Steel magnate pays $15M for two units at GLASS

October 30, 2015   |   The Real Deal

Units are full-floor residences stacked on top of each other

The founder of a major steel corporation in Ohio is linked to the $15 million purchase of two condos at the newly built GLASS condo tower in Miami Beach.

Units 1100 and 1200 at the just-completed building were sold for $7.3 million and $7.9 million, respectively, to a company called Majestic Steel Properties on Monday, Miami-Dade property records show. The company is based in Ohio and shares an address with Majestic Steel U.S.A, a wholesale supplier of steel.

Ohio corporate records show that the company, first incorporated in 1991 for the express purpose of owning real estate, is headed by Majestic Steel founder Dennis Leebow.

The family-owned company was founded in the 1970s to capitalize on that decade’s steel shortages, according to a 2009 article from Crain’s Cleveland Business. It typically has a stock of more than 200 million pounds of steel products at any given time.

 In 2007, Dennis Leebow began to step back so that his sons Todd and Jonathan could take over. Todd Leebow is currently the company’s president, and Jonathan is the executive vice president.

 A Wall Street Journal article from 2005 said Dennis actually imported palm trees from Florida to his sprawling mansion in Ohio to give it a “Miami Beach air,” so maybe he wanted more of the real thing.

Todd Leebow and his bride Shelly Sheldon just married in Miami on Oct. 3, according to their wedding website. Among the guests: Lebron James, who posted on Instagram from the event.

Because GLASS is so new, property records don’t yet reflect the square footage of the condos, so the sizes of these two units are unavailable. Their unit numbers indicate that they’re stacked on top of each other, though.

A press release from Terra Group, the developer, said the 18-story building has sold all 10 of its full-floor residences, including a massive three-story penthouse that closed for $20 million earlier this week.

New GLASS South Beach condo tower tops $70M in sales

November 3, 2015   |   The Real Deal

Eight units have sold so far, at an average price of nearly $2,700psf

A fourth new condo project in the high-end South-of-Fifth neighborhood of Miami Beach has been completed during this South Florida real estate cycle that began in 2011.

To date, eight transactions in the newly completed 10-unit GLASS project — formally called the Glass120 condominium — in the 100 block of Ocean Drive have been recorded at an average price of nearly $2,700 per square foot for a combined $70.5 million as of Monday, according to Miami-Dade County records.

Individual unit transactions in GLASS have ranged in price from $3.4 million to as much as $20 million each. On a price per square foot basis, individual unit transactions have been recorded between less than $2,100 to more than $3,000 each, according to government records.


As of Monday, one condo — unit 600 — in GLASS was listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service at an asking price of more than $3,015 per square foot based on “unit area,” according to a combination of data from the Southeast Florida MLXchange and the project’s amended Declaration Of Condominium.

This same unit 600 in GLASS was purchased on Oct. 26 at a price of about $2,094 per square foot, according to government records.

Developed by the Terra Group with the father-and-son team of Pedro and David Martin, GLASS is an 18-story condo project located on the west side of Ocean Drive next to the popular Prime 112 steak restaurant at the southern tip of the barrier island in Miami-Dade County, according to government records.

The completion of the GLASS project occurred on the same day as the nearby Marea South Beach complex that consists of three buildings and a combined 30 units located on South Pointe Drive.

The Marea South Beach recorded its first transaction about four hours before the initial deed was recorded at the Glass tower on Oct. 15, according to government records.

The first new condo project to be completed during this South Florida real estate cycle in the South of Fifth neighborhood was the 321 Ocean project that consists of a pair of buildings with a total of 22 units on the east side of Ocean Drive. Transactions for that project began to be recorded in May.

A month later, in June, the 350 Meridian boutique condo with four units was completed.

In total, developers have announced plans to build 11 new condo buildings with nearly 150 units in the South-of-Fifth neighborhood of Miami Beach. Overall in Miami Beach, developers have announced plans to build 46 new condo buildings with nearly 1,950 units in the barrier island city, according to the preconstruction condo projects website (For disclosure, my firm operates the website.)

Overall, South Florida developers have announced plans to build a total of 387 new condo buildings with more than 46,250 units east of I-95 east in the tri-county region of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach during this cycle.

In completing the GLASS project, developers have now constructed 48 new condo buildings with more than 3,715 units east of I-95 in the tri-county South Florida region since 2011.

An additional 121 new condo buildings with about 11,650 units are currently under construction in South Florida, according to the data.

The new condo projects that are under construction or recently completed account for more than 33 percent of the total units announced for South Florida during this latest boom.

An additional 30,900 new units — nearly 67 percent of the South Florida preconstruction total — are currently in the planning or presale phase of development.

The unanswered question going forward is whether buyers in the market for a condo today are as bullish on the South-of-Fifth neighborhood of Miami Beach as those developers and unit owners who are attempting to sell at increasingly higher prices.

Neighborhood evolution

October 31, 2015   |   The Real Deal

Overtown, North Beach in Miami Beach, the Arts & Entertainment District and Coconut Grove are among several areas that have emerged as the hottest real estate submarkets in greater Miami as the fourth quarter gets under way, according to recent interviews with real estate analysts and developers.

“These emerging areas are seeing a renaissance of activity,” said Alex Zylberglait, a senior vice president for brokerage firm Marcus & Milichap. “Pricing is going up as land is becoming [scarcer].”


North Beach

A quiet community with single-family homes and low-rise apartment buildings, North Beach is about to undergo a significant transformation once developer Terra Group breaks ground on its 20-story, 64-unit luxury condominium at 8701 Collins Avenue, Zylbergait said. “In the next few years, you are going to see more higher-density, mixed-use projects in North Beach,” he said. “You will also see the development push westward to the Intracoastal side.”

New York real estate investor Guy Smilovich is quite bullish on North Beach. He said in an interview that he bought in the neighborhood because the area has “long-term value.”

Smilovich is moving forward with renovating his Art Deco building at 8200 Harding Avenue. It will connect via a courtyard to a new 13-unit luxury apartment building going up on a vacant lot at 8204 Harding Avenue, with a mechanical-lift parking system.

The two properties, approved by Miami Beach officials earlier this year, are located one block west and three blocks north of Terra’s 8701 Collins project.

Smilovich also owns a four-unit building at 8144 Harding Avenue, which he might convert into a hotel.


The Arts & Entertainment District

Three years after NR Investments pitched its tent in the Arts & Entertainment District, which connects Wynwood and the Design District, the neighborhood is well-positioned for major growth, said company principal Nir Shoshani.

In 2012, NR acquired the Filling Station Lofts at 1657 North Miami Avenue and transformed the 81-unit mid-rise tower into a rental building. Since unveiling plans last year for the 37–story condo tower Canvas, NR has sold more than 200 of the 513 units, Shoshani said. His company also owns a 1-acre parcel on North Miami Avenue between Northeast 14th and Northeast 15th streets, where NR hopes to build a mixed-use project with hotel, office and residential components.

Other major developers are also banking on the Arts & Entertainment District. The Related Group is planning a three-tower mixed-use site on 2.7 acres at 1400 Biscayne Boulevard that it purchased for $57.7 million last year. The residential element will be managed by luxury hospitality company Auberge Resorts.

Shoshani said the neighborhood has all the key attributes for creating an urban village, such as being close to public transportation and high-density zoning. “In four to five years, you will have a neighborhood that has an entirely new identity.”


Nearly a decade after developers Joe and Jack Cayre set about transforming a 29-acre former rail yard into Midtown Miami — a self-contained neighborhood with four residential towers and a shopping center anchored by big-box retailers — some new developments are on track to enter the picture in the coming months. In September, the Related Group and Dezer Properties broke ground on the Hyde Midtown Suites & Residences after selling 70 percent of the 410 residential units.

Just east of the abandoned Florida East Coast railroad tracks near Midtown Miami, developer Alex Vadia has submitted plans to the City of Miami for a massive residential, retail and restaurant complex.

“There hasn’t been much new development coming to the Midtown market for about eight years,” said Tony Cho, CEO of Metro 1 Realtors. “With all the activity taking place in Wynwood and the Design District, Midtown is poised to benefit from the spillover effect.”



In the historically African-American neighborhood of Overtown, a pair of massive mixed-used projects near downtown Miami could serve as catalysts for more redevelopment projects.

The construction of All Aboard Florida’s MiamiCentral complex near the Miami-Dade government center is well under way. In June, crews began pouring the foundations for a five-block project stretching along Northwest First Avenue. MiamiCentral is where All Aboard Florida’s commuter rail line from Orlando to Miami will make its last stop. The site will include five rail tracks, a train depot, four towers, a garage, almost 1 million square feet of office and retail space and more than 1,300 apartments, condos and hotel rooms.

Developers for the $1.7 billion Miami Worldcenter are preparing the 27-acre site for construction, which is scheduled to begin by the year’s end. The project includes a 500-unit Paramount Miami World-center condo tower that will be constructed atop a 765,000-square-foot retail and entertainment center anchored by Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s and developed by Forbes and Taubman. A 1,800-room Marriott Marquis hotel and convention center, as well as a tower by Orlando-based developer ZOM, with 429 luxury rental apartments, are also part of the project.

Despite a Goldman Sachs report that Taubman has “the potential to not go forward with (sic) World Center,” a Forbes executive said the national shopping center developer remains committed to the project, the Miami Herald reported in June.

Miami Worldcenter is receiving $88 million in tax rebates over 12 years for creating jobs for local residents of Overtown and other Miami neighborhoods.

Overtown’s potential is generating significant investor excitement, Paramount developer Daniel Kodsi said during a September real estate forum about Asian buyers, noting that 40 percent of the 60-story tower’s 513 units have been sold and 13 percent of the buyers are from China, an emerging market for Miami condo developers.

Affordable housing developers are also breaking ground on projects catering to middle–class working professionals.

Atlantic Pacific Communities and Palmetto Homes are constructing Island Living, an eight-story building with 70 units and 5,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space at 1201 Northwest Third Avenue. At least 50 percent of the units will be set aside for buyers with incomes not exceeding 60 percent of the area’s median level. The project is financed with bonds issued by the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency

In June, former Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning’s AM Affordable Housing and partner Housing Trust Group broke ground for Courtside Family Apartments, an 84-unit mid-rise at 1700 Northwest Fourth Avenue. The $22.8 million project is being financed with $9 million in Florida Housing Finance Corp. low-income housing tax credits, $3.31 million in construction debt from Citi Community Capital, $7.5 million from Miami’s Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency and a $1.75 million Miami-Dade County surtax loan.


Little Havana

The July sale of a Little Havana super-market shows how hot properties in the historic Miami neighborhood have become. Last year the commercial building’s market value was about $605,000, according to Miami-Dade County property appraisal records. The property flipped for almost double the price and was sold to Calle Ocho Marketplace for $1.06 million. The market value for several neighboring properties has also ballooned by $200,000 to about the $500,000 mark.

Further east, closer to neighboring Brickell, Megacenter Brickell, a company that lists Pablo Wichmann and Patricio Ureta as managers, purchased almost three-quarters of an acre on both Southwest Seventh and Eighth Street at Fourth Avenue for $7.93 million, or about $253 per square foot. The previous owner, Key Biscayne-based London Real Estate Co., had paid $1.2 million for both lots in 2011.

Scott C. Sandelin, a national retail specialist for Marcus & Millichap who co–brokered the Calle Ocho Marketplace deal, said the supermarket was the fifth property in nine months that his firm had handled in Little Havana.

“Investors are taking notice of the opportunities to capitalize on the urban renewal in eastern Dade County,” Sandelin said in a statement. “We expect that the demand for properties will continue to escalate with new developments.”

Realtors have also begun marketing Little Havana as Miami’s next frontier. In April, downtown Miami real estate agency Fausto Commercial Realty took a group of real estate professionals, from bank loan officers to developers, on a promotional tour of Little Havana as part of an effort to illustrate that the historic neighborhood, home to many Spanish–speaking immigrants from Latin America, is primed for redevelopment.

One developer already making headway is the Astor Cos., which recently received $46.7 million in bank financing for its InTown mixed-use project now under construction at 1940 Southwest Eighth Street. The site, which includes a 312-unit condo tower, eight townhouses and 18,000 square feet of ground floor retail, is expected to be finished by the end of 2016.

In June, Astor founder Henry Torres said he is marketing the condo as “affordable luxury” units, adding, “I truly believe in Little Havana.”

Other developers targeting Little Havana include the Chetrit Group, with plans to build four 60-story towers along the Miami River.

Historic preservationists, however, have been running interference with the city of Miami to halt efforts to rezone the area for higher density and thus entice new development. They claim the proliferation of high-rises in Little Havana would destroy the neighborhood’s character. Earlier this year, their activism led to the creation of the River-view Historic District, which protects a few square blocks of east Little Havana that housed Latin American refugees and immigrants who arrived in the United States during the first half of the 20th century.


Coral Gables

For many years, tony Coral Gables had avoided the type of heavy development that has swept through Miami and Miami Beach. Not anymore, said Masoud Shojaee, chairman of development firm Shoma Group, which joined forces with developer Ugo Colombo’s CMC Group to build the Collection Residences, a 128-unit, 10-story luxury condominium, in the heart of Coral Gables. The Collection joins a slew of high-density projects that are under construction or in the planning stages.

In July, the Coral Gables city commission greenlit the Mediterranean Village at Ponce Circle, billed as the largest development in the city’s history with more than 1 million square feet of hotel, condos and shopping on 6.7 acres. Other projects include an Aloft Hotel being built on Le Jeune Road and 33 Alhambra, a proposed 16-story residential tower that would take up most of a city block.

“When I started purchasing land in Coral Gables four years ago, there was nothing moving in the city,” Shojaee said. “There was no new construction. Today, it is very difficult to find a property. We got in early.”


Coconut Grove

With developers Terra Group and the Related Group partnering to create Park Grove, a three-tower luxury condo project, and Terra also building the 90-unit Grove at Grand Bay, Coconut Grove is poised for a “wonderful comeback,” said W. Allen Morris, head of Allen Morris Co.

“What Terra is doing is going to take the Grove into a whole new paradigm shift,” Morris said in an interview. “It is only going to get better and better.”

Investors certainly seem to think so. In March, an entity controlled by famed Miami architect Bernardo Fort-Brescia renovated the Engle Building at the corner of McFarlane Road and Main Highway and announced a roster of new tenants including Harry’s Pizzeria, Panther Coffee and Clyde Butcher gallery. A month later, a group of Latin American buyers plunked down $2 million (10 times the last sales price) for a 10,502-square-foot commercial property in the West Grove.

And in May, a partnership between Maryland-based Federal Realty Investment Trust, Grass River Property and the Comras Co. bought the Cocowalk shopping complex in a deal valued at $87.5 million and unveiled plans to redevelop the center and include a new tenant mix.

Global by design

May 4, 2016   |   The Real Deal

Miami-Dade is an international hotspot. About 55 percent of the county’s population is foreign-born and it was foreign investors who reenergized Miami’s real estate market following the fall of Lehman Brothers and the ensuing financial crisis.

Yet despite the area’s global appeal, most developers have been content until recently with retaining local architects to design their buildings.

Not anymore.

An increasing number of private developers are looking all over the world for architectural superstars to design their products. Rodolphe el-Khoury, dean of the University of Miami School of Architecture, said local developers are casting a “wide net” for acclaimed architects. The hunt is also a “recent phenomenon,” which started taking place in earnest within the last three years, he added.

“A lot of developers now see a value in having one of those big name architects designing their building,” el-Khoury told The Real Deal.

A lot of that value is promotional. But not all of it.  “You can say that this is just a fad and it’s all about marketing and branding,” el-Khoury said, “but that is a limited, cynical view. It is really about delivering a better product.”

David Martin, president of the development firm Terra Group, said he appreciates the knowledge that renowned foreign-born architects bring to a project. “I learned how to be a better developer,” Martin said. “That’s why we work with some of these amazing people and why we want to bring them to Miami to learn our city and our ecosystem.”

Below, meet some of the architects from abroad who have recently entered Miami’s market.


Renzo Piano

In the course of his 51-year career in architecture, Italian architect Renzo Piano has won several accolades for his work, including the Pritzker Architecture Prize, which is basically the Pulitzer Prize for architecture.

Piano’s firm, the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, has designed more than 120 projects across the planet, including the Menil Collection in Houston, the Tjibaou Cultural Center in New Caledonia, the Kansai International Airport Terminal in Osaka, London Bridge Tower (the Shard) in London and the new Whitney Museum in New York.

Now Piano, 78, has finished plans for his first condo project in Miami.

“He is just an amazing gentleman,” said Martin. “He’s someone who has accomplished so much.”

Martin said Piano was the perfect man to design Eighty Seven Park, a future 233-foot-tall oceanfront luxury condominium tower in Miami Beach at 8701 Collins Avenue, where units are being marketed for as high as $20 million.

“Renzo has worked all over Europe building these amazing museums and structures,” Martin said. “And what I found in every project he did is that it’s connected to nature.”

That was one of the reasons Martin sought Piano to build a “simple and elegant” building that would match the green natural surroundings that can be found in nearby North Shore Open Space Park, as well as the development’s own two-acre private park. “It was truly an honor to work with him.” Martin said.


Thomas Juul-Hansen

Thomas Juul-Hansen, 46, was born in Copenhagen and journeyed to Miami at the age of 18, soon after graduating high school in Denmark.

“It was supposed to be a short period of time,” Juul-Hansen, who ended up staying for nearly six years, told TRD. “I ended up liking this country a lot more than Denmark,” he said.

It was at the University of Miami where Juul-Hansen got his undergraduate degree in architecture. He went on to get his master’s degree in architecture at Harvard and wandered the States for a while, before landing a job at Richard Meier and Partners in New York. He later set up his own practice in the Big Apple, designing condos for billionaires.

His first design project in South Florida is Three Hundred Collins, a 19-unit South Beach boutique condo that’s being developed by Jason Halpern, the founder and managing partner of JMH Development.

“It’s always interesting to try and decipher what the DNA is for the site you’re working at,” Juul-Hansen said. “We were trying to figure out what Miami Beach is all about, what the architecture of Miami Beach is all about, and then find our own interpretation.”

What he came up with was a building with deep balconies that are big enough to create an outdoor living room and a 75-foot long private rooftop pool. Juul-Hansen plans to collaborate with Halpern again for a future condo project in Surfside.

“Miami is all about the outdoors” he said. “We would like to do more projects here, especially in the winter time.”


Ricardo Bofill

Ricardo Bofill, a Spanish architect who founded Taller de Arquitectura in 1963, has designed government buildings, theaters, airports, train stations, retail centers, hotels, apartment complexes, condominiums and office towers.

Those projects can be seen all over the world, including in Spain, Sweden, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, China and Japan and in countries in South America and states in the U.S., too.

But in South Florida, Bofill’s contribution to date has been limited to designing a waterfront mansion for Mexican singer Paulina Rubio.

That’s about to change. Camilo Miguel, Jr., the chief executive officer of Mast Capital, retained Bofill to create 3900 Alton Road, an eight-story luxury condo development in Miami Beach set to break ground in 2017.

Miguel told TRD in an email exchange that he obtained Bofill’s architectural services because “it was important to have someone whose talents aligned with our vision of elegant simplicity while also integrating the highest quality.”

The 76-year-old architect’s reputation doesn’t hurt either. “The arrival of an architect like Ricardo Bofill signifies how dynamic and exciting the South Florida market has become,” Miguel noted.

Bofill said his design for 3900 Alton Road was inspired by water.

“When first visiting the site, I immediately thought of the surrounding water and I imagined a transparent building, a fluid floating weightless object,” the architect told TRD. “The challenge was to make a contemporary yet classical design.”

The result is a layer L-shaped building with a “glass-skin, connecting streams where energy and space flow,” Bofill said. “Gardens are introduced to create an ecological scheme that not only makes the building more sustainable but allows the building to become alive.”


Piero Lissoni

Piero Lissoni always wanted to work in metropolitan Miami. He just never had the chance until recently. According to the 60-year-old Italian architect, as recently as 10 years ago most private projects were restricted to South Florida-based architects.

“Now a lot of architects are starting to work in Miami,” Lissoni told TRD. “They’re designing new museums, new theaters, new public spaces, new schools and, of course, new homes.”

For the last 30 years, Lissoni and his Milan-based firm, Lissoni Associati, has designed hotels, apartments, offices, showrooms, houses and even yachts all over the globe. Lissoni’s entry into South Florida’s real estate market was via Lionheart Capital. In 2012, the Miami-based real estate development firm hired him to design the Ritz-Carlton Residences Miami Beach by Surprise Lake. His task: help convert the former Miami Heart Institute into a 111-unit luxury condo complex.

It was a long process, one that is scheduled to finally end in late 2016. The challenging job earned Lissoni several admirers and, more importantly, additional assignments. Among those jobs is the 28-story Oceana Bal Harbour and the 53-story ONE Paraiso in Miami’s Edgewater. Both projects are due for completion in 2017.


Isay Weinfeld

Isay Weinfeld, 64, knows how to create aesthetic hideouts in dense urban environments, according to Josh Weissenstein, a director at New York-based HFZ Capital Group. That is one of the main reasons HFZ hired the Brazilian architect to design the transformation of South Beach’s Shore Club into the first Fasano-branded project in the U.S. and, incidentally, Weinfeld’s first project in South Florida.

“His appreciation for the harmonious relationship between indoor and outdoor living pairs perfectly with our vision for Fasano Miami Beach,” Weissenstein told TRD by email.  That vision, as described by Weissenstein, was the creation of a three-acre “oasis” for 67 condo units and 85 hotel rooms.

It helped that Weinfeld’s extensive portfolio includes designing the flagship Fasano Hotel in São Paulo, the Fasano Las Piedras “hospitality complex” in Uruguay and the Fasano-branded Fazenda Boa Vista residential resort in Porto Feliz, Brazil.

“Isay’s rich history with the Fasano brand fuels his excitement for bringing the brand to the U.S. with us in Miami Beach,” Weissenstein noted.


Brandon Haw

When you build new projects along the historic Collins Avenue in Miami Beach’s Mid-Beach neighborhood, you have to make sure they fit within the corridor’s dynamic architectural tapestry, Brandon Haw said.

The 55-year-old architect from London compared such a task to arranging a chess board with black and white pieces. While the pieces have different shapes and functions, Haw noted, you can’t just place a red chess piece in the middle of the board.

Haw spent the last 26 years at Foster + Partners, an innovative architecture firm led by the renowned British architect Norman Foster. As a senior partner, Haw supervised the designing of Hearst Tower in New York, HSBC’s United Kingdom headquarters in London and the Commerzbank Headquarters in Frankfurt.

In 2013, Foster put Haw in charge of designing the 18-story Faena House in Miami Beach, where residences were reportedly fetching an average price of $3,130 a square foot as of February.

In 2014, Haw left Foster + Partners to form his own New York-based firm, Brandon Haw Architecture. Soon afterward, Argentine developer Alan Faena retained Haw to build Faena Versailles Contemporary, a 16-story condo tower just a block away from Faena House in Miami Beach, with views of the ocean from aerodynamic balconies designed to generate less wind pressure.

Haw said he’s talking to “a small number of people” to build additional projects elsewhere in South Florida and that he’s particularly interested in boutique offices or institutional buildings.

“It’s not all about high-end residential,” he said. “A city environment is made up of many different components.”

Multimillion-dollar makeover unveiled for North Shore Open Space Park

March 7, 2017   |   The Real Deal

$6 million renovation of Miami Beach park to be funded by Miami’s Terra Group

March 07, 2017 06:00PM 
By James Teeple

Read article at:

North Shore Open Space Park, the nearly 28-acre natural oasis that stretches from 78th Street to 87th Terrace in Miami Beach, is about to get a complete makeover.   

The park, known for its dense vegetation, is a popular destination for weekend visitors from the mainland who like the generally uncrowded beach area that runs along the park, and North Beach residents who enjoy running in the park and who make extensive use of its dog park.   

The Miami Beach Design Review Board on Tuesday reviewed plans that will transform the park, by adding paved walkways and more open vegetation that allow for greater visibility, as well as a paved beach walk that will make it possible to rollerblade or bike from 87th Terrace to South Pointe Park in South Beach.   

The plan was presented to the board by Calvin, Giordano & Associates and WEST 8 Urban Design & Landscaping Architecture, which also designed the Miami Beach Soundscape Park. West 8 is also working on the project design for Eighty Seven Park, a planned luxury condominium developed by Terra Group on the site of the old Howard Johnson Dezerland Hotel, just to the north of the park. Terra President David Martin bought the site for $65 million in 2013 and agreed to fund $10 million in improvements for North Beach, $6 million of which has been designated for the redesign of North Shore Open Space Park.   

New plans for the park call for adding two entranceways to the current four, and for enhancing the entranceways with sculptured metal gates. The plans also call for extensive buffering of vegetation, which now mostly grows wild. Gianno Feoli, project manager for North Shore Park at Calvin, Giordarno & Associates, told the board that while extensive trimming and pruning of vegetation will take place when the new park is finished, there will actually be 4,040 trees there, 217 more than what the park currently has. 

Feoli told The Real Deal the “big idea” behind the park’s re-design “is to celebrate the spectacular botanic quality that the park has and that is something that has permeated every aspect of the design.”  

While most North Beach residents are supportive of the park’s re-design, Paula King, who spoke on behalf of several North Beach neighborhood associations, said many residents oppose current fencing around the park and don’t like the new fencing designs. She said many neighbors also want enhanced lighting for the park. Feoli said in his discussions with neighborhood residents many expressed concerns about the removal of shade trees and safety. He also said Miami Beach police have said they want a “physical boundary” around the park so they can enforce trespassing statutes. Several board members also said that changing the lighting would conflict with environmental regulations that facilitate the passage of sea turtles through the park. Board members approved the design submissions, but asked for a re-hearing on the fencing and lighting issues as well as on where the park’s playground should be placed.



Terra and Related top off Park Grove at 80 percent presold: PHOTOS

March 21, 2017   |   The Real Deal

March 21, 2017 06:00PM 
By Katherine Kallergis


Terra Group and the Related Group’s Park Grove condo development has topped off at 80 percent presold, developer David Martin said on a construction tour of the property.

Park Grove, a 297-unit three-tower complex at 2701 South Bayshore Drive, will also house a 3,500-square-foot restaurant by Michael Schwartz on the ground floor of the project, which includes One Park Grove, Two Park Grove and the Club Residences. The latter two buildings will be completed by the beginning of next year, and the developers plan to break ground on One Park Grove next year, according to a spokesperson.

Schwartz’s restaurant, which will mark his second in Coconut Grove after Harry’s Pizzeria, is slated to open in about a year, the restaurateur said. New York-based Meyer Davis is designing the space, a casual restaurant that incorporates natural materials like concrete and wood into its design, Will Meyer said. “The design is very organic, Bohemian, welcoming. Everything opens out onto the park,” he said. “It’s the heart of the neighborhood.”

Meyer Davis is also designing Schwartz’s eatery at Related’s Paraiso Beach Club in Edgewater, which is expected to open in the fall.

Prices at Park Grove range from $1 million to $14 million. Buyers hail from the Northeast, South America and from Miami, Martin said – a similar profile to buyers at his Grove at Grand Bay project, which was delivered in August. Healthcare billionaire Mike Fernandez and race car driver Emerson Fittipaldi put contracts on units at the project.

Terra and Related paid $55 million for the 5.2-acre site in 2013, which included the Coconut Grove Bank headquarters. The bank announced this week that it had moved into its new headquarters, a 30,000-square-foot building on the corner of the same lot.

The developers secured a total of $174 million in construction financing for Park Grove between 2013 and 2015. Mack Real Estate Group and Regions Bank are the lenders. OMA/Rem Koolhaas is the architect, and the project will also feature a 2-acre sculpture park by Enea Landscape Architecture.

Terra also just released plans to convert a nearby parking garage into a mixed-use retail building.

Coconut Grove has quickly emerged as a commercial and residential hotspot over the past two years. Tenants like Büro, Panther Coffee and Schwartz’s Harry’s Pizzeria opened locations in the walkable neighborhood, which is centered around CocoWalk, a once-popular outdoor mall that will be redesigned as a mixed-use center with an open plaza and new office space.

Terra, partner land $32M construction loan for office building in Coconut Grove

July 5, 2017   |   The Real Deal


Terra Group and Mayfair Real Estate Advisors have closed on a $32.26 million construction loan for their 78,0000-square-foot, mixed-use office building in Coconut Grove called Mary Street. Property records show Terra and Mayfair took out the mortgage from BB&T Bank. Chris Dekker is marketing and leasing the office component. The retail space will front Mary, Oak and Rice streets. The soon-to-come Class A office and retail complex at 2860 Oak Avenue was once a 402-space parking garage. Records show Terra paid $16 million for the site in January of last year from the Miami Parking Authority. Plans for Mary Street’s redevelopment include three floors of office space with 18,000 square feet of retail space, according to a press release. Touzet Studio is designing the project, which will have retail on the ground floor and above ground public and office parking, according to the release. Touzet also designed the new Nike and Apple stores on Lincoln Road, and the renovations of the Delano Hotel and the Raleigh Hotel in Miami Beach. The building’s amenities will include 24-hour security, covered valet and drop-off, elevators with direct office access, electric car charging stations and bicycle stations. Construction is planned to begin in August with completion slated for late 2018, according to the release. Terra, led by David Martin, is busy in the Grove. The firm delivered Grove at Grand Bay, a 98-unit twin-tower project designed by starchitect Bjarke Ingels, in August, and is completing Park Grove with the Related Group. – Amanda Rabines

Terra, partners boost construction loan for Eighty Seven Park to $155M

September 1, 2017   |   The Real Deal

September 01, 2017


Terra Group and its partners just took out $63.8 million in construction financing for Eighty Seven Park, boosting their mortgage to $155 million.

Property records show Singapore’s United Overseas Bank Limited is providing the financing to 8701 Collins Development LLC. It adds to the previous $91.2 million the developer secured with the Asian bank.

Eighty Seven Park, designed by Renzo Piano, is being developed by Terra in partnership with Bizzi & Partners Development, Great Eagle Holdings and Vector Group subsidiary New Valley. The developers plan to begin vertical construction soon, but did not provide a date. It was set to go vertical more than a year ago as the condo market slowdown was settling in.

Douglas Elliman is leading sales for the 70-unit, 20-story oceanfront tower planned for 8701 Collins Avenue in North Beach. It’s more than 60 percent sold with more than $250 million in total sales volume, according to a press release.

Prices range from $1.6 million to $15.2 million and units from 1,400 square feet to more than 7,000 square feet.

The tower will feature an underground parking garage, a gym/spa and a rooftop terrace. Rena Dumas Architecture Intérieure and WEST 8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture, the latter of which designed the Miami Beach Soundscape Park, are also working on the project design. Eighty Seven Park will also be surrounded by a forest of 200 trees that will also infiltrate the ground floor lobby.

Amenities will include access to an outdoor juice bar, salon and full-time botanist.

Terra purchased the property, which was the site of the former Howard Johnson Dezerland Hotel, from Sunny Isles Beach developer Michael Dezer for $65 million in 2013. That hotel, which was originally known as the Biltmore Terrace, was built in the early 1950s and demolished in 2015. Its lobby was designed by famed architect Morris Lapidus.

The shoppers are coming

September 21, 2017   |   The Real Deal

by Francisco Alvarado


In pitching new retailers on why they need to open a location at Downtown Dadeland, Continental Real Estate Companies’ (CREC) Vice President Rafael Romero presents a flyer featuring photos of the well-known local chefs behind four restaurants that have opened in the past 18 months at the retail and residential development in Kendall. 

Romero tells prospective tenants about how restaurants like Barley, an American Brasserie; Harry’s Pizzeria; Pubbelly Sushi; and Ghee Indian Kitchen are reshaping the 7.5-acre Downtown Dadeland into a destination that will draw in affluent consumers from throughout South Florida as well as those living in the immediate area, where the estimated median household income is $137,237. 

“Those establishments are part of a concentrated effort to create a restaurant row that has completely revitalized Downtown Dadeland,” Romero said. “To get them, we went to every chef event we could find in South Florida. If there was a croquet contest and they were there, we were there, too.” 

At a time when many brick-and-mortar brands continue downsizing or disappearing altogether from the American retail landscape, South Florida commercial brokers are courting tenants with sales pitches that focus on the region’s growing population and changing demographics. 

The tri-county region added about 482,000 residents between 2010 and 2016, according to a March 2017 report by Florida International University analyzing recent U.S. Census figures. That growth has largely been fueled by immigrants —  the university’s report found that net international migration to the region increased 397 percent in that period. It remains to be seen how President Trump’s immigration policies could affect this trend.

To land some tenants, the brokers are working with landlords to revamp existing properties and configure new developments into experiential destinations. They’re also giving start-up businesses and established brands short-term leases to test out empty storefronts. And some good old-fashioned networking helps to land deals, too. 

“Cold-calling and being a voice on the phone is not enough,” Romero said. “You need to get in front of them, show them pictures and explain the vision to get them to buy in. It is more than just promoting a building. You have to create a scene for them.” 

To be sure, retail real estate is performing better in South Florid than in other parts of the country. Colliers International’s second-quarter retail report showed Miami-Dade’s vacancy rate was just 3.8 percent, Broward’s was 3.7 percent, and Palm Beach’s was 4.5 percent.  In comparison, the national retail vacancy rate rose to 10 percent in the same period, according to real estate research firm Reis Inc. And a recent report from online real estate marketplace Ten-X placed Miami and Fort Lauderdale in the first two slots of its top “Buy” markets for retail investors, forecasting  that the metropolitan areas will experience a combined 14 percent growth in net operating income by year’s end.

However, local asking rents are growing at a slower pace than the 3 percent national rate, per JLL’s 2017 spring retail report for South Florida. In the second quarter of 2017, asking rents only ticked up 1 percent in Miami-Dade, 2 percent in Broward and 2.7 percent in Palm Beach. The brokerage also placed Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach among 15 cities that have reached the peak of the market cycle.

A more anecdotal sign that South Florida is not immune to the shrinking base of department, apparel and accessory stores is the fact that brokers are concentrating more on fitness tenants like indoor cycling studios and fighting gyms as well as entertainment providers such as bowling alleys and luxury movie theaters .

“There is not much deal flow for traditional apparel and trinket sellers,” Romero said. “These other categories have stepped in and given rise to the lifestyle center.” 

Robert Granda, commercial brokerage Franklin Street’s South Florida retail director, said he is advising landlords he works with to target start-up business owners doing old school concepts like luxury barbershops and cigar bars. 

“It could be a barber from Los Angeles or New York who is looking to open his first location,” Granda said. “Typically, landlords would like to see a track record. I will tell them men’s grooming and barbershops are hot tenants because they provide services that are driven by the experience of being there.”

To attract a retailer, some landlords are willing to offer short-term leases for pop-up stores, says Rod Castan, president of leasing and management for Courtelis Company. The property owner gets to temporarily fill an empty space while the tenant gets to test out a storefront, he explained. 

“You will see landlords willing to take chances on incubating a retail concept,” Castan said. “That is a method we have used in Florida’s softer markets.”

For instance, House 2 Home Goods — a tenant at the Shops of Surfside in Cape Coral — opened under a three-month lease in February but in May converted to a longer term agreement, Castan said. In Miami, French macaron maker Ladurée opened a permanent spot in the Design District in June 2016 after testing out a two-month pop-up inside the Chrome Hearts boutique at 4025 Northeast Second Avenue during 2015’s Art Basel. 

In other instances, the national retail slowdown means Castan’s team has to make more cold calls and do more face-to-face meetings with potential tenants. “We are rolling up our sleeves and doing old-school leasing … Our agents are on the road almost every day visiting other shopping center and trade areas looking for potential tenants.” 

The promise of a development that has a social center is what gets many retailers to sign on the dotted line.

In Pembroke Pines, Courtelis has been successful in preleasing 75 percent of the 300,000-square-foot retail, entertainment and restaurant space at Pines City Center. Developed by Terra Group, the 47-acre mixed-use development is being built in two phases, with the first scheduled for completion by 2018. Major tenant signings include Publix, Carl’s Patio, Cooper’s Hawk, BurgerFi and Outback Steakhouse.

“These types of projects tend to have more attractive common areas and are better gathering places from a development standpoint compared to traditional shopping centers,” Castan said. “Bringing in ethnic, fast casual and healthy dining concepts is another way to make the projects more successful.” 

Castan said he and his team show potential tenants renderings of Pines City Center to point out the features that will draw people in. “The center has transitional plazas between buildings and attractive rotundas, and the parking areas are planned to be more pedestrian-friendly,” he says. “These areas create gathering spaces where we can have pop-ups, art exhibits, music and other features that will make the shopping center more interesting to visit.”

Another large-scale mixed-use development that is following a similar retail recruitment strategy is Metropica, which has leased about half of its 485,000 square feet of retail. In all, the 4 million-square-foot development in Sunrise will have more than 2,200 residential units in addition to retail, dining and entertainment space, a wellness and fitness facility, a park and other recreational amenities.

“In the past, landlords would need a department store or a big box retailer as an anchor tenant,” says Sandie Witmer, in-house director of retail leasing for Metropica. “Today, the environment you create is the anchor.”

Witmer’s leasing team has been working on a curated restaurant collection as one of Metropica’s “environment anchor” concepts. “Retailers now look at the restaurant mix to see if it attracts different types of clientele,” Witmer says. “If they think someone eating there could be a customer, they want to be there, too.” 

Using this strategy, the $1.5 billion megadevelopment has signed popular eateries like Harry’s Pizzeria, Bulla Gastrobar, Shake Shack and Fogo de Chao to go alongside entertainment tenants iPic Theaters and Kings Bowl and retailers such as Anthropologie and Kendra Scott Jewelry.

So far, retail leasing in South Florida remains strong enough and vacancy rates are low enough that brokers and landlords don’t need to offer “crazy concessions,” said CREC’s Romero. 

“We’ve been in the single digits for a very long time,” he said. “Retail is very much alive.”

Neighborhood dive: Coconut Grove reinventing itself as a luxury enclave

December 14, 2017   |   The Real Deal

New developments include Fairchild Coconut Grove, Park Grove and Arbor

By Francisco Alvarado | December 14, 2017 08:45AM

Coconut Grove has long played an important role in Miami’s transformation into a bustling metropolis.

Discovered in the early 19th century by mariners attracted to bubbling freshwater springs along its coastline, it was one of the city’s earliest settlements founded by maritime traders from the Bahamas and Europe. After its official founding in 1873, Coconut Grove went through several evolutions during the next 100 years to become a tropical oasis for artists, intellectuals and modern-day swashbucklers.

By the 1980s, the bohemian village began another metamorphosis into a hangout for teenagers cruising through Main Highway and Grand Avenue and college students partying at local bars and nightclubs. In 1990, the open-air retail center CocoWalk opened its doors, signaling a push to make Coconut Grove more commercial by bringing in national chains like The Gap and AMC Theatres.

However, competition during the early 2000s from burgeoning neighborhoods and retail districts in Brickell, South Miami and Coral Gables severely impacted Coconut Grove’s commercial appeal, driving tourists and locals away. There was also a lack of new residential development, causing buyer interest to wane in the neighborhood.

“I have worked in the Grove for the last seven years,” said Karen Elmir, a Realtor associate with Cervera Real Estate. “The market for condos was almost non-existent. It was hard to sell anything above $800 a square foot.”




Terra, Banyan buy Coconut Grove site, ink ground lease with co-working company

October 4, 2018   |   The Real Deal

URBIN signed a 99-year ground lease and plans to open by 2020

By Amanda Rabines

A joint venture between Terra and Banyan Street Capital just bought the site of a vacant mixed-use building in Coconut Grove, and inked a ground lease with co-working space operator URBIN.

The 31,000 square-foot mixed-use property at 3138 Commodore Plaza traded hands for $7.2 million, or about $247 per square foot, with URBIN inking a 99-year ground lease. A spokesperson declined to comment on the lease terms.

The seller, CP Miami LLC, is tied to MG3 Development Group. Records show the property last traded for $3.4 million in 2003. It was formerly home to the Academy of Arts and Minds charter school.

Built in 1986, the four-story building consists of ground-floor retail space, three floors of office space and on-site structured parking.

The co-working space operator plans to renovate the building and open by early 2020. It recently paid $12.5 million for a five-story office building in Coral Gables – the company’s first location in South Florida.

The Coconut Grove property, next to the Coconut Grove Playhouse redevelopment site, is zoned to allow for a mix of uses including creative office, retail, residential, and hospitality.

Cushman & Wakefield’s Miguel Alcivar, Dominic Montazemi, Scott O’Donnell, Greg Miller and Jason Hochman represented the seller.

Retail roundup: Terra’s Pembroke Pines project now 95% leased & more

November 1, 2018   |   The Real Deal

New York & Co., pop-ups opening at Galleria at Fort Lauderdale

By Amanda Rabines

Clockwise from top left: Pines City Center, a rendering of Bal Harbour Shops, the New Wynwood building at 160 Northwest 26th Street, and Galleria at Fort Lauderdale

Terra’s Pines City Center reaches 95% occupancy

A number of new retailers have signed onto Terra’s 47-acre Pines City Center, bringing the mixed-use project to 95 percent leased.

New tenants include Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar, which inked a 8,151-square-foot lease at the Pembroke Pines development. The Louisiana-based sports bar chain is co-owned by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees. Other new tenants include Chuy’s Tex Mex, Paradise Grills, McAlister’s Deli and Davvero Pasta.

The developer recently broke ground on phase two of the project, which will add an additional 150,000 square feet of retail alongside 387 apartments. Courtelis Company is handling leasing.


On the scene: The Underline breaks ground

November 2, 2018   |   The Real Deal

By: Amanda Rabines

The Underline breaks ground

The first portion of the planned $120 million linear park, set to stretch roughly 10 miles underneath the Metrorail from the Dadeland South Station to the Brickell Station, broke ground on Thursday.

Swire Properties Vice President Chris Gandolfo, Friends of The Underline founder Meg Daly, and developers David Martin of Terra and Pinnacle Housing Group’s Louis Wolfson were among the party’s attendees.


Here’s what real estate players heading to Art Basel need to know

December 4, 2018   |   The Real Deal

Developers, brokerages and architects are capitalizing on event to showcase their luxury projects, boost their visibility

By Ina Cordle, Katherine Kallergis, Keith Larsen and Amanda Rabines

UPDATED, Dec. 5, 10:35 a.m.: Real estate and art converge this week, as developers, brokerages and architects capitalize on the well-heeled crowd descending on Miami to boost the visibility of their luxury projects.

Brokerage firms are sponsoring art fairs, condo projects are hosting lavish parties and exhibits, architects and designers are holding book signings, and museums are offering art-studded VIP soirees during Art Basel Miami Beach and Art Week — all geared to lure the artsy set.

Christie’s International Real Estate, along with EWM Realty International, is a marquee sponsor of Art Miami and its sister event, CONTEXT Art Miami, for the eighth consecutive year.  Christie’s and its affiliates will host an interactive booth at the main entrance of Art Miami, displaying luxury residential properties from around the world.

Art Miami’s works on display will include Peter Anton’s CHOCO TOWER, a 10-foot tall sculpture of five chocolates stacked on top of each other that weighs more than 1,000 pounds. Made from painted aluminum, the sculpture will be on display at Stuttgart-based Galerie von Braunbehrens’s booth, part of an edition of three works, each painted in different colors.

The developers of the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Sunny Isles Beach, which just topped off, will be the official sponsor of the 17th annual ArtNexus Party in Wynwood. Developed by Fortune International Group and Château Group, The Ritz-Carlton Residences will be hosting the VIP lounge during the party, with a scale model of the condo tower.

The event will also unveil Uruguayan artist Pablo Atchugarry sculpture for the exterior of the project’s Oceanside tower. Atchugarry will debut a sketch of his piece, and guests will celebrate the opening of his family gallery in Wynwood, the Atchugarry Art Center.

Acqualina Resort & Spa’s AQ Bar is hosting an event on Thursday, in partnership with Fine Art Mia. AQ bar will be adorned with a collection of original contemporary masterpieces by famous American artists Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Keith Haring and Jeff Koons and British contemporary artist Damien Hirst. Among them: Liz by Andy Warhol painted in 1964 and Alfred Hitchcock from 1983 and Damien Hirst’s Mickey in blue glitter from 2016.

Art Basel show partner Douglas Elliman is hosting a series of events, beginning with a property showcase in the Collectors Lounge of the art fair. Elliman is working with Artefacto, which is furnishing the New York brokerage’s new development gallery, and including a virtual reality presentation of new developments.

Elliman is also hosting a tour of “architecturally significant” new projects currently on the market in Miami Beach for Elliman and Knight Frank agents in town. On Thursday, the company is unveiling its fifth annual Elliman Magazine Art Issue at 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach.

Italian architect Antonio Citterio will be giving a talk at Design Miami on Wednesday with the home and design editor of Departures, discussing luxury architecture and design. Citterio is designing Arte, a 12-story, 16-unit condo building in Surfside being developed by Alex Sapir.

Arte is also placing an art installation through Sunday featuring a video by Sophia Hanover and Stuart Parr projected onto the building at 8995 Collins Avenue.

Cervera Real Estate is sponsoring Red Dot Miami and Spectrum Miami for the second year in a row. Cervera’s hosting “The Art of Living” collection at Red Dot Miami, beginning with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday and ending on Sunday at Mana Wynwood. The collection will showcase some of Cervera’s exclusive projects, including Aston Martin Residences Miami, Aria on the Bay and Elysee Miami.

Oppenheim Architecture’s Ilona Oppenheim and the Related Group’s Jorge Pérez on Tuesday evening will celebrate their new book “Island in the Light,” which features 35 artists and 30 writers celebrating contemporary Cuban art, music and literature.

TRA Publishing is launching the book at a private event at Two Park Grove, a luxury condo building developed by Pérez and David Martin’s Terra. Cuban musician Pavel Urkiza will compose original scores inspired by the book’s selection.

In Edgewater, Pérez is unveiling the Paraiso District, a group of condo towers the Related Group recently completed. Artists Santiago Parra, Omar Barquet and Pablo Atchugarry will be at the event on Friday morning. Pérez and his wife, Darlene, are also hosting an invitation-only private breakfast and stroll through their art collection at his home in Coconut Grove this week.

The Bass Museum in Miami Beach is hosting a VIP reception Wednesday to celebrate the opening of The Haas Brothers: Ferngully during Miami Art Week. Also on view, Paola Pivi: Art with a view and Aaron Curry: Tune Yer Head.

In addition to hosting a number of offshoot art events and fairs in Wynwood and downtown Miami, real estate investor and developer Moishe Mana is having a birthday bash at his Wynwood complex on Tuesday. Mana and InList are hosting the party, starting at 9 p.m. and ending at 4 a.m. Lance Bass will MC the event, which is featuring performances by Cedric Gervais and others.

Nearby, broker and developer Tony Cho will have a pop-up experience at the Wynwood Gateway building called “Ignition.” The event, on Thursday evening, will feature artwork by Olivia Steele, Tyler Goldflower, J. Margulis and Dino Urpi in rooms of an on-site hotel, which will then be listed on Airbnb. The event will benefit the nonprofit Path of the Panther.

The nonprofit Berkowitz Contemporary Foundation is hosting a preview party for its new art-inspired building in Edgewater, where the foundation will showcase its art collection.

The project, designed by Rene Gonzalez Architects, will display Richard Serra’s “Passage of Time,” a 218-foot-long sculpture that will be installed in the courtyard. The 45,000-square-foot building was designed to incorporate an 80-foot-tall light installation by James Turrell’s “Aten Reign.” The building is slated to be completed in 2023.

Gonzalez also designed Sotheby’s (RED) Auction exhibition. Artist Theaster Gates and architect Sir David Adjaye are hosting an event Wednesday in the Moore Building in the Miami Design District, which will auction works of art by Jeff Koons, Pierre Jeanneret, Zaha Hadid and more, with proceeds benefiting the Global Fund to Fight AIDS and the Rebuild Foundation.

On Friday, Valli Art Gallery is hosting a private event in Miami Beach’s Star Island. Valli Art Gallery is collaborating with Techrin Hijazi of William Raveis Real Estate to showcase post-war and contemporary Italian art aboard a 140-foot luxury yacht docked at 44 Star Island Drive. The estate is on the market for $18.4 million. The event will be hosted by Italy’s Radio 105.

Swire Properties’ Brickell City Centre is hosting its annual art fair, free to the public, from Thursday through Sunday. Featured works were curated and produced by Anthony Spinello in partnership with Swire Properties. Artists include Hank Willis Thomas, Emily Shur and Genevieve Gaignard.

CASACOR Miami is also being held at Brickell City Centre for the second straight year. The visual design exhibition, a partnership between Swire Properties and COSENTINO, features architecture, interior and landscaping design exhibits.

Miami is getting a rare look inside the world of Banksy at the planned site of the Magic City Innovation District. The Little Haiti site just opened an exhibit with over 80 original works by the artist. The Art of Banksy is curated by Steve Lazarides, Banksy’s former business partner, and displays the world’s largest collection of the artist’s works, including the “Balloon Girl” and the “Flag Wall.”

Lexus held a kickoff cocktail for Design Miami at Le Sirenuse at Fort Partner’s Four Seasons Residences at The Surf Club on Monday, unveiling its luxury crossover vehicle, LF-1 Limitless, designed by Japanese architect Socha Ichikawa. Lexus is the official automotive partner of Design Miami.

Last week, even before Art Basel, some developers began celebrating art and design. Jade Signature in Sunny Isles Beach’s developers Edgardo and Cristina Defortuna held a book signing of Pierre Yves Rochon’s Interior Splendor. Rochon designed the common areas of Jade Signature, including the lobby, library, and Club Room, and also designed the interiors of London’s Savoy, the Four Seasons George V in Paris and the Waldorf Astoria, now under construction in New York.

TA Realty buys first phase of Terra’s Pines City Center for $80M

December 6, 2018   |   The Real Deal

Publix-anchored shopping center also leased to Cooper’s Hawk, City Mattress and Humana

By Katherine Kallergis

TA Realty paid $80 million for the first phase of Pines City Center, a mixed-use project that Terra is developing in Pembroke Pines.

David Martin’s Terra sold nearly 150,000 square feet of retail space at the southwest corner of Pines Boulevard and Palm Avenue, according to property records. The shopping center is anchored by Publix, Rooms to Go Outdoor and West Marine.

The deal breaks down to about $550 per foot. Other tenants include Outback Steakhouse, Cooper’s Hawk, City Mattress and Humana, according to a release. The developer paid nearly $16 million for the property in 2016 and secured a $54.3 million loan from Oakland Finance & Investment LLC at the time.

Terra is currently building another 150,000 square feet of retail, entertainment and restaurant space next to apartments that are also under construction at Pines City Center. Only the first phase of the retail component sold to TA Realty, a Boston-based asset manager. Phase two will be completed next year.

The mixed-use project will also include a $60 million civic center with a 3,500-square-foot performing arts center and conference hall, an outdoor plaza, a 10,000-square-foot art gallery and a new city hall for Pembroke Pines.

About a year ago, Terra closed on nearly $82 million in financing for the second phase of retail and the 387-unit multifamily development.

Miami Beach to negotiate convention center hotel deal with Jackie Soffer and David Martin

July 2, 2018   |   The Real Deal

Agreement could head to voters for approval in November

By Francisco Alvarado


Miami Beach officials will soon begin hammering out a deal with the development team led by Jackie Soffer and David Martin to build a new convention center hotel.

On Monday, the city commission voted unanimously to let city manager Jimmy Morales negotiate the proposed terms with Miami Beach Connect, the development entity created by the powerhouse builders proposing an 185-foot-tall hotel with 800 rooms adjacent to the newly renovated Miami Beach Convention Center.

The goal is to have an agreement that Miami Beach residents can vote on in the November general election.

Soffer and Martin recruited Arquitectonica and its subsidiary Arquitectonica Geo to create a sleek project that incorporates environmentally conscious elements into the building design and landscaping that help combat flooding and other effects of climate change. Their Miami Beach Connect ensemble also features Craig Robins’ Dacra, which is conducting urban planning; Meyer Davis Studio, which is in charge of programming the restaurant; and Coastal Tishman, the general contractor.

While there appears to be overwhelming support among city commissioners for their proposal, the odds don’t favor the Soffer-Martin partnership. Residents have rejected previous convention center hotel referendums, most recently in 2016. Atlanta-based Portman Holdings had worked out a development deal with the city for a 288-foot, 800-room hotel that was defeated by voters.

Some commissioners cited concerns about traffic congestion and the number of rooms as long-standing reasons voters have said no to a convention center hotel.

Commissioner Michael Gongora said he was surprised Miami Beach Connect submitted an 800-key hotel proposal given voters rejected Portman’s version with the same number of rooms. “I am concerned that if it is still at 800 rooms, we may not get to where we want to be,” he said.

A Miami Beach Connect spokesperson previously told The Real Deal that the developer would be able to reduce the room count. However, Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Bill Talbert said that Miami Beach needs to have a hotel with at least 800 rooms in order to compete for major conventions.

If built, Miami Beach Connect’s hotel would rise on a surface parking lot next door to the convention center and behind the Fillmore at the Jackie Gleason Theater. The Soffer-Martin team has pegged the price tag between $348 million to $362 million. About 65 percent would be financed with construction loans and the remainder through partner equity.

Miami Beach Connect is offering the city 2.5 percent of the hotel’s gross operating revenues, which would come out to roughly $2 million in the fifth year of the deal. The two parties would enter into a 99-year ground lease. The city could collect $10.2 million a year when the revenue sharing is combined with taxes the project would have to pay.


Terra, Grass River’s Coconut Grove project axes hotel plans

May 1, 2018   |   The Real Deal

By Amanda Rabines

Developers want to build 288 apartments instead of a 206-room hotel

Terra and Grass River Property no longer plan to build a hotel as part of a mixed-use project at the Coconut Grove Metrorail station. Instead, the developers are opting for more apartments.

Preliminary development plans called for a 206-room hotel and about 134,200 square feet of commercial space, but recent plans filed by the developers to receive county bond funding describes Grove Central as consisting of 288 apartments and 135,000 square feet of commercial space, according to the South Florida Business Journal.

The application pegged the project’s cost at $162.3 million. Terra President David Martin told the publication at least 15 percent of the apartments at Grove Station would be workforce housing.

Units at the apartment complex will range from about 550 square feet to 880 square feet. Rentals would be made up of 96 two-bedroom units and 192 one-bedroom units, which would average $1,705 per month, according to the South Florida Business Journal. Features also include a parking garage with about 900 spaces, including 200 spaces dedicated for public use.

The 5-acre property, formerly a parking lot for the Metrorail station,sits on the northwest corner of Southwest 27th Avenue and South Dixie Highway.

The developers are seeking a $4.5 million bond through the Builder Better Communities bond program. They closed on the leasehold interest in 2016 for $196 million. Miami-Dade County Commissioners approved a development agreement that requires Grass River to pay Miami-Dade 3 percent of revenues.

Martin told the publication he hopes to break ground in late 2018 or early 2019. [SFBJ] 

Miami board approves three mixed-use projects in Coconut Grove, Little Havana and Wynwood

July 20, 2018   |   The Real Deal

Projects are to be developed separately by Redsky Capital, Terra and Altman

By Francisco Alvarado

Three significant, yet separate, mixed-use projects proposed by Redsky Capital, Terra and the Altman Companies breezed through Miami’s Urban Development Review Board, receiving unanimous approvals this week.

Redsky is planning an eight-story building with 144,781 square feet of office space and another 36,072 square feet of commercial space on three properties totaling 1.25 acres in the heart of Wynwood.

Called Forum, the project is designed to create a friendly pedestrian environment through paseos that connect all of the proposed building’s frontages, as well as an enclosed parking garage, according to Redsky’s letter of intent. Forum will also feature multi-level open terraces, plazas, passageways and accessible retail frontages. The project architects are Stantec and Ten Arquitectos.

The development site is located at 235-257 Northwest 27th Street, 252-276 Northwest 27th Terrace and 2700 Northwest Second Avenue, all of which Redsky purchased from Goldman Properties for $30.75 million in 2016.

Redsky required approval from the Urban Development Review Board because the size of the project’s floor area exceeds 2,000 square feet.

In Coconut Grove, Terra is proposing Summerhill, an office-apartment project designed by Arquitectonica that would rise next door to the company’s Grove at Grand Bay condo building. Located at 2655 South Bayshore Drive, Summerhill would feature two 20-story residential towers with 303 units sitting atop of a seven-story pedestal that would house 32,000 square feet of office space and a shared parking garage. The project would also have some ground-floor retail and two lobbies.

Like the Forum development, Summerhill’s floor area exceeds 2,000 square feet, requiring the board’s approval. Terra would demolish an existing seven-story building with 97 apartments to make way for Summerhill.

In an emailed statement, Terra President David Martin said Summerhill would target renters who want to live in one of Miami’s “most exciting neighborhoods.”

Meanwhile, Altman is looking to jump in on Little Havana’s hot market. The firm is under contract to purchase a property at 2100 Southwest 8th Street where it would develop a building with 224 residential units and 9,500 square feet of ground-floor retail. The project would be called Altis Little Havana.

The review board approved eight waivers including a 3 percent increase in maximum lot coverage, substitution of one commercial loading berth to two residential loading berths, and a 10 percent reduction of the required parking.

Avra Jain and David Martin buy site across from Miami Northwestern High School, plan sports entertainment facility

July 25, 2018   |   The Real Deal

Developers scored a $12.5M loan for new facility

By Katherine Kallergis

A partnership between Avra Jain and David Martin of Terra closed on a property and financing for a new project in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami, just west of Little River.

Jain and her business partner Joe Del Vecchio are partnering with Martin to build a 95,000-square-foot flex warehouse development on the 4.7-acre site at 1010 Northwest 72nd Street, Jain said.

David Avan’s 1010 NW LLC sold the property to 1010 NW Investments LLC. The buyer paid $3.75 million for the property and secured a $12.5 million loan from Lion Financial. Alfredo Riascos brokered the off-market deal.

The site, which covers an entire city block across from Miami Northwestern Senior High School, last sold for about $2 million in 2015.

The developers are in talks with sports entertainment companies to lease the facility, Jain said. She expects to sign a deal within two months. Potential uses could include skate parks, indoor volleyball, rock climbing and other indoor sports. The development will also include on-site parking.

Jain and Martin have partnered together in the past. In 2015, they sold the office building at 3550 Biscayne Boulevard in Edgewater to Mack Real Estate for $18.75 million.

Jain, who is best known for redeveloping the Vagabond Hotel on Biscayne Boulevard, is also working on rehabbing apartment buildings in Overtown.

Martin, with projects in Coconut Grove, Doral, Pembroke Pines and North Beach, is partnering with developer Jackie Soffer to build a convention center hotel in Miami Beach.

A spokesperson for Terra did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Miami Beach residents to vote on Jackie Soffer and David Martin’s convention center hotel

July 25, 2018   |   The Real Deal

800-room hotel would cost up to $362M and be financed with loans and partner equity

By Francisco Alvarado

For the second time in two years, Miami Beach voters will again decide if the city gets a convention center hotel.

On Wednesday, the city commission voted unanimously to place a referendum on the Nov. 4 ballot asking residents whether the city should enter into a 99-year lease with a star-studded development team, headlined by Jackie Soffer of Turnberry Associates and David Martin of Terra Group.

The group submitted the lone proposal in Miami Beach’s latest attempt to build a hotel that would attract major conferences and conventions.

Miami Beach Connect — the entity set up by Soffer and Martin — wants to build an 185-foot hotel with 800 rooms on 2.6 acres adjacent to the Miami Beach Convention Center and behind the Fillmore at the Jackie Gleason Theater. The development group would spend between $348 million and $362 million on construction of the hotel, using loans to finance 65 percent of the cost. The rest would be financed through partner equity.

Miami Beach Connect’s hotel would pay the city roughly $16.6 million in rent or a percentage of the revenues, whichever is greater, according to the resolution approved by the city commission. When the Soffer-Martin team unveiled its proposal, representatives said the city could earn up to $10.2 million a year from the hotel based on taxes the project would have to pay.

Whether the city’s return and the sleeker, shorter design submitted by Miami Beach Connect will win over voters who rejected a 2016 proposal by Atlanta-based Portman Holdings for a 288-foot-tall hotel could be a tough sell. Residents still have concerns about the traffic a convention center hotel would bring to the city’s clogged streets.

“The 500-pound gorilla was always the traffic issue,” said City Manager Jimmy Morales. “But this is the only hotel that will bring more business for other hotels and only hotel that can attract high-end conventions and trade shows.”

Alex Heckler, a lobbyist for the developers, said project architect Arquitectonica designed the hotel with resolving the traffic concerns as one of the top priorities. The driveway is designed to hold a significant number of vehicles in order to avoid traffic backing up onto Convention Center Drive, he said.

“This is different than Portman deal,” Heckler added. “This is 100 feet lower. It is the same size as clock tower on Lincoln Road. They didn’t try to maximize the site.”

The Miami Beach Connect team also includes Craig Robins’ Dacra, which is conducting urban planning; Meyer Davis Studio, which is in charge of programming the restaurant; and Coastal Tishman, the general contractor. The hotel would connect to the newly renovated convention center via a skybridge.

Terra and AvalonBay buy Doral office park for mixed-use development

May 22, 2018   |   The Real Deal

By Katherine Kallergis

Trammell Crow will build 350-unit luxury apartment building on the site

Terra and AvalonBay Communities just paid $33.5 million for a development site in Doral.

The developers acquired the Atrium Office Park and adjacent restaurant at 3900 Northwest 79th Avenue in Doral, across the street from CityPlace Doral. Avalon Doral LLC paid $20 million for 4.6 acres of the site and Doral Atrium Retail Investments paid $13.5 million for the remaining 5.2 acres, property records show.

An LLC owned by Armando Guerra sold the 9.8-acre site.

Trammell Crow Residential will build Alexan Doral, a 350-unit luxury apartment building on the site for AvalonBay, according to Saul Perez, who represents Trammell Crow in South Florida. The project will include 40,000 square feet of amenities, including a gym, bike path, parks, a pool deck and lounge.

Terra, led by David Martin, plans to build about 80,000 square feet of Class A retail space on the property. Construction is expected to start this summer with a date to turn over to tenants of 2020, according to a statement from the developer.

Perez represented the buyers in the land sale. The properties last sold for $9.8 million in 2000 and $1.9 million in 2001, according to property records.

Terra also closed on a $45.3 million mortgage from Doral Blvd Finance & Investment LLC for the property.

Earlier this year, Terra filed plans for Doral Square, a 145,000-square-foot retail center at the southeast corner of Northwest 36th Street and Northwest 87th Avenue. The developer paid $12.5 million for the 2.9-acre site, also an office building, in September.

The Related Group, Shoma and PGIM opened the nearby CityPlace Doral at 8300 Northwest 36th Street about a year ago. The $800 million, 55-acre development features more than 1,000 residential units and about 40 restaurants and retailers.

The South Florida Business Journal first reported the Atrium Office Park sale.

Avra Jain, Terra among developers planning new projects in Hialeah

August 29, 2018   |   The Real Deal

Pointe Cos. and Lincoln Property Co. also propose new developments

By Amanda Rabinea

A slew of developers are proposing new projects for the city of Hialeah, amid strong efforts to transform its image from an industrial and manufacturing district into a trendy residential and commercial area.

New entertainment venue proposed near Hialeah Market Station

Among the new projects, developers Avra Jain and David Martin of Terra are partnering to refurbish an aging 6-acre industrial complex at 4800 Northwest 37th Avenue. The site is just north of the Hialeah Market Station and Tri-Rail/Metrorail Transfer Station, where the city recently up-zoned 300 acres to allow for more commercial and residential development.

On Tuesday evening, Hialeah’s City Council unanimously approved a land-use amendment that will rezone the property from industrial to transit-oriented development.

Attorney Jorge Navarro, who represents the developers, told council members that the developers plan to refurbish the existing warehouse property and transform it into a new entertainment venue with restaurant space, art galleries and breweries. Renovation plans also will include new landscaping and adding cobblestone streets, Navarro said.

The warehouse complex was built in 1932 and was once the largest bed manufacturing plant in the city before it was abandoned. The property is currently vacant.

More details for the site will be presented at the next city council meeting in September. The property is currently owned by Daniel Karnis and is under contract for an undisclosed price.

Jain is best known for redeveloping the Vagabond Hotel on Biscayne Boulevard. She is also working on rehabbing apartment buildings in Overtown. Martin, who has projects in Coconut Grove, Doral, Pembroke Pines and North Beach, is partnering with developer Jackie Soffer to build a convention center hotel in Miami Beach

Jain and Martin are also bringing a sports-themed entertainment facility to Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood, just west of Little River.

Terra Group scores Kaufman Rossin as main tenant at Mary Street

September 25, 2018   |   The Real Deal

The office building, which is under construction, is now fully leased

By Keith Larsen

Kaufman Rossin just inked a lease to become the main office tenant in Terra’s Mary Street project in Coconut Grove.

The Coconut Grove-based accounting and advisory firm, one of South Florida’s largest, signed a 15-year lease with options to renew to occupy 64,666 square feet in the planned Class A office building at 2860 Oak Avenue. The entire 77,840 square feet of office space in the building is now fully leased, with Terra planning to occupy the remaining 13,174 square feet.

The move signals the broader demand for Class A office space in Miami and in Coconut Grove where office vacancy rates are 1.7 percent, according to a recent report by JLL. The Mary Street building could be the first Class A office space in the Coconut Grove business district since 1989 if it is completed before other office buildings that are under construction.

Terra is developing the project in partnership with Mayfair Advisors. Touzet Studio designed the building, which is now under construction and is expected to be completed by mid-2019, according to a press release. In total, the building will have five floors, retail storefronts, and a publicly accessible parking garage.

Kaufman Rossin will be moving from its existing office at 2699 South Bayshore Drive in Miami, just two blocks away. The firm will occupy the building’s top two floors of offices, as well as half of the third floor. Almost 300 of the company’s employees will be located in this office, starting in June 2020, according to the release. A 340-space parking garage and street-level retail and restaurant space will occupy the building’s lower floors.

Formerly the site of a parking a garage, Terra paid the Miami Parking Authority $16 million for the property in January 2016. Terra and Mayfair Real Estate Advisors secured a $32.26 million construction loan in July 2017 from BB&T to start building the mixed-use project. Mary Street’s retail portion will be about 16,766 square feet of frontage. Signed tenants include Jaguar Therapeutic, OXXO Cleaners, Elia restaurant, the Workout Spot, and a private dentistry practice, according to the release.

Other developers are also seeing opportunities in the Coconut Grove office market. Optimum Development USA is building a five-story, Class A office building planned for 3480 Main Highway. Nearby, CocoWalk is being redeveloped by Federal Realty Investment Trust, Grass River Property and the Comras Company with plans to build a five-story office building and street-level retail space.


Group led by Jackie Soffer, David Martin is sole bidder for Miami Beach Convention Center hotel Team includes Arquitectonica, Dacra

June 15, 2018   |   The Real Deal

By Katherine Kallergis

A group led by developers Jackie Soffer of Turnberry Associates and David Martin of Terra is the sole bidder to submit a proposal for a Miami Beach Convention Center hotel.

Miami Beach Connect, which includes Bernardo Fort-Brescia’s Arquitectonica, Craig Robins’ Dacra, Meyer-Davis and Coastal Tishman, will go before the city’s evaluation committee meeting next Thursday, a spokesperson for the team confirmed.

The $600 million-plus renovation and expansion of the Miami Beach Convention Center is expected to be completed later this year.

The hotel RFP was issued more than two years after Miami Beach voters rejected a previously proposed 288-foot, 800-room hotel by Atlanta-based Portman Holdings. The privately financed development requires 60 percent approval from voters. Portman received only 54 percent approval.

The hotel would be built on the same site, behind the Fillmore at the Jackie Gleason Theater, which would not be redeveloped. Under the new request for proposals, the hotel would be a third smaller than the previous design. It would be no taller than 185 feet and would have between 550 and 800 rooms.

As part of Miami Beach Connect — which is not affiliated with Turnberry or Terra — ArquitectonicaGEO would handle landscape design, Rockwell Davis would design the interiors and Meyer Davis would design the restaurant.

Both Soffer and Martin have business in Miami Beach. Turnbery owns the Fontainebleau Hotel, a 1,594-room resort at 4441 Collins Avenue, and Terra is building Eighty Seven Park, a 70-unit, 20-story luxury condominium tower at 8701 Collins Avenue.

Miami Beach Convention Center hotel proposed by group led by Jackie Soffer and David Martin would cost at least $348M to build

June 21, 2018   |   The Real Deal

By Francisco Alvarado

Proposed hotel could generate $10M in annual revenue to the city

The development group led by Jackie Soffer and David Martin would build a compact, sleek convention center hotel in Miami Beach that incorporates environmentally conscious design elements aimed to mitigate the impacts of climate change. The price tag would be between $348 million to $362 million with 65 percent financed with construction loans and the remainder through equity from the partnership.

In exchange for a 99-year ground lease, the Soffer-Martin controlled entity Miami Beach Connect is offering the city 2.5 percent of the hotel’s gross operating revenues, which would come out to roughly $2 million in the fifth year of the deal. Combined with the real estate, food and beverage and resort taxes the project would generate, Miami Beach could collect a total of $10.2 million a year.

Those were the key points Miami Beach Connect team members highlighted on Thursday during the unsealing of the partnership’s bid to build the city a hotel with 550 to 800 rooms next door to the Miami Beach Convention Center. Miami Beach Connect was the only group to submit a proposal since the city requested bids in May.

Soffer and Martin headlined a presentation before a seven-member evaluation committee and a standing-room only audience at the Wolfsonian-FIU museum in Miami Beach. The Miami Beach Connect team also includes Craig Robins’ Dacra, which is conducting urban planning; Meyer Davis Studio, which is in charge of programming the restaurant and Coastal Tishman, which will be the project’s general contractor.

“We believe we can deliver the quality project you are looking for,” Soffer told committee members. Added Martin: “We look forward to partnering with the city. We believe the time is now.”

Miami Beach Connect is proposing a hotel with an 800-key, L-shaped tower that measures 185 feet tall with a parking podium. Although a spokesperson for the group said the number of hotel rooms could be reduced if city officials and residents want it to be smaller. The project would also have a covered pedestrian bridge that connects directly to the convention center and an outdoor, elevated promenade which is designed to help mitigate flooding. Arquitectonica designed the building and its subsidiary Arquitectonica Geo is handling the landscaping.

Arquitectonica founding prinicipal Bernardo Fort-Brescia said he and his team of architects analyzed previous convention center hotel proposals and the recommendations of a blue ribbon committee to avoid incorporating elements that have been rejected before, while emphasizing elements that had received positive feedback. “We looked at how we could make the best solution possible,” he said.

Other green aspects of the design include a solar trellis on the roof of the building and street trees rooted to the groundwater that can act as living pumps. To mitigate traffic, one of the major reasons previous convention center hotel referendums have failed, the Miami Beach Connect project calls for a driveway and drop-off area that is six times bigger than previous proposals. The larger footprint would allow the hotel to accommodate a valet operation, buses, taxis and ride sharing vehicles and take them off the public right-of-way, according to Miami Beach Connect’s traffic consultant.

While Miami Beach’s $600 million renovation of the convention center is almost complete, getting a hotel off the ground has been much more difficult. In 2016, voters rejected a 288-foot, 800-room hotel proposed by Atlanta-based Portman Holdings.

The project would be built on a surface parking lot that is next door to the Miami Beach Convention Center and behind the Fillmore at the Jackie Gleason Theater. After the evaluation committee ranks the Miami Beach Connect proposal, City Manager Jimmy Morales would then make a recommendation to the city commission in three weeks on whether to accept or reject the group’s bid.

Cheers! Terra and Terranova pay $40M for PepsiCo’s regional HQ

January 2, 2018   |   The Real Deal

By Katherine Kallergis 

24-acre site could be developed into 500K sf commercial project

Two Miami developers are quenching their thirst for South Florida land.

A joint venture between Terra and Terranova paid $40.3 million for PepsiCo’s regional headquarters and distribution center in Doral, a spokesperson said. The food-and-beverage giant arranged a sale-leaseback with the buyers, 7777 Investment LLC, for the 232,000-square-foot facility at 7777 Northwest 41st Street.

PepsiCo put the 23.7-acre site on the market in July with NAI Global and NAI Miami. Any future development would have to be approved by the city of Doral, but Terra and Terranova expect the site could be redeveloped into 500,000 square feet of commercial space, according to a press release. It’s currently zoned industrial.

Stephen Bittel, chairman and founder of Miami Beach-based Terranova, said the property could become a master-planned mixed-use community, a distribution center or a corporate headquarters. It sits next to the Palmetto Expressway and near Miami International Airport and Trump National Doral Miami.

The developers financed the deal with a loan from Palmetto Finance and Investment. They declined to comment further on plans for the property.

Terra, led by co-founder and president David Martin, has been active in Doral, where its projects include the Doral Commons, a retail development, and Modern Doral, a single-family home community. The Miami developer also paid $12.5 million for a parking lot near the PepsiCo facility. There, Martin plans to build a low-density retail project.

Bittel’s company is developing projects off Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, including The Lincoln Eatery, a food hall, and it just completed a new building leased to Anthropologie. Terranova’s portfolio includes more than $1 billion in assets, according to its website.

In November, Bittel stepped down as chairman of the Florida Democratic Party due to reports of inappropriate conduct.

Jamestown buys Publix-anchored shopping center in Doral

January 15, 2018   |   The Real Deal

By Amanda Rabines

Terra sold the 140,000 sf plaza for about $510 psf

Jamestown just paid $71.6 million for a Publix-anchored shopping center in Doral developed by Terra, property records show. Jamestown’s Jamestown Doral Commons paid about $510 per square foot for the property. Cushman & Wakefield was the listing brokerage.

Terra completed Doral Commons, a 140,000-square-foot, 18.3-acre retail plaza at 7550 Northwest 104th Avenue, in 2016. Previous sales information was not available online.

Doral Commons in anchored by a 49,000-square-foot Publix and is currently 95 percent leased to tenants that include TJ Maxx, Citibank and McDonald’s. Courtelis Co. handled leasing the property.

The retail plaza is across from Terra’s 319-unit single-family residential community, Modern Doral. The Coconut Grove-based developer is also building Pines City Center, another Publix-anchored retail development in Pembroke Pines.

Jamestown, a commercial real estate investment and management firm based in Atlanta and Germany, owns several retail properties in South Florida, including the portfolio of Collins Avenue Fashion District buildings, shopping centers and multifamily complexes.

Terra files plans for retail center in Doral

February 6, 2018   |   The Real Deal

By Amanda Rabines

Doral Square will feature 145k square feet or retail and restaurant space

More retail stores and restaurants are coming to Doral, adding to the surge of mixed use-projects and residential development underway.

Terra just filed plans to deliver Doral Square, a 145,000-square-foot retail center at the southeast corner of Northwest 36th Street and Northwest 87th Avenue, according to the South Florida Business Journal.

Doral Square would rise on a 3.9-acre parking lot by the Doral Court office building at 8600 Northwest 36th Street, which Terra bought in September for $12.5 million from Miami-based Banyan Street Capital. That same month Terra scored a $60 million loan to build the three-level retail center from Coral Gables-based Fort Lauderdale Finance and Investment.

Terra’s plans include razing an annex building that would reduce the size of the Doral Court office building to 150,000 square feet from 210,000, according to the publication. Doral Square will be designed by Touzet Studio and Beame Architectural Partnership and will feature five retail and restaurant buildings, plus an interior parking garage that connects to the second and third floors.

Terra President David Martin told the South Florida Businss Journal that he can see a fitness center taking up space in the third floor. Retail spaces in Doral Square would range from 2,000 square feet to 30,000 square feet on the upper floors.

Groundbreaking on the project isn’t expected until next year, according to the publication. [SFBJ] 

Neighborhood Dive: Doral morphs from industrial business center to luxury enclave

October 10, 2018   |   The Real Deal

Codina Partners, Terra, the Related Group, Shoma Homes and Lennar among big risk takers in the northwestern Miami-Dade city

By Francisco Alvarado

Doral is still officially a young city, incorporated only 15 years ago. But Doral’s roots date back to the 1950s, when Doris and Alfred Kaskel scooped up 2,400 acres of swampland for $49,000 on which they built a grand hotel, country club and golf resort nearly a decade later. The Kaskels, apartment developers from New York City who also built a pair of Art Deco hotels in Miami Beach, named their new resort after themselves — and Doral was born.
Today, the Kaskel’s resort lives on. And it’s new owner is none other than President Trump, who picked up the property at auction in 2011 for $170 million and renamed it the Trump National Doral Golf Club. Between the time the Kaskels owned the massive site and Trump took over, Doral has become one of Miami-Dade’s most significant industrial office markets. More than 28 national and global corporations, including the Miami Herald, Univision and Carnival Cruise Line, to name a few, are headquartered in Doral.
According to a 2017 Florida International University study, Doral is home 775 firms that do manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, energy development and global logistics and trade; employing 11 percent of the city’s population and generating more than $2 billion in annual sales.
Doral’s economic drivers have fueled mostly office and industrial projects with some gated community residential developments. Among the first housing projects was Doral Park, a joint venture between Lennar Homes and the Kaskel’s grandson Bill.
Signs of Change
In 2013, Codina Partners broke ground on Downtown Doral, an ambitious mixed-use project that the developer claims will create a true urban center for the young city. The master planned community opened about three years later and ushered in a new wave of retail and food and beverage options typically seen in neighborhoods east of I-95 such as Aventura or Brickell. Among the trendy tenants are women’s fashion retailer Cattiva Boutique and the Japanese themed Dragonfly Izakaya and Fish Market.
The retail district is meant to serve residents who will be occupying 2,840 residential units — including condos, townhouses and rental apartments — Codina has planned for Downtown Doral. The first tower, 5252 Paseo, was completed in early 2016 and sold out, as did the second tower, 5300 Paseo.
Codina and longtime partner Jim Carr have also teamed up to build Canarias, a luxury custom home development adjacent to Downtown Doral. Canarias features 343 single-family homes and 52 townhomes.
Carr said Downtown Doral represented a huge risk for Codina because of the city’s long history as an industrial and office market powerhouse, but had no real track record with ambitious mixed-use projects. “It was a pretty gutsy move to demolish 120 acres of office buildings and do a new downtown,” Carr said. “What we are seeing with Canarias are families who want to work in Doral and want to be able to walk to restaurants and shops.”
Residential take
“We’re seeing more local South American buyers that have been here for 10-plus years selling their previous properties to upgrade to newer construction that offers amenities for their families. Doral is very attractive to families due to the schools, gated communities and amenities the city offers,” said Elizabeth “Eli” Santurio, the Keyes Company.
Commercial take
“The demand for office space in Doral has really pushed demand on the residential side, which has created a need for more goods and services in the area. That has led to development of a robust retail infrastructure with brand new shopping centers,” said Joe Abood, Avision Young.
Population: 53,426
Median age: 35
Median income: $72,623
Average household net worth: $401,311
Most expensive residential sale
$1.5 million on Aug. 16 for a three-bedroom, four-bathroom house totaling 4,320 square feet at 115 Northwest 128th Avenue.
Least expensive residential sale
$175,000 on Sept. 5 for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo totaling 992 square feet at 8160 Geneva Court.
Most expensive home on the market
$6.7 million for a 10-bedroom, 10-bathroom estate totaling 11,676 square feet at 9464 Northwest 52nd Doral Lane.
Price trends
Median sales price per square foot: $232, 7% more than Miami-Dade average.
Increase in average rent over the last year: 10% to $2,400 a month.
New developments
Around the same time Downtown Doral was completed, the Related Group and Shoma Homes put the finishing touches on CityPlace Doral.
The $800 million, 55-acre mixed-use project features 250,000 square feet of retail including northwest Miami-Dade’s first Fresh Market, a CineBistro-Cobb Theatre and 20 restaurants and bars. The project will have a total of 1,000 housing units broken up into 150 single-family homes, 700 rental apartments and 320 condos.
Closer to the Florida Turnpike sit several new residential developments that target buyers looking to buy large single-family homes. For instance, Terra has finished most of its new community, Modern Doral, where houses are fetching between $860,000 to $1.5 million. The homes feature four-to-six bedrooms, two-to-three car garages, and 12-foot high ceilings that take up between 3,100 square feet to 4,500 square feet.
The project is located next to Doral Commons, a retail center anchored by Publix and TJ Maxx developed by Terra in 2016 and recently sold to Jamestown for $71.6 million. Terra is also building Doral Square, another retail center on a 3.9-acre parking lot near the Trump National. The company plans to develop 81,000 square feet of retail and restaurants.
Meanwhile, Century Homebuilders Group and Devtov are developing Mansions at Doral, a luxury single-family home community on Northwest 107th Avenue. Preconstruction prices at Mansions start at $1.2 million.
And Lennar and CC Homes have plans to build 2,209 residential units, 30,000 square feet of retail space and 150,000 square feet of office space on the site of a former 130-acre golf course.

Terra closes on $91M loan for Pines Garden at City Center

July 30, 2019   |   The Real Deal

By Katherine Kallergis
Developer David Martin’s Terra closed on $91 million in financing for its Pembroke Pines project.
Records show Terra City Center MF secured the loan from Mack Real Estate Group for the recently completed Pines Garden at City Center, a 387-unit luxury rental complex at 10400 Southwest City Center Boulevard.
The debt replaces a $56.7 million construction loan from Florida Community Bank, which closed in December 2017.
Pines Garden is part of Pines City Center, a 47-acre master-planned community. Retail tenants include Publix, Cooper’s Hawk, Outback Steakhouse, West Marine, BurgerFi, Smoothie King, Bento Café, Halal Guys, and UFC Gym, according to a spokesperson.
Late last year, Terra sold the first phase, nearly 150,000 square feet of retail space at the southwest corner of Pines Boulevard and Palm Avenue, to TA Realty for $80 million.
Terra has another 150,000 square feet of retail, entertainment and restaurant space next to Pines City Center.
The mixed-use project is directly next to a $60 million civic center with a 3,500-square-foot performing arts center and conference hall, an outdoor plaza, a 10,000-square-foot art gallery and a new city hall for Pembroke Pines.

David Martin’s Miami Beach Marina proposal heads to voters in November

July 29, 2020   |   The Real Deal

Proposal calls for roughly 38-story tower with resi, commercial, marina and park.

Voters will decide if developer David Martin can redevelop the Miami Beach Marina into a high-rise, mixed-use tower.

The Miami Beach City Commission on Wednesday agreed to send the proposal to a referendum in November.

Martin’s Terra is proposing a tower of up to 385 feet in height, or about 38 stories tall. It would include about 60 residential units encompassing 275,000 square feet, as well as 45,000 square feet of retail, restaurant, office and marina space, and a 1-acre park on the Miami Beach Marina site at 300 to 400 Alton Road.

To make it onto the November 3 ballot, commissioners had to approve the agenda item, which had passed on first reading June 24. The resolution from the city’s June commission meeting included the development agreement, sale of the property and air rights, a new marina lease, and the vacation of a right-of-way. The existing building, which houses the restaurant Monty’s Sunset, would be demolished.

The city entered into a lease in 1983 to operate and maintain the Miami Beach Marina and property until 2022. Now, Martin is proposing a 99-year lease.

A majority of voters would have to sign off on the project for it to move forward.

In a statement, Martin said the marina is “in need of significant improvements to keep it competitive and address the challenges of sea level rise and climate change.” The marina project would include more than 2 acres of publicly accessible open space and a 1-acre Marina Park and baywalk.

Martin brought in Bjarke Ingels Group to design the development. Ingles designed Terra’s Grove at Grand Bay project, a two-tower luxury condo in Coconut Grove.

The Coconut Grove-based developer is active in Miami Beach. He’s partnering with Crescent Heights on the Canopy Club, a residential tower, and Canopy Park, previously known as the 500 Alton development and later Park on Fifth. Terra, Crescent Heights and their partner New Valley recently broke ground on the 3-acre park component.

Martin is also a co-developer of the Miami Beach Convention Center hotel, a planned 800-key Grand Hyatt.

Write to Katherine Kallergis at

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Sustainability’s Terra incognita

July 16, 2019   |   The Real Deal


If you hang out around enough climate change-related events in Miami, you’ll inevitably run into David Martin. With slicked-back hair and a scraggly beard, the 41-year-old co-founded Terra Group, along with his father, Pedro, in 2001. In the ensuing two decades, the South Florida development firm has aimed to create environmentally sustainable interventions into the urban fabric of the city with such projects as Eighty Seven Park in Miami Beach and Grove at Grand Bay in Coconut Grove — the first residential project in South Florida to receive LEED Gold certification. The sustainability of the designs often hinges on Martin’s expertise on the subjects of climate mitigation and adaptation. TRD caught up with Martin to talk climate change, the evolution of ecologically minded building and the future of Miami’s built environment amid predictions that the city may very well experience two feet of sea level rise by 2060.

Tell us about the genesis of Terra Group. I was really focused on urbanization. Urbanism was being taught in school and university departments — this whole notion that making people live closer to each other is good for the climate, creates more of a sense of community, creates walkability. So I started my career finding areas, whether it was Miami Beach or downtown Kendall or downtown Miami, and just developing some mixed-use and residential projects in those markets.

What have you learned from your work over the years? There were a few principles that came about. One was less is more. Sometimes, maximizing every square foot of your entitlements is not smart for business or smart for the community. Number two is scarcity. Trying to build in neighborhoods that have high barriers to entry creates a sense of value and uniqueness that allows me to be a little more creative and interesting with the type of architecture and product I’m creating.

Where does your interest in sustainability and resilience originate? When I started my career, LEED certification was kinda getting started. Miami 21 was also revamping the zoning code, and so that made a requirement that any building 50,000 square feet or larger had to have that certification. I started researching and developing and learning a lot from guys like Rob Hink from the Spinnaker Group.

On the resiliency front, there was a gentleman by the name of Walter Meyer that really educated me. I was appointed to the sea level rise committee in the city of Miami maybe four or five years ago … So I started thinking about how we can mitigate sea level rise or climate change or economic disruption or heavy rain events and adapt. And I think those are really cool, amazing, interesting, kind of urban planning principles.

You mentioned the Miami-Dade Building Code and Miami 21. South Florida is a world leader in wind resilience. Do you think that the region may have to take a leadership role again when it comes to building for flood resilience? The new construction is going to be built to the great codes, and there’s going to be new design techniques that are going to help. Like, you shouldn’t put your elevator for the entire building going down to the basement, right? So, those are some smart design techniques that from a market efficiency standard just make sense.

But the real solution is asking: How are we thinking of our parks? How do these parks become a better place to be able to hold water in the case of heavy rains, right? How are we cleaning that water before it gets into our storm water system and before it gets into the bay? How do we use our swales in order to be able to hold more water? How do we promote more permeable pavers? How do we rethink the way we’re building our roads and cities? And so it’s a much more, in my opinion, complex rewrite.

What advice would you give to the development community in Miami when it comes to applying the principles of sustainable and resilient thinking to their particular business models? I would just prove it’s good for business. Listen, if your retailer can do business while it’s raining in a heavy way and people feel it’s comfortable, then that small business owner is going to have a higher survival rate.

Where do you see climate risks entering into the development process? When we’re thinking about our community and the recurring rain events and shocks, which are, in the short and medium term, as much or even more impactful than sea level rise, what we want to do are assessments of the infrastructure in a given neighborhood. And I think that those assessments are going to take into account what the future of that neighborhood looks like. In my world, I think I’m not only looking at the neighborhood, I’m not only looking at my site and what I’m building, but I’m actually looking at the neighborhood and saying, all right, what are the infrastructure needs and how can I help guide or be a catalyst to be able to create the revenues necessary in order to solve that infrastructure problem?

Do you see climate risks entering into the financial side of the development equation? I don’t see me wanting to invest in North Carolina. I don’t see me wanting to invest in Boston, D.C. or New York. When you look at all the risks and you look at our city and our ability to create revenues and really attract population, it’s just a unique place. It’s got international demand and national demand and local demand, and this transition to urbanization. I think the business opportunity to build in a climate-friendly way is staring right at us. So it’s not a risk — it’s an opportunity. I think climate does come into that equation, but it’s not in the perspective that people don’t want to invest in our city. They’re just investing in assets that have different characteristics, and it’s our job to develop things that meet those characteristics.

—This interview was edited and condensed for clarity.

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Developers bet on long-term demand for Class A Miami Beach office space

February 18, 2021   |   The Real Deal

More than a dozen developers submitted letters of interest to develop office space 

By Katherine Kallergis 

Related Group, Dacra’s Craig Robins, Terra’s David Martin, Starwood Capital and more than a dozen other developers expressed interest in building office projects on city-owned land in Miami Beach. But some question whether the demand will be strong enough years from now. 

Last year, Miami Beach launched a request for letters of interest for a public-private partnership to redevelop the three parking lots next to Lincoln Road between Alton Road and Meridian Avenue. Combined, the land could be developed into more than 383,000 square feet of mixed-use office space. Voters would have to approve any project on city-owned land through a referendum. 

The city is seeking to capitalize on major wealth migration from the Northeast, California and other high-tax markets, and the subsequent movement of major finance and tech firms. 

“Inbound business is the talk of the town,” said JLL broker Steven Hurwitz, adding that it has been more than a decade since a new large Class A office building has been built in Miami Beach, with the exception of Integra and Starwood’s project that is under construction. 

“There has always been a concentration of decision makers who live on Miami Beach and want office space there,” Hurwitz said. “I think the city is feeling out through this process whether or not new Class A office will help to satisfy that demand. My question is how much do we need? 

Miami Beach had about 634,000 square feet of Class A inventory in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to a JLL report. The vacancy rate in Miami Beach was 15.8 percent, which is lower than the county’s total vacancy rate of 18.1 percent. Yet, office vacancy rates rose throughout South Florida due to the pandemic, according to Colliers International. 

A total of 17 developers responded to Miami Beach’s RFP with letters of interest: 

• 13th Floor Investments
• Adler Group
• Dacra
• Andalex Capital
• Comras Company and Terra
• COO Premium Development
• Sterling Bay, Place Projects and Deco Capital Group
• David Mancini & Sons
• East End Capital
• Integra Investments and Starwood Capital
• Mangrove Real Estate Partners, Tricera Capital and Sasaki
• Northwood Acquisitions and Northwood Investors
• Oak Capital Group
• R&B Realty Group
• Related Group
• Aby Rosen and Michael Michael Fuchs’ RFR Holding LLC (submitted after the deadline)
• Galbut Family Office (submitted after the deadline
Following a request for proposals, the earliest residents could vote on a project would be later this year, and then the winning developer would have to seek city approvals. The new office buildings would include on-site parking garages. 
Martin of Terra pointed to the limited supply of undeveloped land in Miami Beach and called the Lincoln Road area the barometer of the city’s economy. He said the project could be completed in phases, with the first building completed about three years from a referendum vote. Martin submitted a letter jointly with Michael Comras’ firm.
“We want to be design driven and think about what the ground-floor experience is, and how that relates to the neighboring properties,” Martin said. “For us, that ground-floor experience is as important as the building itself.”
Terra is developing other projects in Miami Beach, including the Miami Beach Convention Center Hotel with Jackie Soffer and Robins, and the 500 Alton Road development with Russell Galbut.
Victor Ballestas, whose firm Integra submitted a letter of interest in conjunction with Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital Group, said that while he can’t predict what the future office demand will be, “We’re headed in the right direction for this type of demand.” In addition to working on Starwood’s new headquarters, Integra is renovating the office building at 1674 Meridian Avenue, just north of one of the city lots. 

Miami-based Related, which also submitted a letter of interest, recently received approval from the city for a Class A office project on Miami Beach’s Terminal Island. 

Commercial broker Lyle Stern, vice president of the Lincoln Road Business Improvement District, said that new office space will stimulate new and existing retail, restaurants, arts and culture. 

“As great as the velocity has been on home sales, that will slow down,” Stern said. “How do we keep that fire burning?”