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Front Page » Top Stories » Design District Apartment Project To Become Condos

Design District Apartment Project To Become Condos

Written by on May 13, 2004

By Samantha Joseph
The purchaser of an apartment complex under construction in Miami’s Design District have changed it into a condo project.

MCZ/Centrum of Chicago, a joint venture of Centrum Properties and MCZ Development Corp., purchased the Village on Bayshore Drive for an undisclosed price.

Centrum develops retail projects in Boston, San Francisco, Kansas City and St. Louis and completes more than $190 million annually in residential projects, according to the company. MCZ Development has annual revenues of $150 million, according to company reports.

The Fingers Cos. of Houston had been constructing the Miami project for 18 months. MCZ/Centrum has renamed the project CitÈ and will sell rather than rent units in the Omni development that overlooks Margaret Pace Park and is a few blocks north of the Miami Performing Arts Center.

Rosalia Picot, CitÈ’s marketing agent, set the cost of building the project at $90 million.

Units will be priced between $150,000 and $560,000 when they go to market around the end of this month, Ms. Picot said. The complex is to be completed in September.

CitÈ is to include 435 lofts and flats on a 5-acre site between Northeast 19th Street and 20th Terrace and Biscayne Boulevard and Biscayne Bay.

The project includes two buildings. A six-story structure at 1901 Biscayne Blvd contains 185 units and 20,000 square feet of retail space on its ground floor. Walkways and a garage connect it to the second building, a 16-story structure with 250 units at 2000 N. Bayshore Drive.

"With market conditions favoring ownership over rentals, we saw an opportunity to purchase a brand new development at the right time," said Centrum Properties vice president Jennifer Arons.

CitÈ is one of two condominium projects under construction in the Design District, according to Miami’s Downtown Development Authority.

Biscayne Plaza, under way at 1800 Biscayne Blvd., is to offer 195 units and 24,136 square feet of retail space.

A third development, the 65-unit Uptown Lofts, is in the planning stages.

Two rental projects, Opera Tower and Anderson Opera Center, are to add 635 and 22 apartments, respectively.

CitÈ is the first of the projects scheduled for completion. It is the second South Florida venture of the Chicago developers. Earlier this year, MCZ/Centrum converted a 551-apartment property on Hollywood Beach, the Wave, into a condo complex. The oceanfront development has 35,000 square feet of retail space.

Ms. Picot said MCZ/Centrum hopes to benefit from a broad effort to rehabilitate and revive Miami’s urban core. "It is the hottest thing in the entire tri-county area," she said. "South Beach took 20 years to happen, but this doesn’t have any incubation period.

"It’s going to be bigger than South Beach in terms of value, and it’s going to happen in five years or less."