Turnberry Associates and LeFrak are making moves at SoLēMia.

The developers’ SM Multifamily LLC just closed on a $101 million construction and permanent loan from Wells Fargo, according to a press release. The Housing and Urban Development-insured financing will be used for the development of two 17-story, luxury rental towers totaling 400 units.

The apartment buildings are part of the first phase of SoLēMia, $4 billion mixed-use, master-planned community in North Miami. The developers broke ground on both buildings in July and plan to complete them by the summer of 2019, a spokesperson told The Real Deal. Crews will pour the first elevated deck for the east building in November.

Turnberry, led by Jeffrey and Jackie Soffer, and LeFrak announced plans for the 183-acre development site at 15045 Biscayne Boulevard about two years ago and refinanced the North Miami land in October with a $66.5 million loan. The developers have said they’re footing the bill for the majority of the project’s $150 million worth of infrastructure, including roads and sewers, which is nearly completed.

The apartment towers will feature views of Oleta State Park and the bay, amenities that include a swimming pool and roof deck/sky lounge, a fitness center, community rooms and a business center, according to the release. In all, SoLēMia will have a 10-acre lagoon with beaches, 12 residential buildings with 4,300 units; a town center with shops, restaurant, a hotel and entertainment tenants; and a Warren Henry car dealership.

The former Biscayne Landing site has had a long and troubled history, including Superfund designation in the early 1980s and multiple failed bids for commercial development since 2003. Richard LeFrak bought out former partners Michael Swerdlow and Ezra Katz in 2015. 

Investors and developers in North Miami and nearby North Miami Beach have been picking up properties in the area, including CK Prive Group and Prestige Imports owner Brett David.


Source: The Real Deal

The Sears at Aventura Mall will close this summer and the site will be developed into a mixed-use project. 

Rendering of Esplanade at Aventura

Sears, at 19505 Biscayne Boulevard, will begin its liquidation sale at the end of April and close by mid-July, the South Florida Business Journal reported. The landlord, Seritage Growth Properties, will break ground on Esplanade at Aventura, with 215,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment space, later this year. Aventura approved the site plan in December.

Seritage purchased 235 Sears and Kmart stores from Sears Holdings Corp. earlier this year. Under terms of the sale, Seritage recaptured the property, which allows the real estate investment trust to develop the site. It has 224 properties leased to Sears Holdings operating under Sears or the Kmart brand.

In November, the REIT settled a lawsuit that it filed against the owners of Aventura Mall to stop the shopping center’s expansion plans, which are underway.

The mall, owned by Turnberry Associates and Simon Property Group, plans to open a new three-level wing in November with Topshop Topman and Zara, all part of Aventura Mall’s 315,000-square-foot expansion.


Source: The Real Deal

A panel of major Miami developers, many of them billionaires, gathered at The Real Deal South Florida’s Real Estate Forum & Showcase to talk about their upcoming projects and give their take on when this real estate cycle will come to a close.

Craig Robins, Jeffrey Soffer, Richard LeFrak, Gil Dezer and Michael Simkins

Craig Robins, Jeffrey Soffer, Richard LeFrak, Gil Dezer and Michael Simkins

In attendance was Richard LeFrak of the LeFrak Organization, Jeffrey Soffer of Turnberry Associates, Gil Dezer of Dezer Development, Craig Robins of Dacra and Michael Simkins of the Innovate Development Group.

The five heavyweights touched on themes like what it means to build a neighborhood and the challenges involved with planning a multibillion-dollar project. However, one topic reigned supreme: is South Florida headed for a crash?

“In the long run, what is going to happen is what always happens: the weak will not survive, the strong will survive, and the ones who survive will thrive,” said LeFrak, chairman and CEO of the LeFrak Orgnization.

To watch the panel from start to finish, check out the video below, or go to The Real Deal‘s YouTube page.


Source: The Real Deal