Savvy Buyer’s Market in Miami: Brickell Key Creators Target Brickell Village

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Using profits from its nearly built-out Brickell Key project, Swire Properties has acquired 5.65 acres in downtown Miami for $41.3 million in cash. The vacant site is in the Brickell Village neighborhood, just west of Brickell Key, which houses offices, condos, and the highbrow 329-room Mandarin Oriental hotel. Swire does not have immediate plans to develop the site, according to president Stephen Owens, who is based in Miami. The site once was planned to become the mixed-use Brickell CitiCentre. Swire acquired the name as well as 3 million square feet of development rights from iStar Financial. “We see it as a 10-year project,” Owens said, adding that Swire’s final development mix likely will include high-end retail, a hotel, offices and less residential than previously planned. The discounted price, which breaks down to $172 a foot, also was attractive, he said. “It was on the market for more than a year at $115 million,” Owens said. “These are the times when you really position yourself for the future.” Other prime land sites in downtown Miami and Coral Gables have traded in recent months in the $300 per square foot range, according to Jack Lowell, VP of Flagler Real Estate Services. “On that basis even though the price seems strong, it is bargain in comparison with other assemblages,” Lowell said. The move to buy now is a strategic setup for the next uptick in the real estate cycle, Owens said. “Although we do not yet have concrete development plans for the Brickell CitiCentre site, we do know that with our disciplined approach to buildout of Brickell Key nearing completion and with our conviction that Miami’s long-term prospects as a gateway city are undiminished, we wanted to look beyond the current market downturn to another significant Brickell presence,” Owens said. The site straddles South Miami Avenue between 7th and 8th streets, with the Brickell Metromover station as the eastern boundary.

Via Miami Herald

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