Bye Staples, hello Kia: Johnson Automotive pays $25M for Edgewater dev site

Raleigh, North Carolina-based car dealer plans to redevelop store into showroom near dealerships owned by auto magnate Norman Braman

Johnson Automotive Pays $25M For Edgewater Development Site
The Staples store at 2121 Biscayne Boulevard (Google Maps)

Auto magnate Norman Braman is getting some new competition in his neighborhood.

Raleigh, North Carolina-based Johnson Automotive Dealership Group paid $25 million for a development site at 2121 Biscayne Boulevard in Miami’s Edgewater that is currently home to a Staples store, records and Vizzda show.

Johnson Automotive plans to convert the property into a new Kia showroom and dealership, said Rani Hussami with Apex Capital Realty. The development site is near Braman’s automobile retail outlets, including economy brands Honda and Hyundai. 

Hussami represented the buyer. The seller, an affiliate of Plano, Texas-based Sikka Investments, led by Shirin and Barkat Daredia, paid $20 million in 2021 for the 1-acre site, records show. The 21,501-square-foot Staples store was completed in 2008 and is still open. Hussami declined to comment on Staples’ lease, citing a confidentiality agreement.

Johnson Automotive, his client, bought the property in an off-market deal, Hussami said. The car dealership wants to expand into South Florida and was interested in a site in Miami’s urban core, Hussami said. 

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“The property was not for sale,” he said. “I called the owners and asked them if they would like to sell it for a profit.” 

Johnson Automotive has 11 dealerships in North Carolina and two more in Annapolis, Maryland, and Stuart, Florida, the company’s website states. The company sells 10 car brands, including Kia, Honda, Maserati, Porsche and Subaru. 

Automobile dealers have been ramping up their real estate game in South Florida in recent months. In January, Hollywood-based Craig Zinn Automotive Group paid $23.5 million for a development site in Kendall. The 8.3-acre assemblage is approved for a two-story auto retail building spanning nearly 76,000 square feet and 580 parking spaces.

The Kendall development site is adjacent to a 14-acre property Craig Zinn Automotive is leasing from Miami-Dade County where the firm plans to build a $15 million Subaru dealership. 

In August, Birmingham, Alabama-based Dream Motor Group paid $150 million for two Mercedes-Benz dealerships in Coral Gables and Cutler Bay, an auto body repair shop in Cutler Bay and an office building in Coral Gables.