Developers interested in building Class A office space on sites near Lincoln Road have a little more time to submit their proposals.
Miami Beach administrators extended the deadline for proposals for three city-owned parking lots and the 17th Street Garage until Jan. 12 at 3 p.m. The deadline was extended due to requests from potential bidders for more time, City Manager Alina Hudak explained in a memo to Mayor Dan Gelber and six commissioners. The deadline has been extended once before for similar reasons.
Winning bidders will be issued a lease on the land for the next 99 years. They can also bid on as many of the four city properties as they wish, but the bids will not only have to be approved by a city selection committee and city officials, but also the Miami Beach electorate.
In the case of the parking lots, a “yes” vote of more than 50% of Miami Beach voters casting ballots will be needed; for the 17th Street parking garage, affirmative votes of more than 60% are needed.
Miami Beach officials are eager to lease out the three lots and parking garage to office developers in an effort to diversify its economy beyond tourism and nightlife.
Lyle Stern, president of the Lincoln Road Business Improvement District, said Lincoln Road is the commercial spine of the city south of 41st Street, and that once a few offices are built, more will come.
“Every new building brings another building to Miami Beach. It furthers the credibility,” said Stern, co-founder of the brokerage Koniver Stern, who is also serving on the city’s selection committee that will judge the office proposals.
In an effort to gauge interest, the city issued a request for letters of interest in October 2020. Eighteen development teams submitted responses including (but not limited to) Miami-based Integra Investments and Miami Beach-based Starwood Capital Group, Miami-based Related Group, a joint venture with Comras Co. and Miami-based Terra Group, developer Russell Galbut, and New York-based East End Capital.
The three city-owned parking lots slated for redevelopment:
An official request for proposals was issued in June 2021, which included the three parking lots, as well as the redevelopment of the 17th Street garage at 640 17th St., across the street from city hall. Originally constructed in the late 1950s, the parking garage is 162,000 square feet, has 1,460 parking spaces, and includes storage and city office space.
Proposals from developers can include rent offered to the city as well as the number of parking spaces that developers will provide to the public, Stern said. The bid is open to builders who didn’t submit a letter of interest last year as well.
It’s not yet clear which developers will submit their bids in the official RFP.
Developer Russell Galbut told the Business Journal he won’t be one of them.
“We are quite busy with everything we are doing, so it is going to be interesting to see what happens,” Galbut said, adding that he is still supportive of the city’s search. “The more traffic we can bring to Lincoln Road, the better off we will all be.”
Bradley Colmer, whose Deco Capital Group previously sent in a letter of interest with Chicago-based Sterling Bay and Place Projects in Miami’s Wynwood, said he won’t be submitting an official proposal either because the city won’t allow him to include a 7,500-square-foot property that his company owns at 1671 Alton Road, which is adjacent to the 86-space parking lot at 17th Street and Lenox Avenue.
Still, Colmer, who is building a mixed-use project with Class A office space called Eighteen Sunset in the Sunset Harbour neighborhood, said he remains supportive of the office RFP, and hopes it will make the pedestrian mall a place that attracts more locals than tourists.
“Providing more office will help make Lincoln Road less tourist-driven than it has become,” he said.
Meanwhile, commercial real estate broker Jared Robins said his father, Scott Robins, along with R. Donahue Peebles, do plan on submitting bids for all three parking lots and the parking garage, pointing out that both developers co-built The Lincoln on a city-owned lot in 2003 in response to a city RFP in the late 1990s. The Lincoln, at 1691 Meridian Ave., has 120,000 square feet of office, 38,500 square feet of retail and a 709-space parking garage.
Victor Ballestas, a principal at Integra Investments, said his company and Starwood Capital Group, headed by billionaire Miami Beach resident Barry Sternlicht, will be submitting proposals to build on all four city-owned sites, too.
Integra Investments is assisting Sternlicht in the construction of a 144,430-square-foot office building at 2340 Collins Ave. that’s not part of the RFP. That new building, which is almost completed, will serve as the new headquarters for Starwood, a global investment company that oversees $100 billion in assets.
Developers must submit their bids via Periscope S2G. More details on the RFP can be found after logging on to the Lincoln Road Business Improvement District page.
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