Two floors leased in Cutler Ridge office building
By Marilyn Bowden
A national child services provider has leased the top two floors of a nearly-vacant Cutler Ridge office building.
Kids Hope United, one of eight providers contracted to privatize the state's child welfare services casework, signed a five-year lease for 28,500 square feet on the fifth and sixth floors of South Dade Office Tower 2, 10720 Caribbean Blvd., said Mia Stierheim of Abood Wood-Fay Real Estate Group, who represented the landlord, Pinnacle Investment Properties.
Marlin Livingston, executive vice president for Florida operations, said Kids Hope United will hire its staff of 130 locally.
"We've already hired about 50 to 55 staff members to date," he said, "and plan to finish the hiring process in early March."
Kids Hope United will move into the new space in April, he said.
Mr. Livingston said the 100-year-old agency, which has offices throughout the US, has opened 13 service centers in Florida during the past three years.
"From the Miami-Dade space," he said, "we will serve about 1,200 children and their families in the county's southern hub, from Florida City to South Miami."
The agency, which recently changed its name to Kids Hope United, operated for more than 100 years as Central Baptist Family Services and Hudelson Baptist Children's Home & Family Services. The new federation serves more than 20,000 vulnerable children and their families annually, Mr. Livingston said. He quoted annual revenues in excess of $10 million.
Ms. Stierheim said the office building, in an area severely damaged by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, has been nearly vacant for the past decade.
Pinnacle Investment Properties, which bought the building about 4.5 years ago, has done extensive renovations, she said.
"We've done some smaller deals," Ms. Stierheim said, "including a small insurance company, a temporary nursing service and a small CPA firm, and the county is waiting for commission approval to put a department there. But this is the first really big lease."
She said the Cutler Ridge area is starting to come back from the devastation caused by Andrew.
The former Cutler Ridge Mall, which abuts South Dade Office Tower 2, has been reinvented as Southland Mall, and a Mercedes dealership bought 10 acres to the south of the property. South Dade Government Center is across the street, and one block east is the site of the anticipated South Miami-Dade Cultural Center.
South Dade is undergoing rampant residential development.
"Once we get the rooftops," Ms. Stierheim said, "we're going to see more of a commercial boom."