Virgin Trains USA buys Aventura station site for $18M

The county is funding the $76M train station, including the cost of acquisition

Richard Branson (Credit: Getty Images)
Richard Branson (Credit: Getty Images)

Virgin Trains USA purchased the site of its future Aventura train station for $18 million, which will allow passengers to connect to one of the most highly trafficked malls in the country.

19700 WDH LLC, a subsidiary of Virgin Trains USA, purchased the 3-acre property from Eliahu Ben-Shmuel and Daniel Ben-Shmuel at 19700 West Dixie Highway. The property was then transferred to Miami-Dade County, since the county is funding the construction and development of the train station.

County commissioners approved a plan to fund the purchase and development of the $76 million train station, which includes acquisition costs, near Aventura Mall in October. The construction costs of the train station are projected to be $57.4 million.

The county will also fund a pedestrian bridge connecting the station and a park-and-ride lot over West Dixie Highway.

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The Ben-Shmuels purchased the land for $3.4 million in 2012, records show. Service at the Aventura station will begin by Oct. 31, but no later than Oct. 31, 2022, according to county commission meeting minutes.

Virgin Trains USA is a high-speed rail line currently operating under the name Brightline with stops in downtown Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach. The company also has planned stops at PortMiami, Boca Raton, Orlando and Tampa.

The company previously planned to finance its growth and future stops by going public, but it backed out of its planned initial public offering in February. Two months later, the company closed a $1.75 billion private-activity bond issue to fund an expansion of its passenger train service to Orlando.

The South Florida Business Journal first reported the news about the station site purchase.