Ronny Finvarb pays $19M for Citibank building in South Beach, plans hotel

Bank will stay open, lease back ground-floor space at roughly 150-room hotel planned for the site

1685 Washington Avenue and Ronny Finvarb
1685 Washington Avenue and Ronny Finvarb

Developer Ronny Finvarb paid $19.2 million for a Citibank branch building in South Beach where he plans to build a 150-room hotel, sources told The Real Deal.

The Finvarb Group bought the property at 1685 Washington Avenue, which is across the street from the New World Center and the Fillmore Miami Beach. It hit the market in January with CBRE’s Paul Weimer and Christian Charre.

Citibank sold the 7,384-square-foot building, which sits on a 30,000-square-foot corner lot. The bank will remain open throughout construction and remain a tenant of the future development, according to sources. The site is zoned CD-3 for high-density commercial development, which means up to 82,000 square feet can be developed on the property.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

Records show Citibank bought the property in 1995 for $2.03 million. It’s within walking distance of the Miami Beach Convention Center, which is in the midst of a renovation and expansion. Voters rejected a ballot measure last year that would have allowed for a convention center hotel.

As part of the deal, the bank will lease back about 4,000 square feet on the ground floor. CBRE and Finvarb declined to comment.

Finvarb recently sold a vacant lot on Fifth Street and Meridian Avenue in South Beach for nearly $6 million, six times the price he paid in 2011. The developer’s other Miami Beach projects include the under-construction Kimpton Hotel Palomar South Beach at 1750 Alton Road, which is expected to open late next year, and the Marriott Residence Inn South Beach, which opened last year.