The Office Condo as Investment
Offizina, the state-of-the-art office condominium that opened on northern Ponce last year, has developed a new tactic for selling units: as fully leased investments. While nearly 80 percent of the building’s units sold to business occupants, a quarter of those that didn’t sell were leased. Now those leased units are being sold as investments, mostly to foreign buyers.
Put That Green on the Street
New developments in downtown Gables may be seeing less rooftop terraces. A new zoning law passed earlier this year no longer allows builders to satisfy their open space requirement with rooftop gardens and terraces. Now the requisite open space has to be on the ground and accessible to the public.
Our Highest Paid CEO
Each year the South Florida Business Journal puts together its list of the highest paid CEOs in the region. This year the top spot went to Gables resident Frank Del Rio, the Chairman of Norwegian Cruise Lines. While his salary was $1.75 million, his total 2018 compensation was $22.6 million, up from $10.5 million the year before.
Jeb Bush Sells Townhouse
Speaking of townhouses, former Florida governor Jeb Bush has sold his townhouse on Anastasia Avenue for $1.625 million. Records show he paid $1.3 million for it in 2011. The 3,485 square foot, two-story home has four bedrooms and a coral stone courtyard with a fountain-fed pool. It is reportedly renting for $8,000 a month.
Apple Watching Banking
Professional Bank took the idea of mobile banking a step further recently with the launch of its Apple Watch app. The app allows clients “on the go” to check balances, view individual transactions, and find branch locations. Bank officials say it’s one more step in plans to dramatically enhance its online experience for customers.
Cashing in on the Brand
The University of Miami has signed a contract with sports merchandizing giant Fanatics. UM signed a 10-year exclusive licensing partnership with the Jacksonville-based company, which also has a deal with sports rival University of Florida. Fanatics Brands, the company’s in-house apparel division, will design, manufacture and distribute an expanded selection of UM products for men, women and students.
Topping off the Plaza
The Plaza Coral Gables development on Ponce Circle has officially topped off two of the four midrise buildings that comprise the $500 million project. The final concrete pours for the two remaining buildings has also taken place. The pour is part of 55,000 cubic yards of ready-mix concrete being supplied by Mexico’s CEMEX; the project is being developed by Mexico-based Agave.
The Latest Arrivals
Coral Gables collection of 150 multinationals can now expand by one, with the relocation of American Towers cell tower company to the Gables. The new offices of the $70 billion company are here to run operations for Latin America, Europe, Africa and the Middle East. They are being joined by the recent relocations from Miami to the Gables by law firm Katz Barron and City National Bank. Mutual of Omaha also opened their regional (South Florida-Caribbean) office here in September.
MG Breaks Ground with Althea Row
MG Developer has broken ground for Althea Row, the second half of its Biltmore Square “community” project just west of downtown. The set of five 3-story luxury townhouses are seen as part of the growing trend toward walkable urban living, designed in a Mediterranean revival style. The townhouses face Almeria Avenue.
The Coral Gables culinary scene is notoriously competitive, a jungle where only the strong survive. This year alone has seen the fall of La Palma, Le Provençal, Bricktops and Swine. So, it is all the more remarkable that John Martin’s Irish Pub and Caffe Abbracci are both celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. “When we started you could have rolled a bowling ball down Miracle Mile at night and hit nothing,” says Martin Lynch, who shares the name of the pub with partner John Clarke.