Billionaire hotelier buys Overtown store for $6M

Miami /
Dec.December 11, 2019 02:30 PM
Sarkis Izmirlian and 295 Northwest 20 Street (Credit: Google Maps)

Sarkis Izmirlian and 295 Northwest 20 Street (Credit: Google Maps)

The billionaire, one-time developer of Baha Mar in the Bahamas is adding to his collection of properties in Miami’s Wynwood and Overtown.

A trust tied to Sarkis Izmirlian paid $6.6 million for an Overtown convenience store with a lot totaling 25,906 square feet at 295 Northwest 20th Street, records show. The sale equates to $254 per square foot for the site.

Refat Al Tawil of Miami sold the property. It was last purchased in 2006 for $1.15 million, records show.

The buyer is tied to a Delaware company, Miami Development 2122 Trustee, Inc., which is the same company Izmirlian used to buy an assemblage in Wynwood for $26.4 million in April. He is seeking to build a hotel with a retail and restaurant component on that assemblage.

The convenience store, known as O’s Overtown Food Market, totals about 3,000 square feet. It is zoned T5-O, meaning that a developer can build a multifamily, retail, or mixed-use project up to five stories.

Izmirlian also owns properties at 199 Northwest 20th Street and at 236 Northwest 22nd Street in Miami.

Izmirlian was an original developer of Baha Mar, a massive casino resort in Nassau, the Bahamas. He ultimately lost his $845 million investment in Baha Mar when Chinese bankers foreclosed on the unfinished property in 2015, according to published reports. The lenders sold the project to a Hong Kong conglomerate in late 2016 and it was completed in 2018.

Overtown is a historic African American community and is the second oldest neighborhood in Miami. Property values are rising and investors are buying up older properties due to the neighborhood’s proximity to downtown Miami and Wynwood, as well as its designation as an Opportunity Zone. Izmirlian’s site is just outside the Opportunity Zone. Virgin Trains USA’s MiamiCentral station is also located in the neighborhood.

Last month, Spaghetti western movie star Francisco Martínez-Celeiro sold a 72,903-square foot warehouse in Overtown at 690 Northwest 13th Street for $9.5 million. In May, Miami-based BrickOne Group, led by Costantino Cicchelli, Frank Rodriguez Melo and Stefano Garofoli, acquired 72 units at 419 to 439 Northwest Eighth Street in Overtown, for nearly $81,000 per unit.


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