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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

Holiday Inn Greenlit Despite Protests

21 Oct 2013, 7:28 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Developer Hardial Sibia’s plan to build a four-story, 93-room Holiday Inn Express in Boynton Beach was approved last Tuesday after six years of opposition from residents that live at the nearby Palm Beach Leisureville—a senior community located a few blocks from the site.

Despite more than 1,400 Leisureville residents having signed petitions and staging protests to try and stop the construction, Boynton Beach commissioners voted to approve the project in a 3-2 vote. The activists are worried about increased traffic posing a danger to pedestrians as well as declining property values and even crime that the hotel could bring into the neighborhood, according to a Sun Sentinel report. The widening of 500 feet of Ocean Drive off of Congress Avenue, to help the flow of traffic to the hotel, is also among their concerns.

Original plans included a bar, a restaurant and a banquet room but these have been eliminated in order to decrease noise.

The hotel, to be built near the Leisureville entrance at 2001 W. Ocean Drive, was also initially planned to rise five stories. The city commission had approved it although the legal limit in the area is four stories, but in 2007, the city’s planning and development board recommended against the variance – The Real Deal.

Sibia has had the land for 10 years and city officials granted Sibia a variance for the project six years ago but he opted to delay the project until the real estate market returned. Now, the developer expects construction to start in January.

Photo courtesy of striderp64 via Flickr

Morgan Group, Invesco JV to Develop Multifamily Community in Dadeland Golden Triangle

14 Oct 2013, 6:03 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Multifamily developer The Morgan Group and a client of Invesco Real Estate formed a joint venture to buy and develop a 3.1-acre site located at the heart of the Dadeland Golden Triangle near the nexus of U.S. 1, Kendall Drive, the Palmetto Expressway and Metrorail. The site is situated opposite of Dadeland Mall, which is considered one of the most successful regional malls in the country.

Dayco, the seller of the property was represented by HFF which also worked with Morgan to secure development equity through the joint venture with Invesco, and previously arranged a refinancing of the site in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to a report by Citybizlist South Florida. Members of the broker team were executive managing director Manny de Zárraga, managing director Matt Kafka,  directors Chris Drew and Jaret Turkell, and senior real estate analysts Maurice Habif and Jorge Portela.

“The development potential for the site, including residential housing to be developed by Morgan, is driven by the close proximity of major employment generators including Baptist Hospital System and the University of Miami,” according to a press release issued by HFF. “Dadeland Mall’s recent 102,000-square-foot expansion highlights the strength of this location.”

A Pierce-Eislen market statistics report states that 30 residential developments are currently under construction in Miami totaling 6051 apartment units. At the same time, apartment-property sales during the past two years have grown 15 percent for properties with 50 or more units.

Photo credits: Google Maps

Art Deco Berkeley Shore Hotel Sold After Nine Months On the Market

10 Oct 2013, 9:08 pm

By Balazs Szekely, Associate Editor

Argentina-based investors, Jorge Savloff and Marcelo Tenenbaum have announced that they have acquired the Art Deco-style Berkeley Shore Hotel in South Beach. The listed price in December 2012 was $13.78 million, and although the sale price has not yet been disclosed, it has been described as “very close” to the asking price, according to a report in The Real Deal.

In addition to the new acquisition, Savloff and Tenenbaum own several other South Beach hotels, including the Greenview Hotel, Aqua Hotel, Lorraine Hotel, Ocean Reef Hotel, Riviere Hotel and South Beach Hostel, along with several Miami condos.

Majestic Properties Miami agents Roberto Pecchi and Faye Reby were mandated to sell the 1940s-era building.

The three-story, 64-room building, which opened in 1940 and is located at 1610 Collins Ave., was designed by one of Miami’s most well-known Art Deco architects, Albert Anis, who designed some of Miami’s most notable Art Deco hotels in the 1930s and 1940s.

The new licensees plan to add 33 more rooms to Berkeley Shore and then round-out renovations with a swimming pool and roof-top garden. The former owner, Guesch Inc., bought the facility 22 years ago, in 1991, for $840,000, according to the Real Deal report. The latter’s license expires on October 1.

Photo credits: Google Maps

Development on Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science Moves at Fast Pace

20 Jul 2013, 12:07 am

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, Miami

Construction on the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science has reached another milestone, with more than 75 percent of the plaza deck poured, supports for the first level of the Gulfstream aquarium installed, and the lower half of the planetarium structure complete.

The Museum’s debut in 2015 will mark the capstone of downtown Miami’s new Museum Park complex, serving as a cultural destination and economic engine in the city’s urban core. To date, approximately 13,000 cubic yards of concrete have been poured, enough to fill the area of a football field almost 10 feet high.

Progress on the development will continue at a rapid pace over the next six months, with the plaza, planetarium and Gulfstream aquarium all expected to be completed by the end of the year. Once complete, the planetarium will be over 60 feet in diameter and the height of a five-story building. Made entirely out of acrylic, the aquarium lens will be the largest of its kind in the world. According to Frank Steslow, chief operating officer of the Miami Science Museum, the shape, thickness and configuration of the tank will all work together to create the illusion of no walls—as though one was looking straight up into the Gulfstream.

Community support continue to grow. The Museum has managed to secure more than $70 million in pledges of its $100 million private fundraising goal, which will complement Miami-Dade County’s $165 million funding.Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, Miami

The 250,000-square-foot complex aims at becoming one of the world’s most innovative and sustainable science museums. The building will harvest water and harness energy from sun, wind and even Museum visitors to power exhibits and conserve resources. The Museum will be structured around a lushly landscaped indoor and outdoor “living core” of terrestrial and aquatic environments, featuring an aquarium experience totaling over 500,000 gallons, a full dome planetarium, interactive exhibits, innovative technology and two additional wings of exhibition space, the Knight Learning Center, Innovation Center and cafes.

Images via the Museum’s Official Blog

JLL Closes Miami’s Largest Industrial Lease of the Year

12 Jul 2013, 2:52 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

Pan American North Distribution Center

Pan American North Distribution Center

Ozburn-Hessey Logistics will soon be occupying the entire Pan American North Distribution Center in Medley, Florida, after signing what is said to be the largest new lease signed in Miami’s industrial market this year.

OHL—one of the world’s largest third-party logistics providers of chain management solutions—signed a 185,520-square-foot lease this week, which means it will occupy the entire newly-build distribution center starting fall 2013, driving occupancy at the property to 100 percent.

Jones Lang LaSalle’s Managing Director Steven Medwin SIOR, CCIM, along with Nick Wigoda, vice president, and Matt Maciag, industrial associate, completed the lease transaction on behalf of the property’s developer and owner, a Denver-based institutional landlord. OHL was represented by Brian Camp, Jeb Atkinson, Doug McDowell and Jess Andrews of Tennessee-based ProVenture, LLC and was assisted locally on the deal by Transwestern’s Walter Byrd, Ben Eisenberg, Thomas Kresse and Carlos Gaviria.

“OHL chose Pan American North Distribution Center for its expanded Miami facility because of the 30-ft. clear ceiling heights that will allow use of additional cubic space, its close proximity to major highways, and central location within the Miami-Dade County industrial market,” Medwin explained. “This latest transaction further positions Medley as an attractive submarket for national and locally owned companies.”

OHL, which operates more than 130 distribution centers worldwide, plans to move into the building located at 10733 NW 123rd Street in the fall. The Class A space offers state-of-the-art features and provides direct access to the Florida Turnpike Extension and US-27 (Okeechobee Road).

Image courtesy of Schwartz Media Strategies

Coral Gables, Miami Beach Add Prime Retail and Restaurant Space

3 Jul 2013, 8:55 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

396 Alhambra Retail Space

396 Alhambra Retail Space

Agave Holdings, LLC—the developer of 396 Alhambra—is looking to tap into the growing commercial, residential and tourism activity in the Coral Gables area, having added 17,800 square feet of prime street-level retail and restaurant space to its mixed-use development.

396 Alhambra’s retail space directly fronts Coral Gables’ Restaurant Row district and is situated just one block from Miracle Mile. It is the largest contiguous block of retail and restaurant product now available in the Coral Gables Business District.

Located right next to 396 Alhambra’s two Class A office towers, the retail development will serve a daily population of more than 900 employees once the two towers are fully occupied. The office component of the development is currently 78 percent leased to tenants like HBO Latin America, Diageo, Mondelēz International (Kraft), Millicom International Services, law firm Richman Greer, P.A., Banco Pichincha, CitiBank, N.A., and architecture firm RTKL Associates.

Danet Linares and Andres del Corral of Blanca Commercial Real Estate are spearheading the retail leasing efforts.

Extra retail space is also about to be added to the Collins Avenue Shopping District in Miami Beach; Aria Development—the group behind 321 Ocean in Miami Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood—recently purchased a 7,310-square-foot, two-story, multifamily property located at 825 Collins Avenue, with plans of redeveloping the property into a Class-A, 10,000+ square-foot flagship retail development.

The property recently obtained the Historic Preservation Board’s approval to raze the building, and its flexible, mixed-use zoning makes 825 Collins Avenue the ideal location for Aria Development’s first retail project in Miami. Built in 1966, the aging two-story building sits on 0.16 acres of prime South Beach land between 5th and 10th Streets on Collins Avenue, the historic street lined with Art Deco mixed-use buildings. The prime location places it right next to an array of famous designer stores such as A/X Armani Exchange, Barneys New York, Nicole Miller, Puma, Adidas, Guess, Benetton, Kenneth Cole, Victoria Secret, Sephora, Zara and Banana Republic.

Image courtesy of Schwartz Media Strategy

One Publix-Anchored Shopping Center Trades Hands

7 Jun 2013, 1:54 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

As Gold Krown LLC recently sold its 147,417-square-foot Publix-anchored shopping center in Vero Beach, developer Stiles has broken ground on a $35 million Publix grocery store-anchored retail shopping center in Hollywood, Fla.

South Vero Square traded this week in a $7.8 million deal, with David Donnellan, Todd Weintraub, Casey Rosen and Dennis Carson of CBRE representing seller Vero Beach Shopping Center Associates Limited Partnership, a Florida-based investor managed by Gold Krow. Indian River Holdings LLC is the new owner of the neighborhood shopping center located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 1 and Oslo Road (9th Street SW).

Built in 1989, the shopping center is anchored by a 42,112-square-foot Publix grocery store and was 61.5 percent occupied at the time of the sale, with a 35,244-square-foot vacant anchor space. South Vero Square has three outparcels occupied by Wendy’s, McDonald’s and Seacoast National Bank, which were not included in the sale.

Yet a new Publix-anchored retail center is now underway on the corner of Sheridan Street and S. Federal Highway at 1700 Sheridan St. in Hollywood. According to Stiles President Doug Eagon, West Lake Commons is planned to initiate the renewal one of Hollywood’s most visible commercial and residential areas, trafficked by more than 50,000 cars per day. The project will bring several quality retailers alongside Publix to bear, including Pollo Tropical and Starbucks.

“This is a proud moment for Stiles, our partners and lenders, as well as the city of Hollywood,” said Eagon. “This groundbreaking represents the redevelopment of a highly visible area in Hollywood, which will create value for the city and provide an urban pedestrian experience for the local community.”

West Lake Commons will be a transformation of the former Hollywood Lincoln Mercury Dealership, which is situated on a 14-acre site that serves as a gateway into the city. The project will be anchored by a 54,000-square-foot Publix, which will feature an expanded gourmet selection and liquor store. Overall, the project will encompass 26,000 square feet of inline retail space and up to 20,000 square feet of out parcels. Completion is expected second quarter 2014.

Image courtesy of Stiles

For more Miami market data, click here.

Redbury Hotel to Bring Hollywood Glamour to South Beach

31 May 2013, 3:05 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

redbury hotel south beachA unique partnership between sbe’s Sam Nazarian, Levy Restaurants founder and chairman Larry Levy, and developer Bob Heyat will soon bring the award-winning Redbury hotel concept to South Beach.

Meant to reproduce the success of The Redbury Hotel at Hollywood and Vine—which has been named one of the “Top 10 Hippest LA Hotels” by USA Today, among other recognitions—The Redbury South Beach will feature 69 rooms and suites.

The hotel will be located on Collins Ave. and 18th Street, replacing the old Fairfax Hotel.

With a design inspired by its Hollywood roots, the Fairfax redevelopment will also include art deco aesthetic elements specific to South Beach. The 69 rooms and suites will be complemented by a 12,000-square-foot rooftop pool and event space with food and beverage service.

Situated across the street from sbe’s SLS Hotel and The Raleigh, The Redbury’s guests will have exclusive access to both properties’ amenities—including beach and pool access, as well as access to the spa and Privé Salon. Upon completion, which is scheduled for the fall of 2013, sbe Hotel Group will operate the hotel—while Levy Restaurants will oversee food and beverage for the lobby level Lorenzo restaurant.

“Larry and I share a love for South Beach, and we believe The Redbury brand closely connects with the energy and culture of the area,” said Nazarian. “Advancing sbe’s relationship with one of my mentors, Larry, along with his Levy Restaurants is an incredible opportunity that will position The Redbury for sustained success.”

He added: “Leveraging our shared expertise across real estate development, top-notch hospitality service and overall brand experience will enable us to create a product that resonates powerfully with both the local and global South Beach communities.”

The launch of The Redbury South Beach underscores sbe’s recent growth in the Miami area. In addition to The Redbury, sbe recently opened the highly successful SLS Hotel South Beach, as well as the Hyde Lounge AmericanAirlines Arena. Additionally, it acquired the iconic Raleigh Hotel and opened the first East Coast outpost of Umami Burger.

The company also recently disclosed plans for SLS Hotel & Residences Brickell, which is set to open in 2016.

Image courtesy of Redbury Hotel South Beach Facebook Page

For more Miami market data, click here.

Miami Beach, Aimco Open New Baywalk Section to Public

24 May 2013, 2:06 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

As part of Miami Beach City’s efforts to create a public promenade, a new section of the Baywalk along the Western waterfront from 5th Street to Lincoln Road is now open to the public.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was recently held for the new section, attended by both city representatives and the team of Apartment Investment and Management Company (Aimco). The event, held in the bayside courtyard of Aimco’s Flamingo South Beach Apartments, not only officially expanded the Baywalk to the citizens of Miami Beach, but also indicated a new partnership between Aimco and the City.

“Today, we are pleased to open the gate to a significant portion of the Baywalk and to publicly show our support for the city’s goal of enabling citizens and visitors to enjoy the beauty of Biscayne Bay along a signature promenade,” said Aimco Executive Vice President John Bezzant. “Our substantial investment in this new section of the Baywalk will enhance the living environment for our Flamingo South Beach residents and provide them with further access to wonderful nearby amenities. We encourage other bayside property owners to join us in making the city’s vision a reality.”

Miami Beach Commissioner Michael Gongora, Miami Beach City Manager Jimmy L. Morales, and Aimco Senior Vice President Patti Shwayder walk along a new 1/3 mile stretch of the Baywalk

Aimco began planning its Baywalk project in 2009.  In addition to building a 1/3-mile public walkway, the project includes the construction of a seawall that offers Flamingo South Beach residents magnificent views of the Bay while maintaining privacy and security.

The new Baywalk project also provided Aimco the opportunity to expand its outdoor amenities, enhancing two pool areas with larger decks, outdoor kitchens and dining areas.

The Baywalk project aims at creating a multi-recreational use pathway along the Biscayne Bay between 5th Street and Lincoln Road. The pathway will provide another link in the Atlantic Greenway Network (AGN) within Miami Beach, a system of interconnected bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

Images via Aimco

For more Miami market data, click here.

Portman-CMC Reveals Cost-Effective Master Plan for Miami Beach Convention Center

17 May 2013, 1:49 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

After last month’s buzz over the stunning South Beach ACE proposal for the Miami Beach Convention Center, it is now time for the contending development team to take the spotlight. Portman-CMC, which is also bidding to re-develop the 52-acre Miami Beach Convention Center, has focused on the potential financial benefits of the development.

In a letter of intent addressed to the City of Miami this week, Portman-CMC laid out the proposal’s business and management terms, emphasizing the ongoing cooperation with city staff and officials when it comes to financing, management and land leases.

“One of the key areas we focused on was making public financing for the project responsible and sustainable, minimizing cost and risk to the city’s pocketbook,” said Ambrish Baisiwala, CEO of Portman Holdings. “For example—no new taxes and less bonding in order to finance the convention center improvements and expansion, as well as associated parking and infrastructure improvements.

“Additionally, our plan fast-tracks construction and phasing, shaving at least a year off of what many would consider the duration of this project in an attempt to generate a faster return on revenues for the city.”

Portman-CMC’s vision and overall approach to the redevelopment includes maintaining low building heights, providing a high level of connectivity to surrounding areas, creating a superior urban environment for conventioneers and residents, and maximizing the economic benefit to the City of Miami Beach. Focusing on convention center, hotel, retail, cultural and entertainment uses, the plan also includes the preservation of Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater.

According to the Portman-CMC blog, city commissioners and staff have responded in a positive way to their proposal, as it would seem to be more economical for the city. The project would be constructed one year faster and would call for less public funds spending.

When comparing the two, the Portman-CMC proposal calls for $73.4 million less in public costs and would charge fewer fees to Miami Beach. Yet it would spend more in cultural facilities—calling for an $88 million investment in cultural facilities, as opposed to $6.3 million.

The final decision, originally scheduled for June 5, was pushed back, the South Florida Business Journal reports. Miami Beach commissioners, apparently overwhelmed by the high volume of information, need more time to evaluate the benefits of each of the two proposals and have not yet released an official date for announcing the development team of the $1 billion-plus redevelopment.

Images via Portman-CMC

For more Miami market data, click here.

Parkway to Pay $66M for Fully Leased Miami Property

10 May 2013, 1:40 pm

 By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

Lincoln place south beach miamiIn a move to expand its presence in South Florida, Parkway Properties Inc. will be buying the 140,000-square-foot Lincoln Place for $66 million in debt and stock, the South Florida Business Journal reports. The company recently announced entering into a purchase and sale agreement to acquire the South Beach office/retail building and add it to the portfolio of 45 office properties in eight states—with an aggregate of approximately 13.0 million square feet in which the company has interest.

“We are excited for the opportunity to expand into the South Florida area,” said James R. Heistand, Parkway’s president and CEO.  “We believe this market is in the early stages of a recovery and has the potential to improve quickly given the diversity and vibrancy of its economy.  Additionally, the South Beach submarket is highly land constrained and boasts a current vacancy rate of only 8.7 percent.”

He added: “Lincoln Place is a high-quality, core asset located one block away from the world-class retail destination of Lincoln Road.”

Built in 2002, the Lincoln Place property consists of 111,000 square feet of office space, 29,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, and an adjacent five-story garage with 534 parking spaces. The property is currently 100 percent leased to LNR Corporation through June 2021 with no renewal or early termination options.

Company officials say that Parkway is under contract to acquire Lincoln Place in exchange for the assumption of the existing secured first mortgage, which has a current Lincoln place south beach miamioutstanding balance of approximately $49.6 million, a fixed interest rate of 5.9 percent that matures in June 2016, and the issuance of 900,000 operating partnership units. Based on Parkway’s closing stock price of $18.20 on May 3, 2013, the implied purchase price would be approximately $66 million, or $472 per square foot.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2013, subject to customary closing conditions, the successful assumption of the existing first mortgage, and Parkway’s satisfactory completion of due diligence.

Images via CoStar

For more Miami market data, click here.


Three-Building Industrial Portfolio in Sunrise Trades for Nearly $40M

3 May 2013, 2:34 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

CBRE recently assisted Irving, Texas-based Cobalt Capital Partners in finding a buyer for a three-building, Class A industrial portfolio located within the prestigious Sawgrass International Corporate Park in Sunrise, Fla. Industrial Income Trust of Denver paid $39.35 million for the Sunrise Distribution Center, located at 900 International Pkwy., 14599 NW 8th St. and 13801 NW 4th St.

Totaling 401,650 square feet and featuring 24- to 26-foot clear heights, the buildings in the portfolio were first acquired by Cobalt Capital in August 2010, at the time boasting a 91 percent occupancy rate with one vacancy. Cobalt leased the vacant space and renewed two other tenants on a long-term basis during its ownership.

“This transaction is a good example of our value-add program in the light industrial sector,” said Lewis D. Friedland, Cobalt’s Managing Partner. “Through leasing activity and capital improvements, our asset management and leasing teams worked together to add a significant amount of value to this asset for our investors.”

As part of the Sawgrass International Corporate Park, the buildings benefit from access to nearby interchange of I-75, I-595 and Sawgrass Expressway. Buyer Industrial Income Trust owns two other properties within the Corporate Park.

Christian Lee and Chris Riley, both vice chairmen within CBRE Investment Properties, represented seller Cobalt Capital Partners, assisted by Charles Foschini, vice chairman of Debt & Equity Finance; Tom O’Loughlin, vice president of Industrial Properties Brokerage; and José Lobon, associate of Capital Markets Institutional Group.

In other industrial news, Terreno Realty Corporation signed a Miami-based paperboard packaging and printing company to occupy one of its properties in Doral, Fla. The company, whose name has not been disclosed, will occupy the entire 75,000-square-foot facility at 1401 NW 78th Ave. starting June 1, 2013, with the lease ending October 2020.

Images via Cobalt Capital Partners

For more Miami market data, click here.

PREI Enters Brickell District with $185M Office Tower Purchase

26 Apr 2013, 2:08 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

Miami Sabadell Financial CenterThe 30-story, Class A Sabadell Financial Center located in the upscale Brickell Financial District of Miami recently traded owners. The buyer, Prudential Real Estate Investors—acting on behalf of institutional investors in its flagship core open-end commingled fund—paid $185 million for the high-profile property, also known as 1111 Brickell.

PREI, the real estate investment, management and advisory arm of Prudential Financial Inc., purchased the tower from Spain’s Testa Inmuebles en Renta, which paid $132 million for the building back in 2002, the South Florida Business Journal reports. Testa is the property-rental arm of Sacyr Vallehermoso, one of Europe’s largest commercial real estate and construction conglomerates. This latest acquisition reflects PREI’s strategy to capture opportunities for investors created by the neighborhood’s attributes.

Sabadell Financial Center, located right between Brickell Avenue and Brickell Bay Drive, is one of Miami’s most desirable and best placed office buildings. Originally built in 2000, the 523,000 square-foot building is 85 percent leased to a mix of prominent financial services companies and major law firms.

The building is connected to the 22-story JW Marriott Hotel, which is not part of the acquisition but serves as a convenient amenity for the office tower. Sabadell Financial Center recently commenced the process of attaining LEED certification for existing buildings with an objective to achieve an Energy Star 25 rating and a Silver Certification.

PREI has disclosed plans of enhancing the property through additional capital investments designed to attract new multinational and regional tenants, while also retaining existing occupants.

“With Miami growing in stature among the top business and financial hubs in the Americas, the timing was ripe for PREI’s entrance into the Brickell market,” said Cathy Marcus, managing director at Prudential Real Estate Investors and senior portfolio manager for the firm’s core open-ended equity commingled real estate strategy. “With a location in the sought-after Brickell district and an enviable tenant base, Sabadell Financial Center is a perfect fit with our investment strategy.”

Miami-based Blanca Commercial Real Estate will be spearheading the leasing and marketing efforts for the 30-story tower.

Image via 1111 Brickell official website


Iconic Miami Tower Wraps Up First Sky Lobby Modernization

19 Apr 2013, 2:47 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

Looking to retain its spot as a premier business address, Miami Tower has just completed a major renovation and modernization of its Sky Lobby. The lobby—a unique configuration of indoor and outdoor space—encompasses nearly 35,000 square feet and is marketed as a place where the public and private can gather in a contemporized space, upgraded with modern technologies and amenities.

“The design of the Sky Lobby modernization enables the space to be an accessory to the I.M. Pei design, where the features add character to the building, rather than to compete,” said Eric Groffman, senior vice president with Transwestern, the exclusive leasing agent for Miami Tower. “Less than two years after purchasing the asset, the ownership reinvested into the property, anticipating a strong reaction from existing and prospective tenants alike.”

This is merely the first in a series of modernization works. Phase I added a free flowing one-of-a-kind art sculpture mounted on a main wall, designed by Miami designer Peggy Nye & Lodin; a 21-foot by 14-foot glass wall that creates a central focus for the Sky Lobby, work of the same designer; furniture segmented into quads, featuring orange Knoll Studio accent chairs and stools, flat panel monitors, cafe dining furniture and outdoor lounge chairs, bar stools, bar tables and several unique shade sails; as well as white leather sofas and lounge chairs in the interior space, all classics designed by Le Corbusier in the late 1920s.

The 618,990-square-foot, 47-story Class A Miami Tower is one of Miami’s most recognized office buildings, marking the local skyline with its changing palette of exterior lighting schemes, which feature seasonal, city, sports and private event themes. Designed by legendary architect I.M. Pei, Miami Tower is located at 100 S.E. 2nd Street and is home to notable tenants such as UBS, Carlton Fields, Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP and Genovese Joblove & Battista PA, all of which have either renewed and/or expanded within the past 24 months.

Image courtesy of Marc Averette

Walmart Supercenter Opens in Davie, Adds 300 Jobs

12 Apr 2013, 1:52 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

A grand opening ceremony was held on April 10 for the new 154,400-square-foot Walmart Supercenter, where residents gathered to celebrate both the new retail options and the addition of 300 new jobs to the town of Davie, Fla.

The town’s residents, Mayor Judy Paul and local organizations such as the Davie Police Athletic League, Ease Foundation Inc. and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida attended the opening. The organizations were given an extra reason to celebrate, as they were presented with $3,750 in grants from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation. Cowboys on horseback served as greeters to celebrate the store’s grand opening in ‘horse country.’

“Davie is looking forward to Walmart’s strong community commitment,” said Davie Mayor Judy Paul. “Walmart’s campus is a tribute to Davie’s mission of green space and will hopefully be a model for other communities. The employment of approximately 300 people, many local residents, will certainly help the area economy.”

The store features quality, value-priced general merchandise including apparel, electronics, toys, sporting goods, and lawn and garden items. Additionally, unique to this store—which is located in ‘horse country’—is an agricultural feed supply section, where local residents can buy feed for farm animals. It also offers a full line of groceries, including organic and natural selections in addition to local favorites. The store offers a pharmacy with a full range of products and services.

It is estimated that solid tenant demand and minimal retail construction will push vacancy in the area way down in 2013, generating the most significant rent growth since the recession struck. For the Miami-Dade area, developers will add 450,000 square feet in 2013, with the largest project underway being the 520,000-square-foot retail component of the Brickell CitiCentre, which is to be delivered to the market in 2015.

Chart Courtesy of Marcus & Millichap

South Beach ACE Unveils Breathtaking Proposal for Miami Beach Convention Center

5 Apr 2013, 4:15 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

miami beach convention centerWith the competition for the spot to assist the City of Miami Beach in the redevelopment of the Miami Beach Convention Center coming down to two contenders, South Beach ACE recently unveiled its master plan. The company’s development team consists of New York City-based firm Tishman, which had a major input in the development of the original World Trade Center twin towers and the currently under-construction One World Trade Center; Miami Beach development firm UIA Management, the firm behind the 1111 Lincoln Road project; and international architecture firm OMA, led by Pritzker Prize-winner Rem Koolhaas.

The team is looking to breathe life into one of Miami’s Beach most underutilized public sites by delivering a fully revamped convention center capable of luring major events from around the world, an iconic hotel, inviting green spaces, low-density retail uses, and cultural venues, ArchDaily reports. Elements of the master plan that stand out are a comprehensive renovation of the Jackie Gleason Theater and a strategy to increase the site’s connectivity by adding multiple connections with Lincoln Road and surrounding neighborhoods.

South Beach ACE continues to seek community feedback on their attempt to reconnect the city and the convention center by creating a green, cultural and civic heart for Miami Beach centered around a contemporary, first class convention space. Feedback is welcomed on the partnership’s website and at a series of public meetings hosted by the city.

The contending developer—Portman CMC, led by developer Jack Portman—will be presenting its master plan to the community in May. So far, the developer has announced the addition of a multi-purpose space/ballroom and meeting space; a new convention center headquarter hotel; outdoor public spaces; parking; restaurants; entertainment; retail and other commercial uses that are economically viable; and residences.

Local 10 reports that Portman CMC is also working with Cirque du Soleil, having indicated plans to bring the art-inspired circus act to South Beach. The Miami Beach Commission is expected to choose the winning development team over the summer.

Image courtesy of South Beach ACE Facebook

Formerly Distressed Harvard House Re-opens after Major Renovation

22 Mar 2013, 1:55 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

Harvard House North Miami Beach before and afterA formerly distressed North Miami Beach apartment complex recently reopened after undergoing an $8 million redevelopment process led by nonprofit affordable housing developers Carrfour Supportive Housing and the National Housing Trust.

The redevelopment of Harvard House Apartments was made possible through support from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), which aims to revitalize neighborhoods that have been negatively impacted by properties that were foreclosed upon or abandoned as a result of the recession.

“Harvard House is a perfect example of how the federal government’s NSP program is breathing new life into local communities,” said Stephanie Berman, president of Carrfour Supportive Housing. “Beyond providing much-needed housing for families and individuals in need, we rescued an asset from distress, thus injecting new life into a deteriorating neighborhood. We are not only rebuilding apartments, we are rebuilding an entire community.”

The reopening was celebrated on March 19, when developers Carrfour and NHT organized a special reception and ribbon-cutting attended by several elected and non-elected government officials, including NSP Team Leader John Laswick of the U.S. HUD Office in Washington, North Miami Beach Mayor George Vallejo, and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally A. Heyman.

The newly redeveloped community will now offer affordable housing to approximately 140 low-income residents. Located at 2020 NE 169th St. in North Miami Beach, the apartment community consists of 56 newly-renovated units designated for families earning at or below 50 percent of the area’s median income.

Carrfour Supportive Housing, the non-profit developer that rescued Harvard House from foreclosure and redeveloped it, has completed the acquisition of two similar complexes in Miami. The two projects—Tequesta Knoll and Hampton Village—will also be delivered to the market by 2014, with all three newly converted affordable housing communities offering homes for nearly 800 low-income residents in the area.

Image courtesy of Schwartz Media Strategies

SBE, Related Group Join Forces on $300M Condo Hotel

15 Mar 2013, 2:55 pm

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

The Wall Street Journal reports that Miami’s ‘condo king’ Jorge Perez and Los Angeles nightclub entrepreneur Sam Nazarian will be working together on a $300 million condo hotel project planned for downtown Miami.

To be located at 1300 S. Miami Ave, the SLS Brickell condo-hotel would feature 133 hotel rooms—owned by both Perez’s Related Group and Nazarian’s SBE Entertainment Group—and 450 condo units that are to be developed and owned by the Related Group. The hotel will also feature 15,000 square feet of meeting space, a spa, two pools and more than 10,000 square feet of restaurants, lounges and bars. The project will be the first SLS-branded residences and the second hotel in Miami-Dade.

Projected to be 52 stories tall, SLS Brickell will rise on the site of the former Infinity II project. The first 10 stories will consist of the luxurious Philippe Starck-designed hotel, with the rest representing the residential component. The developers will retain some SLS partners for the new project, such as Chef Jose Andres—famous for his SLS Hotel South Beach restaurant, The Bazaar—to be in charge of food and beverage venues along with Michael Schwartz.

Related Group will be opening a sales center for the condo units later this month. While hotel rates are expected to be in the high-$200 range, condo prices will average over $600,000, or approximately $500 per square foot. The SLS Brickell condo-hotel is set for completion in 2015.

Related Group bought the 1.29-acre mixed-use development site at the intersection of Coral Way and South Miami Avenue in November 2012. The developer paid $18.5 million for the land, approved for the development of a 556-unit residential tower plus 15,049 square feet of retail space and 38,357 square feet of office space.

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