Oak Row Equities plans 400-unit apartment, office tower in Edgewater

Firm led by David Weitz, Erik Rutter bought full-block dev site from Bruce Berkowitz for $35M

From left: Oak Row Equities' David Weitz and Erik Rutter with Edgewater
From left: Oak Row Equities' David Weitz and Erik Rutter with their planned Edgewater tower (Quantum Space Studio, LinkedIn)

Oak Row Equities, the developer and private equity firm that until recently was known as Carpe Real Estate Partners, is planning a roughly 40-story apartment and office tower in Miami’s booming Edgewater neighborhood.

The newly renamed firm, led by founders Erik Rutter and David Weitz, purchased the 2-acre site between Northeast Second Avenue and Biscayne Boulevard for $35 million from entities tied to hedge funder Bruce Berkowitz, according to Global Investment Realty’s Alex Suarez, who represented Oak Row in the deal.

The full-block parcel, bounded on the north and south by Northeast 26th Terrace and Northeast 26th Street, respectively, is mostly vacant but for a two-story office building on its westernmost end at 2601 Northeast Second Avenue.

Peter Andolina of Andolina Real Estate Corporation represented the seller. Investors in the project include Alex Karakhanian’s Lndmrk Development.

The preliminary plan is for an Arquitectonica-designed project with 399 market-rate apartments, though the unit count could change, Rutter said. The tower will sit atop a podium with 6,500 square feet of retail and 160,000 square feet of offices on floors two to 12. Renderings show a mezzanine level lined with palm trees, separating the residential portion from the base.

A third of the workspace has been pre-leased, Rutter said, declining to identify or describe the tenants.

The developers plan to begin the approval process, including seeking a go-ahead from Miami’s Urban Development Review Board, immediately, Rutter and Weitz said.

Berkowitz, the founder of Fairholme Capital Management, paid $11.4 million for the assemblage, where he once sought to build an art museum, across three deals in 2013 and 2015, records show.

Edgewater has historically consisted mainly of low-rise apartments and houses but is now home to a growing number of larger residential buildings, including more than a dozen projects currently in the works.

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Kushner Companies and PTM Partners plan a three-tower development with 1,300 apartments on an Opportunity Zone site at 1900 and 2000 Biscayne Boulevard.

Denver-based Aimco wants to build a 60-story, 241-unit rental tower across from its Hamilton on the Bay property, although it is tweaking plans after a Miami board rejected its design in June.

The Oak Row and Lndmrk site is about a block east from a proposed Brightline commuter rail station.

Founded in 2018, Oak Row has more than 3 million square feet of real estate in its portfolio and over $1 billion of assets under management, according to a news release. Its projects include The Oasis, an adaptive reuse of four warehouses and a courtyard into creative office and retail space in Wynwood. The entrance to the development, whose office tenants include music streaming service Spotify, is lined with oak trees, inspiring the firm’s new name, Weitz said.

Also in Wynwood, Oak Row and New York-based L&L Holding Company partnered on the purchase of a 3-acre assemblage at 31-95 Northwest 29th Street, 2925 Northwest First Avenue and 40-94 Northwest 30th Street in December. The planned 1 million-square-foot Wynwood Plaza will include offices, retail and more than 500 apartments.

Oak Row and L&L Holding paid about $53 million for the site, sources told The Real Deal.

In North Miami Beach, Oak Row’s 26-story Venus project with 440 rental units at 2050 Northeast 164th Street scored city planning and zoning board approval in March.

Karakhanian, through Lndmrk, has been active in Miami’s hot Design District and Arts & Entertainment District neighborhoods. In a joint venture with New York-based Hidrock Properties, Lndmrk paid $19 million for the Elev8tion Fitness-leased development site at 1601 North Miami Avenue in the A&E District in May.

Karakhanian has also partnered with David Edelstein’s Tricap and Integra Investments on a planned 20-story office tower at 3601 North Miami Avenue, at the entrance to the Design District and Midtown Miami. The trio paid $23 million for the 1-acre property in May.