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IHG Signs Third Hotel Indigo Location in Miami

24 Mar 2014, 5:39 am

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

InterContinental Hotels Group will build a new $48 million hotel in Brickell that is expected to be ready by late 2016. Located at 145 SW 11th St., Hotel Indigo Miami Brickell marks the third hotel in IHG’s Hotel Indigo branded properties in South Florida. The Hotel Indigo brand has also made announcements recently about new properties set to open in three major European cities, Hotel Indigo St. Petersburg Tchaikovskogo, Hotel Indigo Madrid Gran Via and Hotel Indigo Rome St. George.

Just a few blocks from Downtown Miami and historic Brickell Avenue, the proposed 24-story, 140-room Hotel Indigo Miami Brickell is a joint-venture by HES Group and Sunview Companies. The Brickell neighborhood was once known as Miami’s “Millionaire’s Row” and the facility is designed to reflect the culture, character, and history of its surroundings, following the brand’s tradition.

“Brickell’s unique blend of arts, culture, business and technology ensures our guests will experience everything that makes this area special,” says Pedro Villar, CEO of Sunview Companies.

Guests will have access to a full restaurant, fitness center, and an outdoor pool with its own bar and grill and benefit from around 2,000 square feet of meeting space. Guestrooms will feature plush bedding, hard-surface flooring with area rugs, and spa-inspired bathrooms. The property will also be equipped with the brand’s trademark Neighborhood Guide, which is a modern electronic platform connecting guests to each other, providing information about the local neighborhood as well as the other Hotel Indigo locations around the world. The Miami Brickell hotel will also participate in Rewards Club, IHG’s guest loyalty program.

Image of Hotel Indigo Miami Lakes’ entrance, courtesy of InterContinental Hotels Group

Marina Palms Yacht Club & Residences Releases Plans for South Tower

24 Mar 2014, 5:00 am

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

The north tower of the luxury condo project, Marina Palms, has recently sold out and developers decided it was time to unveil its second tower.

Located at 17201 Biscayne Boulevard on 14 acres with 750 feet of prime waterfront in North Miami Beach, Marina Palms is the first luxury condominium and full-service marina/yacht club development in Miami-Dade County in more than two decades. Developed by affiliates of The DevStar Group and The Plaza Group, the two residential towers will have a combined 468 luxury condo units on 25 floors each whilst the marina and yacht club will offer 112 slips and features berths for yachts up to 90 feet in length with full-time dock master and concierge.

The recently released south tower offers a selection of panoramic views to the Atlantic Ocean, the neighboring Greynolds Park, to Miami Beach and downtown Miami. It will include modified floor plans, updated interior design concepts for the common areas and feature a larger waterfront deck with an infinity edged pool. Every residence will be delivered with high-end finishes including Italian designer cabinetry, state of the art modern appliances and stone countertops everywhere.

Besides the full-time presence of a dock master, the marina will offer services such as vessel repairs, exclusive fuel service, a sundry store and dock-side WiFi.

Neil Fairman, president of The Plaza Group said the development team has been watching trends ever since the first tower’s sales started and is constantly responding to the market’s feedbacks.

“We’ve since learned what buyers value in this cycle and have made some changes to our second tower.  We introduced additional bathrooms to some floor plans, reoriented certain layouts and fine-tuned our interior design,” Fairman adds.

Photo credits: Marina Palms Yacht Club & Residences

Dell Corporation Signs Up New Tenant at Miramar Centre Facility

7 Mar 2014, 7:22 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

CBRE has recently arranged a 91,872-square-foot lease for Univita Health Inc. at Dell Corporation’s Miramar office/call center facility. The new tenant’s purpose with the lease is to consolidate its South Florida operations into one single, central location.

In the transaction, the landlord was represented by CBRE’s First Vice President Tom O’Loughlin and Executive Vice President Kevin Clifton with assistance from Harry Tangalakis and Larry Genet, also with CBRE. The long-term lease encompasses the entire building and is set to begin May 1, 2014.  CBRE succeeded in locating a tenant with Dell Corporation experiencing a downtime of only 30 days, allowing the company to avoid the cost associated with demising the space. President Jack Faintuch of Dell Corporation said in a release that the ownership is very pleased with CBRE’s marketing and brokerage services.

“As we expand our presence in South Florida, we look forward to growing our portfolio and are actively looking for new opportunities,” he says.

As part of the Miramar Centre Business Park, the Class A office/call center facility is located just west of Interstate 75’s intersection with Miramar Parkway. It was occupied by CVS/Caremark until quite recently.  The property’s open call center layout features 364 workstations, upgradable to 520. It is equipped with a drive-in door, two dock high doors and partially raised floor.  Additional features include full cafeteria, data center, full back-up generator and 7 parking spaces for every 1,000 square feet of space.

Photo credits: Industrial Developments International

A Dozen of Marina Palms Penthouse Residences Hit the Market

7 Mar 2014, 1:12 am

By Balazs Szekely, Assocate Editor

Douglas Elliman Real Estate launches the sales of 12 Sky Residence penthouse properties at Marina Palms Yacht Club and Residences.

Located at 17201 Biscayne Boulevard on 14 acres with 750 feet of prime waterfront in North Miami Beach, Marina Palms was designed by Slattery and Associates and developed by affiliates of The Plaza Group and The DevStar Group.  The community is Miami’s first luxury condominium and yacht club project to be constructed in more than two decades. The two residential towers will have a combined 468 luxury condo units on 25 floors each whilst the marina and yacht club will offer 112 slips and features berths for yachts up to 90 feet in length with full-time dock master and concierge.

Jay Parker, CEO of Douglas Elliman’s Florida brokerage is optimistic about the overall success of the project. “With such a tight supply of properties directly connected to a marina, these residences will receive a great deal of attention from the boating and yachting community,” he says.

Chad Carroll and Executive Vice President Chris Leavitt of Douglas Elliman Real Estate are the exclusive agents responsible for listing and marketing the 12 penthouse residences in Marina Palm’s north tower trophy Sky Residence Collection. The units are finished with imported Italian kitchen cabinetry with stone countertops, top-of-the-line bathroom fixtures, a complete array of electrical appliances, floating Italian bathroom vanities and frameless, glass-enclosed showers. The smart-technology ready residences also come with 8-foot-deep private terraces equipped with glass railings, walk-in closets, solid-core doors and sound-insulated walls. Prices start just above $1 million.

Photo credits: Douglas Elliman Real Estate

Amity Realty Announces Multimillion Dollar Investment Opportunities at Chateau Beach

26 Feb 2014, 4:19 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Chateau Beach Residences is a 33-story luxury beachfront condo tower in Sunny Isles Beach, Fla. just north of Miami, minutes from the prestigious residential estates of Golden Beach, luxury shopping and dining in Bal Harbour, and Aventura Mall. Its location allows for easy access to the Miami and Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International airports as well.

Chateau Group is the developer for the project, an industry leader with experience in residential, commercial and mixed-use projects alike, in both the U.S. and South America markets. This is the Argentinian group’s first solo project in Miami after more than a decade of real estate investments in the area.

According to the developer, 60 percent of the units are already under contract. Chateau is financing the project with large deposits from the unit buyers — a model ever so popular among South Florida condominium developers. The structure of the required payment from buyers includes a reservation agreement worth $150,000, followed by a 20 percent purchase agreement, further 20-20 percent at the time of ground works and topping out and 30 percent at closing.

Upon its estimated completion this fall, Chateau Beach Residences will feature 82 two-, three- and four-bedroom residences ranging from 2,890 square feet to 4,305 square feet and two penthouses ranging from 8,500 square feet to 9,300 square feet. Prices range from $1.3 million to $25 million depending on the buyer’s choice of the seven available floor plans. The property has attracted mainly foreign buyers so far, the majority from Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia and Russia.

Photo credits: Chateau Group


Construction Started on 252,000 SF Industrial Project at Flagler Station

14 Feb 2014, 9:00 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Site work on Building 34 at Flagler Station business park has kicked off recently as Flagler Global Logistics entrusted Miller Construction Company with the development of a new 252,000-square-foot industrial warehouse facility designed by the international architectural firm Ware Malcomb.

Located in Miami’s Airport West submarket, minutes from Broward County, the 900-acre Flagler Station is ranked as South Florida’s largest business park with its campus-like setting. Besides its proximity to the airport it offers easy access to all other major transportation arteries too, such as Port Miami and Port Everglades, and even has a dedicated Turnpike interchange. Industry leaders including Ryder System, LagasseSweet and FedEx, among others, operate facilities at Flagler Station.

This is not the first mutual project of the two companies; Miller Construction Company has just recently finished work on time and within budget on Flagler’s 171,944-square-foot Building 31 at Flagler Station. Dan Marcus, logistics executive vice president of real estate development at Flagler Global, says he is glad that the logistics giant once again partnered with the contractor in order to develop “a new generation of more efficient and flexible warehouses to keep up with rising demand throughout South Florida.”

Starboard Cruise Services, the world’s leading onboard retailer, has already preleased 87 percent of the yet to be built facility. The company will operate its main distribution center in Flagler Station Building 34. Located at 9290 NW 112 Avenue, the construction allows for optimal rack layout with its 30-foot clear ceiling height and a column spacing of 54 feet. Miller’s crews will build out the tenant’s interior space as well.

Photo credits: Flagler Station

102 South Florida Multifamily Units Sold in Three Simultaneous Transactions

12 Feb 2014, 7:56 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Franklin Street Services recently brokered the sale of Jaclyn Apartments in Hialeah, part of Garden View in Miami, and a 10-unit Hollywood Beach community. The total of 102 units changed hands for a total of $8.25 million. The team representing the sellers in the transactions comprised of Franklin Street brokers Deme Mekras, Elliot Shainberg and David Reinke.

Franklin Street Services is a full-service commercial real estate firm with offices in Tampa, Atlanta, Miami and Jacksonville. Focused mainly on delivering value-added solutions, its operation is segmented into Real Estate, Capital, Insurance and Management divisions.

The Haileah community is located at 1315 and 1345 West 29th Street and features 72 units in two buildings. The Panamanian investor who bought the complex paid Jaclyn LRP $84,027 per unit, $6.05 million combined.

In Miami, 20 of Garden View’s 68 condominium units were sold. Franklin state represented both the seller, Unique Yidios LLC, and the buyer, Fly Away 2012 LLC. The latter was from Buenos Aires, Argentina and purchased the properties all cash, for $1.05 million or $52,500 per unit in other words.

Just a block from the Atlantic Ocean and within a half-mile of the Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort in Broward County, the 10-unit apartment building at 343 Van Buren Street on Hollywood Beach was sold for $1.15 million, $115,000 per unit. Van Buren Holdings Inc. purchased the community, backed by a foreign investor who also paid in cash. Franklin Street represented the seller, 720 Property LLC.

Merkas is optimistic regarding South Florida multifamily sales in the near future, anticipating strong demand through the year to come.

“We’re still seeing a lot of cash buyers from overseas who see a lot of opportunity here and regard U.S. real estate as a safe haven for capital. Many of them are coming from highly unstable economies and, as a result, often see greater value in our property than local investors,” he says.

Photo credits: Franklin Street

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


Developers Join Forces to Revive Overtown

18 Nov 2013, 9:16 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Overtown’s fortunes are on the rise regarding the hundreds of construction jobs and long-term jobs a twin-project next to Lyric Theater is expected to bring. According to South Florida Business Journal, two blocks are to be developed, one by R. Donahue Peebles and Barron Channer of The Peebles Corporation and one by passenger rail company All Aboard Florida. Developers of the project won the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency’s approval for changes that would increase payments to both the city and Miami-Dade County.

$10.5 million will go to a community-oriented fund that local government officials will control. The fund will be supported in equal matter by the companies and could be invested later to establish even more workplaces. These payments are inherent in a deal approved by Miami-Dade County Commission, which allows CRA and the developers to negotiate. They are required to come to a final agreement in 90 days.

The Peebles/Channer partnership proposed a Luis Revuelta-designed, silver LEED-certified complex that would be called Overtown Gateway, featuring a hotel, residential space with 60 additional affordable housing units, retail surfaces and parking. All Aboard Florida plans to add a Grand Central-like station including All Aboard Florida headquarters and possibly other commercial spaces as well. The Peebles/Barron Channer group will build on the parcel closest to the theater and All Aboard Florida will take the one to the east near the rails.

The neighborhood is in desperate need of a boost, as its residents earn some of the lowest salaries in the county. As reported by Curbed Miami, the companies behind the projects will invest a total of $200 million on the multipurpose development and delivery should be expected three years from groundbreaking.

Photo Credits: Google Maps


CGI Acquires 55 Miracle Mile with $22 Million Loan

18 Nov 2013, 8:57 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

CGI Merchant Group LLC recently acquired 55 Miracle Mile, a mixed-used project for $26.75 million. The 65,000-square-foot property located in Coral Gables was previously owned by CF Miracle Mile LLC. The transaction was partially backed by a loan.

CGI is a Miami-based private equity alternative investment manager that has deployed more $40 million capital in acquiring 265,000 square feet of commercial real estate in Florida in the last six months. The group applied to Karlin Real Estate Lending for a $22 million loan to fund the acquisition and lease up of the complex. The latter is the real estate lending branch of Los Angeles-based Karlin Asset Management.  Earlier this year the lender already provided CGI and its partner AFIN Developer Group with $11.58 million for the acquisition of a 192,000-square-foot office portfolio in Southeast Florida.

55 Miracle Mile was built by Starwood in 2004 as part of a larger mixed use development that also included 184 apartment units. These were soon converted and sold as condominiums. The property is located in the heart of Coral Gables business district, directly on Miracle Mile, in an area giving home to several international and local corporations. It holds both retail and office space, and according to Marcus & Millichap, some of its tenants are involved in banking, medical and food service industries. It also includes a parking structure that can accommodate 400 cars. The retail component is currently 100 percent leased.

With Karlin Real Estate’s support “CGI was able to build upon its impressive portfolio on Southeast Florida and by acquiring a desirable asset with the potential for significant revenue growth,” according to a statement in a press release from lending managing director Larry Grantham.

He added that “a portion of the loan proceeds will be used for tenant improvements and other capital expenditures in order to improve the existing rent rolls and take advantage of the revenue opportunities that exist with the parking structure.”

Photo credits: Google Maps


New Luxury Apartments Come to Bird Road in Coral Gables

18 Nov 2013, 8:41 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Mill Creek Residential Trust LLC has announced that it will develop 262 Class A luxury apartment units in Miami. The complex, standing in with Mill Creek’s Modera brand name and indicating its location on Bird Road – an important traffic corridor of the area – is to be called Modera Bird. Central location of the luxury homes in the Coral Gables/Merrick Park submarket will offer easy access to three major Class A office hubs, hospitals, universities, cultural centers, banking, dining, shopping and other destinations. Douglas Station Metrorail stop is also nearby as well as Miami-Dade County Transit System’s Metrobus and the Coral Gables free trolley system’s lines.

Mill Creek is a national apartment developer, investor and operator with a portfolio of 29 communities totaling nearly 10,000 apartment homes. The company operates in 14 offices across the U.S. and is ranked third on the 2013 Multifamily Executive’s Top 50 Builders List. Its South Florida portfolio collection includes seven more communities totaling 3,083 apartment homes. All are located in the Miami Metro Area with Modera Coral Gables and Modera Merrick Park in the Coral Gables region, Modera Miramar and Miramar Town Center in Miramar, Modera Dadeland in Kendall, Port Royale Apartments in Ft. Lauderdale, and Modera Pembroke Pines in the City of Pembroke Pines.

In a press release, Callum Parrott, executive managing director at Mill Creek, says that South Florida is the company’s most active core market.

“We are pleased to expand our presence here with the development of another Class A transit-oriented apartment community,” he says. “We continue to leverage our deep local relationships to source sites like Modera Bird: prime locations in affluent neighborhoods close to Clas A office hubs, world-class shopping and dining and easy access to public transit. “This gives Mill Creek a distinctive advantage to continue to build a strategic presence in South Florida locations characterized by population and job growth.”

Groundbreaking on the latest project is expected to begin this year with first move-ins anticipated in 2015’s second quarter. The eight-story concrete building with a central parking garage will offer apartments with up to 3 bedrooms on floor plans from 708 to 1,378 square feet in size.

Photo credits: Mill Creek Residential

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