August 29, 2015
Taking notice of Little Havana

Photo: Newscom

Maximo Gomez Park in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood.

Miami-Dade Regional Roundup

Taking notice of Little Havana

Located between Coral Gables and downtown Miami’s Brickell area, Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood should have become a hot spot for development long ago. The historic neighborhood has a strong sense of place and urbanism and is an easy commute to three big employment centers: Coral Gables, Brickell and the Civic Center area (home to hospitals and college medical campuses).

With the exception of affordable housing developments, however, the neighborhood had been largely ignored by residential real estate developers until earlier this year, when Miami-based Astor Cos. Launched sales at its InTown condominium project. The $95-million project, on Little Havana’s famed Calle Ocho, is slated for completion in 2016. It will include two 14-story towers with a total of 320 residences, with units priced as much as 25% below comparable condos in Brickell or downtown Miami.

“We think that Astor, in a sense, is a pioneer in the development of residential,” says Bill Fuller, managing partner of Barlington Group, which is based in Little Havana. Fuller and partner Martin Pinilla II own 25 commercial buildings in the neighborhood. Fuller notes that dry cleaners, pet shops and other service-oriented businesses are starting to get priced out of the Brickell area and are considering Little Havana as an alternative to serve that area.

City- and county-financed Marlins Park was supposed to be a catalyst for redeveloping Little Havana, but so far has had little effiect.

Miami-based Pinnacle and Little Havana-based Carrfour Supportive Housing opened their third development in the neighborhood in May; more than 1,500 people entered the lottery for Amistad Apartments’ 89 units. To construct Amistad, the partners purchased and tore down a series of dilapidated two-story buildings. A Publix and two CVS drugstores opened recently, and Publix is scouting additional locations. “The opening of the Publix, some of the amenities that have opened up over the past couple of years, have been a change for the community,” says Carrfour’s Stephanie Berman.

Players

NBCUniversal’s Hispanic Enterprises and Content hired Luis Silberwasser as its Miami-based president of Telemundo Network; he will also oversee Telemundo Studios. He had been executive vice president and chief content officer for Discovery Networks International.

ERBA Diagnostics promoted Mohan Gopalkrishnan to CEO from vice president/operations. He replaces interim CEO Sanjiv Suri.

David R. Lukes joined shopping center owner and developer Equity One as executive vice president. He will become CEO later this year when Jeffrey S. Olson leaves the company. Lukes had been president and CEO of Seritage Realty Trust, part of Sears Holding Corp.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY —

The Miami Heat and the county commission reached a deal for the basketball team to extend its lease at AmericanAirlines Arena through 2035. From 2030 through 2035, the county will pay $8.5 million in subsidies to the arena — on top of the $6.4 million in hotel taxes that it already pays annually — in exchange for regular donations to its parks department, totaling about $1 million. The county also agreed to end a proftsharing deal, under which it had received a payment from the Heat in only one year.

Business Briefs

AVENTURA — Tanglewood Management sold three acres of commercial property across from Aventura Mall for $19.3 million to an unidentifed New York investor. A 33,000-sq.-ft. medical office building is on the property, along with a Wells Fargo bank. One acre is developable land.

BAL HARBOUR — The 14,129-sq.-ft. penthouse at the St. Regis Bal Harbour sold for $22.75 million.

CORAL GABLES — Publix has proposed an 18-story residential building on the site of its store at 2551 LeJeune Road. The plans also include expanding the current store and adding a 793-space garage.

DORAL — Carnival plans to install exhaust cleaning systems on at least 70 ships during the next three years.

HOMESTEAD — FPL received state approval to build two nuclear reactors at its Turkey Point facility on Biscayne Bay and to add 88 miles of electrical transmission lines.

Residents approved a city plan to spend $26 million to revive and renovate the downtown area, including building a new police headquarters and renovating the Seminole Theatre.

MIAMI — Thor Equities of New York purchased more than 50,000 square feet of retail and office space in the Design District for $45.5 million. The previous owner, Sam Herzberg, purchased the property in 2012 for $16.73 million. > Flagler Global Logistics broke ground on 1.7 million square feet of planned industrial space at its Flagler Station business park. Once completed, the property, which sits west of Miami International Airport, will total 14 million square feet on 98 acres. > Melo Group plans to build two apartment towers, with 497 apartments and 8,500 square feet of restaurant and retail space, on the north side of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

Royal Caribbean International ordered its fourth Oasis-class ship, which starts sailing in 2018. The ships are the largest passenger vessels in the world.

MIAMI BEACH — New York-based real estate from Douglas Elliman acquired Miami Beachbased broker Majestic Properties. Majestic head Jeff Morr will turn management responsibilities over to Elliman.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY — Brooklyn-based developer Mazel Group paid $19.1 million for 181 acres of residential land in the northwest part of the county, in what broker DRT Global Real Estate says is the largest land deal of the year in the county. > The Miami Dolphins partnered with the AARP Foundation in a five-year deal that will see the NFL franchise work closely with the charity via media campaigns and events. It is the first time the foundation has worked with an NFL team on this scale. > Jackson Health Services agreed to pay the University of Miami $117.4 million through next May for continued partnership with UM doctors and medical services. The deal is $3 million over the previous year. More than 90% of the physicians who staff the public health system come from UM, and the university takes advantage of the publicly owned system’s sovereign immunity from many lawsuits to pursue cutting-edge medicine, such as organ transplants and spinal surgeries.

NORTH MIAMI — North Miami Mayor Marie Lucie Tondreau was one of four people indicted in a mortgage fraud scheme and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She was suspended from office and could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted. The city will hold a new election in August.

Maximo Gomez Park in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood (above). Astor Cos.’ InTown condominium project (right).

Bigger Paychecks

Wages for workers in Miami-Dade County rose faster than the national and state averages from the third quarter 2013 to the second quarter 2014.

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Tags: Miami-Dade, Travel & Tourism

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