Former Miami Herald site sells for $1.225 billion
The long-vacant downtown waterfront site where the Miami Herald headquarters once stood is being bought by SmartCity Miami for $1.225 billion, brokerage Avison Young announced yesterday.
Why it matters: The site drew nine bids — five of which topped $1 billion, according to Avison Young managing director Michael T. Fay.
- The property at 1431 North Bayshore Drive. consists of 15.5 acres along Biscayne Bay.
- Mayor Francis Suarez tweeted that he considers the site "the most valuable piece of property in America."
What's happening: SmartCity Miami — an investment group led by real estate firm Terra — hasn't specified what it will do with the site.
- Terra CEO David Martin said in a statement that "something spectacular" will be built.
Context: Terra's portfolio includes architecturally significant projects such as 87 Park (next to the site of the collapsed Champlain Towers South in Surfside) and Grove at Grand Bay (the twin towers in Coconut Grove that look like they're twisting).
Flashback: Malaysian casino company Genting Group bought the property in 2011 for $236 million, demolished the Herald building and announced plans for high-rises and a casino.
- But Florida's gambling laws were never changed to accommodate Genting's vision, and the site has been vacant since.
- Genting's Kevin Jones said in a statement that the firm was holding on to adjacent land and has a partnership with SmartCity.
Fun fact: John Crotty, a principal at Avison Young who helped broker the deal, once played for the Miami Heat and now broadcasts games carried on Bally Sports Sun.
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