Developers pick up historic church, dev site in Miami’s Edgewater for $20M

Developers plan mixed-use project with 40-story, 364-unit apartment building

1836 Biscayne Boulevard and Ben Joseph of Skylight (1836 Biscayne Boulevard, Skylight)
1836 Biscayne Boulevard and Ben Joseph of Skylight (1836 Biscayne Boulevard, Skylight)

Fifteen Group sold a historic church on Biscayne Boulevard in Miami’s Edgewater for $20 million to a trio of developers that plan a mixed-use project on the site, The Real Deal has learned.

Skylight Real Estate Partners and Panther Capital Management formed a joint venture partnership with Arden Group to buy the nearly 1-acre property at 1836 Biscayne Boulevard and 256 Northeast 19th Street, near the Arts & Entertainment District.

An aerial of 1836 Biscayne Boulevard

The corner property is in an Opportunity Zone, which allows the developers to defer or even eliminate paying capital gains taxes if they keep the investment for more than a decade. Arden Group, a Philadelphia-based firm, has Opportunity Zone developments in New York City, Jersey City, Philadelphia, Nashville, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City. The company recently raised $166.5 million for its Arden Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund, according to Institutional Real Estate.

The developers plan to build a 40-story, 364-unit luxury apartment building on the site. The church structure, built in 1926, will be restored and converted into more than 15,000 square feet of retail and/or office space. It was originally designed by architect August Geiger and was home to the First Church of Christ, Scientist.

Benjamin Joseph, founding partner at Skylight Real Estate Partners, said the property came with approvals, which the developers estimate could save them up to a year.

The apartment tower will include a mix of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, with about 16,000 square feet of amenities on the 11th floor and the rooftop. Once construction begins in the fourth quarter of 2022, it will be a 24 to 27-month construction schedule.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

By signing up, you agree to TheRealDeal Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

A Berkadia team led by Jaret Turkell and Roberto Pesant represented Fifteen Group in the deal. Walker & Dunlop’s Keith Kurland arranged the financing. The property was on the market unpriced, Turkell said. He said the planned renovation of the church, with tall, detailed ceilings, “is going to be amazing.”

Fifteen Group paid $14.3 million for the property in late 2014.

Edgewater, which is north of downtown Miami, has experienced a huge boom in development.

Chicago-based Trilogy Real Estate Group closed on an assemblage in the neighborhood for nearly $10 million, where it plans to build a mixed-use project with an apartment tower. That property is also in an Opportunity Zone.

In a larger deal, PTM Partners, an Opportunity Zone developer, joined Kushner Companies in its three-tower planned development at 2000 Biscayne Boulevard, where the developers will deliver a 1,300-unit, phased project.

Read more