Miami Beach-based investment firm Turnbridge Equities has purchased an entire block on Washington Avenue in South Beach for $36 million, with plans to redevelop the property, The Real Deal has learned.
The firm assembled a string of buildings between 601 Washington Avenue and 685 Washington Avenue, on the east side of the street for the purchase, which was completed on Tuesday, Andrew Joblon, managing principal of Turnbridge Equities confirmed to TRD.
Most of the properties have been under contract for 12 to 15 months, with an extended closing time, said Joblon, who has capital partners in Miami and New York. Turnbridge Equities’ managing director is Andrew Resnick, according to the firm’s website. Since its inception in 2014, the firm has acquired nearly $200 million in residential, retail and hotel projects in New York City and Miami.
The buildings on Washington Avenue had been owned by just a few separate, longtime Miami investors, Jablon said.
According to public records, 601 to 615 Washington, 657 to 685 Washington and 643-655 Washington are all owned by entities whose principals include Burl Sostchin. The owner of 619 through 627 Washington Avenue is an entity linked to James Resnick. And the owner of 637 Washington is an entity affiliated with Sean Posner.
All of the Art Deco buildings were built between 1934 and 1948. Among the current tenants are the restaurants Manolo and Bolivar, as well as SoBe Pet Shop.
Jablon confirmed that his group’s plans are to redevelop the properties into mixed-use, but declined to provide additional details. The purchase was partly financed by a loan from Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance in New York, he said.
In October, Andrew Resnick, who is the grandson of developer Abe Resnick, proposed a large tower on Washington Avenue between Sixth and Seventh streets. The project was previewed at a meeting of the Washington Avenue Blue Ribbon Panel. Designed by Kobi Karp, the tower would have 70 condos, 171 hotel rooms, and 40,000 square feet of office space above the ground floor retail. It is not clear whether that proposal is still in the works.
Investors have increasingly focused on Washington Avenue in recent months, as the relatively rundown street verges on gentrification.
In March, the Waldorf Building, at 1334 Washington Avenue, sold for $6.2 million, six times its last sale price in 1993. Also in March, a pair of New York real estate investors purchased a Miami Beach hostel at 235 Washington Avenue for $8.28 million. And in June, a Firehouse Subs sold for $2.5 million.
Improvements to the area are expected soon. The Miami Beach Land Use and Development Committee recently approved a series of wide proposals designed to breathe new life into Washington Avenue. The proposals include raising height limits for buildings on Washington Avenue, widening sidewalks, adding bike lanes and closing down one lane of traffic along much of the avenue to allow parklets — parking spaces converted to temporary patios for outdoor dining.