Big profit for seller of former church building in Miami

1836 Biscayne Boulevard
1836 Biscayne Boulevard

A company tied to Miami Beach-based QueensFort Capital made a substantial profit on the sale of the former First Church of Christ Scientist home just north of downtown Miami.

Reading Room Partners sold the two-property site, which includes a sanctuary originally constructed in 1926, for about $14.3 million in a transaction recorded on Monday, according to Miami-Dade County records. The company paid $6.3 million for the 1836 Biscayne Boulevard and 256 Northeast 19th Street properties. It planned to reposition the religious buildings into high-end restaurants.

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The buyer is a company linked to Miami-based Fifteen Group. No financing was recorded.

Reading Room was able to boost the site’s value by getting the City of Miami to upzone the properties, according to city records. Up to 500 units per acre can now be developed there. Previous zoning only allowed for 150 units per acre.

Fifteen Group has been busy buying and selling Greater Downtown Miami property this year. In July, a Fifteen Group company paid $19 million for a downtown building occupied by FedEx. One week earlier, the company sold a Midtown land assemblage for $12.3 million, a $7 million premium from what it paid for the site four years earlier. — Eric Kalis