General Growth Properties raises its ownership stake in Miami Design District

Retail REIT bought out Ashkenazy Acquisition, increasing its stake to 22.3%

Miami Design District and GGP's Sandeep Mathrani (Credit: General Growth Properties)
Miami Design District and GGP's Sandeep Mathrani (Credit: General Growth Properties)

General Growth Properties increased its ownership stake in the Miami Design District, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

GGP bought out its joint venture partner, Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp., bringing its total ownership to 22.3 percent. In June, the Chicago real estate investment trust received 7.3 percent of Ashkenazy’s interests in the Design District in full satisfaction of two promissory notes totaling $98 million, documents show.

GGP lent Ashkenazy $40.4 million with a 6 percent annual interest rate in September 2015, which Ashkenazy paid back in June with $1.1 million in accrued interest. It also lent $57.6 million in November 2015. Ashkenazy paid that back at the same time with $2.6 million in accrued interest, according to the filing.

Miami Design District Associates owns about 70 percent of the real estate in the neighborhood. The partnership is led by Dacra and L Real Estate (an affiliate of LVMH), which have an equal share of just under 40 percent each. GGP and Ashkenazy owned about 22.5 percent of the Design District until June.

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In all, the Design District is 62.9 percent leased to tenants that include Gucci, Bulgari, Fendi, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Valentino, according to the SEC filing. The high-end retail district has about 848,000 square feet of leasable area.

Developer Craig Robins, president and CEO of Dacra, recently opened Paradise Plaza with new designer shops like the House of Creed, Rag & Bone and Joseph, and public art installations. The long-awaited Institute of Contemporary Art also opened around in December.

In recent years, other major investors have followed Robins’ lead. Brooklyn-based Redsky Capital and its joint venture partner, London-based JZ Capital Partners, are now likely the second-largest land owners, while New York-based Helm Equities, the Gindi family, Thor Equities and David Edelstein’s TriStar Capital are also significant property holders in the district.

Christian Bautista contributed reporting.