Don Peebles is selling Bath Club Estates site

Developer's company had received "compelling" offers for months

Aug.August 17, 2015 05:15 PM

The Peebles Corp. is planning to sell the Bath Club Estates development site in a bid to cash in on rising waterfront prices in Miami Beach, The Real Deal has learned.

The site, at 6747 Collins Avenue, is one of Miami Beach’s few remaining vacant oceanfront lots. It’s split into two 20,182-square-foot parcels that together make up just less than an acre.

Developer Don Peebles, chairman and CEO of the Peebles Corp., had planned to build a 15-story condo tower on the site with 13 full-floor units. Included in the plan was a mansion-sized penthouse with a price tag of $50 million.

Updates on the project had been scarce until Monday, when The Next Miami saw the land was listed for sale on a broker’s website.

The Real Deal reached out to Peebles for confirmation, and spokesperson Adriana Aragon said the company is indeed accepting bids for the land.

“Over the past six months or so, we’ve received several unsolicited offers to purchase the site at compelling prices,” Aragon said in an email. “So we’ve decided to expose it to the market as a whole before accepting one of them.”

She said that the company is working with commercial brokerage CBRE to market the property. 

It is unknown whether the Estates will be built as designed. Aragon said the land is being sold along with all permits and plans. 

Aragon said Peebles is leaving the project behind because the Bath Club Estates would have less than 100,000 of salable space, which would be the smallest project the company developed since 1987. Meanwhile, The Residences at the Bath Club at 5937 Collins Avenue had 400,000 square feet of space for sale when it was built in 2006.

“Ultimately, we’ve concluded that the opportunity cost to develop such a project [is] prohibitive given our current development scope, and given the attractive market for oceanfront land in Miami Beach – a market we believe in – we feel it’s prudent to capitalize on the last vacant oceanfront property,” Aragon wrote.

“Also if we sell we will get better tax treatment compared to profits from condo sales,” Peebles wrote in an email.

Peebles, who has developed projects in such cities as New York, Washington, D.C. and Boston, said in June that he sees the Miami market as leveling off, and predicts an end to the 50 percent deposit requirement on pre-construction condos. “This market is in for a leveling off, where it will get quiet,” Peebles said during a keynote address at the National Association of Real Estate Editors’ 49th Annual Real Estate Journalism Conference. “Projects under construction will be built, but then there will be a slowdown.”

The Estates land was last sold in lieu of foreclosure for $4.6 million to an affiliate of the Canadian development company Madison Group, according to Miami-Dade County property records. Peebles bought out that company and its assets, including the Miami Beach site, early last year.

Peebles isn’t the first developer this year to put a development site up for sale. An assemblage of parcels in Brickell co-owned by Ugo Colombo and Russian developer Vlad Doronin was marketed for sale by CBRE in May. The partners did not comment on their move to sell at the time, though there was speculation that they were reading the tea leaves about Miami’s market possibly hitting its peak.

“It is actually good news,” Peter Zalewski, principal of Condo Vultures and a columnist for TRD, said at the time. “When a veteran developer like Ugo Colombo acknowledges that the market is changing, the rest will follow,” he said, adding that it can in effect prolong the cycle.

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