FORECAST Development | David Martin, Co-Founder/President, Terra Group

January 6, 2021   |   Florida Trend

From high-end condos to apartments and warehouses, Miami-based Terra Group has more than $3.1 billion in developments either planned or under construction across Miami-Dade County.

This spring, the company will complete a three-acre public park off the MacArthur Causeway in Miami Beach, marking the first phase of a 333-unit residential project called Canopy Club. Terra also is building a 20-story condo tower with Italy’s Cipriani family in Coconut Grove and will soon begin building Grove Central, a mixed-use transit hub with 400 apartments and a Target store at the Coconut Grove Metrorail station.

Meanwhile, Terra has created a joint venture with Turnberry to develop an 800-room Grand Hyatt hotel next to the Miami Beach Convention Center.

In 2018, Miami Beach voters approved the hotel project, which has yet to begin construction.
 

FLORIDA TREND: What is the status of the convention hotel?

David Martin: “We’re thinking about the convention center and hotel business with a COVID lens. We’ve studied prior shocks, like Sept. 11 and the financial crisis in 2008-09, and how hotels performed. A lot will depend on the vaccination potential and the implementation of a good solid plan that will make people feel comfortable again. We’re evaluating the appropriate timing from a capital markets and financing perspective, but we will deliver this convention center hotel for the city of Miami Beach and its residents. The goal is to be able to deliver at the right time for the city and financial markets. I do believe we’ll recover, and we’ll build this hotel.”

 

FT: Has the pandemic caused you to rethink your development portfolio?

DM: “From a strategic point of view, our firm has a much more robust pipeline of logistics and light-industrial projects. We have some developments in Hialeah and Miami Lakes. In our residential communities, we’re investing in air-quality improvements throughout our buildings and upgrading our technology. We’ve also looked at our suburban neighborhoods a little closer to try to deliver some of the walkability and conveniences that exist in an urban neighborhood, whether it’s new retail offerings or new housing typologies. And I’m still a believer in grocery-anchored neighborhood centers. We’ve seen a huge suffering in the restaurant industry, but these restaurateurs will come back with new ideas.”

 

FT: How do you see the future of mass transit?

DM: “Transit is a very important factor in how our neighborhoods and communities are connected. We’ll continue to develop transit-oriented projects. I’m on the board of the Miami Underline, and their thing is how do we make these transit hubs amazing places to be and interact. I think that ridership will improve as we beautify and create better spaces for people to live and do commerce around these stations.”