Damaghi family buys resi tower dev sites next to MiamiCentral

Family, some of whose members lead manufacturing firm First Quality Enterprises in Great Neck, N.Y., paid $51M for 2.7 acres in downtown Miami

First Quality Enterprises' Kambiz Damaghi along with a rendering of the two proposed residential towers next to MiamiCentral (Getty, First Quality Enterprises, Facebook/Clinton County Economic Partnership, Zyscovich)
First Quality Enterprises' Kambiz Damaghi along with a rendering of the two proposed residential towers next to MiamiCentral (Getty, First Quality Enterprises, Facebook/Clinton County Economic Partnership, Zyscovich)

The Damaghi family of New York dropped $50.8 million for a pair of development sites approved for two residential towers directly south of MiamiCentral in downtown Miami, The Real Deal has learned.

The clan is better known for its Great Neck-based household goods manufacturing firm than real estate plays. But it now set its sights on South Florida’s real estate bonanza.

Members of the Damaghi family bought the vacant sites spanning 2.7 acres on the southwest corner of Northwest Third Street and Northwest First Avenue, according to sources.

MiamiCentral station’s developer, Florida East Coast Industries, sold the lot at 200 Northwest First Avenue for $26 million and the lot immediately south for $24.8 million, records show.

Miami-based FECI, parent of the Brightline passenger train, this year obtained approval from Miami-Dade County commissioners for a pair of Zyscovich-designed towers with a combined 2,007 residential units, records show. The project also would bring almost 50,000 square feet of retail and 2,136 parking spaces. Overall, the towers would add nearly 4 million square feet to quickly redeveloping downtown Miami.

While the proposal has special exception approval, it’s yet to obtain a green light for the site plan.

A Cushman & Wakefield team led by Robert Given represented FECI in the sale. Given declined comment.

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Kambiz Damaghi is an executive of First Quality Enterprises, which makes feminine hygiene, baby care and adult incontinence products in addition to household goods, according to media reports and the firm’s website. First Quality, started in 1989, also offers printing and packaging services. Other family members include Babak and Nader Damaghi.

In Miami, the family seems to want to keep its purchase off the radar. Returning a call to TRD, a man who identified himself only as “Mr. Damaghi” denied the family is the buyer. A few minutes later, a person returned a call made to Moshe Oppenheim, who is the agent for the buying entities, according to state corporate records. The caller said he is a representative for the family and that he neither confirms nor denies that the Damaghis are the buyers.

The deal comes as downtown Miami is poised to add even more skyscrapers.

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Namdar Group, a family owned development firm based in Great Neck, N.Y., paid $40.5 million in August for the sites at 50 and 60 Northeast Third Street, as well as at 222 and 234 Northeast First Avenue. Namdar plans a 41-story, 640-unit apartment building and a 43-story, 714-unit apartment building.

Voters in November approved a measure that allows Hyatt and Gencom to replace the James L. Knight Center and a next-door hotel with a three-tower project along the Miami River. The Miami Riverbridge project will bring 1,500 apartments, a new 615-key Hyatt hotel with 264 service-branded apartments, a 190,000-square-foot convention space and 12,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space.

All this comes as Miami-Dade issued a request to developers to partner with the county to overhaul government buildings, public parking and some retail that span 17 acres in downtown Miami. The request for proposals allows developers to get creative but still sets some guidelines, including calling for mixed-income housing and the construction of new commissioners’ offices, conference rooms and chambers, in case the winning proposal seeks to replace the existing ones.

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