Miami Design District property triples in three years

Michael Schwartz's Cypress Room, Bloom Miami and Shades and Sound are tenants

TRD MIAMI /
May.May 27, 2015 02:15 PM

A property at the edge of the Miami Design District — whose tenants include Michael Schwartz’s Cypress Room — has traded hands at triple its 2012 price, The Real Deal has learned.

3620 Design District LLC — a partnership between Lyle Chariff, Mauricio Zapata and Shawn Chemtov — sold the 5,186-square-foot building, at 3620 Northeast Second Avenue for $5.5 million, or $1,061 per square foot, Chariff told TRD.

The buyer is Harry Benitah, a local investor and developer whose properties in the area include Buena Vista Flats and the Teresita Market, Chariff said.

Chariff, president of Chariff Realty Group, said he hand-picked Benitah as the buyer. Chariff and his partners control four buildings at the gateway to the Design District, at the four corners of the I-95 overpass at Northeast 37th Street, including the new Brown Jordan building which is almost fully built.

“Two weeks ago I said I would be interested in bringing in more outside people to work with us and have neighbors, and [thought] who would be the best person,” Chariff told TRD. “So I picked up the phone and called my friend Harry. He is focused on the district and he is committed and does great things, and I would love him to be a neighbor.”

Chariff said the deal, which closed on Tuesday, had a speedy 10-day inspection and 10-day closing. “I didn’t even go to market with the building,” he said. “I just made one call.”

The sellers had originally purchased the building in April 2012 from Kay Statz of Camp Development, for $1.782 million. When Chariff first got involved in real estate, he said Camp Development was the first company he worked for, and Statz was his first boss.

When the partners bought the building, it was empty, Chariff said. The building, built in 1921, sits on a 6,195-square-foot lot, according to Miami-Dade property records.

“We repositioned the building and added value by signing three great current tenants,” Chariff said. In addition to the Cypress Room, Bloom Miami and Shades and Sound, both longtime Design District retailers, also lease space in the property.

Properties in the Design District has been quickly rising in value, as Dacra’s Craig Robins transforms the area into a luxury shopping destination. In late March, Thor Equities added to its portfolio, paying $16 million for 56 Northeast 40th Street and 55 Northeast 39th Street. Other buyers in the district include Brooklyn-based RedSky Capital and London-based JZ Capital Management, which in March purchased 35 Northeast 40th Street, the home of Oak Tavern, for $28 million, and 1 Northeast 40th Street, for $29.25 million.

Chariff said Benitah has no plans to redevelop the property at 3620 Northeast Second Avenue. He said rents in the building are in the $60s per square foot, and market rents on the four buildings that he and his partners control is more than $100 per square foot. “So there is so much upside value,” he said.

“We repositioned the building with great tenants, with two-and-a-half years of great rental history,” he said, “and created a gem.”


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