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Commuter Rail From Downtown Miami To Aventura Getting $103M From FDOT

The Florida Department of Transportation has agreed to commit $103.5 million towards Miami-Dade’s Northeast Corridor rail project, Brightline told investors last week.

FDOT’s announcement came in a November 9 letter to the county, Brightline said.

On the same day, FDOT also informed Broward that it would provide $74.3 million towards its commuter rail project on the same tracks from Aventura to Fort Lauderdale. The two counties are working together on the service.

That brings the total FDOT commitment for the new train service to $177.8 million.

Brightline expects to execute definitive documents with Miami-Dade in the next several months to allow the service on its tracks.

The Northeast Corridor is expected to run 13.5 miles and cost $682 million, including track and right-of-way access fees.

The county is seeking 50% funding from the Federal Transit Administration, 25% from the state and 25% from local funds, according to the project website.

Station locations are being studied at:

  • MiamiCentral/Government Center (existing)
  • Wynwood/Edgewater
  • Design District
  • Little Haiti
  • North Miami (near Northeast 123rd Street)
  • North Miami/North Miami Beach (near Northeast 151st Street)
  • Aventura (construction already nearing completion)

The service is expected to run 5 AM to midnight, with 60 minute headways. During peak morning and afternoon weekday rush hour times, headways would be 30 minutes.

Engineer HNTB is now working on 30% level rail infrastructure and platform drawings, after the county issued a Notice to Proceed to the firm in August.


Source:  The Next Miami

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Plans Submitted For Mixed-Use 1920 Alton, Designed By Gensler

Plans have been filed to build a mixed-use project called 1920 Alton Road in South Beach.

1920 Alton is planned to rise 5 stories and include:

  • 25,223 square feet of Class A office space
  • 8,284 square feet of restaurant space at the ground level (split between two separate tenants)
  • three residential units that will total approximately 13,271 square feet
  • a screened-in parking garage on the second level with 45 spaces

Gensler is the architect. Alton Office Holdings II LLC is the developer.

The LLC is controlled by three separate companies, each owning a 33.33% stake. They include WMB Resources of Dublin, Ohio (managed by Wayne M. Boich), Edge Park Realty LLC of Greenwich, Connecticut (managed by Andrew Mathias), and Beachbox Holdings II, LLC of New York (managed by Bruce Beal). A Related Companies logo is attached to the plan submittal.

A hearing before the Miami Beach Design Review Board is scheduled December 6.



Source:  The Next Miami

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Tech, Finance And Dining Fuel Wynwood Realty

Wynwood commercial real estate continues to flourish as several large tech companies, financial institutions and top food and beverage concepts continue to choose this desired neighborhood as their headquarters.

Over the past three to four years, Wynwood has been transformed thanks to vertical development, said Randy Carballo, senior vice president of CBRE Miami Office. With the extended variety of residential offerings now in Wynwood, corporations are competing to stay in this submarket.

“Rent levels have increased significantly, well north of 20%,” said Mr. Carballo. “The office product in Wynwood, a few years prior, was repurposed warehouses and smaller projects. Now, you have true Class A product, where construction and land costs have risen rental rates.”

In the Wynwood-Design District submarket, average asking rate per square feet is at $78.35 for Class A office space and $67 for Class B, according to Blanca Licensed Real Estate Broker’s Miami Office Market 3Q 2022 report.

The vacancy rate has declined since the highest point in 2020’s third quarter, from 53.5% to 27.7% for this year’s third quarter Class A office space.

The weighted average asking rate has increased 22.4% year-over-year, direct vacancy has also decreased 37.5% compared to the same time last year. There has been 212,316 square feet of net absorption – the change in occupied space, measured between this year and last year, with the space vacated and the newly constructed space. There also are 252,428 square feet of offices under construction as of this quarter, and 320,904 square feet of total space leased, according to the Blanca report.

Some of the new-to-market tenants include Knotel, leasing 38,400 square feet in Wyncatcher; MindSpace, leasing 30,000 square feet at The Gateway at Wynwood; and The Chef’s Warehouse, leasing 4,100 square feet of space in 545 Wyn.

About 1 million square feet of new development is coming online, Mr. Carballo added.

“Our team is representing LYNQ at Wynwood, which is a about 330,000 square feet of brand-new trophy office space on Fifth Avenue. And so, you’re continuing to see a flow of high-quality office space coming into this market for users who are looking for different offerings, but also large blocks of space that really don’t exist in the [overall] market.”

According to Colliers Miami-Dade County Office 22Q3 report, there are 40 office space buildings in Wynwood and the Design District and a total inventory of 1,955,890 square feet.

Colliers retail report for the third quarter shows 2,795,620 square feet of inventory for retail space and a total vacancy of 7.3%, with 9,010 square feet of net absorption,15,000 square feet of space under construction, and an average asking rate of $69.40 per square foot.

The growth in multi-family developments in Wynwood is opening the area’s retail and office submarket to be more of a live-work-play environment. “In a couple years, we’ll have north of 5,000 residential units in Wynwood,” said Mr. Carballo. “That’s saying a lot, because, two years ago we had less than 500 residential units there. So, the neighborhood is growing ten times, and with that comes new retail offerings, new food and beverage opportunities, new services into the neighborhood. Couple that with the future potential of the Brightline station coming soon… Wynwood has a long, long way to run, and it’s truly one of the more exciting neighborhoods than South Florida.”

In an October report prepared by Related ISG Realty with data from CoStar, the top retail leases in the Wynwood-Design District area in the last year include for 2610 N Miami Ave., leased by Metro 1 Commercial; 3711 NE 2nd Ave. for Eichholtz Furniture, leased by DWNTWN Realty Advisors; and 3800 NE Miami Ct., leased by Cushman & Wakefield.

The same reports estimate average asking rent for retail in Wynwood at $61.69, with 12.4% growth since last year.

Additionally, Endeavor Miami, the local branch of the global non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurs with the help of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, moved its Coral Gables office into Wynwood, a “strategic location” for the organization, said Claudia Duran, managing director. The new office is 3,000 square feet.

The Gateway at Wynwood, which has 24,041 square feet of flexible retail space and a total of 183,990 square feet of Class A office space, announced in May that tech start-up OpenStore is to lease about 26,000 square feet. At the same building, Baseline, an investment company, would lease 5,000 square feet of offices. Asian-Fusion Steakhouse Daliyah and Mizu Rooftop Garden are leasing about 6,000 square feet of ground floor space and 3,000 square feet of rooftop area, respectively.

Marcus & Millichap also moved its Miami office from The Waterford Business District, near Miami International Airport, into The Gateway at Wynwood, leasing 12,029 square feet on the seventh floor, paying substantially more than at its previous office space, the company announced in March. Venture capital company Funders Fund also leased 14,914 square feet on the building’s 10th floor, and Veru, a biopharmaceutical company, leased 12,155 square feet of office there too, according to the Business Journal.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, known as PwC, also closed a 38,409-square-foot deal at the 545 Wyn office building, according to the Commercial Observer; and Schonfeld Strategic Advisors has leased at The Dorsey, a mixed-use development in Wynwood, for a 20,000-square-foot space.

Other companies that have recently moved into the neighborhood include Spotify Technology,, Live Nation, Chase Bank and Spearmint Energy, a renewable energy company.

Experts agree that the emerging housing development in Wynwood is contributing to the densification of commercial real estate in the area. “So, you’re going to see more and more service-oriented retailers that need to service those customers,” said Drew Schaul, executive vice president of advisory and transaction services at CBRE. “There are certain retailers that service a daytime population, and then there’s a group of retailers that not only [service] the daytime population, but also the residential population that call Wynwood home.”


Source:  Miami Today

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Miami Beach Seeks Development Partner For Art Deco Apartment Building

Miami Beach officials are contemplating partnering with a developer to renovate a city-owned Art Deco apartment building.

The Miami Beach City Commission on Wednesday authorized staff to move forward with crafting a request for proposals to partner with a developer that can fix up the Barclay Plaza Apartments at 1940 Park Avenue. Bidders can also include possible additions to the 1935-era building in their proposals.

Miami Beach commissioner David Richardson told his colleagues that allowing interested developers to build on the vacant area behind the three-story, L-shaped structure would make the project financially viable.

Miami Beach officials would enter into a private-public partnership and sign a 99-year ground lease with the winning bidder, according to a memo from City Manager Alina Hudak. A developer can also choose to maintain the Barclay as an apartment building with some workforce units, or reposition the property as an office project.

The project does not require a voter referendum, but any proposal would need approval from the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board because the Barclay is considered a “contributing” building in the city’s Art Deco Historic District.

In 2014, the Barclay was condemned by the city, which then purchased the property a year later. The city paid the Miami Beach Community Development Corporation $5.4 million for the former affordable housing building. Since then, it has remained vacant.

Miami Beach also briefly listed Barclay for sale last year. Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez, the lone no vote on the RFP, said the better option is for Miami Beach to pursue funding from the Florida Legislature to renovate the apartment building.

“I don’t like this RFP at all,” she said. “I do feel strongly we can get the [state funds] to renovate the Barclay. Why give it away when we can do workforce housing ourselves.”


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Brightline Says Aventura Train Service Will Begin Within Weeks, Take 17 Minutes To Downtown

We’re just a few weeks away from Brightline beginning train service to Aventura, the company announced recently. An exact date will be announced soon, but will come before year end.

In the meantime, new details of operations in Aventura were released.

  • Trip time between downtown Miami’s MiamiCentral and Aventura is expected to take about 17 minutes
  • Trip times from Aventura to Fort Lauderdale will be 14 minutes, according to the Herald.
  • A ride from Aventura to Boca Raton will take 32 minutes.
  • Aventura to West Palm Beach will take 56 minutes.

Miami-Dade County will offer subsidized fares for a percentage of riders between Aventura and MiamiCentral.

Design of a pedestrian bridge to Aventura Mall is now 50% complete, according to SFBJ.

The 34,000 square foot station will have an autonomous market and lounges for Smart and Premium passengers.

There will also be a parking garage with 240 spaces, with prices starting at $5 for prepaid parking, rising to $12 if paid at the garage.


Source:  The Next Miami

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Lincoln Road Poised For Retail Revival

With 16 new-to-market retail and restaurant tenants, 12 under-development stores, and a greater foot traffic than other Miami-Dade County destinations, Lincoln Road continues to be successful and is poised to have its retail revival going.

The Lincoln Road District’s storefront occupancy rate is 85%, reflecting currently occupied and leased stores, according to the Lincoln Road Business Improvement District (BID). Over the past 12 months, 16 new tenants are opening on the area, 14 of which are new-to-market operators.

Foot traffic, recorded by analytics tool, showed Lincoln Road reaching close to 8 million walking visits over the past year, higher than other destinations such as Miami Design District with 4.1 million, Brickell City Centre with 3.9 million, and Wynwood’s Second Avenue with 3.7 million, according to the Lincoln Road BID.

In October, Chinese fashion brand Yoyoso occupied 5,600 square feet on 1111 Lincoln Road. Barcelona-based fashion retailer Mango also opened a 4,628-square-foot store at 1036 Lincoln Road. Furniture and home décor store West Elm is now occupying 10,237 square feet in the area as well.

On the restaurants side, Andres Carne de Res, a popular Colombian restaurant, is making its US debut on 455 Lincoln Road. The Colombian restaurateurs will occupy about 5,000 square feet in a two-story building with a rooftop deck, where 5 Napkin Burger had been before the location stood vacant since 2015. Construction is set to start soon, according to the Lincoln Road BID.

In addition, The Cheesecake Factory is signing a lease at 600 Lincoln Road, Salt & Straw is also to open at 749 Lincoln Road, and New York-based Mexican taqueria Tacombi has recently opened at 1688 Meridian Ave. and is leasing 2,800 square feet.

Also, 12 stores are currently under development to be leased to new-to-market tenants, including Toronto-based Lighthouse Immersive, the company running the Van Gogh Immersive Exhibit nationwide, which is building a restaurant with virtual displays in the 23,000-square-foot space where the 1940s Beach House used to be, between Paul’s Bakery and the Time Out Market, which has been vacant for over 20 years. The developers are currently working on its design.

Following the successful Fernando Botero sculptures exhibition in Lincoln Road, which was unveiled in 2019, the Lincoln Road BID is bringing another exhibit of 12 sculptures by French artist Richard Orlinkski, which are to be unveiled Nov. 30, just before Art Basel, said Lyle Stern, BID president. A space for a pop-up gallery at 801 Lincoln Road is also to be opened at the same time.

The Peekaboo Art Galleries, a cooperative of local artists with 12 individual studios under the leadership of artist Jayda Knight, is hosting another season of The Black Plum Room, digital works of four artists “presenting their own explorations between creating in real life and working virtually,” according to Miami Beach Arts and Culture.

This year, New York City’s UrbanSpace is bringing its Holiday Market to Lincoln Road, where almost 150 local vendors are to exhibit their products from Nov. 15 to Feb. 15.

“UrbanSpace is very well known for the millennium artists they put out in New York, the largest one is in Bryant Park – and it’s spectacular,” said Mr. Stern. “They were looking for a site outside of New York. We reached out to them, and after they looked throughout all of South Florida they loved Lincoln Road, and we entered into an agreement with them.”

Some of the South Florida gastronomic brands to be displayed include Watsons Bay Coffee Co., Miami ‘N’ Ice, and Wicked Bread. Other national brands are Luke’s Lobster, MozzArepas, and Oyster Party, Poured Loved candles, Jaharii jewelry, accessories brand Pawies, and Gabriela Ceballos Jewelry.

Lincoln Road has also seen close to $6 billion of real estate and hospitality investments in the area, as Class A office and storefronts are being leased, according to the Lincoln Road BID. An example of this is developer Michael Shvo, who has submitted three proposals to the city.

The first, The Alton, would be a six-story, 250,000-square-foot Class A office and commercial space in 1656-1680 Alton Road and 1677 West Ave., designed by Norman Foster from Foster & Partners and Kobi Karp Architects. The project is under development and is expected to be built in 2025.

Another Class A office building is to be One Sounds Park, a six-floor, 52,500-square-foot development designed by Peter Marino and Kobi Karp Architecture, which is expected to be built in 2024 and is under development. The building is to be at 1665-1667 Washington Ave.

Lastly, Michael Shvo is also planning to redevelop the 313,000-square-foot 1940s Rosewood Hotel and Residences into The Raleigh at 1775 Collins Ave. The project is to be a 60-room and suite hotel and 44 residences managed by Rosewood. The residences are to be in the newly constructed 17-story oceanfront tower.

He has also filed plans to redevelop the iconic Lincoln Road clocktower building at 407 Lincoln Road.

“What we’ve tried to do,” said Mr. Stern, “is to approach each part of the community’s culture – music, art, retail, food – at all different levels and price-points to really democratize our street offering, so that there is something for everybody, from amazing arts installations to great street food to higher-end food experience.”


Source:  Miami Today

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Miami Beach Votes Down Big Real Estate Projects

Miami Beach voters on Tuesday nixed three major real estate projects proposed by industry heavyweights Stephen RossBarry Sternlicht, and Don Peebles.

Some 53.4 percent of voters rejectedRoss bid to exceed the current building-size regulations, effectively halting his plans to redevelop the historic Deauville Beach Resort, a MiMo-style property.

The New York-based developer wanted to increase the floor-area ratio, a method of regulating a building’s size, for the Deauville lot at 6701 Collins Avenue and two adjacent parcels. Had the ballot measure passed, Related would have developed an Equinox-branded complex with two luxury towers, featuring 125 condos and 175 hotel rooms. (Related owns Equinox.)

The development seemed like a passion project for Ross, who partly grew up in town.

“As a native of Miami Beach, this project is personal to me. I know what this site means to the people of Miami Beach,” Ross said when announcing his purchase bid in May. 

The billionaire developer enlisted world-renowned architect Frank Gehry to design the new complex. In July, Ross also spoke at a Miami Beach city commission meeting, where he mapped out his plans for “a world-class project.” Yes For A Safe and Strong Future, a political action committee tied to Related Companies, spent over $1 million in favor of the referendum.

Ross’ plans for the Deauville site are unclear following the defeat. The sale was contingent on voters approving the height increase. When reached for comment, Ross and Related representatives provided a statement from Yes For A Safe and Strong Future.

“While we are disappointed with the outcome, we know North Beach deserves an economic engine, not an eyesore. We appreciate the tremendous support we received from thousands who backed a real vision for a better North Beach and still believe there’s a brighter future ahead,” the statement reads. 

Regardless of Tuesday’s vote, the Deauville property will be demolished. The resort has been closed since 2017, following an electrical fire. It fell into such disrepair that a Miami Beach official deemed the resort structurally unsafe and ordered it to be knocked down last January. A Miami-Dade circuit judge later upheld the order. The demolition is scheduled for this Sunday.

No More Offices on Lincoln Road

Ross wasn’t the only developer to lose in Miami Beach.

Ventures led by Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital and Peebles’ Peebles Corporation both sought 99-year leases to build competing office-heavy, mixed-use projects on city-owned land near Lincoln Road, a pedestrian shopping street in Miami Beach. As with Ross, voters rejected each of the proposed leases by 53 percent.

Had they been approved, the leases together would have generated $355 million for the city over 99 years, as stated on ballots. Developers saw an opportunity to build boutique offices in Miami Beach in part to serve billionaires, who relocated to the island town during the pandemic and now seek offices near their residences.

At 1688 Lenox Avenue and 1080 Lincoln Lane North, Starwood’s plans with partners Integra Investments and The Comras Company called for a 100-foot-tall structure that would feature office space, ground-floor retail (including 1,000 square feet leased to a nonprofit rent-free) and a public parking lot to replace the existing surface lot.

Just three blocks east, at 1664 Meridian Avenue, Peebles — along with two partners, local developer Scott Robins and former Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine — wanted to develop a six-story building with Class A office space, 43 market-rate residential apartments, ground-floor retail space, and public parking to replace the existing 151 spots.

“We will consider working with the city to make some adjustments to our proposal and consider presenting it to the voters again without such a crowded and controversial group of ballot questions. That would give the voters the opportunity to focus on the many public benefits from our proposal,” Peebles said in a statement.

The Ones That Passed 

Miami Beach residents did approve some referendums related to real estate — those which weren’t directly tied to developers.

Voters agreed to boost the floor-area ratio for oceanfront hotels in the South of Fifth neighborhood that want to convert to residential buildings. Residents also greenlighted a floor-area ratio hike for certain office and residential properties east of Washington Avenue between First and Second streets if the owner agrees to prohibit hotels and short-term rentals on the property.

Residents also passed a ballot initiative that asked voters whether the municipality should seek voter approval before selling or leasing city-owned properties for over 10 years. The measure affects properties between West 43rd Street and West 40th Street, and from Pine Tree Drive on the east to Alton Road on the west.

Unlike in Miami Beach, Developers Win in Miami

Across the bay in Miami, developers had better luck Tuesday. Sixty-four percent of voters approved a 99-year lease extension for a waterfront site in Downtown Miami, paving the way for a $1.5 billion development.

Hyatt Hotels and Miami-based developer Gencom plan to tear down the James L. Knight Center and build three skyscrapers. Called Miami Riverbridge, the development would include 1,542 rental apartments in total, along with 615 hotel rooms and 264 serviced apartments. The annual rent will jump from $250,000 to at least $2.5 million. The joint venture has also vowed to make a $25 million contribution to affordable housing initiatives, the details of which have not yet been released.

“Miami Riverbridge will improve access to and from the Hyatt Regency Miami site, activate the Miami riverfront, and meet growing demand for housing, hotel rooms and more meeting space in our downtown,” James Francque, global head of transactions for Hyatt, and Phil Keb, executive vice president of development for Gencom, said in a joint statement.


Source:  Commercial Observer

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Budding Urban Arts Hub Allapattah Getting Discounted Homes

The next up-and-coming arts hub in Miami, the gentrifying Allapattah neighborhood, is going to get something it desperately needs: a $47 million housing development with homes carrying leases local workers and lower-income residents can afford. The urban neighborhood, directly west of Wynwood, already has drawn many real estate developers that built homes at the going rate in Miami — which is double that of three years ago and out of reach for many people.

Centennial Management Corp. plans a seven-story building with 149 apartments called Stadium Towers Apartments. Residences will range from 600-square-foot one bedroom units to three-bedroom apartments covering 1,050 square feet. The mid-rise will sit adjacent to Centennial’s last development in the area called Miami Stadium Apartments. Single renters would qualify if they earn $47,810 per year — 70% of Miami-Dade’s median income of $68,300 — or less. All tenants would pay a discounted rent. Attainable housing is needed in Allapattah, said Mileyka Burgos-Flores, founder and CEO The Allapattah Collaborative CDC, a nonprofit organization focusing on sustainable community development. As a result of the area’s rapid and ongoing transformation, longtime residents are priced out. In a span of a decade, single-family homes that sold in the area for $100,000 now go for $400,000. Commercial buildings that closed for $300,000 can now fetch millions. Simultaneously, rents soared for commercial and residential tenants.

“We have the real workforce of Miami living in Allapattah,” Burgos-Flores said, saying a large number of residents work inervice jobs at Miami International, PortMiami, hospitals, warehouses and in the tourism and hospitality industry. Stadium Towers Apartments will be “more aligned with Miami housing needs,” she said. Construction should start in December, after building and demolition permits are secured. Completion is slated for early 2025.

The project will cost $47 million, including $29.4 million for construction. The county, state and the city — as of Thursday with a $1.8 million contribution — will chip in for a portion of tab for the development .

“It is an excellent location. There is a tremendous need for the community,” said Lewis Swezy, president of Centennial Management. “In Allapattah, rents have escalated 100% in the past three years.” Allapattah has a long history, said Seth Bramson, a Florida historian and lecturer at Barry University who has written 33 books, mostly on South Florida’s history.

Swezy expects high demand for his coming apartment building, since Miami Stadium Apartments has remained nearly fully leased since it was built in 2002.

“There’s a strong demand and there’s a lot of employment in the area,” the developer said. “There’s every reason to want to do it.”


Source:  Miami Herald

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Wynwood Site Seized In $30M Foreclosure Judgment

A development site in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District has been seized by a lender following a $29.8 million foreclosure judgment.

Gamma FL Wynwood LLC, in care of New York-based Gamma Real Estate, won the foreclosure auction in September against New York-based Wynwood Gateway II LLC based on a $23 million mortgage, plus interest and fees. The lender submitted the high bid of $250,100 at the Oct. 17 foreclosure auction by utilizing credit from its judgment. That means ownership of the 27,650-square-foot property, at 166 and 179 N.W. 29th St., plus 169 and 179 N.W. 28th St., will transfer to Gamma FL Wynwood.


Source:  SFBJ

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