China-based DJI, Drone Nerds land in Wynwood for first US store

2349 Northwest Second Avenue in Wynwood. Inset: a DJI drone (Credit: Clément Bucco-Lechat)
2349 Northwest Second Avenue in Wynwood. Inset: a DJI drone (Credit: Clément Bucco-Lechat)

The market leader in civilian drone manufacturing and the largest authorized drone dealer in the U.S. are partnering for the first time to launch a new store in Wynwood.

Drew Schaul, Tony Arellano and Devlin Marinoff

China-based DJI, which has a DJI Customer Experience Store in Manhattan, and Drone Nerds inked a lease for 1,776 square feet at 2349 Northwest Second Avenue, next to retailers Shinola and Illesteva and across the street from Panther Coffee, Scotch & Soda and Coyo Taco.

RKF’s Drew Schaul, executive vice president, and associate Aaron Labovitz represented DJI, Schaul told The Real Deal. Tony Arellano, executive vice president of Metro 1, Devlin Marinoff, managing director and founding principal of Whitehall Realty Advisors, and David Spitz represented the landlord, 2301 Wynwood LLC.

DJI, which plans to open in the spring, looked at sites in Wynwood, South Beach and Brickell before it secured its lease at 2349 Northwest Second Avenue, Schaul said. New York-based JSRE Acquisitions paid $35 million for the entire block earlier this year, TRD previously reported.

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Schaul called the lease a win for Wynwood’s tenant mix, which has been dominated by food and beverage and clothing/accessory retailers. And while it’s the first significant tech-oriented tenant in Wynwood, more’s to come, Arellano said. Asking rents in Wynwood are north of $100 per square foot, triple net, he said, with clicks-to-bricks tenants like Warby Parker, Bonobos and Shinola dominating the retail landscape. At $100 a square foot, that would be $177,600 for the DJI space.

“If we were to have a Leica or an Apple type of tenant, I don’t think anyone would turn them away,” Arellano told TRD. “If I would have said that three years ago, people would have called me crazy.”

The space, previously an art gallery, wasn’t on the market for long, he said. DJI signed a 10-year lease at market rent, according to Schaul.

“When we first contacted the landlord, he had no idea what DJI was. By the time the lease was executed, he bought three drones, one for work, one for personal use, and I believe one for a gift,” Schaul told TRD. “And they were all on back order.”