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Housing Trust Group Plans Apartments Near Aventura

Housing Trust Group filed plans for an affordable/workforce housing complex near Aventura.

The Miami-based developer, through affiliate TH Aventura LLC, filed a pre-application with county officials for the Oasis at Aventura. It would rise on the 1.26-acre site at 18700 and 18790 N.E. 25th Ave., in the Ojus neighborhood.

The property is mostly vacant, except for one single-family home.

Totaling 104,344 square feet, the eight-story Oasis at Aventura would have 95 apartments and 65 parking spaces. Amenities would include a gym, a club room and an outdoor terrace.

HTG said the Oasis at Aventura would have 42 units for people earning up to 70% of area median income, 38 units for people earning up to 60% of area median income, and 15 unit for people earning up to 30% of area median income. The Florida Housing Finance Corp. has already awarded funds for the project.


Source:  SFBJ


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Well-Known Challenges Could Impede Miami’s Tech Growth

Two new studies substantiating Miami’s tech hype also reveal how much we must do to make that growth path pivotal to our economy. The jury is out about whether we can meet that challenge. 

Venture capitalists poured $5.6 billion into this area in 2021, according to “Miami’s Tech Entrepreneurship Ecosystem 2012 to 2022,” funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which itself expended more than $60 million to expand the ecosystem in that period.

But was that $5.6 billion in a pandemic year an anomaly? The total was about $3 billion in 2018, at that time the most ever, but declined in 2019 and even more in 2020. 

If new high roller arrivals drove the investment spurt, will their focus linger here with the pandemic gone? Many of them came to enjoy our low taxes and outdoor life. Those lures may not be enough to keep building a venture capital support system for tech.

To put that venture capital funding in perspective, $5.6 billion is less than twice what the county spent to build the Marlins baseball stadium. It’s wonderful, but still has limited impact.

Further perspective: from 2010 to 2012 Miami ranked 16th in the nation in venture capital funding, the report says. In 2013-2015 it rose to 14th, and since has been 13th. Any gain is most welcome, but is it spectacular?

The other report, issued Tuesday at London Tech Week, “The 2022 Global Startup Ecosystem Report,” ranked Miami among the top 15 North American ecosystems in funding. The Knight Foundation, the report says, “worked in concert with Startup Genome to showcase Miami’s entrepreneurial ecosystem” in that study.  

There’s no absolute accuracy for such “Top X” rankings, though if Miami’s goal is to be biggest and best, breaking into the top 15 is not parade material. But the ranking has meaning if our aim is to add to an economy that is already growing in other directions. So does creation of better-paying jobs.

From 2013 to 2020, Miami area software jobs increased faster than in any other metro hub for software employment, the Knight-funded report says. That 44% growth more than doubled the US average of 21% growth.

In 2012, the report says, we had 37,000 regional workers in software occupations, about the same as in 2006. But by 2020 the number soared to nearly 54,000, mostly added by entrepreneurial tech companies.

A growth of nearly 17,000 tri-county software jobs in eight years is an achievement, but in perspective it’s a gain of about six-tenths of a percent of the region’s workforce. In Miami-Dade alone, in that period financial activities gained more than 10,000 jobs. Prior to the pandemic, leisure and hospitality jobs had grown by 22,000 in the period just in Miami-Dade. 

And, as the Knight-funded report also notes, we trail far behind most regions in percentage of persons working in software, so “much work remains.” We are 68th in the US in the proportion of software workers, just 2.1% of all jobs, the report says. “Catching up to the proportion of the US metro average would require 20,000 additional software workers.” To match Atlanta or Austin we’d need 45,000 to 65,000 new software workers today, a long reach, and Austin ranks just seventh in the US, Atlanta 16th.

Our tech job growth is strong, welcome and important. But today it’s not the engine pulling the train.

So, would tech job growth be even stronger if we had more trained talent?

The report issued in London says Miami is in the top 20 North American regions in talent and experience and among the top 30 in affordable talent. Those rankings say Miami won’t lure growing tech companies based on trained workers. The Knight-funded report says our managerial talent is also in short supply.

“Access to technical talent is the greatest challenge identified by local founders and investors,” that report says.

Recently fashionable models to add tech talent in apprentice programs, coding academies and boot camps failed to meet the demand for workers, the report says under a heading of lessons learned. Many of those here closed when philanthropic funding ended, the report says, as is true in other cities. 

If talent won’t spring from such efforts, the answer seems to be higher education. Knight has committed more than $22 million to efforts here and others are also funding our engineering, technological and computer science higher education. Florida International University, the report says, grew from 2,000 computer science majors in 2018 to 3,000 in 2021 and is projected to hit 5,000 in 2024. That will help – if we retain the bulk of the grads in Miami.

Yet, the report notes, as we add software workers they are likely to also increase nationally. “If this occurs, catching up to peer regions or even national average will require additional solutions,” vital answers that the report didn’t attempt.

The London report says Miami’s magnets as a tech startup hub are “higher education, low taxes, and access to venture capital.” Those three alone may not be enough.

Which brings us to six highly visible impediments to growing a tech powerhouse – the same six Miami faces in growing every economic sector. The Knight-funded study points to shaky local transportation, too little affordable housing, questions of school quality, labor force gaps in general, too few minorities in higher level jobs, and climate change threats.

This basket of concerns is no surprise. Upgrading them would not only grow tech but improve living standards while building jobs across the economic spectrum. 

The Knight Foundation has been strategic and focused, investing more than $60 million in tech entrepreneur sector gains. But that funding alone can’t balloon tech in an area short of engineers, with spotty tech workforce training, and facing societal challenges as well.

In spurring our economy, that well-thought-out Knight investment was light years ahead of the $3 billion that the county sank into a baseball stadium. But the two reports don’t point to the entrepreneurial tech sector as our greatest future economic pillar, at least in the short haul.

Miami’s best overall investment in economic growth is likely to be the pivotal issues of housing, education, transportation, environment and inclusion. Praise tech gains to the skies, but build the broad basis of our community to increase that growth – and all other growth as well.


Source:  Miami Today

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The Gateway At Wynwood Welcomes Three New-to-Market Tenants

As the Miami office market continues its strong recovery, The Gateway at Wynwood – the newest office building in the Wynwood area – has secured three new-to-market tenants totaling nearly 14,000 square feet.

Recently launched Spearmint Energy, a next-generation renewable energy company enabling the clean energy revolution through battery energy storage, signed a lease to occupy about 3,500 square feet. Victory Polymers Corps., a resource to the construction and renovation trade for spray polyurethane foam insulation products and technology, will occupy nearly 4,000 square feet of space in the building’s spec suites. Ripple, a San Francisco-based company, has signed a lease to occupy about 6,500 square feet.

The Gateway at Wynwood was represented by Colliers’ Executive Managing Director Stephen Rutchik, Managing Director Tom Farmer and Director Tyler de la Pena in the office lease transactions.

“We are proud that The Gateway at Wynwood has become the place-to-be for new-to-market tenants entering South Florida,” said Shelby Rosenberg, R&B Realty’s Head of Development and Acquisitions, US Portfolio. “Leasing activity has continued to ramp up in the first half of 2022, and we are looking forward to continuing to welcome tenants to the building.”

Founded by energy industry veteran Andrew Waranch, in partnership with Kevin Kelley, CEO of Roscommon Analytics LLC, Spearmint is comprised of experienced energy professionals who combine innovative, cutting-edge financial hedging solutions and insight to bring projects to market that reduce waste while increasing affordable, long-lasting, grid-scale renewable energy. The Spearmint platform is comprised of three distinct strategies, including battery and solar project development, energy storage offtake, and renewables power trading. The office will serve as Spearmint’s first office space and headquarters.

Victory Polymers, which is headquartered in Houston, Texas, supplies state-of-the-art formulations and backs them with unrivaled customer support. This will be Victory Polymers’ first office in South Florida.

San Francisco-based Ripple is a real-time gross settlement system, currency exchange and remittance network created by Ripple Labs Inc., a US-based technology company. With 15 offices in key technology and financial centers around the world, this will be the payment company’s first South Florida office.

The Gateway at Wynwood’s first office tenants began to move in January 2022. The LEED Gold Certified building has implemented practical and measurable strategies and solutions in areas including sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Green buildings allow companies to operate more sustainably and give the people inside them a healthier, more comfortable space to work.

The Gateway at Wynwood offers about 195,000 square feet of leasable Class A office space and nearly 25,900 square feet of prime street-level retail space. Designed by renowned architect Kobi Karp, the environmentally responsible building features flexible floorplans, a private rooftop terrace, gym, unique bay window system, 24/7 on-site security, vibrant exterior cladding, and 2:1,000 on-site covered parking. The building recently announced OpenStore’s office expansion, as well as leases with Baseline, DALIYAH and MIZU Rooftop Garden.


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County May Seek Bids In July To Redevelop 20 Acres Of Downtown Miami

County staff is still working on putting together a bid solicitation to be out in July to redevelop over 20 acres of county-owned land in downtown Miami.

“It seems like we’re pretty close to a July release,” confirmed Commissioner Eileen Higgins, who has been working to present an item to the commission for the redevelopment for over a year and a half.

Different county departments have moved forward on the necessary steps prior to putting out a solicitation, such as the water and sewer capacity analysis, electrical capacity analysis and goals for resiliency. A consultant is working on the specifications for a transit terminal.

The project aims to better use county-owned lands and meet community needs. Thus, it would include affordable and workforce housing, market-rate housing, open spaces such as parks, office space, a new library, a new historical museum, and a downtown intermodal terminal to provide bus bays for all buses terminating in the Government Center area.

As for resiliency goals, Commissioner Higgins said the Office of Resiliency is looking at LEED certification of buildings, water usage specifications, and green spaces.

“I’m not expecting to be that specific,” said Ms. Higgins when asked about the location of the parks. “I’m going to allow the private sector to be creative.”

Although all the requirements the county would provide will officially be known when the bid is published, staff expects it could take 10 to 15 years to complete the redevelopment.

The only element still in the works that could take longer to define is the transit terminal, Ms. Higgins told Miami Today. The intermodal terminal is a $35 million project that is part of the People’s Transportation Plan (PTP) FY 2022-2026, approved by county commissioners Feb. 2.

“It’s exciting to create a new neighborhood centered on affordability, centered on transit,” Ms. Higgins told Miami Today in a February interview. The downtown Government Center is already a hub of the county’s transit system, with the Metromover, Metrorail, bus system, and Brightline already providing services in the area.

As Miami Today previously reported, efforts to redevelop the Government Center area date to 2014, when county commissioners directed the mayor to provide a report for the plan, development, and maintenance of the county-owned property in downtown Miami.

In 2017, former Mayor Carlos Giménez presented a report on the county-owned properties, the redevelopment potential of some lands and assets, vacant parcels, and the potential opportunities. Since then, the county has been adopting rezoning ordinances to place the Government Center area in Transit Oriented Development (TOD) zoning.

“We’re going to be creating a hub downtown to live, work, and learn,” Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said in an April interview.


Source:  Miami Today

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Wynwood Buildings More Than Quadruple In Value

A pair of warehouses converted to office space along the railroad tracks in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District sold for $18.75 million, more than quadrupling in value.

Wynwood Spaces LLC, managed by Martin Miculitzki of Block Capital Group in Miami, sold the buildings of 8,060 square feet at 100 N.E. 28th St. and 15,270 square feet at 85 N.E. 27th St., plus an adjoining parking lot, to WellMeaning Spaces LLC, managed by Eduardo Pelaez, CEO of Miami-based WellMeaning Investments, a family real estate office. W Financial REIT provided an $11.5 million mortgage to the buyer.

The buildings were constructed in 1971 and 1925, respectively. The site covers 33,320 square feet.

The buildings last traded for $4.6 million in 2014.


Source:  SFBJ

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Goldman Properties, JV Of Scott Robins And Philip Levine Propose Wynwood Projects

More office and multifamily projects may be coming to Wynwood, as developers propose new projects for the once-gritty warehouse district.

Pioneer Wynwood developer Goldman Properties wants to build an office building, and a joint venture between Scott Robins and Philip Levine tweaked a previous plan for a hotel with apartments – and now proposes rentals only.

The Wynwood Design Review Committee is expected to consider both projects at a meeting on Monday.

Robins and Levine propose a five-story building with 203 units and 15,104 square feet of ground-floor retail on almost an acre at 35-83 Northwest 27th Street, according to the developers’ filing to the review committee. The Arquitectonica-designed project would have a rooftop pool, 40-space garage and eight parking spaces on the street.

The developers are partnering with Miami-based executive Martin Franklin and Franklin’s son, Sam. Martin Franklin co-founded frozen food company Nomad Foods as well as consumer products firm Jarden, now called Newell Brands.

Shortly before the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, Robins and Levine won approval from the city zoning administrator for a 120-key hotel with 72 apartments and 13,413 square feet of commercial space for the site, according to the developers’ submittal to the board.

“We didn’t think a hotel project was appropriate at this time in that area,” Robins said, although he didn’t entirely shut down a future hotel conversion.

Roughly 90 percent of the units would be studios, ranging from 500 square feet to 600 square feet, allowing for a smooth retrofit into hotel rooms if the market ripens for the use, Robins said. The remaining units will be one-bedroom apartments, ranging from 700 square feet to 800 square feet.

The rents will be market rate, but specific ranges have not been determined, he said.

Robins and former Miami Beach Mayor Levine previously partnered on the redevelopment of South Beach’s Sunset Harbour neighborhood. They sold a seven-building retail portfolio to Asana Partners for $68.8 million in 2018.

In Wynwood, Goldman Properties, led by CEO Scott Srebnick, filed plans for an eight-story Core Wynwood with 99,357 square feet of Class A workspaces and 10,101 square feet of retail and restaurants, according to the filing. The 0.6-acre site, which now consists of a one-story warehouse and parking lots, is at 373, 375 and 391 Northwest 24th Street and at 376 and 390 Northwest 25th Street.

The Perkins & Will-designed project would have floor-to-ceiling windows in parts of the building, a glass-enclosed grand staircase visible from the street, a two-story garage with 119 spaces and an art-adorned paseo connecting 24th and 25th streets, according to Wynwood-based Goldman’s submittal to the board.

In a nod to Wynwood’s stamp as an arts district, artist Mona Caron’s botanical murals will run the height of the building and artist Sam Cox’s hand-drawn characters will adorn the staircase. Goldman Global Arts, a consultancy led by Goldman Properties co-Chair Jessica Goldman Srebnick, is curating the art at Core Wynwood.

Goldman Properties’ founder, the late Tony Goldman, was one of the first to spot Wynwood’s potential. It was his life’s work to see the unrealized growth of neighborhoods. Goldman Properties played a major role in creating Wynwood’s image as an arts district with projects such as Wynwood Walls and Wynwood Garage.

If the Wynwood Design Review Board approves the proposals, construction of both is expected to be completed in the second half of 2024.

Wynwood has undergone redevelopment in recent years with office and residential projects.

The 13-story Gateway at Wynwood office building at 2916 North Miami Avenue and the 10-story 545wyn were completed last year.

In 2019, Wynwood Annex at 215 Northwest 24th Street and Cube Wynwd at 222 Northwest 24th Street were completed.

On the residential side, more than 2,200 apartment and condo units are on tap, including a proposal by Ironstate Development and Brookfield Properties for a 289-unit apartment complex at 26 and 60 Northeast 27th Street, and 25 and 61 Northeast 26th Street.


Source:  The Real Deal

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Miami Beach Hotel Sells For $684,000 Per Key

Irvine, CA-based Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc., has acquired the 339-room The Confidante Miami Beach hotel in Miami Beach from an affiliate of Hyatt Hotels Corporation for $232 million ($684,000 per key).

The company will invest approximately $60 million to reposition the hotel into a premiere beachfront resort under Hyatt’s luxury, lifestyle Andaz brand. The renovation program will begin in phases, starting in the fourth quarter of 2022 with completion expected to occur in the first half of 2024 when the Hotel will debut as Andaz Miami Beach.

Sunstone expects the hotel will generate an 8% to 9% stabilized net operating income yield on the total investment in the hotel, including the planned repositioning.

The acquisition was funded from available cash and with $140 million of proceeds received from the company’s previously undrawn revolving credit facility. Based on the Company’s anticipated leverage ratio as of the end of the second quarter, borrowings on the credit facility are expected to bear interest at the rate of one-month LIBOR plus 1.50%.


Source:  ConnectCRE

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Miami-Dade County Taxable Property Value Posts First Double-Digit Growth Since 2007

Property values in Miami-Dade County increased at an overall annual rate not seen in 15 years, according to data released Wednesday by the county’s property appraiser.

The taxable value of properties rose by $34 billion to a total of $372 billion, or a whopping 10.2% jump, between 2020 and 2021.

Pedro J. Garcia, the Miami-Dade property appraiser, said in a statement the county last saw an overall double-digit increase in values in 2007. The 2021 growth rate nearly triples the level of increase recorded in 2020, when South Florida’s taxable property values rose significantly in spite of widespread economic impact from the start of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Click here to see 2022 Estimated Taxable Values for all municipalities on June 1, based on 2021 data.


Source:  Miami Herald

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AMAC, ROVR Score $67M Construction Loan For Aventura Park Multifamily Project

AMAC and ROVR got a jump start on their planned multifamily project near Aventura in the form of a $67 million construction loan.

New York-based AMAC and Coral Gables-based ROVR are developing the eight-story Aventura Park building with 290 units at 17990 West Dixie Highway, according to a news release from the lender, Ocean Bank. The property is along the Oleta River, across from Greynolds Park.

Eddie Diaz led the Ocean Bank team that arranged the financing.

Aventura Park, designed by the architecture firm Anillo. Toledo. Lopez, will include a pool, gym and spa, as well as a six-story building with a 439-space garage. Medley-based Delant Construction is the general contractor.

Construction is expected to be completed in early 2024, according to the release.

An entity tied to AMAC bought the almost 3-acre vacant development site last year for $10.3 million.


Source:  The Real Deal

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