Wharton Equity takes title to Miami parcel

Parking lot west of Miami Tower
Parking lot west of Miami Tower

New York City and Miami-based Wharton Equity Partners has acquired one of downtown Miami’s last remaining development parcels.

The firm took title to the property, currently a parking lot, through a deed in lieu of foreclosure on a note purchased from IberiaBank earlier in the year, according to a release.

The parcel, known as the Burdines Site for the department store that once anchored Miami’s downtown, comprises a 2.2-acre city block next to Interstate 95 and the 47-story Miami Tower, and was already approved for a 2.2 million-square-foot mixed-use project designed by internationally renowned architecture firm Pei Partners and the Miami-based Oppenheim Architecture + Design.

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Wharton is currently evaluating whether to develop the property, enter into a joint venture or a sale.

The purchase represents Wharton Equity’s continued interest in South Florida, where it is in various stages of acquisition of other development sites as well as large income-producing properties.

“We viewed the note purchase as a unique opportunity to control one of the most significant undeveloped properties in downtown Miami at a time when demand for land is rising and remaining land is scarce,” David E. Eisenberg, CEO of Wharton Equity Partners, said in the release. — Emily Schmall