Ella Fontanals-Cisneros plans to develop Miami property aimed at design tenants

Ella Fontanals-Cisneros
Ella Fontanals-Cisneros

Art collector Ella Fontanals-Cisneros plans to redevelop a building for design-related tenants, as showrooms continue to be priced out of Miami’s Design District.

Fontanals-Cisneros is gut renovating and expanding a building at 301 Northwest 36th Street, which she bought in February 2015 for $8 million, Luis Guevara, realtor associate with Chariff Realty Group, told The Real Deal.


301 Northwest 36th Street

She will add a third floor to the existing vacant, two-story, 22,000-square-foot warehouse, creating a 30,0000-square foot building on a 1-acre property, about three blocks from Miami’s Design District. Chariff Realty Group will be in charge of leasing, and spaces are available at $38 triple net, Guevara said.


Luis Guevara

“We’ve been actively talking to prospective tenants,” he said, though leases have not yet been signed.

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In 2002, Fontanals-Cisneros established the non-profit Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, known as CIFO, to support Latin American artists, according to the foundation’s website.


Rendering of 301 Northwest 36th Street

Miami’s Design District is in the midst of a transformation into a luxury shopping, dining and entertainment destination, with such designer apparel and jewelry stores as Christian Dior, Tom Ford, Hermès, Cartier and Valentino, as well as new hotels, museums and restaurants. Craig Robins, president and CEO of Dacra, is spearheading the redevelopment of the district, where commercial rents have risen to about $150 per square foot, blended, for three stories, he previously told TRD.

Meanwhile, furniture showrooms can only afford up to about $60 a square foot, said Lyle Chariff, president of Chariff Realty Group, said. So, 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 told TRD last week. “That is going to become the design center outside the old Design District,” he said.

Among other developers of property in that area, Phil Taormina, the owner of Clima Outdoor plans to build a five-story, 30,000-square-foot design center, taking four floors and leasing out one at 285 Northwest 36th Street. Poltrona Frau is also 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.