Historic Walgreens building in downtown Miami hits the market

Miami /
Jun.June 13, 2016 02:15 PM

As downtown Miami’s Flagler Street continues to evolve, a historic building is now up for grabs. 

Built in 1936, the historic Walgreens building is currently home to La Epoca Department Store. Habitat Development Corp., led by the Alonso family, owns the property at 200 East Flagler Street. Its TDRs, also known as air rights, are also for sale.

The Alonsos own La Epoca, which just last year celebrated its 50th anniversary in downtown Miami. Co-owner Brian Alonso also co-chairs the Flagler Street Task Force, which is leading the $13 million improvement plan for the historic Flagler Street district. That project includes making Flagler Street more pedestrian-friendly, installing trees, benches and bicycle racks, and implementing centralized valet parking.

The market will dictate a price for the building, which sits on a 9,120-square-foot lot, according to a release. The owners said recent commercial activity has prompted a number of unsolicited offers to the property, described in the listing as “an ideal target for a retail-driven repositioning or adaptive reuse.”

“We’re proud of the change underway along Flagler Street and we’ll always be grateful to our loyal customers, but we also recognize that there’s record-level of interest and excitement in downtown Miami real estate,” Alonso said in the press release. “It’s time for us to usher in the next chapter of this building’s rich history.”

The Art Deco-style, five-story building was designed by Zimmerman, Saxe and MacBride. It is designated historic by the city and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and cannot be torn down.

“Charles Walgreen built it, it was the third Walgreens outside of Chicago and the first in Florida,” co-owner Randy Alonso told The Real Deal. Walgreens was mostly a food service operator and the downtown Miami location served as a 66-seat soda fountain, he said. It is the largest Walgreens to date.

Brokers Mika Mattingly and Gerard Yetming, who recently joined the Urban Core division at Colliers International of South Florida, are listing the nearly 50,000-square-foot building. Mattingly said she’s already received interest from international buyers and end-users from New York. “We’re amazed at the initial interest,” she said. “We’re seeing a real appreciation for this type of asset across the board.”

Mattingly has been active in the majority of deals in the neighborhood, representing developer and investor Moishe Mana on his acquisitions. Mana has spent more than $200 million buying properties on and near Flagler.

Alonso said his family believes in the neighborhood, and plans to stick around after the building sells. “We still want to be a part of it,” he told TRD. “We’re looking to reinvest back into real estate in Miami.”


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