South Florida report

Real estate news in the Sunshine State

The proposed SkyRise Miami
The proposed SkyRise Miami

Beckham confirms plan for Miami soccer team

Soccer legend David Beckham is the talk of Miami as he works toward bringing the city a Major League Soccer franchise.

After months of speculation, Beckham last month exercised his option to buy an expansion MLS franchise to be based in Miami.

Beckham and his team of investors, which includes television producer Simon Fuller and wireless industry mogul Marcelo Claure, are negotiating with Miami-Dade County officials over the potential location of a soccer stadium. The discussions are expected to continue until summer.

Site possibilities include 36 acres at PortMiami; three City of Miami–owned properties west of Marlins Park; 12 acres in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood and more than eight acres near Miami International Airport.

Beckham is also reportedly trying to recruit other investors, most notably Miami Heat superstar LeBron James. The search has expanded all the way to Qatar, where the head of a sports investment company confirmed that Beckham approached the group.

Proposal released for record-setting tower

Jeffrey Berkowitz wants to build a 1,000-foot observation tower in downtown Miami that would be the tallest skyscraper in the state.

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Berkowitz is a longtime player in the South Florida development business, with a primary focus on retail projects like Dadeland Station in Miami and Fifth and Alton in South Beach. He recently released preliminary details of the glass–and-steel tower, dubbed SkyRise Miami.

The developer plans to sublease about two acres from downtown’s Bayside Marketplace and raise money through the federal EB-5 program to cover more than half of the $430 million project cost. Berkowitz also plans to contribute a substantial amount himself.

The Federal Aviation Administration has signed off on the proposed height.

Berkowitz plans to present the project to city commissioners soon and hopes to begin site work in April.

Hotel market surges in Miami Beach

The Miami Beach hotel sector emerged from the recession faster than most South Florida real estate markets, but industry experts believe it has ample room for additional growth.

Hersha Hospitality Trust executive Robert Hazard said during a recent conference the pace of growth is 4-to-5 percent ahead of Manhattan. Hazard’s company owns the Courtyard Miami Beach Oceanfront hotel, located in the city’s mid-Beach section, which could steal momentum from popular South Beach.

Observers point to Argentine developer Alan Faena’s massive Faena Miami Beach project as the catalyst for the area’s transformation. The $1 billion development includes two luxury hotels.

Also, developer Ian Schrager is partnering with Marriott to bring Edition Miami Beach to mid-Beach, the first of the Edition brand in the U.S.