Fortress buys Amerant’s Coral Gables HQ building for $135M in sale-leaseback deal

Bank holding company will continue to lease at 220 Alhambra Circle

220 Alhambra Circle in Coral Gables, FL. and Fortress Investment Group’s Wesley Edens and Pete Briger Jr. (Google Maps, Getty, Long Arc)
220 Alhambra Circle in Coral Gables, FL. and Fortress Investment Group’s Wesley Edens and Pete Briger Jr. (Google Maps, Getty, Long Arc)

New York-based Fortress Investment Group bought Amerant Bancorp’s Coral Gables headquarters building for $135 million in a sale-leaseback deal.

Amerant Bancorp, which operates Amerant Bank, disclosed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing in November that a deal was pending for the sale of the 220 Alhambra Circle building to a Fortress affiliate.

In the all-cash purchase, Fortress is now the owner of the 13-story building and leased it back to Amerant. The bank holding company is the largest tenant occupying 35 percent of the property for its headquarters, according to an Amerant spokesperson.

Stream Capital Partners handled the deal on behalf of Amerant.

Other tenants at the building include Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors, Mercantil Bank and Careaga Plastic Surgery.

The 18-year triple net leaseback is for about $43 per square foot during the first year, according to an Amerant news release. The deal is in line with Amerant’s goal of trimming fixed assets off its balance sheet, Amerant’s CEO and Vice Chair Jerry Plush said in the release.

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The publicly traded bank holding company, which has been based in Coral Gables since 1979, expects its tangible book value to increase by about $1.22 per common share, according to the release. Its other subsidiaries are Amerant Investments, Elant Bank and Trust Limited, and Amerant Mortgage.

The property has 177,000 square feet of offices and 134,000 square feet of parking in a seven-story garage. It was developed in 1997 on 0.9 acres, property records show.

The Mediterranean-style design of the beige building with a grandiose arched main entrance along Alhambra Circle is similar to the style of much of Coral Gables. It has clay-colored barrel roof tiles and open terraces, according to

Fortress, led by co-CEOs Pete Briger Jr. and Wesley Edens, is the parent of Miami-based Florida East Coast Industries, in turn the parent company of the Brightline passenger train that connects the downtowns of Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach and is working on an expansion to Orlando.

Founded in 1998, Fortress is an investment manager on behalf of about 1,800 institutional and private clients internationally across credit, real estate, private equity and permanent capital investments, according to its website. It had about $54.2 billion of assets under management as of the end of September.

This year, it bought four South Florida assisted living facilities from Healthpeak Properties.
Fortress paid $11.9 million for one in Coconut Creek and $29.3 million for three in Palm Beach County.