Blackstone Group paid about $230 million for the office buildings at Brightline’s MiamiCentral station, marking one of the largest investment sales to close in South Florida this year.
Funds managed by New York-based Blackstone Real Estate bought 2MiamiCentral and 3MiamiCentral from San Francisco-based Shorenstein Properties, according to a news release.
The deal comes on the heels of Blackstone, the investment behemoth founded by Stephen Schwarzman, inking a 41,000-square-foot lease across two floors at 2 MiamiCentral in January. The private equity giant plans to hire 200 tech employees at this office.
Shorenstein sold the two towers that total 330,000 square feet after holding the assets for less than two years. Shorenstein acquired the buildings from Florida East Coast Industries for $159 million in 2019. FECI is the parent company of Brightline, which also developed the mixed-use train station.
Some of the other office tenants at MiamiCentral are the law firm Carlton Fields, London-based research and consulting firm Ernst & Young, New Fortress Energy and ViacomCBS. 3 MiamiCentral also includes ground-floor retail with a Publix set to open soon.
The office buildings are 98 percent occupied.
David Levine, senior managing director at Blackstone Real Estate, said in the release that the buildings’ central location and proximity to mass transit played a role in the decision to purchase them on behalf of Blackstone’s investors.
Claude Esposito, vice president of Investments Group at Shorenstein, added in the release the firm’s purchase and sale a year and a half later exemplifies its value-add investment thesis.
Earlier this month, Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin sued Brightline after their partnership fell apart during the pandemic and is seeking to recover $231.5 million. Virgin owned minority stake in the company.
Brightline, which also has stops in the downtowns of Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach as well as plans to connect to Orlando, has suspended service since the coronavirus pandemic began more than a year ago. It also plans a Boca Raton station and construction is underway at an Aventura station.