Harry Macklowe puts Miami site under contract, proposes 650 apartments

Rilea Group is seller

Macklowe Properties' Harry Macklowe, and Rilea Group's Alan and Diego Ojeda (Rilea Group, Arquitectonica, Google Maps)
Macklowe Properties' Harry Macklowe, and Rilea Group's Alan and Diego Ojeda (Rilea Group, Arquitectonica, Google Maps)

New York City-based Macklowe Properties is joining the South Florida apartment craze, proposing a 650-unit project on land it put under contract next to Dadeland Mall.

Real estate tycoon Harry Macklowe’s company, through an affiliate, wants to build a pair of 25-story towers on 1.7 acres it plans to purchase from Miami-based Rilea Group, according to a project application submitted to Miami-Dade County last week.

Rendering of proposed a 650-unit project (Arquitectonica)

Macklowe Properties’ proposal includes 11,455 square feet of retail; 27,725 square feet of amenities; and 614 parking spaces. Units would average 834 square feet, according to the application.

The property is in an unincorporated area south of Snapper Creek Canal, and between the mall and the Metrorail tracks. The Dadeland North station is within walking distance from the site.

Rilea bought the land in 2015 from an affiliate of Florida East Coast Industries for $13 million, property records show. It planned a somewhat similar project as Macklowe Properties’, except with fewer apartments in shorter buildings, and more retail space, according to previous media reports.

Macklowe Properties is asking the county for a modification of the approved site plan, with a pre-application meeting with county staff members scheduled for March 3, according to the filing.

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Harry Macklowe, who founded his namesake company in the mid-1960s, built his legacy in New York with projects such as the 432 Park Avenue residential skyscraper, developed with CIM Group; and the 510 Madison office tower.

The 85-year-old also has experienced ups and downs in his career, losing the GM Building and other office assets.

His high-profile divorce from his ex-wife, Linda, was a bitter battle that played out publicly, with more than half of their art collection auctioned off in November, reaping $676.1 million.

Rilea, led by Alan and Diego Ojeda, co-developed The Bond condominium in Miami’s Brickell, among other projects. Its more recent developments include the planned 225-unit, 12-story Mohawk at Wynwood apartment project, on a site Rilea purchased for $22 million last year.

The South Florida multifamily market is booming, largely because of demand from newcomers. This has pushed up rents and caused development and investment demand to soar.

In other deals near Dadeland Mall, Lerner Enterprises, led by the billionaire family that owns the Washington Nationals, paid $114 million last year for the Motion at Dadeland apartments.