MiMo Center

In their first collaborative project as Prive Group, principals Javier Rabinovich & Mariano Karner set forth to bring a bold and innovative retail building to Miami’s MiMo Historic District.

Deal Dynamics:

In 2011, Prive Group was approached by one of the trusted broker’s in our network with an opportunity to acquire a busy stretch of Biscayne Boulevard in the heart of the MiMo Historic District. This 15,000 square foot piece of land occupied the block that spans 64th Street to 64th Terrace on Biscayne Boulevard. à Insert areal à In today’s market, the forward progression of the MiMo Historic District is easily observed. Nearly every block of the historic landscape is, has, or will be renovated or redeveloped. However, this was not the case when Prive was presented with the opportunity to acquire the parcel. At the time, properties now regarded as trophy assets were still looked at as blighted buildings on a forgotten portion of Biscayne. Additionally, recessionary concerns tainted market sentiment and skeptical pundits questioned the feasibility of a new retail project. These opinions did not alter our view of the facts; our decision to acquire the property was based on sound fundamentals.

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We felt this was a favorably priced opportunity to own a development position in a location with a scarcity of land, as well as proximity to significant development projects where demographic changes were already taking place. Our “ear to the ground” relationships gave us insight in to important local tastemakers making investments in the area and its long terms success. We saw the potential to transform the one time parking lot into an innovative retail building catering to the new, trendier businesses popping up in the area.

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Deal Mechanics:

When Prive was offered the parcel, the approvals in place allowed for a 3,000 square foot retail structure, which was in part why the land was priced so favorably. Our first order of business was to conceptualize a project that was favorable to the municipality and garner their approval to achieve greater density on the site. This alone would dramatically increase the value of the land, more so than anything we could do to it. Utilizing our skilled team of engineers and architects, we put forth a plan to build a 7,975 square foot building consisting of 7 retail bays. With floor plans ranging from 900 to 1,375 square feet, each store had a combination of ground level and mezzanine space in order to maximize rentable area and utilize the high elevations of the design. Next, we commissioned the globally recognized local artist Stephen Gamson to join the project to further differentiate the building from just another retail property and give the building a true landmark appeal.

The artist, whose works have been commissioned by Prince Albert II for the 67th Monaco Grand Prix, and the Cannes Films Festival, contributed his bold colors, and iconic symbols to the building’s fascia and branding. The design was stunning, and piqued the interest of city official. A staff report by the Miami Historic Preservation Board concluded that the glass storefront businesses “will increase pedestrian traffic, improving the neighborhood character.” The project successfully achieved approvals as well as building permits and Prive decided to move forward with the development on their own. About one month away from the scheduled ground breaking, the same broker who’d brought the opportunity to them brought a well-known area developer who was willing to pay 4 times what Prive had acquired the site for. Ultimately, realizing a 300% return on our investment in 14 months, combined with the prospect of deploying the capital into a multitude of other opportunities brought us to the decision to sell the project. We are happy to have played a role in the MiMo center that has now secured local Design District hotspot Panther Coffee as its anchor.

About the Area:

The term “MiMo” is short for Miami Modernism and was coined to refer to Miami Modernist Architecture. This style of design was originated in Miami and most popularly used between 1950 and 1960. Pioneered by famed local architects such as Morris Lapidus and Norman Giller, it was Miami’s response to the various modernist and post world war architectural movements happening around the world. Although it can be found throughout Miami’s most sought after design and cultural enclaves such as the Design District, Midtown, Edgewater, and Miami Beach, the stretch of Biscayne Boulevard between 50th Street and 77th Street became officially known as the “MiMo Historic District” in 2006. This stretch of Biscayne has transformed into one of Miami’s most sought after pockets for development, voted the “2014 Neighborhood of the year” by popular real estate blog Curbed

Today, the MiMo Historic District has attracted some of Miami’s most cutting edge and successful restaurateurs, retailers, hoteliers, and developers, along with their game changing projects.