Burke Leighton buys new Little Havana apartments for $10.8M

Project was originally supposed to be condos before conversion

Feb.February 04, 2016 06:00 PM

New York-based Burke Leighton is expanding its South Florida portfolio with the $10.8 million purchase of a newly completed apartment building in Little Havana.

The commercial real estate company paid cash for the newly built Victorian, a six-story building at 1430 Southwest First Street. Burke Leighton has thousands of apartments in Brooklyn and Manhattan and has recently shifted its focus to South Florida.

The firm started by purchasing apartment buildings in Coral Gables about two years ago, company adviser Morris Matalon told The Real Deal. Most recently, Burke Leighton has  started picking up mid-rise apartment buildings in Little Havana.

“This location is very striking,” Matalon said. “We decided to go to Little Havana because of its proximity to Brickell.”

The Victorian, which was originally slated to be developed as a condominium, has 60 one-bedroom apartments with balconies. They each measure 598 square feet for a total of 35,880 square feet of leasable space. Rents start at $1,250 a month.

Joseph Zichelle of ONE Sotheby’s International Realty, who represented Burke Leighton for the purchase, said the deal was off-market. One interesting aspect was that the building was delivered empty, he said.

It wasn’t a stabilized asset,” Zichelle said. “It was being delivered to him completely, 100 percent vacant.” 

Zichelle brokered the deal alongside his colleague Jesse Sepencer at ONE Sotheby’s. On the seller’s side, Kristine Flook and Janet Crucet — formerly with Cervera Real Estate and now with Urbanize Properties — handled the deal.

The building was sold by an affiliate of MG3 Developer, a Hollywood real estate company that first paid $875,000 for the property in 2012. That same year the developer began construction on the Victorian, and this week was granted a temporary certificate of occupancy, according to Miami-Dade County property records.

This deal brings Burke Leighton’s portfolio in Florida to 10 properties, including the Ives Dairy Shops in Miami Gardens, the Venetian Isle Apartments in Hollywood, and the Riverview Apartments, also in Little Havana. In January, a partnership that includes Burke Leighton paid $14 million for the latter property, an 11-story tower at 120 Southwest Eighth Avenue.

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