NY’s Crown Acquisitions asks about courthouse
Written by Lidia Dinkova on October 23, 2014
A New York-based commercial real estate acquisitions firm has expressed interest in the aging Miami-Dade County Courthouse.
Even before voters decide whether a new courthouse should be built, Crown Acquisitions has approached the county with an eye toward the existing historic facility or the land it’s on.
“If the county were to decide to move the court out of there, they might be interested in using the courthouse,” said Leland Salomon, assistant director of the county’s Internal Services Department.
Crown Acquisitions did not return messages seeking confirmation. The family-owned firm acquires retail real estate, mainly in New York and more recently in Miami Beach, where it bought the Van Dyke Café on Lincoln Road.
The county courthouse, 73 W Flagler St., needs emergency repairs as operations have outgrown the facility, which has water leaks and cracks in columns, among other issues.
On Nov. 4 county voters will decide whether to borrow $393 million via bonds to fund a new courthouse.
Specifics about what Crown might do with the courthouse if a new facility is built weren’t available.
“There are example where companies have purchased or leased older structures and repurposed them either for retail, hotel and even condos,” Mr. Salomon said.
The courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Jim Gabbert, a historian with the program, said an owner may demolish a building listed on the register.
If the bond referendum is approved, the county plans to use some of the proceeds, reportedly $25 million, to renovate the existing courthouse to keep it in use for five more years.
“We will be in a different marketplace scenario by then,” Mr. Salomon said, “so we will be able to better determine what we can or cannot do with it by then.”