchor the new Mall at Miami Worldcenter.

Besides the 750,000 square feet of retail, the Miami Worldcenter mixed-use development will include hotel, residential and convention space. The two department stores will occupy three levels each and will anchor the north and south ends of the retail mall. Planned by The Forbes Company and Taubman Centers Inc., the mixed-use urban project in downtown Miami is one of the largest such developments in the United States. It is scheduled to break ground in the fourth quarter of 2014 and it is expected to open in late 2016. The mall’s location is ideal with regards to attracting customers both from the local and international base. Interstate highways will be within easy access, as well as American Airlines Arena and the Port of Miami cruise ship terminals, museums and The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. All Aboard Florida’s new grand central station, expected to be finished in 2015, which connects with the existing Metromover and Metrorail, will also be adjacent to the site.

Macy’s Inc. plans to operate two stores in the complex on a total surface of 315,000 square feet. According to plans, the Bloomingdale’s will occupy 120,000 square feet, and will offer a specially edited assortment of fashion apparel, accessories, shoes, cosmetics and fragrances, and home goods. The brand is already present on the Miami-Palm Beach market with four full-line stores and two Bloomingdale’s Outlet stores. Correspondingly, the 195,000-square-foot Macy’s store will be the 28th location in the area offering a full range of apparel and accessories for women, men and children, as well as housewares, home textiles, luggage, furniture and mattresses.

The fashion retail giant is one of the nation’s premier retailers, with about 840 department stores under the names of Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s in 45 states. The company also operates 13 Bloomingdale’s Outlet stores.

Photo via PR Newswire

Surfside Town Hall Offers EV Charging Point

2 Dec 2013, 9:58 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Electric vehicle owners may never again run out of juice in Surfside as Car Charging Group, Inc. announced a new partnership with the Town of Surfside. The nationwide provider of EV charging services set up its charging station two blocks from the beach at 9293 Harding Avenue, behind the town’s Community Center.

Headquartered in Miami Beach with offices in three other U.S. locations and one in Barcelona, Car Charging Group, Inc. provides public EV charging services in a turnkey system joining forces with commercial and residential property owners. The company owns and operates the EV charging equipment, manages the installation and maintenance and shares part of the EV charging revenue with the property owner.

Daniel Dietch, Surfside’s Mayor told the press he is confident that by cooperating with the company “the town will support local EV drivers as well as draw new visitors and we are pleased to provide free parking for electric cars charging at this location.” He added that the focus of the Town of Surfside’s economic development plan is to encourage business retention, while maintaining and enhancing the characteristics that attracts residents and visitors.”

There are already a significant number of stations operating 24/7 in South Florida that can be found easily on the company’s website. CarCharging is going to release a mobile app too, but several other similar ones on the market are already providing directions to public sockets. The latest station at the Town of Surfside utilizes Level II EV charging stations that provide 240 volts with 32 amps of electric current to quickly recharge a wide range of EV batteries. Drivers can use their credit cards to initiate use and pay for the services.

“By partnering with the Town of Surfside, we now provide EV drivers charging services all the way from Aventura to Miami Beach,” says CarCharging CEO Michael D. Farkas.

Photo courtesy of Car Charging Group


Miami Entertainment Complex Prepares for Key Scene

27 Nov 2013, 3:59 am

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Miami Entertainment Complex will be developed and operated by EUE/Screen Gems as of Nov. 20, as the Miami Omni Community Redevelopment Agency’s board of directors voted unanimously to begin negotiations with the proposer.

The Miami Omni CRA has been seeking proposals from qualified bidders to design, build, operate and manage a major film and television studio in Miami’s Media and Entertainment District since September.

The mixed-use studio will be located at 50 NW 14th St., just a few blocks from Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County.

According to Miami Omni CRA Chairman Marc D. Sarnoff the project will soon bring hundreds of construction jobs as well as permanent ones to the area and of course contribute significantly to the local economy and to the long-awaited revitalization of the Omni District.

“Through this partnership, we will create the infrastructure needed to reignite the film industry in South Florida,” Sarnoff says.

The overall redevelopment is already underway with a $6 million reconstruction of NE 14th Street between the Arsht Center and MEC nearly completed, which provides streetscape enhancements including, among others, new, wider sidewalks and decorative pavement.

Pieter A. Bockweg, executive director of the Miami Omni CRA is also confident in the collaboration with EUE/Screen Gems, saying that the board chose the candidate with the most experience in the domain. The company takes pride in owning and operating the largest studio in the U.S. outside of California, which is located in Wilmington, N.C. The more than 150,000 square-foot complex gives home to the very stage that served as location for the filming of scenes from “Iron Man 3” and “The Conjuring,” to mention only the latest ones. The firm also holds film and television production facilities in New York City and Atlanta.

The design and construction contractors are all South Florida based companies. The crew includes the architectural team from AECOM’s Coral Gables office, along with the surveying team of J. Bonfill & Associates, the Miami engineering firm of Kaderabek Company and Fort Lauderdale based Facchina Construction of Florida.

MEC will encompass around 70,000 square feet of studio space with two film sound stages of 10,000 to 12,000 square feet. Aside from the spaciousness of the studios, the 50-foot ceiling heights provide plenty of vertical space too for a wide variety of productions to be carried out. A motion capture studio designed for digital imaging, 3D animation and gaming will also be included, as well as several editing suites, screening rooms and 12,000 SF of office and accessory rooms.

The CRA will reimburse EUE/Screen Gems up to $10.5 million in development costs once negotiations are complete and the final contract award is made.

Photo credits: EUE/Screen Gems


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