Posts Tagged : Steven Hurwitz

CREC Selected To Exclusively Lease Iconic Miami Beach Office Building

CREC has been selected as the exclusive leasing agent for Meridian Center, located at 1680 Meridian Avenue, steps from Lincoln Road in the heart of Miami Beach.

The iconic, 55,000-square-foot boutique building, recently underwent remodeling to exude an artistic flair synonymous with Miami. Street artists were commissioned to make each office floor lobby unique, personifying the city’s culture, while modernizing the space.

CREC Partner Steven Hurwitz, Senior Vice President Douglas Okun and Senior Leasing Associate Teri Jarp will oversee leasing, which includes targeting those in the creative industries and professional services companies. Current tenants include Apple and Keller Williams.

“We are thrilled to be spearheading the leasing efforts for this highly-sought office property, located just around the corner from Miami Beach’s premier outdoor retail and dining destination,” said Hurwitz. “Meridian Center’s proximity to the amenities of Lincoln Road and surrounding Miami Beach neighborhood, coupled with its creative ambiance, makes the building appeal to a wide range of tenants who appreciate design and location.”

Harry’s Pizzeria®, James Beard Award-winning Chef Michael Schwartz’s neighborhood American pizzeria, recently signed a retail lease to occupy the ground floor of Meridian Center.

Lyle Stern and Sara Wolfe of Koniver Stern Group represented the landlord in the transaction.

This new location will open in 2018, part of the chain’s expansion plans that include locations in Aventura and Sawgrass in Florida, Atlanta, Georgia, and Cleveland, Ohio, joining the three restaurants currently serving South Florida in Coconut Grove, Kendall’s Downtown Dadeland and the chef’s Miami Design District original.

Acquired in 2015, Meridian Center is in walking distance to more than 200 retail stores, cafes, and restaurants, and enjoys easy access to both I-395 (MacArthur Causeway) and I-195 (Julia Tuttle Causeway).

How schools, trains and concerts are building up Miami’s neighborhoods
On Thursday, May 25, 2017, parents pick up their children after school at Downtown Doral Charter Elementary. CARL JUSTE cjuste@miamiherald.com

How schools, trains and concerts are building up Miami’s neighborhoods

By Rene Rodriguez
rrodriguez@miamiherald.com
June 4th, 2017 7:00 AM

On Thursday, school’s out for summer at the Downtown Doral Charter Elementary, and its report card is packed with A’s. In only its second year of operation, the school is already topping county-wide honor rolls — and helping to fuel Doral’s thriving real estate market.

In the post-recession building boom, developers promoted sweeping waterfront views and luxury bonuses like car elevators, bowling alleys, plunge pools and private chefs to wealthy buyers. But in recent months, while sales in the luxury condo market have stalled amid a slowdown in Latin America, developers are starting to reap the benefits from master plans that incorporate long-term, community-building amenities.

The Downtown Doral Charter Elementary School is one gamble that has paid off. The Florida Department of Education ranked the school tops among Miami-Dade elementaries for total achievement in English and math in 2015-2016. In November, principal Jeanette Acevedo-Isenberg won the Council for Educational Change’s annual Leonard Miller Principal Leadership Award — the first time a charter school won the honor.

The school is also proving to be a formidable draw for homebuyers. While any child who lives in Miami can apply to attend, residents of the new Downtown Doral development are given preference. According to a report by Gridics.com, Doral had 167 sale closings in the first quarter of 2017 — the fifth-highest of any neighborhood in Miami-Dade County.

Codina Partners CEO Ana Codina Barlick, who has overseen the metamorphosis of Downtown Doral from drab offices into a thriving work/live/play community, said an elementary school offering top-notch education was always a critical part of the master plan. A high school is scheduled to break ground in 2018.

“Our business is real estate, not education,” Codina said. “We don’t make a penny off the school. We just wanted it to be great, because the better it is, the more people would want to live in this community.”

In addition to that massive, 120-acre development, which cost more than $1 billion, Codina Partners also gave Doral a new city hall and the three-acre Downtown Doral park. But the elementary school takes developer-led community facilities to a new level.

“GENTRIFICATION IS THE GENESIS OF PEOPLE TRYING TO MAKE MONEY. NO ONE THINKS DEVELOPERS ARE DOING THESE THINGS OUT OF THE GOODNESS OF THEIR HEARTS.”
Doug Jones, managing partner of JAG Insurance Group

The Downtown Doral Charter Elementary School is the first charter school built in a public-private partnership between the Miami-Dade School Board and a developer. Codina Partners donated the $3.5 million plot of land where the school sits. The school is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit corporation with its own board. That board leased the land back from the county school board and issued $20 million in bonds to construct the building.

The nonprofit board pays the Miami-Dade School Board a fee to manage the Doral operation. But the nonprofit board hires the principal and sets the direction of the school. Reflecting Doral’s high percentage of Hispanic residents, 60 percent of all classes are taught in English; the other 40 percent are in either Spanish or Portuguese. Teachers at the school work under one-year contracts.

“It wasn’t just about providing a school,” Codina said. “That’s really easy. You can call a charter school company and they will put a school here and you don’t have to think about it. We wanted to go beyond that.”

The investment is working. An analysis of U.S. census data by Florida International University’s Metropolitan Center reveals Doral is the fastest-growing big city in Florida and the 11th fastest in the U.S., with 58,000 residents in 2016 — a 26.1 percent increase since 2016. The median price of homes currently listed in Doral is $398,000; the median rent is $2,300. The median income of Doral households was $72,933 in 2015 — almost 60 percent higher than the Miami-Dade County median of $43,129.

“One of the big things that drives property values up is having good education nearby,” Codina said. “We wanted to sell something more than walls, a roof, a floor and some nice appliances. We offer a much bigger value to people by telling them if you move here, you have a school for your kids through high school.”

Quality-of-Life Perks

Doral isn’t alone in focusing on education: The Related Urban Development Group is currently negotiating with the Miami-Dade School Board to include a secondary school at its Gallery at West Brickell affordable and workforce housing project at 201 SW 10th St. Other developers are pinpointing facilities most important to their own potential buyers, including transit stations, places of worship, cultural events and infrastructure designed to serve full-time Miami residents and improve their quality of life.

“Real estate has started to transition away from just brick-and-mortar investment and more into creating a sense of place and being part of the fabric of their community,” said Steven Hurwitz, a partner at the Florida real estate firm CREC.

“It’s not a purely altruistic move, but developers who have done it successfully are seeing it equates to a more successful investment overall,” Hurwitz said. “Miami neighborhoods are starting to develop individual identities. The projects being presented in them are often playing a role in servicing that demographic and delivering more of an experience.”

Some of those projects are relatively small in scale and cater to a niche demographic. But their impact on their respective communities can be significant.

Developer Verzasca Group will donate a Mikvah — a bath used by Jewish men and women for ritual immersion — to the Chabad Lubavitch of Sunny Isles Beach as part of their 61-residence luxury condo tower Aurora at 17550 Collins Ave. Groundbreaking is scheduled for July.
Chabad Lubavitch of Sunny Isles Beach

As part of its 17-floor, 61-unit luxury condo project Aurora, at 17550 Collins Ave., developer Verzasca Group is donating a 2,000 square-foot mikvah — a bath used by Jewish men and women for ritual immersion — to the Chabad Lubavitch of Sunny Isles Beach. The mikvah, to be delivered upon completion of the building, will have a separate entrance and will be available for use by anyone in the community, not just residents of the tower.

“As a fairly new developer in town, we started to do community outreach and meet with the neighbors to understand who lives in the area,” said Verzasca managing director Tim Lobanov. “We knew we would need to get approval from the city commissioners for this project. We met with Rabbi Yisrael Baron of the community center across the street and he told us about the need. Among the Jewish people in the area, we are already known as the building that’s going to have a mikvah in it.”

On Miami’s Upper East Side, Global City Development and the Midtown Group are teaming up on a mixed-use development named Legions West that would initially bring 237 rental apartments and a new 15,000 square-foot American Legion facility overlooking Biscayne Bay at 6445 NE Seventh Ave. in Miami.

Architectural rendering of the new $4 million Harvey W. Seeds American Legion Post 29 headquarters and campus planned by Global City Development and Midtown Group as part of its five-story, 237-unit Legions West mixed-use apartment complex at 6445 NE Seventh Ave. in Miami.
Stantec

“We’re trying to update what the American Legion has been in the past — a place for older veterans to come have a drink and talk — and attract younger veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq who have young families and want to participate in activities that are more relevant for them,” said Brian Pearl, principal and co-founder of Global City Development. “We’ve organized our whole business around socially impactful real estate development. There’s a benefit to having more integrated communities that will pay off in the long run.”

Pearl said that even though his company won’t make any money from the American Legion facility, doing something positive for the community helps people feel more comfortable with new development.

Global’s desire to incorporate a swath of Legion Memorial Park into its eventual 1.2 million square-foot complex has already met with resistance. That kind of controversy is bound to arise when locals don’t entirely agree with the developer’s vision.

“Businessmen will always be businessmen,” said Doug Jones, managing partner of JAG Insurance Group. “Gentrification is the genesis of people trying to make money. No one thinks developers are doing these things out of the goodness of their hearts. But at the end of the day, you can’t stop a lot of this from happening, so it becomes about what you can get out of it. A lot of developers end up making positive changes in communities by doing what they have to do in order to get their deals done.”

Changing the city

Other developers are taking a big-picture approach with amenities needed to help Miami fulfill its destiny as a major metropolis — with all the accompanying infrastructure that implies.

In traffic-challenged Miami-Dade, nearly a dozen mixed-use residential projects are planned along U.S. 1 and in Hialeah, close to Metrorail. The trend was spurred by Brickell City Centre, Swire Properties’ mammoth 5.4 million square-foot mixed-use complex that opened in 2016.

When Swire announced its ambitious plan in 2011, Miami was still in the grip of the Great Recession. Brickell was a ghost town of unlit condos. Metrorail and Metromover’s grungy stations reflected county funding shortages. The idea of an upscale city-within-a-city that would lure shoppers, diners, residents and office workers arriving by public transit seemed like a pipe dream.

But long before the designer shops, condos, offices and eateries opened, developer Swire Properties spent $10 million refurbishing the Eighth Street Metromover Station, with a design by Arquitectonica, that would fit functionally and aesthetically into the project’s finished structure. As part of the station’s redesign, Swire is under contract to maintain the facility until 2025, with an option to renew the agreement every 10 years after that, up to 99 years.


“All our mixed-use developments in Hong Kong and China sit on top of major transport nodes,” said Kieran Bowers, president of Swire Properties. “In Miami, there’s only the Metrorail and Metromover to choose from. But we’ll always integrate public transport into the project.”

Swire and Arquitectonica paid special heed to the station’s design and its role in the overall plan. “It would have been easy for us to have made changes but left a municipal style of architecture design. But we wanted you to feel a difference when you arrive at Brickell Centre,” Bowers said.

Florida East Coast Industries (FECI) is putting the transit concept on steroids.The $3 billion, 235-mile Brightline inter-city express train service will be the first to connect South Florida in early fall via a rail system. Passengers will be able to travel from Miami to Fort Lauderdale in less that 30 minutes at a speed of up to 79 miles per hour. The train will reach up to 125 miles per hour on the eventual extension connecting West Palm Beach to Orlando.

All aboard

The project, a privately owned venture by FECI subsidiary Brightline, is expected to alleviate South Florida traffic woes, removing an estimated three million cars from clogged highways such as I-95 and U.S. 1.

One key element: a vertical neighborhood created around the rail’s Miami hub.

In downtown, FECI is developing the 11-acre MiamiCentral on Northwest First Avenue between Northwest Third and Eighth streets. The station will connect to Metrorail, Metromover and the Tri-rail and feature three buildings offering 800 rental apartments, nearly 200,000 square feet of retail space, and 300,000 square feet of Class-A office space.

Tere Blanca, founder and CEO of Blanca Real Estate, which is handling commercial leasing, says MiamiCentral will offer grocery stores, food and beverage options at all price ranges, a fitness center, an elevated jogging track, and loads of shopping. Service between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach is to begin in July, with Miami service launching this fall.

“The Brightline group is moving their offices there this summer,” Blanca said. “Several leases are already underway, and the office building is delivering at the end of June and should be leased out before the end of the year. It’s an exciting project that is driving tremendous investment around it.”


$74 million

Amount being spent on improving city infrastructure at Miami Worldcenter in downtown Miami


One of the biggest neighboring investments: The massive Miami Worldcenter, the 27-acre mixed-use project spanning 10 city blocks adjacent to the MiamiCentral station. The second-largest in development in the U.S. after Manhattan’s Hudson Yards, Miami Worldcenter spans 10 city blocks and will offer a combination of retail, residential, hotel, office and expo spaces. The first phase of the project is due in 2019.

Developers of the 27-acre Miami Worldcenter mixed-use project, shown here on March 3, 2016, will spend $74 million in new infrastructure upgrades in the neighborhood, including increased water and sewer capacity, electrical connectivity, street lights, sidewalks and landscaping.
MATIAS J. OCNER mocner@miamiherald.com

As part of the $2 billion Miami Worldcenter project, developers issued $74 million worth of private bonds to fund installation and improvement of sewage and water lines, drainage, cable and Internet fibers and new sidewalks in the formerly blighted area.

“People look at Miami Worldcenter as a project, but it’s really not: It’s a truly mixed-use city-within-a-city,” said Nitin Motwani, managing principal of Miami Worldcenter Associates, a joint venture between the Falcone Group and Centurion Partners. “We’re hoping this will have the kind of impact on downtown Miami that Rockefeller Center had on Manhattan: change the way that area operates. All the infrastructure work that the public will enjoy is not the sexy stuff that everyone likes to talk about. But it’s the stuff that makes possible all the buildings you see on Brickell.”

Building community

Other developers are investing in less tangible, but still crucial, amenities. Nir Shoshani, who runs NR Investments with his partner Ron Gottesmann, has been spearheading the cultural scene over the past three years in the self-branded Arts + Entertainment district near the Omni in downtown Miami.

The developers have drawn a young demographic to the formerly desolate neighborhood via pumped-up programming: free rooftop concerts featuring folk and acoustic acts from around the U.S.; outdoor movie screenings hosted by the Miami Film Festival, street markets and art shows.

The New York-based musical duo Sofi Tukker performed a free concert on Nov. 30, 2016 on the rooftop of Filling Station Lofts, 1657 N. Miami Ave. in downtown Miami’s Arts & Entertainment district.
Andrea Lorena

Shoshani estimates he has invested more than $1.5 million on all the area’s events thus far, and his gamble may be about to pay off. The 37-story Canvas Condo tower, at 1630 NE First Ave., is scheduled to be completed in early 2018, with its bohemian-styled units ranging in size from 620-1,110 square feet and selling for $300,000-$580,000.

“Risk is always a factor in business, especially in real estate,” Shoshani said. “Our idea was to really push forward with an urban village concept. If people had thought what we’ve been doing was a promotional stunt by a developer, it would have never gotten off the ground. This wasn’t a renaissance: It’s not like there was something going on in this neighborhood 50 years ago.”

Other developments feature amenities that dig even deeper into their communities, providing job opportunities, healthcare, museums and youth centers.

A $307 million redevelopment of Liberty Square, Miami-Dade County’s biggest and oldest housing project, broke ground in May. When completed by 2020, developer Related Urban Development will deliver 1,400 condos, townhouses and apartments — all integrated with free wifi — as well as a youth center provided by the Mourning Family Foundation, a YMCA-run family center and daycare, a museum celebrating the area’s history, a medical center and 65,000 square feet of retail anchored by a national grocery chain and supplanted by locally owned businesses.

To the north, slow but steady progress continues on SoLe Mia, a 183-acre development at 15045 Biscayne Blvd. in North Miami. The project — a joint venture between Richard LeFrak and Turnberry Associates co-chairs Jeffrey Soffer and Jackie Soffer — will occupy the largest piece of underutilized land east of Biscayne Boulevard in the county. SoLe Mia will be comprised of 4,390 residences, 1.4 million square feet of retail space, dining and entertainment and two swimmable 10-acre lagoons.

According to the developer, 29 percent of the 14,000 short- and long-term jobs created by the project have been filled by North Miami residents — nearly three times the 10 percent mandated by the county.

Old-school amenities still popular

The growth of practical, neighborhood-building amenities doesn’t mean traditional standbys such as clubhouses and swimming pools are going away. Carlos Gonzalez, division president of Lennar Homes, Florida’s largest housing developer, said variations on tried-and-true amenities are still an effective way to sell new houses.

“The No. 1 competitor for all new home developers is the resale market,” he said. “There are more resale transactions than new home transactions. So how do you set yourself apart other than having new product built to the latest codes? We do home automation and energy saving. But that isn’t enough. You have to provide things such as attractive clubhouses with a kids’ water park, or a gym for grown-ups with an adjacent playroom for your kids while you work out. In South Florida, we’re tailored toward outdoor living, so we have exterior kitchens and fire pits.”

But as Miami’s population density increases and familiar neighborhoods develop more nooks and crannies, developers will continue to gamble on long-term community-building endeavors — a sign of faith in the city’s continued growth.

“When we first started this, people thought we were crazy,” Miami Worldcenter’s Motwani said. “During the recession, they thought we were stupid. Today they say we’re lucky. We are, because a lot of what we counted on has come to fruition. But this kind of transformative project just takes a little longer. It’s a great opportunity to do something long-lasting and more meaningful than just coming in, putting up another building and leaving.”

Miami Beach office market in ‘very best of health right now’

May 18th, 2017

By Catherine Lackner

S.Hurwitz_CREC_2016Miami Beach, a small, boutique office market, is “phenomenal as an asset class and arguable in the very best of health right now,” said Stephen Rutchik, Colliers International executive Vice President.

With no new office product introduced since 2002 and exploding values that make residential and mixed-used projects the highest and best use for raw land, tenants are shopping around in existing spaces and landlords are re-investing in older buildings, he said.

“There’s been a very significant appreciation in rents,” he said. “We’re still at a discount to the central business district, but not as much as before.” Class A rents in downtown Miami are about $45-$50 per square foot gross, while that space can be had on Miami Beach in the mid-$40s, he said.

“Many employers are looking for a submarket that has all the amenities their employees want as well as places to entertain clients. Miami Beach provides that and it’s not horribly congested like the CBD. It also has that cool factor, like Wynwood,” which doesn’t have much in the way of pure office space, observers say.

On Miami Beach, a higher proportion of people get around on bikes, skateboard and scooters than on the mainland, which is appealing to the millennial who work for or own tech companies, Mr. Rutchik said. “Tech firms are the drivers of net absorption. Being on Miami Beach checks their boxes.”

“We are seeing that the Miami Beach office market is currently performing quite well, with several similarities to other South Florida boutique office markets, such as Aventura and South Miami,” said Steven Hurwitz, a partner at CREC who leads the firm’s office leasing practice, via email.

“They provide a wide range of high-end, close-to-home opportunities for professionals wanting to avoid the ever-growing traffic congestion in South Florida. In Miami Beach, calls A vacancy remains in the single digits, and rental rates continue to climb, with supply constraints and limited, to no new deliveries on the drawing board.

“Land values and the return on other asset classes – like residential, retail and hospitality – have made Miami Beach’s office supply flat for many years. It is highly unlikely you will see an institutional-quality office building being delivered in South Beach anytime in the near future,” he said.

Miami Beach tenants are typically middle- to high-net-worth decision-makers, the fund and investment managers, principals in music and talent agencies and others who don’t typically need to be downtown, he said.

“Compass (a new tenant to Miami Beach) took the top two floors at the old Sony Building at 605 Lincoln Road in the past year and Warner extended its lease last year and is staying on Miami Beach, so that’s also good news for the market,” Mr. Hurwitz said. “Miami Beach tenants are those that want great quality in a location outside the more congested downtown and Brickell markets. Many of them live on Miami Beach, as do their employees.”

“Miami-Dade County’s pace of total office leasing activity bounced back from a tepid showing in 2016 with little adjustment to near-record high asking rate,” said JLL’s first quarter 2017 office report.

“Countywide total leasing activity registered 40% year-on-year growth (representing the largest single-quarter square-footage leased since the fourth quarter of 2015), led by the long-awaited return of suburban submarkets to long-term historical average activity.”

Miami Beach is a relatively small market with 1.9 million square feet of office space, the report continued. Throughout the Beach, rents average $41 per square foot, and the vacancy rate is 9%. Miami Beach class A space fetches $45 per square foot (with an 8% vacancy), while rates for class B are $39 per square foot with a 9% vacancy.

Events company moves to top floor of South Beach office building

Events company moves to top floor of South Beach office building

INDUSTRIES & TAGS. Commercial Real Estate

By Emon Reiser – Digital Producer South Florida Business Journal 

GDS Publishing, an international events and technology services company, has relocated to the top floor of a 90,000-square-foot office building in Miami Beach.

The Bristol, United Kingdom-based company moved its South Florida branch to 10,000 square feet at 1688 Meridian Avenue. The firm will occupy the entire penthouse floor of the office space with more than 40 employees. Cushman & Wakefield Managing Director Gordon Messinger represented the property owner in lease negotiations and CREC’s Steven Hurwitz represented the tenant.

1688 Meridian Avenue is a 90,000-square-foot office building in Miami Beach.
PHOTO COURTESY CUSHMAN & WAKEFIELD

GDS relocated from 1691 Michigan Ave.

The company’s fellow tenants now include Regus, a major flexible workspace company; international modeling agency Next Model Management and international advertising agency J. Walter Thompson Worldwide.

Ivy Realty acquired 1688 Meridian Ave. and 1674 Meridian Ave. in July 2016. The office buildings total 120,000 square feet. The Connecticut-based company is planning improvements for both buildings including renovations to the lobbies, bathrooms and other common areas.

CREC Negotiates 88,000 SF Lease Renewal

CREC has completed a long-term, 88,000-square-foot lease renewal with Bayview Asset Management in Shops at Merrick Park Offices in Coral Gables.

The lease renewal will maintain the national mortgage investment firm’s corporate headquarters at 4425 Ponce De Leon Boulevard. Bayview Asset Management has occupied the space since the office building was delivered to the market in 2002.

CREC Partner Steven Hurwitz and Senior Vice President Douglas Okun represented GGP, owner and operator of Shops at Merrick Park Offices, while JLL Managing Director Matthew W. Cheezem represented the tenant, Bayview Asset Management.

“We were able to achieve terms for GGP to accommodate the tenant’s needs, which included ample on-site parking and facility improvements geared toward upgrading the tenant’s floors,” said Hurwitz. “We are pleased that Bayview Asset Management will remain in the building. This is a strong statement for both the project and the thriving Coral Gables submarket.”

Shops at Merrick Park Office is a Class A, five-story office building comprised of 126,019 square feet. The tower is situated immediately adjacent to the area’s high-end retail and dining destination, Shops at Merrick Park, which features anchor tenants Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. It enjoys exposure to U.S. 1 and is within walking distance to Metrorail and the Coral Gables Trolley Station.

CREC Assigned To Lease 3 Institutional Office Properties Totaling More Than 500,000 SF

CREC has been appointed to lead leasing at three office properties in South Florida’s key office markets of Brickell and Coral Gables.

The office buildings become the latest addition to CREC’s portfolio, which includes more than 100 properties totaling 13 million square feet across the state’s major markets. As the commercial real estate industry continues to consolidate amongst national firms, CREC remains Florida’s premier independent full-service commercial real estate firm, with offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.

“We are thrilled with this new assignment, which comes on the heels of two other significant leasing and management contracts for institutional partners, highlighting CREC’s ability to continue to thrive and differentiate in a market otherwise defined by consolidation within the national brokerage houses,” said Carol Brooks, President of CREC.

Steven Hurwitz, Partner, Doug Okun, Senior Vice President, and Katie Fernandez-Espinosa, Senior Leasing Associate, will lead the office leasing efforts.

“Our institutional clients enjoy our full-service platform, local market expertise and track record to provide a holistic approach to real estate services,” CREC’s Steven Hurwitz said. “We have a uniquely collaborative team approach among disciplines, enabling us to provide institutional quality service in an entrepreneurial setting.”

The newest CREC assignments include:

800 Brickell Avenue: Located in Miami’s Brickell Financial District, CREC will lead the leasing efforts at the 15-story office tower 800 Brickell Avenue that has more than 212,000 square feet of office space and is home to tenants such as TotalBank, StateTrust, Prudential Insurance and Anheuser-Busch Companies.

The Alhambra: Situated in the heart of the Coral Gables Business District, CREC will oversee the leasing of The Alhambra office property located at 2 Alhambra Plaza. The building has 221,000 square feet of rentable office space and a tenant roster that includes Disney, Crystal Lagoons, Campbell Sales and Gresham, Smith and Partners.

The Alhambra West: Just a few blocks east, CREC will also handle the leasing at The Alhambra West, an office building totaling 91,000 square feet at 95 Merrick Way. The office property is home to tenants such as Northwestern University, Starbucks, US Department of State, and Pipeline Workspaces.

Coral Gables Sees Mega Deal; Largest of 2016

Coral Gables Sees Mega Deal; Largest Of 2016

MIAMI—The seller more than doubled its money in 11 years.

2121 Ponce includes a five-story, 586-space parking garage and street-level retail space.

MIAMI—It’s the largest commercial real estate transaction in Coral Gables, FL so far this year. A joint venture between Greenstreet Partners just sold the 2121 Ponce office building to a member company of Zurich North America for $57.5 million. Greenstreet acquired the building for 27.1 million in 2005.

Zurich Alternative Asset Management, Zurich’s alternative investment adviser, worked with the buyer on the deal. The sale of the 164,848 square-foot office building marks the latest sign of mounting demand for high-performing South Florida office properties among institutional investors around the world. CREC and CBRE brokered the deal.

“Coral Gables has long been one of South Florida’s most desirable submarkets, and that position will only grow as office users prioritize locations that are walkable and in close proximity to public transit options,” CREC principal Steven Hurwitz, who manages leasing at the building in tandem with CREC’s Doug Okun, tells GlobeSt.com. “2121 Ponce has emerged as one of the neighborhood’s best addresses over the past decade, particularly among companies in the market for space priced slightly below the rates at newer buildings nearby.”

CREC and Greenstreet acquired 2121 Ponce in 2015. Since then, the office asset has seen significant renovations of all common areas. A leasing and marketing program repositioned the building as a boutique, service-oriented option for Coral Gables office users. CREC has worked as the exclusive leasing agent and will continue managing the office asset for the new owner. The property is 95% occupied.

CREC’s Warren Weiser, Harry Blyden, and Andrew Remick co-brokered the sale of 2121 Ponce alongside CBRE’s Christian Lee, Jose Lobon, and Andrew Chilgren. Roy Rosenbaum, director of acquisitions, and Sean Bannon, managing director and head of US real estate, led the way for Zurich.

“Our experience at 2121 Ponce is an example of how a building’s value can be maximized by bringing a clear vision to life through creative leasing, construction, marketing and property management strategies,” says CREC chairman Weiser. “The investments we’ve made over the past decade have transformed the building into a core institutional-grade asset, leading to this sale. We expect similar acquisition activity in the coming months given high barriers to new development across South Florida.”

Located in the Coral Gables business district one block north of the “main and main” intersection of Ponce de Leon Boulevard and Alhambra Circle, 2121 Ponce includes a five-story, 586-space parking garage and street-level retail space. Goldstein Schechter, Fox Latin America, Valley National Bank, the Consulate of Barbados and CREC call the office building home. POC restaurant is located on the building’s ground floor.

The office property’s setting in Coral Gables’ walkable downtown is also appealing to tenants as the $21 million makeover of two of the neighborhood’s main retail thoroughfares, Miracle Mile and Giralda Avenue, gets underway. The submarket is home to more than 150 multinational corporations, more than a dozen luxury hotels, a free public trolley system, and boutiques and restaurants. Eighty-five new eateries opening in the last five years. Meanwhile, more than 1,500 residential units are expected to come online over the next three years.