The Real Deal Miami

Melo Group closes on downtown Miami church site next to Okan Tower

Melo has spent more than $23M on the assemblage
By Katherine Kallergis | July 30, 2018 05:30PM

The Melo Group just added to its assemblage in downtown Miami near Miami Dade College, property records show.

Melo’s 6 Plaza LLC paid $10.75 million for a portion of the property at 500 Northeast First Avenue. The seller is Christ Fellowship Baptist Church, which has sold pieces of its properties downtown to Melo and the Okan Group. Okan is planning Okan Tower, a 70-story hotel and condo tower at 555 North Miami Avenue, on the northwest side of the same block.

Melo is planning Downtown 5th, a luxury rental project, on the site it just purchased, according to the developer’s website. A spokesperson for Melo did not have information on the timeline or specific plans for the site.

About a year ago, Melo’s 5 Plaza LLC paid $10 million for a 44,000-square-foot parking lot adjacent to the church. Another Melo company, Melo 6 II LLC, paid $7.55 million for a 15,000-square-foot lot in April, according to property records.

The church will keep its main building on the southeast portion of the property that Melo just acquired, according to the developer’s attorney, Iris Escarra of Greenberg Traurig. As part of its arrangement with Christ Fellowship, Melo agreed to build a 300-space parking garage that will be deeded back to the church.

In March 2016, Christ Fellowship sold the parking lot at 501 North Miami Avenue to the Istanbul-based Okan Group for $18.1 million. Okan launched its plans for that project earlier this year.

Melo is also working on Art Plaza, two 34-story buildings with 667 multifamily units at 58 Northeast 14th Street. Ocean Bank recently provided an $85 million construction loan for that development.