Morgan Group, partners plan 452-unit Sunrise rental development with affordable housing

Commissioners changed the land use designation of the 22.5-acre development site, which encompasses an abandoned ice rink

Philip Morgan and rendering of Pearl Sunrise (Morgan Group)
Philip Morgan and rendering of Pearl Sunrise (Morgan Group)

Morgan Group plans a rental development with 452 units, including 68 with below-market rents, on a Sunrise site with an abandoned ice-skating rink.

Investors who assembled the 22.5-acre development site near the intersection of Oakland Park Boulevard and Pine Island Road have entered a joint venture with Houston-based Morgan Group to build the project, called Pearl Sunrise.

“We are joint venturing with them on the multifamily project that’s going to go on the site … We’re going to contribute the land to the joint venture,” Lauren Iaslovits, one of the investors, told The Real Deal. The total price of the investors’ four-parcel assemblage on Northwest 90th Avenue and North Pine Island Road, purchased in 2017 and 2019, was $13.8 million, according to property records. Morgan Group did not respond to a request for comment.

The Sunrise City Commission voted Tuesday to grant final approval to a land use change for the development site from “commercial” to “irregular (20.1) residential.” Commissioners had given preliminary approval to the land use change in April 2021, then the Broward County Commission adopted the change as an amendment to the county land use plan in October.

In its application to amend the land use designation of the site, Morgan Group touted Pearl Sunrise as a rental project with a diverse mix of units, including 40 three-bedroom townhouses, each with more than 1,800 square feet. The Pearl Sunrise development “marks the first time this product type has been incorporated into a Class A rental project in the city of Sunrise,” the company wrote, “and we believe it will be very well received by families.”

A preliminary site plan for Pearl Sunrise shows about a dozen low-rise rental buildings clustered around a lake and a swimming pool deck.

After the city granted initial approval of the land use change last year, Morgan Group voluntarily amended its application by offering to declare a deed restriction requiring below-market rents on 15 percent of the units, or 68 of the 452 planned for Pearl Sunrise. The 30-year deed restriction would limit the availability of the 68 rent-restricted units to people earning no more than 120 percent of area median income.

The newly approved land use designation allows 20.1 dwelling units per acre on the site. The previous designation would have allowed a 343,000-square-foot shopping center generating an estimated 13,900 daily trips, more than five times the 2,462 daily trips Pearl Sunrise is expected to generate.

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In addition to the land use change, the Pearl Sunrise development is expected to require city commission approval of a rezoning, plat amendment, development agreement, master plan, and site plan.

Two limited liability companies own the Pearl Sunrise site: Humbold 18, LLC, in Aventura and 3363 Pine Island, LLC, in North Miami Beach.

Humbold entered the joint venture with Morgan Group to build Pearl Sunrise, said Ariel Kaufman, an Aventura-based investor. Kaufman said he manages Humbold together with Iaslovits and two other investors, Steven Flasz and Robert Singer.

In July 2019, Humbold paid $8.9 million for a largely vacant parcel with a landmark red barn at 3100 Northwest 90 Terrace, and another $1 million for two smaller parcels at 3301 and 3333 Northwest 90 Terrace, each occupied by one house.

In May 2017, 3363 Pine Island, LLC, paid $3.9 million to acquire the old Sunrise Ice Chalet property at 3363 North Pine Island Road, an abandoned ice rink with a Swiss chalet-style façade. The seller was Strong Tower Ministries, a Florida not-for-profit corporation.

At the Sunrise meeting, one of the commissioners asked an attorney for Morgan Group about the possibility of recovering any objects of historical value at the defunct ice rink, a popular gathering place decades ago. “That was pretty much the only place for us to go on a Friday or Saturday night,” reminisced commissioner Joseph Scuotto.

Attorney Dennis Mele said Morgan Group would consider the request.

The Pearl Sunrise site is across Oakland Park Boulevard from property that Broward Health acquired in recent months in a joint effort with Memorial Healthcare System, to open a new hospital in Sunrise.

“We are well aware of that,” Iaslovits said. “We were the ones who sold the property to Broward Health.”

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