Aventura Corporate Center, acreage bought by condo developer
By Sherri C. Ranta
A purchase for $23.5 million of Aventura Corporate Center by Groupe Pacific, developer of residential condominiums in Miami-Dade County, marks the company's entry into the Aventura office market and positions the firm to undertaken new development in the city.
ACC/GP Investments, backed by principal Michael Bedzow, president of Groupe Pacific, purchased the office complex with two five-story class A buildings and four undeveloped acres on Biscayne Boulevard last week from LaSalle US Realty Income and Growth Fund Inc., said broker Thomas H. Brymer II, who represented the buyers.
Developers saw potential in the vacant land, Mr. Brymer said. The site is just north of Aventura Mall and across from Aventura Hospital, now undergoing a $130 million renovation.
"Clearly the possibility of medical office space exists, as does the possibility of an extended-stay hotel or something along the hospitality line," said Alan David, administrative vice president of Groupe Pacific.
Company officials have met with Aventura Hospital President Davide M. Carbone to discuss possible construction projects, he said, but nothing is certain at this time.
The March 13 purchase, Mr. David said, is part of the company's move to acquire equity properties to build and hold. "This is something that we would be looking at in addition to residential."
Groupe Pacific, an international company with holdings in the US and Canada, is known for residential condominium developments. Two Groupe Pacific condominium projects - The Courts and The Cosmopolitan - are under construction on South Beach.
Groupe Pacific is also the force behind Brickell on the River, a proposed residential development on the Miami River. Company officials say they are deciding whether that project will be condominiums or rental apartments.
Housed on one floor of the corporate center, Groupe Pacific will manage the newly purchased office complex, Mr. David said. Other tenants include Paine Webber Group Inc. and Smith Barney.
Purchase of the buildings - almost 160,000 square feet of rentable space - was months in the making, Mr. Brymer said. The complex was first marketed in late 2000 but was pulled when no buyer could be found. At that time, occupancy fell to about 80%, he said.
Groupe Pacific began talks with the sellers in summer 2001, Mr. Brymer said. He said a contract was signed in October.
Closing was delayed until last week because the buyers re-platted the property, Mr. Brymer said, separating the vacant land.
By the time the contract was signed and the deal closed, he said, occupancy had risen to about 93%. "We're now at the level we anticipated we would be at in a few months."