Clima owner plans to build new luxe showroom near Midtown, Design District

Phil Taormina, Luis Guevara  of Chariff Realty Group and rendering of the Clima building
Phil Taormina, Luis Guevara  of Chariff Realty Group and rendering of the Clima building

As furniture showrooms continue to be edged out of Miami’s Design District, the owner of Clima Outdoor is planning to build a new five-story building on lots he just completed assembling in an area west of Midtown Miami, near Wynwood.

Phil Taormina, Clima’s owner, paid $1.95 million or $650,000, each, for the three adjacent lots: 285 Northwest 36th Street, which he bought three years ago; 274 Northwest 37th Street, purchased two months ago; and 260 Northwest 37th Street, which he bought last week, Luis Guevara, realtor associate at Chariff Realty Group, who brokered the deals, told The Real Deal.

Taormina plans to build a 30,000 square-foot building with a rooftop deck for events, taking four of the five floors and leasing out one floor, Guevara said. Overall, the building will showcase luxury furniture, home accessories, rugs and outdoor furniture. Clima will also keep its current location nearby, at 3650 North Miami Avenue, he said.

“Phil has been there, understands the area, has been paying rent, and saw a great opportunity to buy real estate,” Lyle Chariff, president of Chariff Realty Group, told TRD.

The corridor east of I-95, west of Midtown Miami and the Design District and a few blocks from Wynwood is becoming a “safe haven” for furniture and home furnishings firms, Chariff said.

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“That is going to become the design center outside the old Design District,” he said, because furniture tenants have an upper threshold of $60 a square foot that they can pay for rent.

Addison House and Poltrona Frau are among other showrooms that have moved to the area.

Poltrona Frau is redeveloping the former LMNT venue space at the corner of Northwest 36th Street and Northwest First Avenue, which it bought for $10.4 million. Plans are to create a four-story design building complete with showroom space, a branded restaurant and offices.

In January 2015, Poltrona Frau Group Miami CEO Giampiero Di Persia sold his company’s two-story 22,000-square-foot building at 3800 Northeast Miami Court in the Design District for $26 million. He previously told TRD that rents in the Design District had skyrocketed from about $30 per square foot to upwards of $200 per square foot amid the area’s transformation into a luxury shopping destination.