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Front Page » Top Stories » Codina To Market Two More Telecom Ecomplexes

Codina To Market Two More Telecom Ecomplexes

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Written by on December 7, 2000

By Paola Iuspa
The Codina Group Inc., which plans to expand the Miami Free Zone building in West Miami-Dade and turn it into a park for telecommunications companies, has just been hired to find high-tech tenants for the downtown Omni, now being retrofitted for use by high-tech firms.

Codina officials say they are confident both properties will fill.

George San Miguel, Codina leasing agent in charge of the Beacon CyberPort, formerly the Miami Free Zone, said that park — where rates will be between $13.50-$16 a square foot — is ideal for international companies that need to be close to the airport or want to be near clients in industrial areas surrounding the airport.

The CyberPort, he said, will also have office space.

He said the Omni and CyperPort properties target "two different markets.

The 34-year-old Omni, after adding the amenities of a telecom hotel, will be marketed to firms interested in being closer to fiber-optic loops downtown, said Richard Schuchts, who together with Tere Blanca and Hank Klein head Omni leasing operations.

Mark Teitelbaum, principal of Argent Ventures, the New York-based real estate firm that bought the Omni Mall last summer, said Argent this week hired ONCOR International, a subdivision of the Codina Group, to take advantage of the firm’s "strong presence in South Florida."

"It is nothing unusual not to have telecom tenants signed on by the time the project is complete," he said. "Telecom tenants don’t sign on until they can see the building."

Mr. Schuchts said tenants that do sign will be able to move in by early summer.

"Being close to the NAP is also a huge advantage," he said, referring to the Network Access Point downtown.

To date, Terremark has leased 150,000 square feet at the center to Global Crossing. The firm will be based on the second floor.

A large number of undersea fiber-optic cables "that companies put in place to connect the states with Latin America terminate in the Port of Miami," Mr. Schuchts said, explaining why some e-firms marketing to Latin America prefer offices in the eastern part of the county.

Fiber optics, he said, represent a more cost-effective delivery system than satellites.

Mr. Schuchts said he and his team are focusing on attracting as tenants Internet service-providers, telecom carriers, application service providers, web-hosting companies, switching stations and co-location firms. Tenants in the 1.1 million-square-foot telecom hub will pay about $19 a square foot, plus utilities.

The Omni has been undergoing renovations for six months, Mr. Teitelbaum said. He said he expects to spend more than $30 million on the project.

The Omni Technology Center, Ms. Blanca said, will have three buildings and a parking garage.

Michelle Beauchamp, co-chair of a branding committee for the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce — a group in charge of promoting Miami as a high-tech arena — said having telecommunication infrastructure was essential for companies thinking about relocating.

"We have a great variety of office space," she said. "Companies can choose to be close to downtown or close to the airport. There is a lot of flexibility with office space.

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