Baha Mar developer scores $77M loan for 8-acre Wynwood assemblage

More Development spent $115M assembling six city blocks

Baha Mar Developer Scores Loan for Wynwood Project in Miami
More Development's Whitney Thier with a photo of the site

The original developer of Baha Mar in the Bahamas secured a $76.8 million loan, with plans to build on eight acres of land in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood. 

Miami and Bahamas-based More Development spent $115 million-plus assembling six blocks in south Wynwood between 2018 and 2022 where it plans a mixed-use project, said Whitney Thier, president of the firm. The project will be called SoWy.

JP Morgan Chase provided the financing for the properties, which are along Northwest Second Avenue between Northwest 20th and 22nd streets, according to a press release. 

The land could be developed into nearly 2.5 million square feet. The developer could also use the Live Local Act, a new state law that incentivizes developers that incorporate workforce housing into their projects.

A handful of massive Live Local Act projects have been proposed in Wynwood recently. Developer Sonny Bazbaz submitted an application for a 48-story, 544-unit apartment tower at 2110 North Miami Avenue under Live Local. 

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Thier said it is too soon to say what More Development’s project will include, but that it will have residential, retail, office, hospitality and arts components. 

“We are still very much in the concept stage in the long-term development,” she said, adding that it will have a “campus feel… We’re certainly looking at Live Local. Our properties bridge Overtown and Wynwood.” 

The financing will help More Development to launch its plans and create short-term activations such as murals created by local artists. It marks the company’s first project in South Florida, Thier said. 

More Development Chairman Sarkis Izmirlian filed a $2.3 billion lawsuit alleging that China Construction America orchestrated a “massive fraud” that led to Baha Mar filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2015, which ousted him from Baha Mar, a 1,000-acre mega resort developed in Nassau, Bahamas. That case is set to go to trial in New York in August. Earlier this year, the judge said it was “now clear” that the Chinese contractor sabotaged the completion of the resort, according to the Bahamian publication The Tribune

Next year, More Development is set to complete the first building at Mahogany Hill, a luxury condo development under construction on the western end of Nassau. 

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