The real estate recession in Miami hasn’t crushed the hopes of the art and design community, according to Joel Poelhius. The Miami Herald follows the fate of a fire sale in the Design district:
While pundits search for signs of a real-estate market bottom, developer Todd Glaser found a bottom-dollar price for a 3,368-square-foot building on the edge of Miami’s Design District. Glaser, who helped lead redevelopment of the area in the early 1990s, said the $325,000 purchase at 4111 N. Miami Ave. was a no-brainer. […] In the heart of the Design District, recent sales prices often run three to four times that, said Craig Robins, a design district pioneer and president, chief executive and chairman of Dacra, a real estate development company.
Glaser plans to renovate the North Miami Avenue property and lease it as a restaurant or retail space. Currently the building is marred by graffiti and its doors and windows are boarded up with plywood. […] Dacra bought the property in 1994 for $115,000, when Glaser was still working with the firm, and sold it to nonprofit One Art in 1999 for $250,000.
The Miami-Dade property appraiser listed the building’s value at more than $1 million last year. Alex Prado, the director of One Art, said his organization had opportunities to sell the property before — once for more than $700,000 during the real estate boom — but that profit was never a motive in decision-making.
Recent development in the Design District has been dominated by Dacra, which bought a two-story building at 4141 NE Second Ave for around $16 million last fall. Robins said he isn’t surprised to hear of Glaser’s renewed interest in the area.
Next door, construction is under way on a three-story building that will house the art collection of Carlos and Rosa de la Cruz. The de la Cruzes hope to open the museum-like structure to the public during Art Basel Miami Beach in December. Robins said Glaser’s new property will be “anchored by one of the best art collections in the United States.”
Miami Design District Investor Finds a Bargain (MiamiHerald.com)