Cena by Michy shutters following sale to Michael Comras, Forte Capital

MiMo developer Alex Karakhanian sold the building

May.May 31, 2016 03:00 PM

UPDATED 10:30 p.m., May 31: A partnership between Michael Comras and Forte Capital Management’s Chaim Cahane paid $6.125 million for a retail building in Miami’s MiMo district occupied by Cena by Michy, which closed its doors after lease negotiations reportedly failed.

The Michelle Bernstein restaurant, formerly Michy’s, operated in the space since 2006 and reopened last year as Cena by Michy, Bernstein’s business partner and husband David Martinez told The Real Deal.

“We didn’t want to close like this, but the new owner Michael Comras didn’t give us a choice,” Martinez said. “He was looking for $60 a square foot, we were paying a third of that.”

Comras told TRD that Cena’s lease had ended. “The lease ended and they decided to close,” he said, adding, “We’d love to bring in another neighborhood restaurant.”

Comras said he and his partner’s plans are to upgrade the property and bring in new tenants. A Kumon tutoring center, salon and herb shop currently occupy the building.

Alex Karakhanian, an active investor and developer in MiMo, sold the two-story, 12,500-square-foot building at 6925 Biscayne Boulevard. The off-market deal does not include TDRs, or transferable development rights, he said.

Property records show the 29,000-square-foot plot last sold out of foreclosure in 2013 for about $2 million. It was developed between 1947 and 1954.

Comras and Cahane closed on the property on Friday. Cahane is also part of a partnership that acquired the Chevron gas station at 62nd Street for $5.15 million in April.

Earlier this month, Karakhanian sold the Panther Coffee building at 6405 Biscayne Boulevard for $6.7 million. He previously told TRD that there is still land available for developers in MiMo, which defines its borders as between the 50th and 77th streets along the boulevard.

Trina Turk and Mr. Turk were among the first upscale retailers to lease space in the district. The two shops are now building out their space at 7200 Biscayne Boulevard. Designer Julian Chang has opened his retail store at 6669 Biscayne Boulevard, and designers Angel Sanchez and Christopher Coleman plan to open a showroom and studio at 7521 Biscayne Boulevard.

The Miami New Times first reported that Cena closed. Bernstein and Martinez will continue to operate Crumb on Parchment located in the Miami Design District.

“We came here when the neighborhood was nothing,” Martinez told TRD.

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