General Growth, Ashkenazy acquire stake in Design District

Craig Robins
Craig Robins

Retail giants General Growth Properties and Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. teamed up to acquire a 20 percent stake in the redevelopment of Miami’s Design District in a $280 million transaction.

The companies picked up the minority interest from Miami Design District Associates, the partnership between Craig Robins-led Dacra and private equity fund L Real Estate, according to a written announcement from the four firms. The 18-square- block district neighborhood is in the midst of a transformation into a luxury retail hub. Project plans include 1.2 million square feet – mostly retail shops – to be owned and operated by Miami Design District Associates, a boutique hotel and “architecturally significant” condo building.

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A future expansion of up to 2 million square feet is being considered by the venture. The first phase is scheduled for a December completion.

“We made this investment in the Miami Design District as it is the urban retail destination in South Florida,” General Growth CEO Sandeep Mathrani said. “This provides a tremendous opportunity for GGP to add to its portfolio of unique, experience-based retail neighborhoods. It is a destination for those who are in search of creativity, style and culture and we are thrilled to be taking part in its continued development.” — Eric Kalis