Avra Jain, 13th Floor sell Design District property

Site across from Palm Court Garage sold for nearly 3.5x in less than three years

TRD MIAMI /
Jun.June 02, 2015 04:30 PM

A Design District property across the street from the Palm Court Garage has traded hands for $6.9 million — up nearly 3.5 times in less than three years, The Real Deal has learned.

38th Street DD LLC, a Delaware partnership that includes developer Avra Jain and Miami-based investment firm 13th Floor Investments, sold the 3,224-square-foot building at 170 Northeast 38th Street, Lyle Chariff, president of Chariff Realty Group, told TRD.

The commercial building, which was built in 1946, sits on a 10,250-square-foot lot. The partnership had paid $2 million, or $620 per square foot for the site in October 2012, according to Miami-Dade property records.

The buyer in the deal, which closed on Monday, is Design Stage LLC, a Florida private equity firm, whose principal is Arnaud Sitbon, Chariff said. At $6.9 million, the price equates to $2,140 per square foot.

Chariff and partner Mauricio Zapata represented both sides of the deal.

“It was a very quick, quietly marketed transaction between an intimate group of buyers and sellers,” Chariff said.

The new owners plan to tear down the building and redevelop it, he said.

Chariff’s firm has brokered several sales and leases for the site since 2003, Zapata told TRD. The last lease was to the Stage, a nightclub that has since vacated the property.

“The interesting thing is that when we last sold it, I had it listed it and I was talking to [13th Floor Managing Principal] Arnaud [Karsenti] and Avra, and they both were very interested, and the problem was who was going to get it. Both were going to pay the same thing, and the seller was saying ‘You make the choice; it’s the same deal,'” Chariff said.

“At the final hour, I had them both come in, and I said ‘Listen guys, this is what we are up against. If you are going to buy it you have you to do it together,'” Chariff said. “And they made a partnership right there in my office, and they bought it.”

The property is just south of the entrance to the Palm Court Garage, on Northeast 38th Street between Northeast First Court and Northeast Second Avenue. The pedestrian exit is a spiral staircase from the underground garage out into a reproduction of R. Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome, which is centered in Palm Court’s plaza.

Amid the changes in the Design District, prices for commercial property are rising exponentially. In March, New York-based Thor Equities paid $16 million for 56 Northeast 40th Street and 55 Northeast 39th Street. Also in March, Brooklyn-based RedSky Capital and London-based JZ Capital Management purchased 35 Northeast 40th Street, the home of Oak Tavern, for $28 million; and 1 Northeast 40th Street for $29.25 million.

Last week, a property at the edge of the Miami Design District — whose tenants include Michael Schwartz’s Cypress Room — traded hands at triple its 2012 price. Investor Harry Benitah bought the 5,186-square-foot building at 3620 Northeast Second Avenue for $5.5 million from a partnership between Chariff, Zapata and Shawn Chemtov.


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