Robert Rivani, Mathieu Massa buying former Starwood HQ in Miami Beach for $82M

They plan to renovate eight-story office building with ground-floor retail

Black Lion, Massa Buying Miami Beach Office Building For $82M
Mathieu Massa and Robert Rivani with 1601 Washington Avenue (Massa Investment Group, Lincoln Place)

Robert Rivani’s Black Lion Investment Group is partnering with Massa Investment Group to acquire Starwood Capital’s former headquarters building in Miami Beach for $82 million, The Real Deal has learned. 

Rivani’s firm and Massa Investment, led by Mathieu Massa, are under contract to purchase the eight-story office building with ground-floor retail at 1601 Washington Avenue, according to a Black Lion spokesperson.

Jeremy Hakala and Clay Sidner with Newmark are brokering the deal, which is expected to close later this year, the spokesperson said. 

The sellers, New York-based Nightingale Group and its minority partner, Hollywood-based JBL Asset Management, paid $80 million in 2016 for the 140,000-square-foot building and its attached garage with 499 parking spaces, records show. 

From 2016 until last year, Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital was based at 1601 Washington Avenue. The private investment firm with $115 billion in assets had relocated to Miami Beach from Greenwich, Connecticut. Since Starwood moved into its new building at 23rd Street and Collins Avenue in Miami Beach, the building at 16th Street and Washington Avenue has been primarily vacant, a press release states. 

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Black Lion, a Miami-based commercial real estate investment firm, and Massa Investment, a private equity firm also based in Miami, plan to put in “millions to overhaul” the building at 1601 Washington Avenue, the release states. 

The acquisition represents Black Lion’s largest commercial deal in South Florida. Since 2021, Black Lion has been primarily on the hunt for restaurant spaces in luxury condominiums in Miami and Miami Beach, acquiring commercial units at six residential towers for a combined $77.1 million

In recent months, Black Lion started shedding some of those restaurant spaces. Last month, the firm listed the space housing Japanese steakhouse Gekkõ at SLS Lux Brickell at 805 South Miami Avenue, as well as the commercial unit that’s leased to Amara at Paraiso in the Paraiso Bay Residences in Miami’s Edgewater. Black Lion is seeking north of $55 million for both properties. 

In June, Black Lion sold the ground-floor restaurant space at the Zaha Hadid-designed One Thousand Museum condominium in downtown Miami for $7.9 million

Massa, who is also a restaurateur, is bullish on Miami Beach. Last year, he paid $13.5 million for a development site near the Bass Museum of Art. The 0.3-acre assemblage is zoned for a mixed-use hotel or apartment building with a retail and restaurant space. 

In 2020, Massa bought the Paris Theater nightclub and restaurant in South Beach for $13 million

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