Business Briefs of Gables

Plaza Gables Nears the End / Record Real Estate Sales / Jeb Bush Firm Expansion / Pincho Burger Gets A Booster 

Topping Off

Business Briefs of Gables - The Plaza Coral Gables

The $380 million+ Plaza Coral Gables project, now hurtling toward completion, marked another milestone last month with the topping of the tower for the new Loew’s hotel at the mixed-use development. In a ceremony attended by more than 70 observers, including Mayor Vince Lago, City Commissioners Kirk Menendez, and Rhonda Anderson, and Coral Gables Chamber president and CEO Mark Trowbridge, a crane lifted a copper dome atop the tower. “The tower is the highest part of the project and an icon for the city,” said Carlos Beckmann, director of operations for Agave Ponce, the firm behind the development. 

Indeed, the only spire in the city that compares is Allen Morris’ Alhambra Tower. And while the hotel will not open for about a year, the other parts of Plaza Coral Gables are doing well. The Reserve, the apartment part of the complex with 173 units, is now 94 percent leased, says José Antonio Pérez, Agave Holdings U.S. managing director. The North Tower office building, also complete, is about thirty percent leased, he says, but pending deals are expected to bring that figure to eighty percent by year’s end. 

Jeb Bush & Co. Ready to Invest 

With so many fin tech companies pouring into greater Miami, it’s no wonder that the Gables-based private equity firm co-founded by Jeb Bush is looking to take advantage of any opportunities. Finback Investment Partners, LLC, founded by the former Governor and long-time Gables resident with partners George Huber, Jack Oliver, and son Jeb Bush, Jr., closed on $350 million last month for their debut fund – Finback Investment Partners 2021 Fund LP. 

Record Sale in Cocoplum 

In a further sign of the rapacious appetite for high-end homes in Coral Gables, a new waterfront home built by Miami-based MV Group sold last month for $16 million. The price of $2,286 per square foot for the 7,000-square-foot home at 440 Costanera Rd. was a record for the Cocoplum neighborhood, according to MV Group CEO Manny A. Varas. The buyer was Jacques Barbera, the chairman, and CEO of Miami-based commercial real estate firm Bar Invest Group. The home is on a half-acre of land and has five bedrooms, eight full bathrooms, two half bathrooms, a 50-foot pool, and an elevator. 

Over the Top in Gables Estates (above) 

While the Cocoplum sales may have hit a record for price-per-square foot, it wasn’t the biggest deal of the month. That accolade goes to billionaire attorney John H. Ruiz, the CEO of MSP Recovery, who paid $25 million for a 14,443-square-foot home at 530 Arvida Parkway in Gables Estates. It features 8 bedrooms, 9.5 bathrooms, a 600-bottle wine cellar, and an office with a fireplace, on a 1-acre waterfront spread. Ruiz is the majority owner of MSP Recovery, which is set to go public at a valuation of $32.6 billion. Their specialty: recovering improperly paid Medicare and Medicaid claims. 

Pincho Gets Pumped 

Business Briefs of Gables -  Pincho Burger

Gables-based Pincho has just gotten a $20 million boost from Utah-based Savory Fund. Founded as Pincho Burger a decade ago by Otto Othman, Nedal Ahmad, and Nizar Ahmad, the new partnership will use the investment to expand in – and beyond – Florida. Currently, there are eight locations in Miami-Dade and Broward counties (the local outlet is on Giralda just west of Galliano). The award-winning burgers, along with Pincho’s kebabs and rice bowls, so impressed the executives of Savory they felt the brand could go national. The funding will allow Pincho to expand through corporate-owned locations, rather than franchises. Othman will remain CEO, while three Savory Fund executives will join the board.