The Real Deal Miami

City Furniture signs as flagship tenant for District 36

Lease is for 28,000 sf of project's total 63k sf of commercial space plus 195 apartments

Rendering of District 36, Irma Figueroa and Michael Comras

City Furniture just signed a lease as the flagship retail tenant at District 36, the new mixed-use project on the edge of Midtown Miami and the Design District.

The furniture showroom represents the first tenant for the recently completed property developed by Mack Real Estate Group and Wharton Equity Partners.

Comras Company CEO Michael Comras and Comras’ Irma Figueroa, director of retail leasing and sales, represented the developers in the 28,000-square-foot lease at 3635 Northeast First Avenue, according to a release. Monette Klein-O’Grady and Daniel W. O’Grady of Prime Sites Inc. represented City Furniture in what will be its first urban expansion. Terms of the lease were not disclosed.

The store will span the entire northern block of of Northeast 36th Street, from Northeast First Avenue to Northeast First Court, Comras said. The site will represent Tamarac-based City Furniture’s 17th showroom in Florida. 

In total, District 36 has 500,000 square feet, including 63,000 square feet of retail, showroom and café space, and 195 rental apartments above, at the intersection of Midtown Miami and the Design District.

Wharton Equity, a real estate investment firm with offices in Miami and New York City, has been active in the Miami market in recent years. In December, the firm, together with Northwood Ravin, bought the late Marty Taplin’s office building and property in Bay Harbor Islands for $20.25 million, with plans to develop a mixed-use project. Wharton Equity also owns a 2.3-acre development site in the heart of Miami’s Central Business District, zoned for more than 2 million square feet of mixed-use development, including more than 2,200 residential units. It also owns and is renovating the Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel in partnership with Hersha Hospitality and a New York private equity fund.

The area on the outskirts of the Design District is increasingly attracting furniture and furnishings stores, as showrooms continue to be priced out of the district’s core. Nearby, real estate investor Sam Herzberg bought the Brown Jordan building at 3625 Northeast Second Avenue for $13 million in May 2016. And art collector Ella Fontanals-Cisneros plans to redevelop a building for design-related tenants at 301 Northwest 36th Street, which she bought in February 2015 for $8 million. — Ina Cordle