Restaurateur sells 225 Midtown building to Avra Jain for $13M

A rendering of 225 Midtown and what the building looks like now. Inset: Avra Jain
A rendering of 225 Midtown and what the building looks like now. Inset: Avra Jain

Local chef and restaurateur Jeffrey Chen of Momi Ramen sold a building just over the train tracks east of Midtown Miami to Avra Jain, who plans to convert the property into a retail and creative office building. 

Jain, Joe Del Vecchio and partners paid $13 million for the building at 3415 Northeast Second Avenue in Miami, she told The Real Deal. Ready Capital provided a $6.7 million loan for the acquisition and about $5 million for construction and development. The deal has not yet cleared county records.

The MiMo District/Little River developer plans to renovate the building, including its facade, and deliver it for leasing in about three to four months.

Alfredo Riascos of Metro 1 and Evon Gordon of Fortune International Realty brokered the sale, Jain said. Jefferson Brackin of BG Black consulted on behalf of the seller, Brackin said.

It includes the three-story, 52,500-square-foot building with a parking lot. Altogether the land totals 35,320 square foot, according to property records. Jain said the structure, built in 1962, was originally a shoe distribution warehouse. The seller planned to open a restaurant out of the building, Jain said. Chen’s restaurants also include Momi Oyster & Raw Bar. Records show 225 District LLC, controlled by Chen, paid $10 million for the property in 2014. He could not immediately be reached for comment.

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Jain said the building’s electrical and plumbing is in good condition, and that her team is putting together drawings to submit for permitting. The previous owner opened up the ceilings to expose the steel trusses and brought the ceiling height up to 14 feet tall.

Retail rents in the area range from about $45 per square foot to about $85 per square foot, and office rents from $35 per square foot to $60 per square foot, Jain said, adding that the market will dictate asking rents in the 225 Midtown building. It has access on all sides and about 112 parking spaces, in addition to street parking. Just west of the building and across the train tracks is Hyde Midtown, which is under construction.

“Northeast Second Avenue has a lot of parallels to Biscayne [Boulevard],” she said. The building may be geared toward design-related tenants pushed out of the Design District due to high rents.

In November, Jain and Del Vecchio sold a gutted, 178,000-square-foot building in Little River to a group of New York investors for $10 million with plans to turn it into a live/work office development. With the Mattoni Group, Jain is also working on plans to redevelop the Bayside Motor Inn at 5101 Biscayne Boulevard.

The Vagabond Group will be working on the 225 Midtown project.