The Real Deal New York

South Florida roundup: Record Lincoln Road deal, lenders writing huge construction loans ... and more

Snapshots of real estate news from the Sunshine State
By Eric Kalis | September 01, 2014 07:00AM
One of the Lincoln Road buildings

One of the Lincoln Road buildings

Lincoln Road record
A major New York real estate player and its Miami Beach–based partner made South Florida history with the $342 million sale of a six-property portfolio on Lincoln Road. It was the priciest deal ever on the prominent retail strip.

White Plains–based Acadia Realty Trust and Terranova teamed up to acquire the retail properties on Miami Beach’s popular retail block in two transactions totaling $191 million in 2011 and 2012. The sale to Morgan Stanley Real Estate Investing, along with affiliates of Terranova, represents a 79 percent profit, not including carrying costs or income generated from the buildings. Tenants at the properties include Dylan’s Candy Bar and Sushi Samba.

The deal is one of the most expensive commercial real estate trades ever in South Florida. The only commercial transaction to bring in a higher price was the $375 million sale of a 50 percent stake in the Fontainebleau Miami Beach six years ago.

Retail property owners on Lincoln Road are benefiting from a surge in rental rates. Some high-end brands are paying as much as $300 per square foot for space on the block.

Huge construction loans
Construction lenders are once again making expensive bets on high-end condominium projects in the Miami area.

In the latest example, a company tied to Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies provided a $290 million mortgage for the luxury Surf Club Hotel and Residences in Surfside, just north of Miami Beach. The transaction is believed to be the first large nonrecourse loan — meaning the borrower did not have to pledge additional collateral besides the property itself — in the Miami area since last decade’s crash.

Nadim Ashi’s Miami-based Fort Capital Management is developing the Surf Club project on a nine-acre oceanfront site. Plans include two residential towers, a private club and an 80-room hotel managed by the Four Seasons. Pritzker prize– winning architect Richard Meier is one of the project’s designers.

Developers get religious
Available land in key South Florida markets is so scarce that developers are turning to unconventional places, like church properties, for new projects.

New York developer David Edelstein plans to construct a two-story mixed-use building on the Miami Beach Community Church’s courtyard, which faces Lincoln Road. Edelstein’s TriStar Capital has a 50-year lease for the property that was approved by church members in December 2013. The church is set to receive a $100 million windfall from the development. It plans to use the proceeds to cover operating costs, fund charitable endeavors and preserve and repair church facilities.

In West Palm Beach, a partnership led by developer Al Adelson gave $21 million to First Baptist Church for the site of the Chapel-by-the-Lake. The developer wants to build a high-rise condo on the property, but three legal actions involving the project are pending.

First Baptist is expected to use the $21 million for its main campus and to launch as many as 100 South Florida churches over the next decade.