Design firm to move into former Borders store in Grove
By Marilyn Bowden
Design firm Leo A Daly is moving from Coral Gables to Coconut Grove and more than doubling its office space.
The firm will occupy 11,000 square feet formerly used by Borders Books at Mayfair in the Grove, said Sim Wilson, a first vice president with CB Richard Ellis who represents the landlord. The building formerly was known as Streets of Mayfair.
Founded in 1915, Leo A Daly's clients have included governments, corporations, colleges and universities and non-profit institutions.
David Steinfeld, an associate at Holly Real Estate who represented Daly in the transaction, called the deal the largest lease transaction in Coconut Grove this year. He said the company, which is expanding from 4,400 square feet at Douglas Entrance, wanted to stay in Miami-Dade County, preferably in the Gables, the Grove or Brickell.
"We are committing to growing our presence in the South Florida market as well as the international market and felt it was important to have a Miami address," said Gus Barrera, managing principal of Daly's Miami office. "In addition, the Grove provides a great atmosphere for our employees as well as accommodates the expansion of our staff of design professionals."
"Mayfair is a strategic location," Mr. Steinfeld said, "and it has an eclectic, creative mix of tenants they will feel comfortable with."
Crispin Porter & Bogusky, the nation's top advertising firm, occupies the entire third floor of the building, Mr. Wilson said. Other tenants include The Limited, Banana Republic and The Improv Comedy Club, he said.
During the past nine months, Mr. Wilson said, he and partner Randy Olen have been involved in the re-branding and re-marketing of the three-story, 263,000-square-foot building from retail to mixed-use. The plan, he said, was to preserve ground-floor retail and convert the top two floors to office space at 2911 Grand Ave.
The Daly space comprises what used to be the second story of Borders, Mr. Wilson said. The street-level space, he said, will be retail.
"Coconut Grove in general has become less of a retail area," Mr. Wilson said. "Traditionally, retailers wanted to be in retail trade zones. Much of it in this market has moved to Village of Merrick Park or Shops of Sunset. Mayfair did great when it was the only game in town, but these are huge competitors."
With features such as high ceilings, breezeways and walkways unavailable in other office buildings in the area, he said, "Mayfair in the Grove allows for unique architectural type of space. It's also a good urban location and has a 4:1 parking ratio."
Mr. Wilson said the building's total occupancy is 62% - 75% in the office portion, and "we have letters of intent for most of the office space."
For the retail spaces, he said, "we have several letters of intent from those who are new to the market or expanding, and we also have several restaurant deals in the works. There's a real renaissance in Miami, and there is more activity in the Grove than in almost any other in the submarket."