Massive Sunset Place redevelopment moving forward

Midtown Opportunities plans to add a residential component on 10-plus-acre property

Vadia’s Sunset Place Development in South Miami Moves Ahead
Alex Vadia and the Shops at Sunset Place in South Miami (Getty, Facebook, TAMZ)

Midtown Miami developer Alex Vadia is moving forward with plans to redevelop the Shops at Sunset Place, a shopping center in South Miami. 

British design and architecture firm Heatherwick Studio and ODP Architecture & Design will be working on the master plan and timeline for the 10-plus-acre property at 5701 Southwest 72nd Street. 

Vadia’s Midtown Opportunities paid $65.5 million Sunset Place in early 2021, a steep discount from its previous $110.2 million sale price in 2015

The former owners, Federal Realty Investment Trust, Grass River Property and the Comras Company planned to redevelop the half-a-million square-foot mall into a mixed-use development with apartment buildings and a hotel component, but failed to receive enough city support. 

Vadia’s firm has yet to disclose specific plans for the property, but the redevelopment does include a residential component. Last week, the South Miami Commission unanimously approved zoning ordinances that will allow the developer to build up to 33 stories along the portion of the property fronting U.S. 1, from the 12 stories currently allowed. 

At the meeting on Nov. 21, South Miami commissioner Josh Liebman said the city wants to preserve its main street at a human scale, likely capped at two stories along Sunset Drive. 

Midtown Opportunities wants to remove the focus on big box tenants, the developer said. Sunset Place’s anchor tenants include AMC Theatres, L.A. Fitness and Barnes & Noble. The new project would include smaller retail tenants and restaurants. 

Vadia’s father, Alberto Vadia, was heavily involved in the plans for Sunset Place. He died this week at the age of 76. 

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Sunset Place currently includes a small condominium component, which would likely have to be terminated. 

Midtown Opportunities’ new project will mark Heatherwick’s first in the state. The design firm has worked on Google campuses, the renovation of Pacific Place in Hong Kong, and the Little Island pier park in New York City. 

Before Sunset Place opened in 1998, the site was home to the Bakery Center, a fortress-like retail complex developed by Martin Marguilies. The property was demolished within a decade of its completion.

New tenants are moving into downtown South Miami, including the bakery dbakers Sweet Studio. 

South of Sunset Place, apartment developer AvalonBay Communities is building a new mixed-use apartment building on the site of the former Winn-Dixie property at 5850 Southwest 73rd Street. The ground floor of that project will be home to a Fresh Market grocery store, sources told The Real Deal. 

Also nearby, Fox’s Plaza, home to the Salty Donut, Pura Vida and Fox’s Lounge, recently traded. Alex Karakhanian’s Lndmrk Development sold the property to Raguas LLC for $10.1 million, in a deal brokered by Dwntwn Realty Advisors’ Tony Arellano and Devlin Marinoff. 

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