Crescent Heights buys out partner on two downtown Miami sites

Mirmelli family sold its ownership stake

Rendering of the project and Russell Galbut
Rendering of the project and Russell Galbut

Developer Russell Galbut now has full ownership of a group of properties near the Adrienne Arsht Center in downtown Miami, a portion of which would be part of a major redevelopment of land owned by the school board.

Companies tied to Galbut and his firm, Crescent Heights, paid $13.5 million for the parking lot at 127 Northeast 11th Street, just south of I-395; and $10.8 million for the northwest block of 13th Street and Second Avenue, near the school district’s headquarters, according to property records.

The Florida Department of Transportation and Miami-Dade are working on building a signature I-395 bridge that will have a 33-acre open park space underneath called the “I-395 underdeck.”

The Mirmelli family sold its stake in the land to the Crescent Heights LLCs. Galbut said the Mirmellis wanted to sell their interest in the properties – 55 percent in the 11th Street property and 50 percent of the 13th Street assemblage. The buyer financed the deal with a $22 million mortgage from Amerant Bank.

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Galbut said there is “no clear timeline” on development, and he declined to comment on the Miami-Dade County School Board project. But if Miami-Dade County commissioners vote to extend the Omni CRA’s lifespan, that would generate sufficient cash to pay for the proposed home of the school board’s new headquarters, a 120,000-square-foot space in a Crescent Heights-developed project.

All told, Crescent Heights is proposing a mixed-use development with 120,000 square feet of office space, 1,100 residential units and parking on the school board site.

In exchange for a 1-acre piece of land, Crescent Heights would allow the school district to take two to three floors of office space, likely in the form of an office condo, and 600 parking spaces in the daytime, the Miami Herald previously reported. The land is valued at about $20 million, and the CRA would kick in about $42 million, for a grand total of $62 million. The Adrienne Arsht Center would be able to use the public parking garage at night.

Miami-based Crescent Heights’ other projects include the planned redevelopment of 3050 Biscayne Boulevard, north of the real estate firm’s headquarters at 2200 Biscayne Boulevard, and the luxury condo project and park planned for 500 Alton Road in Miami Beach.