Armando Codina sells lot to city of Coral Gables for $11.5M in a land swap

Codina will acquire a city building, demolish it and build a new mixed-use development

Coral Gables vacant lot (Inset: Armando Codina)
Coral Gables vacant lot (Inset: Armando Codina)

UPDATED June 9, 5:30 p.m.: Armando Codina just sold the city of Coral Gables a vacant lot for $11.5 million as part of a land swap in which Codina Partners will acquire the city’s current public safety administration building and build a new mixed-use development.

The 35,000-square-foot lot fronts Minorca Avenue and is between Salzedo Street and Ponce de Leon Boulevard. The sale breaks down to $328 per square foot.

Property records show the land was sold by C LeJeune LLC, an affiliate of Coral Gables-based Codina Partners, led by Executive Chairman Codina.

In 2012, Codina took over the loan for the site from Mercantil Commercebank for $4.5 million after Century Lancaster Plaza, its previous owners, foreclosed on the property.

Codina told The Real Deal in a statement that Codina Partners was using the site as construction staging for its 2020 Salzedo mixed-use development in downtown Coral Gables, and it was not for sale. 

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“We had begun the construction permitting process for the site when the city of Coral Gables approached us with the desire to acquire it to build their public safety administration building,” he said. The city owns the adjacent parking lots, and the deal allows it to have a large enough site to develop a new public safety administration building. “This was a cashless transaction; we agreed on a land swap valuing and appraising both sites at the same price per foot, and Codina Partners will be paying the city of Coral Gables the difference in footage when the property is vacated,” he said in the statement.

Codina Partners plans to demolish the existing Coral Gables public safety administration building at 2801 Salzedo Street immediately after it is vacated and will then start construction on its mixed-use development, he said.

Among Codina’s projects is Downtown Doral, a master-planned community which will include eight to nine mid-rise condo towers, more than 1 million square feet of office space, a K-5 charter school, and 70 retail stores and restaurants.

Last month, Codina and Jim Carr’s CC Homes closed on $56 million in financing for its Canarias in Downtown Doral project. The site will have 343 houses and 52 town homes starting in the $600,000s.