Miami Worldcenter scores $120M refi, as South Florida still bucks nationwide lending slump

Deutsche Bank is administrative agent for itself, other lenders

Falcone, Motwani’s Miami Worldcenter Scores $120M Refi
Falcone Group's Art Falcone and Merrimac Ventures' Nitin Motwani with development sites at 150 Northeast Eighth Street, 725 Northeast First Avenue and 652 Northeast Second Avenue (Falcone Group, Merrimac Ventures, Google Maps, Getty)

Miami Worldcenter landed a $120 million refinancing, showing South Florida continues to buck the nationwide lending slump. 

Entities tied to the project’s master developer, Miami Worldcenter Associates, obtained the refinancing for six lots at the 10-block development, with Deutsche Bank serving as administrative agent for itself and other lenders, according to records. 

Miami Worldcenter Associates is led by Art Falcone of Boca Raton-based Falcone Group and Nitin Motwani of Fort Lauderdale-based Merrimac Ventures. Los Angeles-based CIM Group is a partner in the project. 

The refinancing is for a retail condo unit at 851 Northeast First Avenue; the lot at 150 Northeast Eighth Street, which ties to the 80,000-square-foot Jewel Box retail building; and the site at 725 Northeast First Avenue, which ties to the lot where a one-story, 15,000-square-foot building leased by Apple will be developed, according to records. The loan also covers an apartment building’s garage at 650 Northeast Second Avenue, as well as the lots at 651 Northeast First Avenue and 652 Northeast Second Avenue. 

The $6 billion Miami Worldcenter, which spans 27 acres at the intersection of downtown Miami and the city’s Park West neighborhood, has been in the works for over a decade. Over the years, Miami Worldcenter Associates has sold off development sites to other developers, with Motwani and Falcone sometimes partnering on projects. 

Completed portions include the 60-story, 569-unit Paramount Miami Worldcenter condo; the 43-story, 434-unit Bezel apartment tower; and the 43-story, 444-unit Caoba apartment tower. Also, 300,000 square feet of retail and the 12-story, 351-key CitizenM hotel are finished. 

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Next on tap are 17 towers that would add 8,473 condos and apartments, 499 hotel keys and nearly 800,000 square feet of commercial space, according to an analysis by The Real Deal last month. The projects are either approved or under construction. 

Financing has dropped nationwide amid elevated interest rates and tighter bank lending, but South Florida has defied the trend. This has extended to refinancings. 

In February, the Hollo family’s Florida East Coast Realty landed a $419.6 million refinancing for its 85-story Panorama Tower at 1100 Brickell Bay Drive in Miami’s Brickell. It consists of 821 apartments, a 208-key Hyatt Centric Hotel, 112,700 square feet of offices, 25,200 square feet of retail and a 2,000-space garage. Rising 868 feet, Panorama is considered the tallest residential tower on the Eastern Seaboard south of New York. 

Brickell-based Florida East Coast was founded by Tibor Hollo, who died this month at the age of 96. 

In other refinancings, Terra and Grass River scored $245 million in January for the completed Grove Central mixed-use project. It consists of a 23-story, 402-unit apartment tower; 170,000 square feet of retail space; and a 1,250-space parking garage. Grove Central is on the northwest corner of U.S. 1 and Southwest 27th Avenue in Miami. 

Ytech, led by Yamal Yidios, scored a $78 million refinancing in March for a planned 70-story, 189-unit condo tower at 1428 Brickell Avenue in Miami, as part of a larger $104 million loan package. The $26 million balance of the financing is a first mortgage on adjacent lots at 1500 and 1548 Brickell Avenue.