Photo: renderingThe proposed 65-acre Metropica in Sunrise includes eight condo towers.
Southeast Florida roundup
Standing Out: $1-billion to build Metropica in Sunrise
At first blush, the $1-billion, mixed-use Metropica project in Sunrise in west Broward leads to head scratching. While the 65-acre project’s retail and office components look ideally suited to the area’s office market and to the neighboring giant Sawgrass Mills mall, Metropica’s proposed eight luxury condo towers, totaling 1,800 units, seem out of place. The last high-rise built nearby, the twintower Tao, flopped in the recession.
The lesson of Tao, says real estate analyst Jack McCabe, is that “people don’t want to pay an exorbitant price to overlook the Everglades.”
Metropica developer Joseph Kavana of K Group Holdings points out that plenty of condo projects in the eastern water-view markets went bust along with Tao in the recession. What did Tao in was flippers who didn’t close, he says. He, like south Florida condo developers generally, will require Metropica buyers to put 50% down over the course of building to keep out flippers. Most importantly, he says, Metropica is much more than high-rise residential. It will total 650,000 square feet of offices, 485,000 square feet of commercial and 2,383 residential units, including those 1,800 condos, all based on new urbanism and human modernism themes. That means walkability, sociability, shopping, dining and entertainment, a city within a city.
Kavana expects units to begin at around $400 per square foot compared to $700 or $900 on eastern beach and bay-view projects. Presales for the first 28-story, 263-unit building have begun.
Nearby Weston has proved that Latin American buyers like west Broward and its relative lack of congestion, Kavana says.
Citrix CEO Mark Templeton canceled his plan to retire and will remain with the Fort Lauderdale software company.
Property management company Lang Management, an affiliate of Lang Diversified Services, promoted Kevin M. Carroll to CEO. He had been president, CFO and COO.
Biotech company Dyadic International hired Thomas Dubinski as CFO. He was a management consultant at CFO Solutions and also had been with Walgreens and Novartis.
BOCA RATON — Cincinnati- based supermarket Kroger acquired Bocabased online health and wellness retailer Vitacost.com for $280 million. > Vicinitas Cancer Care is locating its headquarters in Boca Raton and over five years will grow to 200 full-time employees. State and local incentives totaled $1.81 million.
CORAL SPRINGS — Vantage Hospitality Group, the eighth-largest hotel company in the world, acquired six America’s Best Franchising hotel brands covering 225 hotels. The brands are America’s Best Inns & Suites, Country Hearth inns & Suites, Jameson Inn, Jameson Suites, Signature Inn and 3 Palms Hotels & Resorts. Vantage’s existing brands, covering 1,000 hotels, are Americas Best Value Inn, Canadas Best Value Inn, Value Inn Worldwide, Value Hotel Worldwide, Lexington Inn, Lexington Hotel and Lexington Legacy properties. > Sutherland Healthcare Services will add 30 jobs after moving to a larger space.
DANIA BEACH — The new owner of Dania Beach Jai Alai will close the facility, laying off 150, to expedite renovations for a reopening in 2015 as a fronton and casino.
FORT LAUDERDALE — Related Fund Management, a company of developer and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, acquired the 346-room W Fort Lauderdale Hotel and the remaining 147 of its 171 residential units in The Residences at W Fort Lauderdale from their developer, a company affiliated with south Florida’s John Yanopoulos. The twobuilding project was developed for $430 million.
Florida East Coast Railway opened its container transfer facility at Port Everglades. > King Ocean consolidated a few Eastern Caribbean services at Port Everglades that had been calling at Terminal Island in Miami. The consolidation will add 30,000 containers a year to Port Everglades, where King moved 140,000 units last year. The consolidation follows King adding a 7. 3-acre site to its existing 34 acres.
POMPANO BEACH — Herrick Co. Sold two oceanfront acres for $10.5 million to developers who plan an 81-unit condo. Herrick purchased the site in 2007 for $4 million.
OAKLAND PARK — A Kmart store will close, eliminating 112 jobs. Walmart has acquired the site.
WESTON — Miami-Dade developer Terra Group acquired 121 acres of an unused golf course for its second Broward development with 125 luxury houses from 3,800 square feet to 6,800 square feet on half-acre to acre lots.
WEST PALM BEACH — Palm Beach Atlantic University opened its Marshall and Vera Lea Rinker Athletic campus, the university’s first home fields for five sports, and announced a new $18 million fundraising campaign to benefit the athletic facilities and academic programs and to endow scholarships.
Bubbas East Coast Rods & Customs
Tom Lloyd, the father in the father-and- son duo behind Bubbas East Coast Rods & Customs in Jupiter, lists what the custom-car design and build company has coming up: Two TV series and a weekly radio show, a retail store and a restaurant, “on top of all the great cars we are building and the touring that goes along with that.” Bubbas — named for the son — started in Virginia in 2005 but opened its new base in Florida earlier this year.It employs 20 to 25, Tom Lloyd says.