Rivani’s Black Lion shedding restaurant space, starting at One Thousand Museum

Firm seeks to free up capital for big Miami Beach acquisition

A photo illustration of Black Lion’s Robert Rivani and One Thousand Museum (Getty, The Real Deal, One Thousand Museum)

A photo illustration of Black Lion’s Robert Rivani and One Thousand Museum (Getty, The Real Deal, One Thousand Museum)

Black Lion Investment Group sold its One Thousand Museum commercial unit, as the firm gears up for a big Miami Beach acquisition. 

An affiliate of Miami-based Black Lion, led by Robert Rivani, sold the 6,500-square-foot ground-floor space in the Zaha Hadid designed luxury condominium at 1000 Biscayne Boulevard, records show. The buyer, the One Thousand Museum Condominium Association, paid $7.9 million, representing a $1.5 million gain for Black Lion nine months after acquiring the commercial unit. 

In September, Black Lion’s affiliate paid $6.4 million for the space. When his firm bought it, his plan was to bring in a high-profile restaurant tenant like Black Lion has done with other commercial condo units it has acquired in recent years, Rivani told The Real Deal

But Black Lion is now looking to free up capital in anticipation of acquiring a 150,000-square-foot commercial building in Miami Beach that he has under contract, Rivani said. 

“There are a couple of other commercial condos in our hospitality portfolio that I am selling, as we gear up for this nearly $100 million transaction in Miami Beach,” Rivani said. “I’m taking some chips off the table to do a pretty impactful deal.”

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Due to non-disclosure agreements, he could not provide specifics about the Miami Beach property or the other two Black Lion commercial condo units his firm is selling, Rivani said. 

Banks are getting more stringent on financing, given the current state of the commercial real estate market, Rivani said. As a result, he’s lightening his Miami and Miami Beach restaurant portfolio to make room for the bigger building, Rivani said.

“Our company doesn’t raise funds from investors,” he said. “But I don’t want to sit on the sidelines doing nothing. I want to be able to grow in uncertain times.” 

Founded in 2014, Black Lion initially focused on shopping centers before pivoting to hospitality retail spaces in recent years. The firm has completed more than $550 million in commercial real estate deals across the U.S., and its South Florida portfolio is worth about $200 million, according to a press release. 

Black Lion’s restaurant assets include a building adjacent to the Continuum on South Beach condominium that is leased to New York seafood restaurant chain Catch; and the ground-floor commercial unit at SLS Lux Brickell, which is occupied by Gekko, a Japanese steakhouse owned by Miami-based hospitality guru David Grutman and Grammy award-winning musician Bad Bunny.

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