40-story Brickell tower gets first tenant as opening day nears
By Yudislaidy Fernandez
After getting a $130 million construction loan, a new name and its first tenant, the 600,000-square-foot office tower under construction on Brickell Avenue is positioning itself to enter a competitive office market.
Being the last of three office buildings to open in Miami's urban core could work in its favor, as 1450 Brickell has already reached 65% occupancy rate and Wells Fargo Center 40%.
On the construction side, the main parts left to complete at 600 Brickell at Brickell World Plaza are installing the glass on the penthouse level, finishing building out the lobby and planting the foliage on the 30,000-square-foot plaza, said John Breistol, president of Miami-based Foram Group, the tower's developer.
"The things we decided to do when we had to slow down and implement are being very well received by those in the community," he said.
Construction should wrap up by August.
The 40-story edifice has obtained US Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design platinum pre-certification.
If the designation is awarded once the project is completed, the Miami tower would be the first high-rise office building in Florida and one of a handful in the Southeast to attain platinum level. Currently, 13 platinum-certified office towers of this type exist globally.
600 Brickell at Brickell World Plaza, previously known as Brickell Financial Centre, resumed leasing efforts in February following closing of a major construction loan.
Canyon Capital Realty Advisors funded a $130 million senior construction loan to complete developing the office tower in the 600 block of Brickell Avenue, in the heart of the Brickell Financial District.
NoŽl Steinfeld and Chris Dekker of CB Richard Ellis in Miami are leading the building's office leasing.
The team is marketing the property to prospective tenants locally and internationally who require high security and global connectivity, as 600 Brickell is to have high-tech features.
As South Florida's first Cisco-connected office tower, the landlord along with Cisco Systems is to offer a technological infrastructure designed to meet tenants' tech needs today and tomorrow.
The building has signed its first tenant, Mr. Breistol said, which is to take a full floor.
He didn't identify the office tenant, describing it only as a local company that is part of a foreign entity.
600 Brickell lost its first tenant, law firm Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod, in 2009 when the firm reversed plans to move in and months later leased 80,000 square feet at competing 1450 Brickell.
"We have a number of other leases in the queue," Mr. Breistol added, including two retail spaces with leases close to getting finalized.
Office space asking rates at the building range from $40 to $50 per square foot.
The decision to slow down construction was strategic because of how fierce competition was with the first two office buildings, which opened amidst a weaker economy.
"The decision to slow down, it wasn't based on us having the capacity to invest in the property," Mr. Breistol explained. "What it had to do with is we were watching what was happening in the marketplace and realized it didn't pay to do that.Ö We said, "If there's a way we can slow down the delivery of the property, we would just be in a better position.'"
Opening 600 Brickell in August — more than a year after Wells Fargo Center and 1450 Brickell came online — is giving the property an edge, he said.
"For the people who want to be in the area that are looking for the quality we offer, there's not a lot of choices."
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