Investors look to cash in on Design District prices with nearby listing

Property last sold for $800,000 in 2015

May.May 19, 2016 04:00 PM

In a bid to cash in on a possible expansion of Miami’s Design District, two investors have put a commercial property on the district’s border up for sale at $2.5 million.

The listing is for two side-by-side parcels at 185 Northwest 45th Street and 4501 Northwest Second Avenue, which are a little under a mile west from the heart of the Design District.

The lots are sized at 14,400 square feet and are occupied by a mom-and-pop grocery store called Food Check, which itself measures 6,555 square feet.

In April of last year, Arthur Bartholomew and Thomas Neary paid $800,000 cash to purchase the parcels from the owners of Food Check and have since cleaned up what Bartholomew described as a “messy” title situation.

Although Food Check still has its lease until 2020, Bartholomew told The Real Deal that he hopes to ride a wave of rising property values as the hot — and now uber expensive — neighborhoods of Wynwood and the Design District expand outward.

On his and Neary’s property, the current T4 zoning allows for redevelopment of up to three stories with 8,640 square feet on the ground floor. The zoning also allows for 36 units per acre, so at 0.33 of an acre, the site could potentially house just under 12 residences. Low-rise developments of that kind are typical of Wynwood, where many of the new retailers are occupying former small-scale industrial buildings.

Property values in Wynwood and the Design District have exploded in recent years as investors and developers look to cash in on a cultural wave transforming both neighborhoods. Deals worth more than $100 million each became commonplace as New York firms like Thor Equities and RedSky Capital swept up entire blocks.

To Bartholomew and Neary’s credit, they are not the only ones trying to capture the magic: a group of investors including the mayor of Doral’s son, Alexander Boria, have been purchasing properties along Northwest 2nd Avenue and enticing local artists to paint them with Wynwood-esque murals.

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