Codina and Lennar to buy, redevelop White Course in Doral

White Course with Stuart Miller and Armando Codina
White Course with Stuart Miller and Armando Codina

In one of the priciest land deals in Miami-Dade County history, Codina Partners and Lennar Corp. are set to close on a joint purchase of the White Course in Doral, with plans to redevelop the golf course into a mixed-use project, The Real Deal has learned.

Codina and Lennar are the winning bidders in the sale of the 130-acre property, beating out developer and presidential hopeful Donald Trump, Shoma Group’s Masoud Shojaee and others. The seller is GIC, the sovereign fund of the government of Singapore, which obtained the property through bankruptcy actions. 

The sale, at an undisclosed price, is estimated by several real estate sources to be in the $100 million range.

“The property is in very high demand,” said Robert Given, vice chairman of investment sales for CBRE, which marketed the property on behalf of the seller. He declined to disclose the number of bidders, but said that more than 100 investment groups had requested investment packages.

“We were seeking a price over $100 million,” Given told TRD. At that range, it compares to such other top-dollar Miami-Dade land deals as the 2014 sale of the 1.25-acre Epic 2 in downtown Miami for $125 million; 700 Brickell, which Swire bought in 2013 for $65 million; and Lennar’s purchase of 143 acres in Miami Lakes which closed earlier this month for $74.4 million.

The White Course, located in the northeast quadrant of Northwest 41st Street and Northwest 87th Avenue, is contiguous to the Trump National Doral Resort and Codina’s 120-acre Downtown Doral mixed-use project. 

“It was a complicated transaction,” Given told TRD. “Its use has been a golf course for a very long time and we are very sensitive in selecting a buyer that is complementary to the city of Doral.”

Once they take ownership within about 60 days, Codina told TRD that Codina Partners and Lennar will split the acreage 50/50. Codina said he plans to build, with longtime partner Jim Carr, about 390 single-family homes and about 90 townhouses.

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“We’re going to build something to complement Downtown Doral,” Codina said. The $1 billion mixed-use development will include 2,840 residential units spread between condominium towers, townhouses and rental units, as well as office buildings, a charter school and government center. Codina and Lennar are also partnering together on the retail and restaurants component of that project.

“The Doral submarket is a very dynamic market in this real estate cycle,” Given said. “And there is increasing housing demand in Doral in direct result of the redevelopment of the Trump Doral and Mr. Codina’s Downtown Doral development.”

The 130-acre White Course’s zoning allows for 2,709 residential units, 160,748 square feet of retail, 850,805 square feet of office space, 164,790 square feet of civic/municipal square feet, a school and amphitheater, according to CBRE’s offering memorandum. Bids were due on July 15, 2014.

The property’s zoning parameters were set forth in a master development agreement between the property’s predecessor owner, MSR Resort Hotel, in 2012. The agreement is in place for 20 years, and development must begin within 10 years, according to the CBRE offering. The agreement was part of a court settlement between the former owner and the city.

Doral is in the midst of transforming with new construction. In addition to Downtown Doral, other projects include Shoma and the Related Group’s mixed-use project CityPlace Doral and Sergio Pino’s mixed-use development, Midtown Doral.

“Giving Doral a real downtown and a heart and a soul has been a mission for my daughter and I,” Codina told TRD. “It was important to us that the White Course be developed respectfully and complementarily to Downtown Doral, and this is what the residents of Doral want.”