Heralding the start of their $4 billion, 183-acre master-planned community in North Miami that is aimed at revitalizing the long-vacant site of a former landfill, LeFrak and Turnberry Associates broke ground on SoLē Mia on Thursday.
The Soffer, LeFrak joint venture, announced in March, will include 12 residential buildings, 4,390 residential units, nearly 1 million square feet of commercial space, 37 acres of parks, two swimmable lagoons, and 4,171 parking spaces.
The partnership will put in about $150 million out of the $4 billion needed for the development, originally called Biscayne Landing, at 15045 Biscayne Landing Boulevard. Developers have started work on the roads and sewers.
“When this project came about, I thought about it and looked at it in many different ways. When you see what’s going on here, from a growth standpoint, this was natural for us,” Turnberry Associates principal Jeffrey Soffer said.
At the groundbreaking, city officials touted the need for development in North Miami.
“Our city is ripe now. It’s ripe for development,” Mayor Smith Joseph said. “We can piggyback on what’s going on [in South Florida].”
Turnberry principal Jackie Soffer, who oversees the company’s retail, hospitality and office divisions, said that they’re talking to major national and local tenants for the retail component, which will take up nearly 675,000 square feet, and will include a dine-in movie theater, gourmet grocery store, and a Warren Henry Group dealership.
“We plan to take what we’ve created [at Aventura Mall] and create something on a smaller scale here,” she said.
A former landfill, Biscayne Landing languished for many years after an attempt to develop the site fell apart early last decade. Developer Michael Swerdlow sold his stake in the mixed-use project to Boca Developers in 2005. The company was not able to get the project started before the real estate and financial markets collapsed. Swerdlow helped revive the development in 2012, forming a partnership with LeFrak to build the master-planned project over a 16-year span.
SoLē Mia is slated for completion in 2018.