Retailers expected to open this year at Mary Brickell Village
By Sherri C. Ranta
At least 36 shops and restaurants are signing up for space at Mary Brickell Village, the mixed-use development under way on South Miami Avenue and Coral Way.
Leasing agents say they expect the retail component to be 90% leased when the project opens this fall and to have other merchants coveting remaining space in what will be Brickell's largest retail enclave.
"We'll leave spaces open for lease after the project opens. We'll get higher rents and even higher-profile tenants," said Kerry Newman, senior associate at Konover Stern Group, leasing company for Mary Brickell Village.
Talks are under way to sign Books and Books, one of the largest independent books stores in the country, he said. "We're holding space for them," he said.
Another tenant he would not name is looking at 10,000 square feet, he said.
"The thing about Brickell is it is not saturated with retail. It's under-retailed considering the amount of density and disposable income you have in that area," Mr. Newman said.
The 36 signed retail tenants, he said, represent about 75% of the project's 192,000 square feet of retail space. The project will be about 90% leased when the latest round of 12 additional leases are finalized.
Retail anchors Publix, with 30,000 square feet, and Bally's Total Fitness, 25,000 square feet, were announced more than a year ago.
The residential portion of the project, now called Skyline Mary Brickell Village, is expected to be completed in spring 2007, said Steve Priebe, director of marketing at Skyline Equities Realty. He said about 75% of the 369 condominium units are sold with a one-bedroom unit costing about $350,000.
If retailers begin to open their doors this fall at Mary Brickell Village, it would signal signs of success for the mixed-use project that has sustained swings in the local and national economy.
Construction starts, opening dates and ownership have been fluid during the development of the project blocks west of Brickell Avenue. Developers in the late 1990s began buying contiguous parcels along South Miami Avenue before the city's residential boom kicked into gear.
Original plans called for a hotel, but developers changed their minds in 2003 as market conditions changed to favor condominium sales.
In early 2004, Skyline Equities Realty paid $100 million for the residential portion of the project - the land and plans for a condominium tower.
In April, the last remaining component owned by original developers Constructa Group, Basilinvest and Emerson Fittipaldi was purchased by
Canadian shopping-center developer Ivanhoe Cambridge for an undisclosed amount. Constructa Group officials say they will remain to complete development and manage the retail component.
The change in retail ownership, said Kerry Newman, senior associate at Konover Stern Group, will bring additional credibility to Mary Brickell Village. Ivanhoe Cambridge, he said, is the largest developer and owner of enclosed shopping centers in Canada.
Ivanhoe Cambridge owns three malls in the US including Oaks Mall in Gainesville.
Leasing officials said this week that shops at Mary Brickell Village are expected to open in October and November.
Construction of the residential portion of the project, now known as Skyline Mary Brickell Village, began in January and is expected to be completed in spring 2007, said Steve Priebe, director of marketing at Skyline Equities Realty.
About 275 of the 369 condominium units are sold. Developers recently moved the sales center to 800 Brickell Ave., about a block from the site. The new center will open in mid-June, Mr. Priebe said, and feature state-of-the-art interactive sales tools.
Sales began in April 2004, and prices have risen steadily, he said. A one-bedroom unit sold for about $275,000 a year ago. A similar unit now sells for about $350,000. Buyers include local residents, Northeasterners, Latin Americans and Californians.
While Skyline's marketing campaign doesn't target Californians, Mr. Priebe said, sales to them have been a result of word-of-mouth referrals. "A lot of times, one buyer will go back and tell their friends. I have a feeling that is what is going on."