After more than two decades at 818 Lincoln Road, Brazilian pop artist Romero Britto has inked a deal to move his gallery three blocks eastward on the Miami Beach pedestrian promenade, The Real Deal has learned.
Britto will lease space at 532 Lincoln Road, in a building owned since the late 1940s by Bob Quittner’s family, Lyle Chariff, president of Chariff Realty Group, told TRD.
Chariff, who has known Britto ever since he first opened his gallery on Lincoln Road next to Chariff’s mother’s boutique, Diamonds and Chicken Soup, told TRD that he offered Britto a rate 20 percent below market. Lincoln Road rents now approach $300 to $400 a square foot, he said.
“In this building we have the luxury to do whatever we want, since Bob [Quittner] has owned it for so long and his basis in the building is so low…. so we have the ability to undercut anybody if we want to on price,” said Chariff, who has represented Quittner for 15 years and was the only broker involved in the transaction.
The deal came together quickly, in what Chariff and Quittner consider an act of serendipity: Chariff called Quittner on his cellphone to discuss offering the space to Britto, while Quittner was on a Caribbean cruise — in the middle of an art auction where Britto’s works were the main attraction. The next day, Chariff ran into Britto at MC Kitchen in the Design District and told him he had an offer he couldn’t refuse.
“The next day we got together with his team and we had a deal in one day,” Chariff told TRD.
“If anybody deserves it, it is Romero because he is a true pioneer of Lincoln Road, and is what Lincoln Road was built on,” Chariff added. “We gave him a friends and family rate, and we are very happy.”
Britto’s gallery will have 2,700 square feet in the space formerly occupied by So Good Jewelry, whose 10-year lease has expired, Chariff said. Other tenants in the building include Guess. Bank of America, Kiehl’s and Ricky’s NYC. The site is across the street from H&M.
Britto had been looking for space for months, after his building was sold last year for $34.5 million. Miami-based 818 Lincoln Corp. sold the 8,375-square-foot building in May 2014 to 818 Lincoln Investments. Investor Danny Lavy is identified as the manager of the buying entity. The building is expected to undergo redevelopment.
Lincoln Road itself is expected to get a facelift, with a master plan proposing such improvements as adding public seating and outdoor space for art and performances, enlarging sidewalks and enhancing adjoining streets.
“We kept [Britto] on Lincoln Road, and we brought him further east to the 500 block, which is in between the tourists and the locals,” Quittner told TRD. “It is very prestigious for our building.”