Fort Lauderdale investors Aiton “AJ” Yaari and Lior Avidor sold a retail building on Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard for $18.7 million to a New York developer, The Real Deal has learned.
The site, at 435 South Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard/2933 Southeast Fifth Street, comes with approved plans for a 213-room hotel, said broker David Harari of Prime International Realty, who arranged the deal.
The property houses the Aquatic Center Plaza, a 20,600-square-foot building leased to 13 tenants, including Jimmy John’s, a gym, restaurant and bar, souvenir shop, and a beauty salon. It’s been on and off the market for years, and in late 2015 was listed with Marcus & Millichap for nearly $30 million, which means it sold for nearly 40 percent less.
Both Harari and Yaari declined to name the buyer, but Harari said the buyer paid in cash and plans to keep the property as is until he decides to redevelop it. At $18.7 million, the price breaks down to $908 per square foot for the building and $731 per square foot for the nearly 25,600-square-foot lot. The deal was a “sign and close,” in the same day Harari said, closing on Tuesday. It has not yet hit Broward County records.
Yaari said he owned the building for about eight years, but he’s been associated with ownership for closer to 20 years. The shopping plaza, built in 1954, sits directly in front of Fort Lauderdale’s Aquatic Center, which is set to undergo an extensive, multimillion-dollar renovation. Also nearby, the Fort Lauderdale Beach Community Redevelopment Agency plans to turn Las Olas Boulevard into a festival street, without curbs and medians, expanding the sidewalks for outdoor retail and dining, and converting a nearby parking lot into a park.
New development, including Paramount Fort Lauderdale Beach, the Gale and Jimmy Tate’s revised proposal for the Bahia Mar resort and marina property, has increased demand for properties on the beach. In March, the land underneath a Fort Lauderdale Beach institution, the Elbo Room, sold for $7 million, or $670 per square foot.
“Properties on Fort Lauderdale Beach are very hard to come by,” Yaari said. “It’s a gem.”
Yaari and Avidor control about 4.5 acres north of the Aquatic Center Plaza on Las Olas Boulevard and A1A.