In a turn of events that took years of planning, an entire block on Lincoln Road was sold for $370 million. This is the largest commercial real estate deal in Miami-Dade history. The buyer is a Spanish billionaire and the fourth richest person in the world.
The properties run from 1001 Lincoln Road through 1035 Lincoln Road and include commercial properties like the newly-built Gap, Intermix, Athleta, and Apple, according to The Real Deal. One of these buildings will also be home to Nike. The properties total 75,000 square feet and 48,000 square feet of land.
Michael Comras and Jonathan Fryd, local commercial real estate investors and developers, brokered the deal. Comras told The Real Deal, “It’s definitely a blockbuster sale. It’s the biggest thing I have ever been involved in. It’s the culmination of so many years of planning and working together with Jonathan and we put together an amazing asset, a perfectly curated asset.”
Behind the Shops on Lincoln Road
The investors purchased the properties for a total of $12 million in 1999. They began leasing the buildings to nationwide store chains. They wanted in before the pedestrian promenade raised the rents as high as $400 per square foot.
The entity that purchased the block at Lincoln Road is listed as Playa Retail Investments. The address for Playa Retail Investments is the same as other companies owned by Amancio Ortega. According to Forbes, Ortega is the fourth richest person in the world with a net worth of $70.2 billion.
Comras could not confirm the buyer due to a confidentiality agreement, however Forbes reported on Ortega in 2012 saying that Ortega “seems to be using more of his free time to invest in real estate. He has pulled money from Spanish investment funds and poured it into buildings through his Ponte Gadea real estate firm.”
Ortega is the son of a railway worker. He cofounded Zara in 1975 with his then-wife Rosalia Mera. The bathrobes and lingerie they made in their living room caught on and during the 1980’s, Ortega’s empire grew. Other companies were dumbfounded at Ortega’s business sense as he limited advertisements, expanded ambitiously, and controlled his own supply chain.
According to Forbes, Ortega “powered through the Spanish financial crisis, personally gaining $45 billion from 2009 to 2014 as his shares of Inditex defied the rest of the Spanish stock market.”
He has taken his billions and invested them into real estate around the world including global cities like Madrid, Barcelona, London, Chicago, New York, and Miami.
Lincoln Road – Years in the Planning Paid Off
Camras credits the hard work he and Fryd started 16 years ago for the success in the asset now. He believes the retailers chosen are the best and create value in the marketplace. He stated, “Lincoln Road is an amazing street, and Miami Beach is an amazing city, and it’s a world class destination. It’s just an incredible asset and I’m happy to be part of it.”