The Real Deal Miami

Developer: Offices won’t work in today’s market

By Erik Bojnansky | December 09, 2008 02:47PM

The developer of a mid-rise building in Coconut Grove says the current
real estate market has forced him to change his project from a
mixed-use office building into a hotel and apartment complex.

This Thursday, December 11, the Miami City Commission will decide if
developers Henry Pino and Manny Velar can build a 16-story apartment
building with 116 residential units and a 14-story hotel at 2263
Douglas Road.

Last year Pino and Velar received the commission’s blessing to build
the Andalusia Corporate Center at that site, a $60 million, 13-story,
216,000-square-foot office building that also included nine residences.
However, Pino said current market conditions have made the office
building unfeasible.

“The economy shifted, as you know,” Pino said. “Businesses are contracting not expanding.”

Instead, Pino said $28 million will be invested to build an apartment
building and $30 million to construct a select-service hotel. Pino
plans to rent the apartments for between $1,300 and $1,800 a month. As
for the hotel, Pino said he is talking to “several potential operators
who will manage it for us.”

Aside from getting commission approval, Pino also needs funding to make
his new project a reality. “We are pursuing financing,” he said. “In
this day and age it is a challenge. Obviously if we can’t get financing
it will have to be on hold for awhile until the credit market revises.”

However, Pino hopes to commence construction “in the second quarter of the coming year.”