Monthly Archives: September 2015

The Wrap: Swire Properties proposes final phase of Brickell Key, Miami approves short-term traffic fixes for downtown and Brickell…and more

A 2010 photo of Brickell Key from its northwestern side (Credit: Marc Averette)

1. Swire Properties proposes final phase of Brickell Key [SFBJ]
2. Miami approves short-term traffic fixes for Downtown and Brickell [Miami Today]
3. Zoning board overrules neighbor’s appeal of One River Point [The Next Miami]
4. Wynwood’s small businesses strive to succeed despite rising costs [Miami New Times]

Sean Stewart-Muniz

Source:: The Real Deal

Ram sells newly built Boca apartments for $82M

The Mark at Cityscape, Ram’s newly built apartment community in Boca Raton

Ram Realty Services, a development company based in Palm Beach Gardens, just closed on the $81.74 million sale of its newly built apartment community in downtown Boca Raton.

The community is called the Mark at Cityscape, at 11 Plaza Real South. It’s a 12-story apartment complex with 208 units, 18,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and an attached parking garage with 686 spaces.

Ram, which finished construction on the complex this month, sold the community to the Monogram Residential Trust, according to Palm Beach County records.

Monogram is a real estate investment trust based in Texas. It specializes in buying and operating multifamily companies and has a portfolio of 54 properties spread throughout 11 states, according to the REIT’s website.

The deal breaks down to $393,788 per unit and $426 per square foot. Both prices set state records for a multifamily rental sale, according to data from commercial brokerage CBRE, which represented Monogram for the sale.

Asking rents at the building are also some of the highest in Palm Beach County, averaging $2,320 per unit. At the time of the sale, Ram said the apartments were nearly 80 percent leased.

The Mark is part of a 4.5-acre development site in the heart of downtown Boca, which Ram has owned for the last nine years. It’s split into three parts: a roughly one-acre parcel where the Kolter Group is building a Hyatt-branded hotel, another one-acre parcel where the Palmetto Park office building sits, and the 2.3-acre site where Ram built the Mark apartments.

Ram first purchased the property for $42 million in 2006 on behalf of a private equity fund, Ram Realty Partners II. The company’s plans to redevelop the property were halted when the recession hit, but Ram re-launched its apartment project in 2013.

This year, the company re-platted the 4.5 acres into three sections and beginning selling them off. In March, Kolter paid $5.5 million for its one-acre parcel where the Hyatt Place Hotel will be built. And in September, Ram sold the office building for $25.7 million to Kireland Management LLC.

“This investment reflects the benefits of being patient and focusing only on high quality real estate. As a direct result of that focus and a conservative capitalization structure, we were able to hold the asset through a difficult economic environment and ultimately deliver a project that benefited our investors and the community,” Ram CEO Casey Cummings said in a statement. “While we have a high level of confidence in the long-term prospects for Boca Raton, we were fortunate to have received a compelling inquiry from a high quality institution like Monogram. We continue to look for other similar opportunities throughout South Florida.”

Source:: The Real Deal

EB-5 extended through mid-December

From the New York website: The EB-5 visa program, a vehicle for foreign investment in some major Miami real estate developments, received a last-minute reprieve on Wednesday, after the U.S. Senate passed a temporary spending bill that will keep the government — and the program — operating through Dec. 11.

EB-5 was set to expire Sept. 30 but a stopgap bill introduced last week will keep it afloat for the next few months. The White House and House of Representatives are expected to approve the legislation.

Outright renewal of EB-5 — a program that has been utilized for projects ranging from Jeff Berkowitz’s SkyRise Miami to Tibor Hollo’s Panorama Tower and the Hotel Astor in Miami Beach — will be delayed until the end of the year or early 2016.

Meanwhile, changes are looming for the program, which grants green cards to investors in exchange for an investment of $500,000 in areas with high unemployment and $1 million in other areas. Stakeholders believe the investment amount could go up to between $800,000 and $1.2 million. Other regulatory changes are also being debated. [Crain’s and NYT] – E.B. Solomont

Source:: The Real Deal

Developer closes on land for AquaBlu in Las Olas

Renderings of the AquaBlu project at 920 Intracoastal Drive in Fort Lauderdale

The developer of AquaBlu, a planned condo tower in Fort Lauderdale, just closed on a $9 million deal for the development site.

Ocean Land Investments, headed by Jean Francois Roy, announced Wednesday that it purchased the three-quarter-acre parcel at 920 Intracoastal Drive. There, it plans to build AquaBlu, a 17-story residential tower with 35 units.

The land currently houses a 1950’s-era co-op building that had 16 owners. After negotiations, Ocean Land paid average of $562,500 per unit.

“We are delighted to move forward with AquaBlu, and have appreciated the support of the community in working with us to bring our vision to fruition,” Roy, president of Ocean Land, said in a statement. “As we strive to revitalize this dynamic area of Fort Lauderdale, we are committed to delivering high quality residences that complement the natural beauty and sophistication of this community.”

AquaBlu is expected to break ground in October. Its amenities will include deep-water yacht slips, fitness center, saltwater pool and an outdoor barbecue area. Units at the building will range in size from 2,136 square feet to 4,295 square feet, and price from $1.4 million to $3.8 million. So far, the developer said nearly half of the units have been pre-sold.

This is one of four Aqua-branded residential projects Ocean Land is developing in Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas neighborhood. The others are AquaLuna, AquaVita and AquaMar. All of these projects do not allow smoking inside their units, except for balcony spaces.

Source:: The Real Deal

Steve Madden shuffles to new Lincoln Road spot, settles lawsuit

Steve Madden and Lincoln Road

A Lincoln Road property owner’s dispute with a former tenant almost cost him a much more lucrative lease deal with shoe retailer Steve Madden, The Real Deal has learned.

Santa Monica resident James Argyropoulos, who owns a two-floor building at 433 Lincoln Road through a company also called 433 Lincoln Road, finalized a deal in May to lease 2,100 square feet of retail space to Steve Madden for nearly $50,000 a month – roughly double what the landlord had been charging jewelry and watch store Mini Mall Gallery, according to court documents obtained by TRD.

However, Mini Mall Gallery owner Roni Mualem refused to move out, insisting he and Argyropoulos had agreed on a lease extension until 2020 and that he would continue paying $23,206 in monthly rent, which is significantly below-market rate, Argyropoulos’ attorney William Clayton told TRD. In June, 433 Lincoln Road filed an eviction lawsuit against Mini Mall Gallery.

“The tenant claimed he could stay on for another five years according to a lease option that was never properly executed,” said Clayton, a shareholder with the law firm Greenberg Traurig. “We challenged it and won.”

On Sept. 10, Miami-Dade County Court Judge Donald Cannava granted final judgment for 433 Lincoln Road LLC after Mini Mall Gallery failed to place one month’s rent deposit into a court registry per a July court order. Clayton said Mini Mall moved out on Sept. 20. Mualem could not be reached for comment and the phone number for Mini Mall has been disconnected. His attorney Vivian Jaime did not respond to an interview request sent via email.

The delays caused by the eviction proceedings prompted Steve Madden to sue 433 Lincoln Road in Miami-Dade Circuit Court. Steve Madden wanted to terminate its lease agreement based on alleged misrepresentations by the property owner. Steve Madden’s complaint, which was transferred to Miami federal court in August, states the retailer was looking for a new spot because the company needs to relocate from its current location at 817 Lincoln Road, where it has a month-to-month lease.

Steve Madden signed a 10-year lease agreement with 433 Lincoln Road on May 6. The shoe company accused Argyropoulos of failing to disclose that Mualem was refusing to vacate the space because of the five-year extension he allegedly negotiated with 433 Lincoln Road.

“It is now clear that defendant misrepresented and omitted material facts regarding the term of tenant’s lease in order to induce Madden into signing the lease and the addendum in the hope that it could force tenant out of the premises so that it could secure a higher lease price,” the complaint states.

In recent years, the Lincoln Road Mall has become one of the hottest retail sectors in the Miami real estate market, with rents reaching $300 a square foot. Earlier this month, real estate investors and developers Jonathan Fryd and Michael Comras sold an entire block that stretches from 1001 Lincoln Road to 1035 Lincoln Road to Spanish billionaire Amancio Ortega for $370 million. Fryd and Comras bought the properties for a combined $12 million in 1999 and 2000. Over the summer, New York investor David Edelstein plunked down $6,500 per square foot for two buildings at 918 and 920 Lincoln Road.

Clayton told TRD that 433 Lincoln Road and Steve Madden have settled and that the shoe retailer agreed to a new lease commencement date of Oct. 1, which was confirmed by a spokesperson for the company’s law firm, Becker & Poliakoff.

“Our client is thrilled with the expediency in which it was resolved,” Clayton said. “The expediency was important because Steve Madden is deeply interested in building and occupying the space before late fall 2015.”

Source:: The Real Deal

The Wrap: Miami and Palm Beach Realtors associations battle over MLS data, Miami saw second-most socioeconomic growth in U.S. since 2008…and more

An aerial view of Miami

1. Miami and Palm Beach Realtors associations battle over MLS data [Gossip Extra]
2. Miami saw second-most socioeconomic growth in U.S. since 2008 [Miami New Times]
3. Toll Brothers, Lennar bullish on apartment rentals [Wall Street Journal]
4. New luxury condo in Delray’s SOFA district starts sales [Palm Beach Post]

Sean Stewart-Muniz

Source:: The Real Deal

Developer terminates original plans for Six Midtown Miami

Downtown Miami and Peter Zalewski

In the same week that a new condo tower launched construction in the Midtown Miami neighborhood of Miami, plans for another project that was to be located a few blocks away on the same street within the mixed-use complex, have been “terminated” — possibly to revise the original design.

On Friday, the Related Group and Dezer Properties held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction on the planned 33-story Hyde Midtown condo tower with 470 units in the 3400 block of Northeast 1st Avenue in the Midtown Miami community, as The Real Deal reported.

A day earlier, on Thursday, the developer of the planned 32-story Six Midtown Miami Condominium tower with 398 residential units that was to be built on a vacant 2.1-acre site in the 3100 block of Northeast First Avenue filed a “Termination Of Condominium,” according to Miami-Dade County records.

The Six Midtown Miami Condo project was formally announced in July 2012 when the project’s developer Midtown Opportunities IVB LLC of Delaware filed a “Declaration of Condominium” with the county, records show. It’s a common step taken by developers before formally launching presales, during this era of hefty buyer deposits.

Alex Vadia, a principal with the Six Midtown Miami Condo development, was not available for comment by press time.

Up until last week’s termination of the planned Six Midtown Miami Condo, a typical sales-and-marketing campaign to attract buyers and brokers to the project had not yet formally begun.

A source familiar with the planned Six Midtown Miami Condo project said the termination was necessary in order to revise the original design of the planned condo tower — which dates back to the previous South Florida real estate cycle — to feature a different mix of floorplans and total number of units.

It is worth noting, the developer of the planned Six Midtown Miami Condo project had also filed “Declaration Of Condominium” paperwork — and a subsequent termination — for a project dubbed the Three Midtown Miami Condo, before selling the land and development rights for what is now known as the Hyde Midtown project.

At the time of the original filing of the “Declaration Of Condominium” for the Six Midtown Miami Condo, Greater Downtown Miami had far fewer new condo units and rental apartments planned for the market.

Consider that the Six Midtown Miami project was the 20th new condo tower — and the Hyde Midtown project the 21st new tower — announced for Greater Downtown Miami during this South Florida real estate cycle that began in 2011, according to the preconstruction condo projects website CraneSpotters.com. (For disclosure, my firm operates the website.)

As of Monday, the number of new condo towers stands at 71 new condo towers active, and an additional eight towers — including the Six Midtown Miami Condo project — canceled or significantly revised during this cycle in Greater Downtown Miami during this cycle. The area stretches from the Julia Tuttle Causeway south to the Rickenbacker Causeway, and Biscayne Bay west to I-95.

In Greater Downtown Miami, developers have already completed seven new condo towers with a combined 1,900 units, and are constructing 23 more new condo towers with nearly 6,200 units in the area, according to the data.

An additional 41 new condo towers with nearly 13,000 units are currently in the planning or presale phase of development.

Besides the new condo towers announced for Greater Downtown Miami during this cycle, nearly 2,800 units are currently available for purchase on the resale market as of Monday, according to data from the Southeast Florida MLXchange.

In the first eight months of 2015, buyers acquired an average of less than 165 resale units monthly in Greater Downtown Miami. At the current transaction pace, Greater Downtown Miami has about 17 months of supply of resale condo units.

A balanced market is considered to have about six months of supply of resale units. More months of supply typically suggests a buyer’s market and less months indicates a seller’s market.

The unanswered question going forward is whether the planned Six Midtown Miami Condo project was terminated in an attempt to redesign the project to better appeal to buyers at a time of changing market conditions or as a precursor for a land sale.

Peter Zalewski is a real estate columnist for The Real Deal who founded Condo Vultures LLC, a consultancy and publishing company, as well as Condo Vultures Realty LLC and CVR Realty brokerages and the Condo Ratings Agency, an analytics firm. The Condo Ratings Agency operates CraneSpotters.com, a preconstruction condo projects website, in conjunction with the Miami Association of Realtors.

Source:: The Real Deal

Cushman’s I-banking head leaves to start own real estate fund

Michael Rotchford

From the New York website: The head of Cushman & Wakefield’s investment banking practice is leaving the brokerage to open his own real estate investment fund.

Michael Rotchford, who had been at Cushman & Wakefield for 15 years, seeks to raise $150 million for a new venture targeting office, industrial and residential properties. The fund is aiming to do deals nationally and make investments with risk and return profiles catering to corporate bond buyers.

Louis Wolfowitz will assume Rotchford’s role leading Cushman’s investment banking operations, according to Crain’s. Rotchford said his departure from the brokerage is unrelated to its $2 billion merger with global real estate firm DTZ, describing the split as amicable and related to a longtime desire to start his own venture.

Behind the story:
Michael Rotchford
Cushman & Wakefield

Rotchford handled several high-profile deals for Cushman in recent years, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s sale of a $100 million stake in 1 World Trade Center to the Durst Organization. He also helped prepare the investment package for a public bond offering to finance the construction of the neighboring 4 World Trade Center.

His exit from the firm is one of the more prominent since the DTZ merger closed this month. Cushman investment sales brokers Nat Rockett and Helen Hwang both recently left the company for Marcus & Millichap and Meridian Capital Group, respectively, while former DTZ senior vice president Jeffrey Donnelly also departed the new Cushman & Wakefield this month for a role at Colliers. [Crain’s] – Rey Mashayekhi

Source:: The Real Deal

Giuseppe Zanotti, La Perla to open at Brickell City Centre

Rendering of Brickell City Centre

Italian shoe retailer Giuseppe Zanotti Design, lingerie designer La Perla and Swiss shoe brand Bally are joining Brickell City Centre’s retail roster of contemporary international brands when it opens in the fall of 2016.

Italian clothing company Kiton was also added to the 500,000-square-foot, open-air shopping center according to the project’s developer Swire Properties and retail co-developers Whitman Family Development and Simon Property Group.

Already announced tenants include European brands Ted Baker, Agent Provocateur, 100 % Capri, Addict, Vilebrequin, APM Monaco, Cole Haan, lululemon, Illesteva, Harmont & Blaine and OndadeMar, as well as designer boutiques Valentino and Chopard.

“Brickell has long been an office, condo and hotel district with a scarcity in retail,” Debora Overholt, senior retail director at Swire Properties, said in a statement. “Our newly announced luxury retailers are coming from the world’s top fashion capitals because they understand that Brickell City Centre will position them at the forefront of millions of international visitors, residents and daytime workers seeking quality brands.”

When completed, Brickell City Centre will have two condominium towers, two Class A office buildings, and its EAST, Miami Hotel. Those are slated for completion at the end of this year. The shopping center will be anchored by a three-floor Saks Fifth Avenue, with street-level access. Eateries such as Pubbelly Sushi, Pasión del Cielo, Quinto La Huella and Sugar, so far have been announced.

More tenants will be announced in November. – Katherine Kallergis

Source:: The Real Deal

Trump tops SoFla developers on Forbes 400

From left: Donald Trump, Stephen Ross and Richard LeFrak

Forbes released its 34th annual Forbes 400 list of the richest Americans on Tuesday, and it features its fair share of major real estate players – including one famously coiffed developer who happens to be running for president.

Behind the story:
Donald Trump
Stephen Ross
Richard LeFrak

While Bill Gates retains the top spot on the list for the 22nd straight year with a net worth of $76 billion, the real estate industry is well represented on the list. Donald Bren, chair of Southern California-based Irvine Company, is tops among developers with a net worth of $15.2 billion – good enough for 30th in the rankings.

Related Cos. founder Stephen Ross is second among real estate players – and the highest-ranked New York-based developer – with a net worth of $6.7 billion that places him 71st on the list. In South Florida, the highest-net-worth developer is Igor Olenicoff, a Lighthouse Point resident and founder of properties, who came in at No. 164 with a net worth of $3.6 billion.

Other South Florida developers making the rankings include LeFrak founder Richard LeFrak (76th, $6.1 billion), Related Group’s Chairman and CEO Jorge Perez (171st, $3.5 billion), and Palm Beach’s self-made billionaire Jeff Greene (194th, $3.3 billion).

But there is perhaps no higher-profile figure – developer or otherwise – on the list than Donald Trump, whose $4.5 billion fortune has him ranked 121st. The Trump Organization mogul and GOP presidential hopeful’s net worth has been a hot topic during his run for the White House, and Forbes has devoted a 15-page cover story in latest issue — titled “What’s Donald Trump Really Worth?” – to that very subject.

Trump declared a net worth exceeding $10 billion on financial disclosure forms required for his presidential campaign, though a Bloomberg analysis in July pegged that number at under $3 billion, with the majority of that fortune derived from real estate holdings.

But as Forbes quotes the Donald himself saying, “I look better if I’m worth $10 billion than $4 billion.” [Forbes] – Rey Mashayekhi

Source:: The Real Deal