Two well-known names — and competitors — in Miami’s commercial sales and leasing arena have come together to form their own real estate-focused investment firm, The Real Deal has learned.
Scott Sherman, previously vice president of acquisitions at Thor Equities, and Ben Mandell, formerly managing director at RKF, just launched Tricera Capital to focus on retail, office, and mixed-use commercial properties in the Southeast.
“We have family offices that are investing behind us and we’re going to be owning and operating the property to generate returns for investors and ourselves,” Sherman, co-founder and managing partner of Tricera Capital told TRD.
They plan to identify deals in emerging areas of cities as well as mature markets, including in Asheville, Atlanta, Miami, Tampa, Orlando, Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, he said.
“Our strategy is to target these growth markets, time them well, like Wynwood five years ago,” then reach out to tenant contacts “and then have the tenants in hand and buy these buildings,” Mandell, Tricera’s co-founder and managing partner told TRD. “It gives our investors and partners the ability to come into a situation where they are purchasing the assets and leasing them, increasing the rent and return, which is the name of the game.”
Sherman and Mandell, who are now based on Brickell Avenue, had often come up against each other in the past, in Design District and Wynwood deals.
“Almost every day, I was chasing, or missed [a deal], or had to pay more than I wanted to, and more often than not, I was against Ben,” Sherman said.
At RKF, Mandell’s clients included heavy hitters Redsky and David Edelstein. Among the deals he brokered during his five-year tenure: Edelstein’s $65 million purchase in the Design District, Redsky’s $29.5 million purchase of the Wynwood Block and Redsky’s combined $57.25 million deal in the Design District. Mandell also helped bring in national tenants to Wynwood, like Warby Parker and Shinola.
Sherman, who spent seven years at Thor and opened the Miami office three years ago, handled the New York-based firm’s assemblage in the Design District and subsequent sale in two transactions, for $128.3 million and $60 million to Redsky, which produced about a $100 million profit over two years. He also assembled more than two blocks in Wynwood for Thor.
Now they hope to make purchases from $2 million to more than $100 million, depending on the market, return potential and characteristics of the property, Mandell said.
“It was probably six months ago we were joking that if the two of us joined forces, we could take away the competition,” Sherman told TRD. “And over the past couple of months, it grew to become a reality.”