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The Real Deal Miami

Miami River area site sells for $3.2M, redevelopment planned

Babba Joshua Yesharim plans to rehab building, add new tenants, and later develop a high-rise
By Ina Cordle | March 06, 2017 01:30PM

Rendering of South River Station, Babba Joshua Yesharin and the current site

Miami real estate investor Babba Joshua Yesharim paid $3.2 million for a site across the street from the Miami River with plans for redevelopment, as the area continues to overflow with new projects.

The parcel, at 490 Northwest South River Drive also includes a second small site at 442 Northwest South River Drive, Yesharim told The Real Deal. Together, they span 30,094 square feet of land and currently house 17,069 square feet of warehouses, built in 1949. The price equates to $187 per square foot for the warehouses and $106 per square foot for the land.

The sale was an off-market deal. Fernando Arencibia was the broker, Yesharim said.

Records show the seller, United Resources Inc., had purchased the property in 2008 for $1.428 million.

Yesharim said he has plans to rehab the building and name it South River Station. Current warehouse tenants include UAG Construction and Tri County Propeller Service, and an additional 8,000 square feet is available for lease at $35 per square foot, triple net, he said. Currently, Yesharim is in talks with a deli-style restaurant, a Spanish market, a recording studio and a boxing gym for the space. He is also interested in bringing in creative office tenants.

“That property is right in the middle of what is going to be the district and it’s an important piece of the puzzle,” he told TRD. “I’m trying to make the Miami River District a destination for food, drink and entertainment.”

In four years, when the existing tenants’ leases expire, Yesharim said he plans to redevelop the property as as a high-rise apartment building.

He said his goal is to create the Meatpacking District of Miami. “It’s on the cutting edge of what is going to be the next area,” he said. “It’s not a question of if, but when, and I want to be the person to make it happen.”

Yesharim has several holdings in the Miami River area, including the properties leased by restaurants Seaspice and Crust, and the block between 300 and 370 Northwest Eighth Avenue, which was historically a bar and nightclub, and is available for lease. He also owns 321 Northwest 8th Avenue and 340 Northwest South River Drive, as well as the Anchor Marine property at 961 Northwest Seventh Street, where Henry Greenberg plans an 8,000-square-foot, 300-seat restaurant with a large outdoor terrace and covered boat slips. Greenberg is part of a group called the Restaurant Syndicate that owns nine restaurants in Moscow. The Miami restaurant would be the group’s first in the United States.

Nearby, Shahab Karmely and Alex von Furstenberg paid $5.4 million for the River Arts Building at 131 Northwest South River Drive on the Miami River last June, with plans to launch a new restaurant with entertainment and event space. The property, on the south side of the river and across from Lummus Park, is less than a mile away from Karmely’s planned One River Point, a 60-story luxury condominium designed by architect Rafael Viñoly that will be built along the Miami River.

So far, both planned restaurants have run into opposition for approval. Citing a need to preserve marine related businesses, the Miami River Commission in January voted to recommend that the city of Miami deny waivers being sought by both Greenberg’s group and KAR Properties to convert industrial land for commercial use for restaurants. The city has yet to vote on the issue.

Meanwhile the Miami River is spilling over with other new projects, including new restaurants, retail, offices and residential developments. River Yacht Club, a restaurant and boat marina at 401 Southwest Third Avenue, owned and developed by the Chetrit Group and Dupoux Partners, opened last year.

In addition to One River Point, Chetrit Group, Ari Pearl and JDS Development Group are planning to build a mixed-used project that includes four towers, a hotel, shops, restaurants, and a public river walk with boat slips.