Ardid family’s Key International proposes 51-story office building in Brickell

Project would replace 13-story building that serves as developer’s headquarters

A photo illustration of Key International’s Inigo and Diego Ardid along with the current and planned sites at 848 Brickell Avenue in Miami (Getty, Google Maps, Key International)
A photo illustration of Key International’s Inigo and Diego Ardid along with the current and planned sites at 848 Brickell Avenue in Miami (Getty, Google Maps, Key International)

The Ardid family’s Key International proposes a 51-story office tower in Brickell, marking a continued wager on tenant demand in Miami’s financial district. 

Key wants to build a 761-foot tall building with 704,000 square feet of offices, 7,500 square feet of retail and a 1,065-space garage at 848 Brickell Avenue, according to the developer’s application filed to Miami-Dade County last month. 

Key is headquartered at the existing 13-story building on the site, which was completed in 1981, property records show. Other tenants include FirstBank Florida, Carlyle Aviation Partners and The Flower Wall Co. Miami.

The filing marks the third proposed office tower in Brickell, on the heels of the forthcoming 55-story 830 Brickell. When Vlad Doronin’s OKO Group and Cain International, led by Jonathan Goldstein, complete development of 830 Brickell this year, the tower will mark the first standalone office building in the neighborhood in a decade. 

Swire Properties and Stephen Ross’ Related Companies want to develop the nearly 1,000-foot One Brickell City Centre supertall at 700 Brickell Avenue and 799 Brickell Plaza. It would be part of Swire’s mixed-use Brickell City Centre complex. 

Also, billionaire hedge funder Ken Griffin is expected to have an office tower developed at 1201 Brickell Bay Drive as headquarters for his Citadel and Citadel Securities. Griffin, who already moved his firms to Miami from Chicago, leased temporary space at 830 Brickell and at the Southeast Financial Center at 200 South Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami. 

South Florida’s office market has been the subject of much fanfare due to the influx of out-of-state businesses starting in late 2020. But data shows that South Florida offices haven’t been immune to woes plaguing other markets. Longtime tenants are downsizing to accommodate the hybrid-work shift, leading to increased sublease availability. Although tech firms were among the businesses at the forefront of the move on Miami, data shows that the space these companies are taking has declined since 2021. 

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Still, office space isn’t dead, as additional out-of-state firms plan to move to South Florida, brokers have told The Real Deal

While 830 Brickell is fully pre-leased, its biggest tenant, law firm Kirkland & Ellis, put two of its planned six floors up for sublease in June. 

Key’s filing to Miami-Dade is for a pre-application meeting to consult with county staff members on a proposal before submitting an official application. The site is in a Rapid Transit Zone because of its proximity to the Tenth Street/Promenade Metromover station. In an emailed statement, Key confirmed its pre-application meeting filing. 

Real estate website Florida YIMBY first reported on Key’s office tower proposal.  

Key, led by Diego and Inigo Ardid, is a real estate investor and developer founded by their father, Jose Ardid. Its portfolio over the lifespan of the firm includes more than 10 million square feet of residential development, $2 billion in hotel assets under management and over $8 billion in deals it was involved in, according to its website. 

Also in Brickell, Key and Arnaud Karsenti’s 13th Floor Investments want to build a tower on part of the site of the First Miami Presbyterian Church’s property at 609 Brickell Avenue. 

In Boca Raton, Key and Wexford Real Estate Investors plan a 12-story, 190-unit apartment project at 14 Southeast Fourth Street. They paid $25.5 million for the development site in July. That came on the heels of Key’s $37.6 million purchase in April of the 100-key Perry Hotel at 7001 Shrimp Road in Key West. The true price may have been higher including furniture and fixtures.