A joint venture that includes Books & Books’ owner Mitchell Kaplan just paid $15 million to acquire the Coral Gables property that serves as the bookstore’s flagship location.
Lopez Levi Lowenstein Glinsky, P.A., led by Raimundo Lopez Levi and Eric Glinsky, and Kaplan closed on the Books & Books office complex at 255 to 265 Aragon Avenue, Glinsky told The Real Deal. The partnership financed the deal with a $9.6 million mortgage from BB&T Bank.
The accounting firm, which focuses on international tax and estate planning for wealthy international clients, acquired 75 percent of the 42,000-square-foot property, where it plans to move its Coral Gables office. Books & Books has a 25 percent stake. It operates a 6,000-square-foot bookstore and restaurant on the site, with a 2,000-square-foot courtyard. Pacific National Bank is also tenant.
Scott Sime of Sime Realty Corporation and Ken Rosen of Kendar Realty brokered the off-market deal, Glinsky said. The building sits on a 22,500-square-foot lot. The original structure was built in 1926 and was redeveloped in 2001.
Records show DLGN Holdings LLC paid $1.66 million for the property in 1998. The building is a block north of Miracle Mile and near city-owned parking garages that Allen Morris and the Related Group are planning to co-develop into a mixed-use development called Coral Gables City Center.
Kaplan opened Books & Books in 1982 in a historic building across the street at 290 Aragon Avenue. That property was also the focus of a 1998 lawsuit Kaplan filed against his uncle, Julius Ser, seeking dissolution of their partnership. It sold in 2015 for nearly $2 million.
The independent bookstore company now has nine locations, including stores on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, in Coconut Grove, Grand Cayman, Key West and at Miami International Airport. Kaplan could not immediately be reached for comment.
Lopez Levi Lowenstein Glinsky is currently based at 201 Alhambra Circle.