Brickman buys Courthouse Tower in downtown Miami: $28M

26-story building sold for about $155 per square foot

Mar.March 02, 2016 04:30 PM

New York-based Brickman has made its second commercial real estate purchase in downtown Miami with the $27.5 million acquisition of the Courthouse Tower.

In February, Brickman paid about $34 million for the newly renovated and repositioned 200 Southeast First building. The private real estate equity fund is an owner, operator and investor in office buildings across major markets in the United States.

The 26-story, 162,510-square-foot Courthouse Tower building, at 44 West Flagler Street, was originally built in 1974. It’s across the street from the Miami-Dade County Courthouse, near All Aboard Florida’s Brightline station and surrounded by property Moishe Mana has purchased over the past two years. The mixed-use tower has about 7,100 square feet of retail and the remaining 155,373 square feet are office space.

Mika Mattingly of the Mika Miami team represented the seller, Courthouse Towers LLC, an entity owned and operated by the Donovan family.

Ben Mandell and John Ellis of RKF represented Brickman, which more recently paid $31.1 million for a former cigar factory in Long Island City. The downtown Miami sale, which breaks down to about $155 per square foot, closed on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Mattingly told The Real Deal. Brickman paid $239 per square foot for the 200 Southeast First building.

Brickman has plans to renovate the building and upgrade the common areas, elevators and lobby, Mandell said in a press release. Tenants include Sabadell United Bank GEICO Insurance, CityYear and a number of law firms.

Tere Blanca, president and CEO of Blanca Commercial Real Estate, told TRD that rents in the building range from the mid $20s to low $30s. Brickman brought on Blanca to lease the tower, as well as New York-based MKDA to design the renovation. The building is currently about 80 percent occupied. Blanca said the goal is to elevate the Class B building to a B+ or event A-. “By the end of the fall, we’ll have lots to show,” she said.

Downtown Miami is in the midst of significant redevelopment. Mana has spent more than $200 million in the area, with plans for retail, office and residential projects. Other investors, such as Danny Lavy and Daniel Pena, have also joined in. Pena will open the Langford Hotel, a former bank building, in March.

“[Downtown Miami] is at the very end of the selling period and then we’re going to go through a period of renovation and complete change,” Mattingly told TRD.

The county has also funded part of a $13 million improvement plan for Flagler Street that will include expanded sidewalks, more trees, new benches and bicycle racks. The beautification project broke ground earlier this year and is currently working on installing drainage structures, according to a weekly update released on Monday.

Mattingly said the beautification project is moving quickly. She said downtown Miami will be “brand new” in about two years.

Previous sales information for the property was not available online. Brickman financed the sale with a $20.6 million mortgage from Santander Bank, county records show.

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