Richman scores $44M construction loan for south Miami-Dade rentals

266-unit complex planned for 4.7-acre site

The Richman Group’s Richard Paul Richman and the site of the project (Google Maps)
The Richman Group’s Richard Paul Richman and the site of the project (Google Maps)

The Richman Group scored a $44.5 million construction loan for a multifamily complex in Miami-Dade County’s Naranja neighborhood.

The deal marks a step forward for the project that has been in the works since last year. It also underscores developers’ insatiable appetite to build apartments in the county’s southernmost areas.

The financing is for development on 4.7 acres of land in unincorporated Miami-Dade at 27022 South Federal Highway, which has approval for a 266-unit complex with eight-story and four-story buildings, according to records and media reports. PNC Bank is the lender.

Richman, through an affiliate, bought the development site in December for $9 million. The seller, Sulmona Venture, had submitted an application for the complex to Miami-Dade last year.

Based in Greenwich, Conn., Richman has a portfolio spanning more than 2,000 properties with over 166,000 units, according to its website. Richard Paul Richman started the firm in 1986 and still leads it.

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Among its other South Florida ventures, Richman developed the 354-unit Boca Vue apartment complex on a portion of the Boca Dunes Golf & Country Club at 9260 Boca Vue Drive in Boca Raton.

The firm’s bet on south Miami-Dade comes amid a flurry of applications for projects in the area since last year, although this could slow due to high borrowing costs. The largely bedroom community offers builders vast expanses of land and a reprieve from skyrocketing prices for development sites in Miami’s urban core.

In another Naranja proposal, D.E.V. & Associates filed plans in March for the nine-story Palm at Parker apartment building with 202 units, at 14201 and 14281 Henderson Street and 14241 and 14259 Henderson Drive.

South Dade — which also consists of the Princeton, Leisure City and Goulds neighborhoods, as well Homestead and Florida City municipalities — recently was at the center of controversy over plans for a large industrial complex.

Developers Stephen Blumenthal and Jose Hevia plan the 6 million-square-foot South Dade Logistics & Technology District on 379 acres outside the county’s Urban Development Boundary, near the Homestead Air Reserve Base. Expansion of the UDB, a greenbelt meant to protect encroachment of construction on wetlands, farmland, the Everglades and Biscayne Bay, has long been a hot button issue with environmentalists.

On Tuesday, the county commission took up the proposal for the fifth time after deferring decisions at other meetings this year, and voted in favor of the project.