In what will likely become the most talked about deal of the year – and for that matter, years to come – a 1.25-acre waterfront site in downtown Miami traded this week for $125 million, an eye-popping $100 million an acre. That is the highest price per acre ever paid in Florida for vacant land, CBRE Research has confirmed. It also far surpasses last year’s largest land deal, when Swire Properties acquired a 1.55-acre site in Brickell for $64.1 million. (Full disclosure: CBRE brokered both deals). As the Miami Herald reports, members of the Coto family, owners of a prominent Argentinian supermarket chain, acquired the waterfront site at 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way, which holds the potential for over 2 million gross square feet of building area.
What’s driving the surge in land prices Downtown – and are we likely to see more deals of this size in the near future?
The 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way site is unquestionably rare and unique: located at the mouth of the Miami River, with a gorgeous view of the bay, the property sits adjacent to the successful EPIC Residences & Hotel, has a marina capable of accommodating mega-yachts, and is within walking distance to everything downtown has to offer: fine dining, the American Airlines Arena and the Adrienne Arsht Center, and retail developments under construction such as Brickell City Centre, Miami World Center and a Whole Foods market. No site better represents the potential for a luxury condominium development than this one.
However, the hefty price tag on this property also reflects Miami’s emergence as a truly world-class, global city, a pivotal change that has led to the acceptance of luxury condominium pricing in excess of $1,000 per square feet in the downtown market for the first time ever. That continues to make Miami attractive for overseas capital; CBRE received 15 offers from investor groups in Asia, Europe and South America, as well as New York.
As 300 was the last truly waterfront development site downtown, it’s unlikely we will see any similar trades in the near future, but with the Downtown/Brickell markets nearly built out, we are noticing upward pressure on land prices further inland along the Miami River. As the value of frontage on the Miami River is finally becoming realized, the Miami River corridor has rapidly become a highly desirable location for both residential and mixed-use development, and is definitely the next area to watch.
By: Ken Krasnow
Managing Director | CBRE South Florida
Ken Krasnow is the Managing Director for CBRE’s South Florida offices. In 2013, his region executed over 1000 transactions – 175 sales, and 825 leases – with an aggregate value exceeding $2.8 billion. In addition, CBRE South Florida completed over 1,400 valuation and advisory assignments and $600 million in loan originations.
Follow CBRE on Twitter: @cbre_Florida
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