Retail roster weak as Miami Marlins set to open
Written by John Charles Robbins on March 11, 2015
The Miami Marlins’ home opener of the 2015 season is Monday, April 6, the start of the fourth season at the 37,000-seat Major League Baseball facility. Meanwhile, the bulk of the Marlins Park garage retail space remains empty.
Most of the more than 50,000 square feet of retail space available for lease in three of the four parking garages built by the city remains unclaimed.
The Miami Parking Authority, by way of the Off-Street Parking Board, approved signing a rare lease for some of the retail space for a state driver’s license office March 4, but most of the space goes unwanted.
As the county-owned stadium ages another year, the only commercial activity in the garage retail space has been a cigar shop and, one year ago this month, the long-awaited opening of a Subway sandwich shop.
The Subway opened March 20. The store is about 1,400 square feet at 1576 NW Seventh St.
The only other major tenant, Café Rubio, finally signed an amended lease in November 2014 for 3,196 square feet along Seventh Street.
And while build-out work has begun on the interior of the restaurant, it is far from ready to open for business.
Café Rubio is a Latin restaurant and sports bar. It first signed a lease for garage retail in January 2013 but then ran into budget issues and was close to walking away from the deal, according to parking authority officials.
But Café Rubio came back to the authority seeking an amended contact.
On Nov. 5 the parking board approved an amended lease with Café Rubio Restaurant Inc., increasing what the tenant must pay for construction costs by $10 to $110 per square foot for improvements to the space and pushing back the date rent began more than 12 months to Aug. 1, 2014. The original rent commencement date was July 15, 2013.
Café Rubio’s annual base rent is $76,704.
The parking board last week approved a sublease agreement between the authority and HRB @ Marlins Park LLC. There will also be an agreement between the State of Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (the sub-tenant) and HRB @ Marlins Park LLC.
The state required this third-party arrangement, according to Authority CEO Art Noriega.
The space negotiated is 7,205 square feet with 10 exclusive parking spaces and 50 nonexclusive spaces. The 10-year agreement has two three-year options that must be exercised 90 days before the lease termination.
The annual base rent is $169,584 with a possibility of a renewal at $202,492.16 that would be adjusted annually. The initial six calendar months of the first rental year, the monthly base rent will be $7,066, and during the remaining six months of the initial year the base rent rises to $14,132 monthly.
Realtor NAI Miami is under contract with the city to handle the leasing of the 53,281 square feet of ground floor retail.
In its activity report for December 2014, NAI Miami noted continued work on securing a health care center for the stadium garages.
Negotiations are “on-going” with Wellmax Medical Center for 14,000 square feet for a primary care medical clinic, general office and administrative purposes, the report says.
Frank Martinez, owner of 100 Fires Cigars, was interested in leasing 7,000 square feet for a conference center, and True Blue Hospitality was interested in about 1,000 square feet for a recruitment office, according to the report.
NAI Miami also reported initial interest from some businesses that ultimately declined, including fitness centers, stating the space dimensions are not ideal, and a marine supply company, saying the location is not ideal.
The report lists other parties that had shown interest, include an adult day care, commissary kitchen, barber shop, speech therapist, clothing store, pharmacy, antiques store, bicycle store, beauty salon, batting cages and more.
The report concludes, “The majority have declined the space because of the build out. Ideally, they are seeking vanilla shell [basic finished interior] or second generation space.”
The report notes that NAI Miami reached out to earlier prospects Presidente, Pollo Tropical and Navarro Discount Pharmacy but all declined.
The lack of tenants has a financial impact on the city, which planned to use rental income at the garages to add to the $10.06 per parking space that it gets from the Marlins as the organization resells parking for game days to help repay bondholders who financed construction of the garages. Those bonds were issued for $101.3 million in 2010.