Wharton Equity Partners has taken title to one of the largest remaining undeveloped parcels of land in the Miami CBD, a full city block comprised of approximately 2.2 acres. The property was acquired through a deed in lieu of foreclosure on a note that Wharton Equity purchased from IberiaBank earlier in 2013. The note was acquired with an institutional partner in an "all cash" transaction that closed in under 30 days from contract signing. The partnership has begun evaluating options for the property including development, joint venture and/or sale.
Known as the "Burdines Site," the property was approved for a 2.2 million square foot mixed-use project designed by internationally-acclaimed architect/design firm, Pei Partners (IM Pei) and Miami based firm, Oppenheim Architecture+Design. The prior approval included residential, hotel, retail and office components as part of the project. The property enjoys a superb location and favorable zoning, and when developed, will provide unmatched views of Biscayne Bay, the Brickell Avenue corridor and the Miami River.
Among its attributes, the property is adjacent to the on- and off-ramp of Interstate 95 and has a Metromover station located on site. Additionally, the property is centrally-located and within walking distance of downtown Miami's major dining, entertainment and retail destinations. Adjacent to the property is the 47 story Miami Tower, famous for its ever-changing colorful exterior lighting scheme, an icon that defines the heart of downtown Miami.
The property is within a few blocks of a number of high-profile projects that are under construction in the re-surging downtown Miami market. Among them, one block away, is Met 3, a mixed-use project consisting of a new Whole Foods Market at street level with 462 high end residential units, and Brickell CityCentre, a nearly four million square foot mixed-use project located in Mary Brickell Village, one of the largest developments Miami has seen to date.
The purchase represents Wharton Equity's continued commitment to the Florida/Miami market where it is in various stages of acquisition of other development sites, as well as large income producing properties. "We are a great believer in the long term prospects of South Florida, and in particular Miami, and expect to acquire other major assets in the market in the coming months," states Peter C. Lewis, Chairman of Wharton Equity Partners.