Developers Buy Historic Church Site, Plan 40-Story Tower

The First Church of Christ, Scientist at 1836 Biscayne Blvd 1030x385

A trio of developers purchased the site of the historic First Church of Christ, Scientist for $20 million in Miami’s Edgewater where they plan to build a 40-story apartment tower.

The church, which was developed in 1926 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, would remain standing and be transformed for new uses through adaptive reuse.

Fifteen 1836 Biscayne LLC, an affiliate of Miami-based Fifteen Group, sold the 41,697-square-foot property with a 16,935-square-foot church at 1836 Biscayne Blvd. The buyers were New York-based Skylight Real Estate Partners, Coral Gables-based Panther Capital Management, and Philadelphia-based Arden Group.

Berkadia’s Jaret Turkell, Roberto Pesant, Omar Morales and Jose Mote represented the buyer in the deal, while Keith Kurland of Walker & Dunlop helped the buyer secure financing.

“As the migration to Miami continues, there is a substantial need for more housing to meet the demands of the growing population,” said Benjamin Joseph, founding partner at Skylight Real Estate Partners. “We have been carefully tracking South Florida’s real estate market and we look forward to working with premier architects and designers to build a best-in-class building with a market-leading amenity package.”

The property last traded for $14.25 million in 2014, so it gained in value.

In 2019, Fifteen Group secured approval for a development plan crafted by Miami-based Cube3 for a 40-story apartment tower rising next to the church, 364 apartments and 389 parking spaces.

The new owners said they plan to break ground in the fourth quarter of 2022 on a 40-story tower with 364 apartments, while the historic church would be preserved and transformed into experiential retail.

“The vibrant and dynamic neighborhood of Edgewater continues to evolve given its numerous cultural hubs and entertainment venues that contribute to its desirability. Given the appetite in this area, we are confident that the project will be a great success,” said Jeff Krinsky, managing principal of Panther Capital Management.

This project is also in a federal opportunity zone, so it could have significant tax benefits for the investors.

Source:  SFBJ