13th Floor shrinks office space at Link at Douglas in Miami

Developer also tweaked design to shed a few floors and apartments at pair of towers

13th Floor Investments’ Arnaud Karsenti and of Adler Group’s Michael Adler with a rendering of the Link at Douglas development in Miami
13th Floor Investments’ Arnaud Karsenti and of Adler Group’s Michael Adler with a rendering of the Link at Douglas development in Miami (13th Floor Investments, Adler Group)

UPDATED May 16, 2023, 11:53 a.m.:

13th Floor Investments wants to shrink the final phase of its mixed-use Link at Douglas development in Miami. 

The scaled-down plan calls for one-third as much office space, in response to the drop in demand due to the hybrid-work trend, according to the developer’s filings to Miami-Dade County and an interview with a 13th Floor representative. 

Additional design tweaks would reduce the height and number of units at the pair of apartment towers that are part of the project near the Douglas Road Metrorail station at 3100 Douglas Road. 

13th Floor wants Tower 3 to rise 36 stories and Tower 4 to reach 37 stories, down from the original plan for 39 floors for both buildings, according to a submittal to Miami-Dade filed last week. The developer proposes 815 units combined at both buildings, down from their previous plan for at least 850 apartments. 

Several one-bedroom apartments were combined into three-bedroom units, explaining the drop in the unit count. And the heights were decreased in part because the new design calls for apartments in Tower 3 to reach the ground floor on the east side of the building, and run along the garage podium on the west side of the building, Aaron Stolear, vice president at 13th Floor, told The Real Deal

Overall, the project’s square footage didn’t really change that much, Stolear said. The new design also spaced out the towers to allow for “better view corridors” at the development. 

The developer now wants to build 25,000 square feet of offices and design the space for coworking. That is one-third of the previously planned 75,000 square feet that would have been traditional offices with long-term leases, according to Stolear. The office space will be part of Tower 3. 

“It’s an adjustment to the new world we live in,” he said. 

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

The 7-acre Link at Douglas project has been in the works since at least 2015, when 13th Floor and Adler Group emerged as the top-ranked bidders seeking to lease and develop the county-owned land. 13th Floor and Adler have completed the first phase, consisting of a 22-story, 312-unit Core apartment building and a 37-story, 421-unit Cascade apartment tower. Core was finished in 2021 and is 92 percent leased, and Cascade was finished this year and is 40 percent leased, according to the developers’ representatives. 

As part of the deal with Miami-Dade, the developers have completed $17 million in public infrastructure improvements, including to the Metrorail station. 

Adler isn’t partnering with 13th Floor on the final phase.

Construction is slated to start in the first quarter of next year for Tower 3 and in the first quarter of 2025 for Tower 4, Stolear said. Each building is expected to take about 30 months to complete. 

Founded in 2008, Miami-based 13th Floor has more than $3.5 billion of real estate under management, according to its website. It’s led by Arnaud Karsenti. 

The firm’s recent plans include a proposal for an apartment building with up to 350 units just south of the Brightline station in Ojus. This year, 13th Floor also launched a $300 million investment fund targeting growing markets, especially in the Sun Belt, and distressed opportunities that may arise from high interest rates. 

Miami-based Adler includes a development services division that helps with land purchases, market analyses and master planning, and a property management division, according to its website. It’s led by David Adler. 

Global financial services firm Barings is a partner on the Link at Douglas project, according to media reports. 

This isn’t the first time 13th Floor, Adler and Barings are partnering. In 2021, they sold the 25-story, 294-unit Motion at Dadeland apartment building at 8400 South Dixie Highway for $114 million to Lerner Enterprises. 

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Adler Group as a partner in Phase 2 of Link at Douglas.