😮 Foreclosure, Fines and Forklifts

Miami office auction; plus: curbed HOAs, wealthy warehouses

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Happy Friday Highest & Best! Today we’re talking new rules, new directions and new property.

Here’s the playlist:

🚨 New Miami office building heads to foreclosure auction

🏟 Revival plan for an abandoned stadium

🎄 Fewer fines for Christmas decor?

💰 Jeff Bezos buys a third Miami mansion

📦 Warehouses are the new must-have accessory

Let’s get to it!

Foreclosure Auction for this New Miami Office Building

Gateway at Wynwood will be auctioned on July 2 (Photo: Oshrat Carmiel)

If buying a Miami office building in foreclosure is on your 2024 to-do list, then mark July 2 on your calendar.

A Miami judge has scheduled an auction that day for The Gateway at Wynwood, a newly built office property that’s being foreclosed on by its mortgage lender.

The owners of the office building, Manhattan’s R&B Realty Group, stopped making mortgage payments on a $113 million loan in December. Last week, a judge ordered the sale of the building to satisfy the debt, which stands at $111.9 million (including default interest and late fees).

It’s the largest Miami foreclosure, based on loan amount, since at least 2022, when property intel site Vizzda began tracking such data.

The Gateway at Wynwood has epitomized Miami’s high-flying office market: It was built in 2021, by a New York developer, in a former industrial-turned-art scene neighborhood, with a roster of tech and startup tenants from out of town.

And it’s branded by its acronym — ‘TGAW’ — spelled out atop the front awning.

‘TGAW’ is a 14-story building, with a rooftop terrace and 195,000 square feet of office space, for which brokers are still attempting to find tenants. Available space is being marketed at $70 per square foot. That’s 17% less than the average asking rents for prime Wynwood office space in the first quarter, according to Colliers.

(Photo: Oshrat Carmiel)

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A Plan is Brewing for this Abandoned Miami Water Stadium

Miami Marine Stadium (Photo: National Register of Historic Places)

A Hong Kong investment group is taking interest in an abandoned waterfront stadium in Miami that’s been closed — and structurally unsound— for over 30 years.

The investment group called Crxsspark (←-no, that’s not a typo), along with some Miami investors, have been having private meetings with Mayor Frances Suarez with an unsolicited proposal to redevelop the city-owned site, the Miami Herald reported.

Their revival plan for Miami Marine Stadium calls for an extreme sports and amusement park, a wave pool for surfers, plus training facilities and lodging for competitive athletes. The redevelopment proposal extends well beyond the actual stadium and would encompass surrounding parking lots and the site of a local rowing club.

It’s the latest news in a decades-long , and celebrity-studded, attempt to find new life for the graffiti-covered venue, which was shuttered in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

The 6,566-seat stadium — featured in the Elvis Presley movie “Clambake” and now listed on the National Register of Historic Places— was built in 1963 as a place to watch speedboat racing on Biscayne Bay. It was also a performance venue, where bands played on a floating stage and concertgoers could partake from nearby boats.

Supporters of the marine stadium’s redevelopment included Jimmy Buffet and Gloria Estefan — both of whom performed there before it closed, and headlined a fundraiser for its renewal a decade ago.

Estefan produced a video about the site here:

Miami Marine Stadium has been closed since 1992

Florida Lawmakers Tackle Garbage Bins, Christmas Decor

Your garbage bins may stay on the curb 24 hours past trash pickup. And no more stress about taking down the Christmas decor.

A new Florida law is putting restraints on how— and for what —Homeowners Associations (HOAs) may levy fines against their residents.

The law, signed on May 31 by Gov. Ron DeSantis and taking effect in July, gets pretty specific on the penalties that Florida HOA’s may no longer impose.

HOA’s, which set and enforce community rules on everything from parking to lawn appearances and can levy hefty (and sometimes arbitrary) fines for non-compliance, are now restricted from the following:

🥕 They can’t ban vegetable gardens or clotheslines if they’re not visible from the street or a neighboring property.

🚔 They can’t prohibit first responders, like police and EMTs, from parking their vehicles in the driveway.

🚫 They can’t fine residents for garbage bins left on the curb within 24 hours (before or after) of trash pickup.

🎄 And if holiday lights linger too far past New Year’s, HOA’s must give homeowners a week’s notice before imposing penalties.

Florida ranks second in the U.S. in the number of HOAs it has— with over 49,000, according to the Foundation for Community Association Research. About 45% of all homes in the state are governed by an HOA, making the new rules relevant for a large swath of homeowners.

Jeff Bezos Paid $87 Million for a Third Miami Mansion

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is on a Miami mansion-buying spree

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos closed this week on the purchase of a third Miami mansion. The price he paid for the 12,135-square-foot house? $87 million. 

It’s Bezos’ third residence in the posh, water-fringed community of Indian Creek Village, also known as the “Billionaire Bunker,” for neighbors that include Ivanka Trump, Tom Brady and investor Carl Icahn.

Bezos previously bought two mansions on the island for a combined $147 million — but he’s tearing those down. So he’s acquired this residence to use as a crash pad in the interim, Bloomberg News reported in April.

His total spend on homes in the neighborhood now stands at $234 million.

The world’s third-richest person, Bezos announced in November that he’s moving to Miami after living nearly 30 years in Seattle. In February he sold $8.5 billion worth of Amazon shares in his first stock sale since 2021.

Florida has no state income tax nor a tax on capital gains, which means that Bezos likely saved over $600 million — more than his current mansion tab — by selling shares as a Florida resident, rather than one from Washington State.

Jeff Bezos bought a third Miami home at 28 Indian Creek Island Road

The New Must-Have Wealth Accessory: Florida Warehouses

It seems that Florida warehouses are the new must-have item for wealthy investors:

📦 Blackstone, the world’s largest commercial property owner, is seeking to build a 128,000-square-foot warehouse outside of Miami, on a site it bought last year for $15.3 million. That’s in addition to another storage center it bought for $20.7 million outside of Fort Lauderdale last month.

📦 The Dallas-investment firm founded by Ross Perot Jr. — son of the late billionaire Ross Perot, who ran for president in 1992— bought a 1 million-square-foot warehouse in Jupiter for $106.5 million, according to property sales tracker Vizzda.

That storage facility is fully leased to Amazon, which uses it as a “fulfillment center” to store, pack and ship items ordered by nearby customers. This particular center handles large items such as kayaks, mattresses, riding lawn mowers, big screen TVs, and other bulky products that a new-to-the-area homeowner might purchase.

📈 South Florida’s population boom has pumped up demand for warehouse space by retailers scouring for places to stash goods near their growing customer bases. And that’s inspiring real estate investors to buy up warehouses— and lease them out to those retailers hungry for space and eager to pay up for it.

📦 In December, the founder of clothing retail chain Zara paid $113 million for a cold storage warehouse in Hialeah, Florida, near Miami.

📦 The month before, Boston-based private equity firm Rockpoint paid $183.8 million for a development site in Pompano Beach, with plans to build a 1.5 million square foot warehouse. At the time, it was the sixth-most expensive development site to be sold in 2023 across all of southeast Florida.

That’s it for today!

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